Air Fryer Shrimp come out plump and delicious in just a few minutes. Learn how to make these tasty shrimp here.
Want delicious shrimp full of flavor in minutes? Turn to the air fryer! It’s so easy and you can switch up the seasonings to make them perfect for any dish.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
Why Cook Shrimp In The Air Fryer?
There are a lot of ways to prepare shrimp. Two of my favorites are a basic pan fried version (with garlic and butter, of course), and directly from frozen. Yes, really – this is the easiest and tastiest way to poach shrimp ever! It’s especially perfect for shrimp cocktail.
There are downsides to these methods, however. With the pan fried, you need to stand there stirring the shrimp. Or at least be nearby since you’re using the stove top. It doesn’t take long, but monitoring it is critical because it’s very time-sensitive.
With the poaching method I use, you turn the heat off before adding the shrimp, so you can totally just walk away. And the amount of time is pretty forgiving – a few minutes extra is no big deal. However, you don’t get all that garlic butter goodness of pan fried.
So…how do you make delicious, buttery, garlicky shrimp but also not have to hover over them while they cook? By air frying! It gives you the convenience without sacrificing any flavor.
What Kind Of Shrimp To Use
In a nutshell, what you want are Medium Shrimp with a 51-60 Count that are Peeled and Deveined, with or without the tail on.
More details about the kind of shrimp to use:
For this recipe, I used 51-60 count shrimp. That means that there are 51-60 shrimp per pound. These would be considered “medium” shrimp. You can use larger or smaller shrimp but you would just need to adjust the cooking time a little bit (an extra minute or so for jumbo shrimp, one minute less for small shrimp).
For the air fryer, it is best to use shrimp that do not have a peel. The label or bag should say “peeled” shrimp. This means that the peels have been removed. It is fine if the shrimp still have their tails on though. This is personal preference. Some people don’t like having to take the tails off as they eat, while other people like having the tail on to use as a handle. I usually choose between tail or no tail based on whether one of them is on sale.
Make sure that the shrimp are deveined already as well. If you’re buying peeled shrimp though, they usually devein them when they peel them so this won’t be an issue.
How Do You Make Shrimp In The Air Fryer?
What you do is to preheat the air fryer to 400°F. This takes 3-4 minutes. While it’s preheating, get out your shrimp. (They should already be defrosted. If not, use my quick method for thawing frozen shrimp.)
Toss the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of melted butter or olive oil, 1 clove of minced garlic, some red pepper flakes (optional), and salt. Then spread them out in the air fryer basket and cook for 3 minutes, or until opaque. You may have to work in batches if they don’t fit in a single layer.
Then you remove the shrimp from the basket. I use a silicone spatula since my air fryer is non-stick – no metal tools allowed – and also because after I take out the shrimp, I remove the basket and use the spatula to scrape out any garlic and butter that has fallen through the holes. That stuff is gold!
Using Air Fryer Shrimp
These air fried shrimp are so good you can enjoy them as is, but you can also make them part of a meal. Toss them with pasta or make a rice bowl with shrimp and veggies. Add the shrimp on top of a salad for a great lunch.
You can also switch up the seasonings you use on the shrimp. Try them with Old Bay seasoning or use some cumin, garlic powder, and smoked paprika for some easy air fryer shrimp tacos.
Let me know in the comments how you like to serve these shrimp.
More Shrimp Recipes You’ll Love
Love this easy air fryer shrimp recipe? I have more delicious dishes for you to try.
- Air Fryer Shrimp Fajitas
- Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp
- Instant Pot Shrimp
- Shrimp Ceviche
- Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
Shrimp come out plump and delicious in just a few minutes when you cook them in the air fryer. I use medium shrimp (51-60 shrimp per pound) that have already been peeled and deveined, tail removed. That is, use shrimp that no longer have their peels on them. The tails are fine to have on though.
- 24 medium (51-60 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 Tbsp olive oil or melted butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
- In a medium bowl toss together shrimp, olive oil, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes.
- Lay shrimp in a single layer in the basket of the air fryer.
- Cook until opaque, about 3 minutes.
- Remove basket from air fryer. Use silicone spatula to transfer shrimp to a plate.
- Use spatula to scrape oil and garlic onto the shrimp from the basket and from the pot that the basket was in.
Love this recipe? I’d appreciate it if you could scroll down and add a *5 star rating* to help others know they’ll love it as well!
This post originally appeared in March 2019. It was revised and republished in July 2023.