Air Fryer Shrimp

Air Fryer Shrimp come out plump and delicious in just a few minutes. Learn how to make these tasty shrimp here.

Shrimp come out plump and delicious in just a few minutes when you cook them in the air fryer.

Ways to Cook Shrimp

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 garlicky buttery goodness of pan fried.

So…how do you make delicious, buttery, garlicky shrimp but also not have to hover over them while they cook? The Air Fryer!

Using the Air Fryer

People often use the air fryer to cook breaded foods since it uses much less oil than deep frying. But you can also cook unbreaded foods and they turn out lovely. This is the air fryer one I use!

How’s that? Think of the air fryer as a mini oven. Or even as a new version of a toaster oven. It’s small so it heats up quickly and it’s perfect for cooking smaller amounts of food, breaded or not. This shrimp recipe is a great example of how to use the air fryer in this way.

What Kind of Shrimp to Use in the Air Fryer

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 larger 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 deveine 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 defrosting shrimp over here).

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.

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….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!



Air Fryer Shrimp

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings


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)


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
  2. In a medium bowl toss together shrimp, olive oil, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Lay shrimp in a single layer in the basket of the air fryer.
  4. Cook until opaque, about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove basket from air fryer. Use silicone spatula to transfer shrimp to a plate.
  6. Use spatula to scrape oil and garlic onto the shrimp from the basket and from the pot that the basket was in.


This post originally appeared in March 2019. It was revised and republished in July 2020.
Air Fryer Shrimp

24 responses to “Air Fryer Shrimp”

  1. Michael Noel says:

    I’ve read your instructions. I’m confused and this is why. According to what you used, peeled and deveined, tail removed. Then you mention not to use unpeeled shrimp for this method. Can you please clarify your instructions please. Thank you kindly

    use medium shrimp (51-60 shrimp per pound) that have already been peeled and deveined, tail removed. Don’t use unpeeled shrimp for this method,

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Michael, I’m confused about your question. I have said to use peeled shrimp. That means shrimp that have been peeled, which means that they do not have peels on them anymore. Then I say to not use unpeeled shrimp. That means, “Do not use shrimp that are unpeeled; do not use shrimp that still have their peels on them.” Both statements ,”Use peeled shrimp” and “do not use unpeeled shrimp” mean the same thing.

      However, since there’s some confusion here, I’ve edited the top of the recipe to, I hope, be clearer. Thank you for your question. I want this to be as simple for people to understand as possible and your feedback helps make it better.

  2. Barbara Felton-Wilson says:

    For 2020, I vowed that my family will be eating healthier and with a lot less preservatives. This recipe fits my agenda perfectly. This recipe will be made next week! I can’t wait!!!

  3. Andrea Hatfield says:

    My family enjoys shrimp but I hadn’t thought about using the air fryer. Thanks for the tips!

  4. Paula B. says:

    Just bought an air fryer but haven’t opened the box as yet. This sounds like a good place to start,.

  5. Angelica says:

    I’ve never thought of cooking shrimp in my air fryer, this recipe sounds delish!

  6. Calvin says:

    Don’t have an air fryer but this is awesome!

  7. Debbie Yoder says:

    Sounds like an easy way to cook shrimp!

  8. Deborah Waddell says:

    I don’t have an air fryer but this recipe has me thinking I ought to have one!

  9. Andrea Hatfield says:

    My family loves shrimp! This is perfect for our Christmas dinner. Thank you!

  10. Sarah L says:

    I’d never think of cooking shrimp this way. I can see how yummy it would be. Too bad I don’t have an air fryer.

  11. Tina Woo says:

    This is brilliant! I am loving all your airfryer recipes, I have not been using mine nearly enough.

  12. Kim Y Beard says:

    This is really a simple recipe…that I chose to e for the Christmas in 10 days. Thank you

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