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Air Fryer Breaded Shrimp

These homemade Air Fryer Breaded Shrimp are perfectly crispy, absolutely delicious, and easy to make. Enjoy them as a quick dinner, appetizer or snack!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time18 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 227kcal
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound raw shrimp, 16/20 count (or similar size), peeled and deveined, tails on or off (I take them off), thawed if frozen
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, divided, or to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup Italian seasoned regular breadcrumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
  • oil spray, use an oil good for high heat, see Notes below

Instructions

  • Pat the shrimp dry on both sides with paper towels (this will help ensure that the breading adheres to the shrimp).
  • Set up your breading station using 3 shallow bowls: In the first bowl, combine the flour, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Lightly beat the egg in the second bowl. In the third bowl, combine the panko, regular breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  • Lightly dredge each shrimp in the flour, tapping gently to remove any excess flour.
  • Dip each shrimp in the egg, allowing any excess egg to drip off.
  • Coat each shrimp with the breadcrumb mixture, pressing gently to help the breadcrumbs adhere. Place the breaded shrimp on a large plate as you finish each one.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
    Note: If your air fryer doesn't have a preheat cycle, just run it for 5 minutes at 400°F to preheat.
  • Once the air fryer is preheated, place the breaded shrimp in a single layer in the air fryer basket, leaving a little space in between them for proper air flow and so they are not overcrowded (it's okay if they touch a little here and there).
    Note: Depending on the size of your air fryer and shrimp, you may need to cook the shrimp in 2 batches (without tails, I can fit the whole pound in one layer in my 6-quart square air fryer basket). If you need to do more than one batch, keep the first batch of shrimp warm on a wire rack set over a baking sheet in a 200°F oven while the second batch cooks.
  • Spray the tops of the shrimp with oil (don't drench them, but be a little generous, as the oil helps you get that crispy crunch and golden color).
  • Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown on the top.
  • Carefully flip the shrimp, spray the other side with oil, and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through and the coating is golden brown.
  • Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce(s), if desired (mine is cocktail sauce).
  • Make it a meal with sides (I do French fries and coleslaw). 
  • I use 16/20-count shrimp (or a similar size) and think they are the perfect size for this recipe, but you can use any size you'd like. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly (smaller shrimp will need less time, larger shrimp more time).
  • I use a combination of panko and regular breadcrumbs because the regular gives good coverage while the panko gives that great crunch. You could use all of one or the other (just note that regular breadcrumbs won't be as crispy).
  • I recommend using an oil spray without propellants (I have read that, over time, they may damage the air fryer's non-stick coating). You can buy sprays without them - I've used both olive oil and avocado with excellent results - or you can buy an oil sprayer bottle and use your own oil.
  • These are best when fresh from the air fryer. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer to bring back some of the crispness.
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