Air Fryer Spicy Shrimp Recipe

For many people, shrimp is their favorite type of seafood — and, more specifically, they love fried shrimp. While they may be particularly popular during the Lenten season, you can enjoy fried shrimp as an appetizer or entrée at any time of year. The problem with preparing this dish at home, though, is that deep frying can be messy, even dangerous, so many people opt to skip the hassle altogether.

If you've ever wondered if shrimp can be cooked in the air fryer, hopefully the title of this recipe give you an answer! No need to worry about these air fryer spicy shrimp not being adequately cooked, though, as recipe developer Autumn LeAnn says, "This recipe uses fully cooked shrimp [so you can just cook them until they reach the desired level of crispiness." LeAnn admits this shrimp recipe "isn't super spicy," but she says "it does have a little kick." If you want to up the heat factor, you can increase the chili powder and/or Cajun seasoning, or you could add some cayenne powder.

Gather the ingredients for air fryer spicy shrimp

In addition to the cooked shrimp and the aforementioned Cajun seasoning and chili powder, you'll also need flour, garlic powder, panko bread crumbs (LeAnn uses the plain kind), and eggs to coat the shrimp. LeAnn also makes a dipping sauce from sour cream, cilantro, and lime juice and zest.

Make the dipping sauce

Zest the lime, then cut it in half and squeeze out the juice. Mix the lime juice and zest with the sour cream, cilantro, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Season the sour cream mixture with salt to taste, then cover the sauce and refrigerate it until after the shrimp are cooked.

Bread the shrimp

Mix the breadcrumbs with the remaining garlic powder, chili powder, and Cajun seasoning, then whisk the eggs in a separate bowl. Dip each shrimp in the flour, shaking off any excess, then dip them in the eggs. As a final step, dip the shrimp in the breadcrumbs.

Cook the shrimp in batches

Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray, then fill it with breaded shrimp. You'll probably need to do this in batches unless you have a really big air fryer. Cook the first batch for six minutes at 400 F, then flip the shrimp and cook the other sides for four to six minutes. Remove the cooked shrimp from the basket, then repeat the cooking for batch #2 (and batch #3, if necessary).

Serve the shrimp

When the shrimp are done, serve them with the sour cream sauce if you like, although LeAnn also suggests ranch dressing as an alternative. Cocktail or tartar sauce would be good, too. LeAnn tells us, "I'd consider this an appetizer more than a main dish," but if you want to turn these shrimp into an entree, she says they could be used in tacos or on pasta. If you serve them this way, though, she says, "Just make sure to remove the tails."

Air Fryer Spicy Shrimp Recipe
5 from 38 ratings
These air fryer spicy shrimp come together in a breeze, without the hassle of deep-frying.
Prep Time
Cook Time
fried shrimp on plate
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 1 lime
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 pound frozen cooked shrimp
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
  1. Zest the lime. Cut the zested lime in half and squeeze out all of the juice.
  2. Mix the lime juice with the sour cream, lime zest, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and cilantro, then add salt to taste.
  3. Cover and refrigerate the sour cream sauce until shrimp are cooked.
  4. Combine bread crumbs with the remaining seasonings in a bowl.
  5. Whisk the eggs in a bowl.
  6. Coat each individual shrimp in flour, shaking off any excess.
  7. Dip each shrimp in the whisked eggs, letting any excess drip off.
  8. Coat each shrimp evenly with seasoned bread crumbs.
  9. Spray the air fryer basket with non-stick spray. Place shrimp in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
  10. Cook the shrimp for 6 minutes at 400 F, then flip and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes.
  11. Repeat the cooking process for any remaining shrimp.
  12. Serve shrimp with the sour cream sauce, if desired.
Calories per Serving 488
Total Fat 27.5 g
Saturated Fat 14.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 379.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 26.3 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Total Sugars 4.3 g
Sodium 1,220.9 mg
Protein 33.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe