This air fryer frozen shrimp recipe is a quick and convenient way to enjoy shrimp in a fantastic garlic butter sauce directly from the freezer. The perfect recipe for busy weeknights using the simplest cooking method there is.
Using a frozen product makes this recipe for air fryer frozen shrimp incredibly convenient, as you can have a bag of shrimp on hand in your freezer and whip up delicious appetizers or a tasty and quick meal in no time.
Thawing the shrimp slightly before coating them ensures even cooking and allows the spices to adhere to the shrimp more effectively. The air fryer cooks the frozen shrimp evenly, making them slightly crispy on the outside while keeping them juicy and tender on the inside.
Do you want more ideas for air-frying frozen food? Check out our popular recipe for Frozen Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer, make some Air Fryer Potato Wedges, Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings, Air Fryer Frozen Sweet Potatoes, or try the Air Fryer Frozen Meatballs.
Or try this unusual and incredibly delicious Prawn Salad with Red Currants.
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- Frozen shrimp can be small or large and labeled “cooked” or “uncooked.” All you have to do is adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- The perfect amount to cook in one batch would be around 1 pound/ 250 g. If you want to cook more, do that in several batches. The air needs to circulate properly for nicely cooked and slightly crispy seafood.
- Ingredients for the butter garlic sauce: Salted or unsalted butter (adjust the salt accordingly), fresh garlic, Italian seasoning, sweet paprika, fine sea salt or kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
- You can season the seafood with your favorite seasoning, for instance, lemon pepper, Old Bay seasoning, or Cajun seasoning. Add a bit of cayenne pepper or red chili/red pepper flakes for a little heat.
- You can use olive oil instead of butter; it tastes good. But cooking shrimp in butter is significantly better.
How to air fry frozen shrimp
- Preheat the air fryer as required by the instructions manual.
- Melt the butter in a small pan and mix it with the grated garlic and the seasoning.
- Place the frozen shrimp in a colander and run them under cold water to thaw slightly for one minute or so. Then, pat them dry using a paper towel.
- Place into a large bowl and toss them with the butter mixture until coated (1).
- Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in the lightly greased air fryer basket; the hot air needs to be able to circulate (2).
- Cook, shaking the basket or flipping halfway through (3).
- Transfer the tender shrimp to a serving bowl and pour the butter-garlic sauce left behind in the basket over it.
- Sprinkle with parsley (optional) and serve immediately.
How long does it take to cook frozen shrimp in the air fryer?
The cooking time depends on the size of your shrimp or on how it is labeled.
- Large “cooked shrimp”: 4-5 minutes.
- Large “uncooked shrimp”: 8-9 minutes.
- Smaller “cooked shrimp”: 2-3 minutes.
- Smaller “uncooked shrimp”: 4-5 minutes.
How to tell if the shrimp is cooked through?
- Check the color: They should turn golden brown.
- Texture: Firm and slightly springy texture when touched. They should be opaque and not translucent in the center.
- Internal Temperature: Insert an instant-read thermometer (the Amazon link opens in a new tab) into the thickest part of the largest one. The internal temperature should reach 145°F (63°C).
- Cooking time: Follow the recommended cooking time mentioned in the recipe as a general guide.
- However, cooking times may vary depending on the shrimp's size and the air fryer's specific model. Adjust the cooking time accordingly if needed.
- Don’t overcook it, or it may become rubbery. It's preferable to slightly undercook them than to overcook them.
- If uncertain, cut into one to check if it’s done before removing the rest from the air fryer. Remember that they will continue to cook slightly as they rest, so consider this when determining the cooking time.
Yes. However, the cook time may be slightly shorter since fresh shrimp will cook faster. Monitor the color, texture, and internal temperature to ensure they are cooked through.
Feel free to customize the spice mixture according to your taste preferences. You can experiment with various herbs, such as cayenne pepper, dried oregano, or smoked paprika, to add different flavors to the shrimp.
It's best to cook them just before serving to maintain their crispy texture. Or you can thaw them in the fridge and cook them as you would cook fresh shrimp.
It would be best to avoid leftovers, as seafood is best when served immediately.
However, you can refrigerate any leftover shrimp in an airtight container for about 2 days. The butter sauce will solidify in the fridge.
Reheat the shrimp and the sauce in the air fryer or a small pan for just a few minutes or until heated through.
How to serve air-fried shrimp?
- Serve this delicious shrimp immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice and your favorite dipping sauce, such as cocktail or tartar sauce.
- Serve them with fresh salad and some crusty bread for a complete meal.
- Make tacos or wraps: Fill soft tortillas with shrimp, lettuce, tomatoes, and your favorite sauce. Add some avocado slices or a dollop of sour cream.
- Appetizer: Serve the air fryer shrimp as a delightful appetizer at a party or gathering. Arrange them on a platter with lemon wedges and a small bowl of dipping sauce in the middle.
- Main meal: Pair them with your favorite sides. Try them with fluffy white rice, buttered rice, or pilaf, or add them to fried rice.
- Cook pasta and toss it with the garlic butter sauce and the seafood. Sprinkle the dish with grated Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
More food cooked from frozen
Air Fryer Frozen Shrimp
- Small pan
- ½ pound frozen shrimp cooked or uncooked, 225 g, Notes 1, 2
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 garlic cloves grated
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- chopped parsley
- lemon wedges to serve
- dipping sauce optional
- Preheat your air fryer to 400°F/200°C for about 3 minutes or as the instructions manual requires.
- Melt the butter in a small pan. Remove from the heat, stir in the grated garlic and the seasoning. 2 tablespoon butter + 2 grated garlic cloves + 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning + ½ teaspoon sweet paprika + ½ teaspoon salt + ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Rinse: Place the frozen shrimp in a colander or strainer and run them under cold water to thaw slightly for one minute or so. Pat them dry using a paper towel. ½ pound/ 225 g frozen shrimp
- Season: Place the partially thawed shrimp into a bowl and toss them with the butter mixture until evenly coated.
- Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
- Cook, shaking the basket or flipping the shrimp halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning.
- The cooking time depends on the size of the shrimp or on how it is labeled. For example, cook large shrimp for 4-5 minutes if it’s labeled as “cooked shrimp” and for 8-9 minutes if it's labeled as “uncooked shrimp.” Smaller “cooked shrimp” will be ready after 2-3 minutes, while smaller “uncooked shrimp” will need about 4-3 minutes.
- Check: Remove them from the air fryer once the shrimp turns golden brown and crispy and the center is opaque and not translucent.
- Combine: Transfer the shrimp to a serving bowl. Pour all the butter-garlic sauce that remained in the air fryer’s basket over the shrimp in the bowl, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve immediately with lemon wedges and (if you like) with a dipping sauce.
- Shrimp: If you want to make more, air fry the shrimp in batches; the shrimp should be arranged in a single layer, and the basket should not be overcrowded.
- You can cook “cooked” or “uncooked” shrimp, small or large pieces. However, remember that the cooking time will vary.