Air Fryer Frozen Shrimp is the easiest and best way to cook shrimp in a rush! The outcome is juicy and tender shrimp that went from frozen to perfectly cooked in 7 minutes! You really can’t beat that.
AIR FRYER FROZEN SHRIMP
This is a great way to cook shrimp to use as an appetizer, to add to a dinner, or even to meal prep with.
Ever since I discovered cooking frozen shrimp in the air fryer, I re-accessed how I looked at quick dinners.
Why dig around in the freezer for an unhealthy dinner, when you can whip one up using frozen shrimp in less than 15 minutes.
I also have plenty of other quick seafood dinner ideas – like my Air Fryer Frozen Fish, which goes from frozen to absolutely juicy in less than 10 minutes.
Or this Tuna Pesto Pasta dish that uses shelf-stable ingredients to create a quick dinner in 15 minutes.
Can you cook frozen shrimp in an air fryer?
Yes! You can absolutely cook shrimp that’s frozen in the air fryer. As long as it’s thoroughly cooked! And using this exact recipe the shrimp comes out perfectly cooked and so juicy!
I like eating shrimp when they’re just about cooked, which makes it critical to not overcook. That way they remain juicy and full of flavor.
Overcooking shrimp can easily show by how curled the shrimp is.
You want them to make a U-shape vs. an O-shape which is a clear sign of overcooking. Air Fryer Shrimp is the best way to get the juiciest shrimp out there, especially because there is no need to thaw!
- Frozen Shrimp is all you need! I’m working with 26-30 count per pound, which are larger and have the shell and tail still on. For an easier meal, use shell-off. If you’re cooking more than a pound of shrimp then you’ll need to do a few batches.
EQUIPMENT & SPECIAL INGREDIENTS
If you don’t have a air fryer that you love, this is my absolute favorite Air Fryer that’s also an Indoor Grill. I use this almost daily, and it’s a great back-up when it’s too cold or wet to BBQ outside.
This air fryer also has a built-in thermometer that comes in so handy for cooking seafood!
Measuring cups and spoons
HOW TO COOK FROZEN SHRIMP IN THE AIR FRYER
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
Add your shrimp to the air fryer basket. Keep in one layer as much as possible, to ensure all sides are thoroughly and evenly cooked.
For a little crust on the shrimp, coat shrimp in oil prior to cooking and sprinkle salt and your favorite seasoning.
HOW LONG DO YOU COOK FROZEN SHRIMP IN AN AIR FRYER?
Cooking times vary depending on the size of your shrimp, and sometimes your air fryer.
- For Frozen Cooked Shrimp, cook for about 4-5 minutes in the air fryer.
- For Frozen Raw Shrimp, cook for 7-10 minutes in the air fryer. The time varies on the type of air fryer you use.
I’m working with my absolute favorite Air Fryer, the Ninja Foodi XL, so be mindful that time may vary slightly.
- Check the count on the bag of shrimp, and adjust the time accordingly. I go into more detail about this below, in the “Varieties of Shrimp” section. It’s completely adjustable based on what you have on hand, or what you choose to purchase.
- Make sure shrimp is completely frozen, not half-thawed for this air fryer recipe.
- Stay close to the air fryer the last couple minutes to avoid overcooking. I like to check the air fryer a minute or so before they’re finished to gauge how much longer they’ll need and do a quick toss, although it’s not completely necessary to do so, I like to stir the shrimp when I check on them.
- Use Olive oil. Coating the shrimp with olive oil can add a similar texture to sautéing.
- Avoid using a liner that doesn’t have holes in the air fryer. Many like to use parchment paper in the air fryer, including myself. As long as you’re avoiding placing the liner on the air fryer basket itself, but rather underneath, then it’s totally fine.
STORING AIR FRYER SHRIMP IN THE FRIDGE
Storing extra shrimp in the fridge for meal prepping or next day’s dinner is my absolute favorite thing to do! You can even make this recipe ahead and use as an appetizer the next few days. I typically air fry seafood around lunch time, let cool and store until the evening when I whip up dinner.
To store – allow the shrimp to completely cool then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
STORING AIR FRYER SHRIMP IN THE FREEZER
Refreeze your cooked shrimp for another day. This is especially nice when you cook double the amount you need at the moment, and freeze any extras to easily thaw and warm for another meal.
To refreeze the shrimp – allow them to cool completely and store in an airtight bag with all the air let out, for several months. My rule of thumb with seafood is to store in the back of the freezer, away from the freezer door. That way, they stay fresher longer. If you have a deep freezer, that’s a great place for them.
VARIETIES OF SHRIMP
Cooking shrimp in the air fryer is simple, but for some crazy reason there are an extremely wide variety of shrimp products. So, here’s a run down on just some of the varieties and how that may affect cooking times.
SHELL-ON SHRIMP VS SHELL-OFF SHRIMP
Whether the shell is on or off, as long as it’s raw and frozen, it will be cooked just about the same amount of time.
FROZEN COOKED SHRIMP
You will definitely need to cook for less time if the frozen shrimp you have is pre-cooked. The bag will let you know whether it’s raw or cooked. In the recipe card below, I give a suggestion on how long to cook for both.
FROZEN RAW SHRIMP
This is what I like to work with for the sole reason that I like to know how long to cook the shrimp myself, to avoid overcooking. Choose this route if you’re planning on a shrimp appetizer, where it’s the center of attention.
SHRIMP COUNT PER POUND / SIZE
For this recipe I’m working with 26/30 count shrimp, which are labeled as “Large”.
I’d say that’s one of the best sizes to work with and the perfect size for a bite in any dish.
There are several other sizes, from extremely small shrimp that’s often times found in salads, to X-Large and even Jumbo shrimp.
Size will matter when you’re making this recipe, so adjust the time by a minute or so depending on what you’re working with.
If you’re working with shrimp that don’t have shells, then feel free to add spices to your liking. Some options are:
- Old Bay. A classic seafood seasoning mix that is great on shrimp and other seafood.
- Lemon juice, fresh garlic, olive oil. For a fresh and light punch of flavor that complement shrimp so well.
- Smoked paprika. Pairs great with Old Bay to add deeper flavors to shrimp that truly make it delicious!
- For a little heat do an olive oil, old bay, garlic and cayenne rub. If you’re looking to go the spicy route, you’ve got to use this spice mixture for great flavor with a kick!
If the shrimp is completely cooked after being cooked, add to an air tight bag and place towards the back of the freezer for a couple months.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH AIR FRYER SHRIMP
- Alongside: You’ve got to try this Toum (Lebanese garlic sauce) with shrimp. It’s my go-to dip for just about anything, especially bite sized food I can easily dip, like shrimp!
- Side Dish: Try this Fried Feta and Strawberry Salad alongside! It’s made with a Mediterranean style salad dressing that I absolutely love and of course, packed with good flavor, crunch, cheese and sweetness!
- Drink: Pair this recipe with this Spicy Mango Margarita! Or try a white wine, like Sauvignon blanc, or Viognier. Or, my other favorite with shrimp is rose. Cheers! And for more seafood and wine pairings, subscribe and you will get my full list!
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Air Fryer Frozen Shrimp
- 1 pound frozen shrimp
- Preheat the air fryer to 400F. Grease the basket if the shrimp don't have shells.
- Cook for about 7-8 minutes if using frozen raw shrimp, and about 5 minutes if it's frozen cooked shrimp.
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