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How to air fry shrimp: quick and easy recipe

Simple and healthy meals may feel like a challenge at times, but when you cook shrimp to a tender, juicy, golden texture in an air fryer, you may discover a family favorite. Shrimp is a versatile source of protein that can be combined with rice or pasta, topped on tacos or salad, added to soups or bowls, or served as a mouthwatering appetizer.

Read on to learn how to air fry shrimp and add it to your favorite recipe for a delicious, quick and easy meal.

A Whirlpool® oven with Air Fry Mode in a modern kitchen. A Whirlpool® oven with Air Fry Mode in a modern kitchen.

Can you air fry frozen shrimp?

Air fryer shrimp can be a quick and easy meal even if you forget to take it out of the freezer ahead of time. When frozen, shrimp can take longer to air fry compared to when it’s thawed and cooking time varies based on size. Keep an eye on your shrimp while air frying and modify your recipe accordingly.

Thawed shrimp typically holds seasoning better but you can still add seasoning to half-frozen shrimp. Just air fry your shrimp and check it about halfway through your cook time to see if it’s thawed. Then shell and devein them, if necessary, and add your seasonings before finishing cooking.

Can you air fry pre-cooked shrimp?

If you air fry pre-cooked shrimp, you can end up with overcooked, rubbery shrimp that doesn't have the typical crunchy exterior. An air fryer takes time to rapidly circulate hot air around your food to develop the tender, crisp texture, which is why it’s ideal to use fresh, raw shrimp.

A closeup of a person holding a phone showing an online air fry recipe. A closeup of a person holding a phone showing an online air fry recipe.

Air fryer shrimp recipe

Air fryer shrimp is a great way for busy families to enjoy an easy, healthy meal together. This recipe can guide you on how to air fry shrimp, although exact temperature and cook times may vary depending on the size of your shrimp. 

If you don’t have an oven with air fryer capabilities, you can use your convection oven to get similar results. Discover more about the different types of ovens


2 servings

  • Jumbo shrimp (size 21/25)

  • Olive oil/spray

  • Seasonings

Prep time

5 minutes

Cook time 

9 minutes

Total time

14 minutes

Air fryer icon

Step 1. Preheat air fryer

Preheat your oven with air fry capabilities to a temperature between 400°F and 430°F, although whether or not you need to preheat it may depend on your model. Check your owner’s manual for specific information. Select Whirlpool® ranges with Air Fry Mode have a Rapid Preheat that heats the oven quickly and can save you time in preparing your meal.

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Step 2. Prepare the shrimp

Remove the shrimp shells and devein, if necessary. Rinse your shrimp in cold water if there’s residue on them after cleaning. Pat your shrimp dry with a paper towel to prepare them for seasoning.

Shrimp tips

A way to save time on prep work is to purchase shrimp that has been deveined and shelled. Whether you keep the tail on or off can depend on how you’re serving it. If it’s for a dish like pasta, consider removing the tail. For an appetizer, you may want to keep it on as a mess-free way to dip it in a sauce.

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Step 3. Add shrimp seasonings

Combine your seasonings and oil in a bowl, then add your shrimp and mix to coat them. If you’re using a breading, make sure the shrimp aren’t dripping with batter when adding them to the air fryer basket. Lightly spray or coat your air fryer basket to avoid sticking and place a sheet pan underneath for easier cleanup.

Don’t overcrowd the air fry basket 

Place each shrimp in the air fryer basket with space in between each piece. If you crowd or stack the shrimp, it may not crisp properly because the hot air needs to circulate around each one.

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Step 4. Air fry the shrimp

Put your air fryer basket on the center rack in your oven and set your timer for 8-11 minutes. Keep in mind that shrimp sizes vary and smaller shrimp will cook faster.

Use the center oven rack 

The center rack of your oven is ideal for air frying. For easier cleanup, put a sheet pan on the rack beneath your air fryer basket to catch drippings. The sheet pan can be lined with parchment paper or foil.

Flipping shrimp

You can flip shrimp or shake your air fryer basket halfway through to improve the air distribution around the shrimp, but only if you think it’s necessary. Keep in mind that when you open your oven door, you will have a temperature change due to heat loss. Learn more air fryer tips.

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Step 5. Serve and enjoy

Once the timer ends, check your shrimp for doneness. They should be an opaque white and pink with a golden crisp exterior. When they’re in the shape of a loose “C,” this can indicate that they’re ready to eat.

A closeup of a Whirlpool® oven with air fried food. A closeup of a Whirlpool® oven with air fried food.

Do you have to rinse shrimp before cooking?

No, you don’t have to rinse shrimp before cooking. If you want to clean your shrimp after shelling and deveining, you can rinse it under cold water before air frying. Make sure to pat it dry before adding oil and seasonings.

How do you know when shrimp is done?

If your shrimp are cooked, they will be a pink or opaque white color with no translucent texture or gray tint. They curl into the shape of a “C” while they cook. Look for a loose “C” shape and use a meat thermometer to check if they’re at least 145°F.

A basket with air fried food on a counter in a modern kitchen. A basket with air fried food on a counter in a modern kitchen.

How do you reheat fried shrimp in an air fryer?

You can eat cooked shrimp cold or reheat it in your air fryer. To reheat shrimp, simply set your air fry temperature and cook until warmed through. Keep in mind that reheating will take less time than cooking them raw.

Can you freeze fried shrimp?

While eating fried shrimp fresh will likely have a better taste and texture, you can freeze them. Put shrimp in an airtight container in the freezer within three to four days. If left outside of your refrigerator for longer than two hours or in 90°F or higher temperature for longer than one hour, avoid eating them.

Shop Whirlpool® stoves with air fryer

Air frying foods, like golden, seasoned shrimp is a simple way to get healthy meals into your dinner rotation. Browse the selection of Whirlpool® ranges with Air Fry Mode so you can make quick, easy recipes and spend more time enjoying the family meals. 

Discover more recipes and air fryer tips with Whirlpool brand

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