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In the world of air fryer appetizers, these air fryer coconut shrimp are among the best! This is a healthy coconut shrimp recipe with an easy sweet chili Thai sauce! 

air fryer coconut shrimp

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So I got an air fryer! I finally did it. It was kind of like the Instant Pot, where I hummed and hawed for a long time, having serious envy over all of the IP recipes out there. Then I finally GOT an Instant Pot and I went all in. I still use it all of the time! This loaded cauliflower soup is still one of my all-time favorite go-to recipes, especially in the winter.

SO, now that I have an air fryer, I am going to go all in on this new appliance, too. I’ve only had it for a little while and I’ve made these coconut shrimp, bacon, and chicken wings. Everything has turned out so good! I’m a little in love with it. The bacon did set off a smoke alarm, but it was ready in 10 minutes and perfectly cooked. You can’t beat that!

When I got the air fryer, I knew I wanted to try coconut shrimp in it. I adore coconut shrimp!! When we were in Hawaii we’d go to a place called Coconuts every other day, and I’d have to get the coconut shrimp. Obviously, theirs was deep-fried and delicious, but I was sure that I could make my own version, and make it a little bit healthier.

A couple of pounds of shrimp later, and here we are!

What kind of shrimp do you use for air fryer coconut shrimp?

For these photos, I used raw, peel-on, jumbo shrimp. I ripped the peels off prior to air frying, which you’ll need to do too. I also tried large shrimp (vs jumbo) and I actually liked these better. If you end up using the jumbo shrimp, you’ll need to cook the shrimp about 1 minute more than the large.

You also need to make sure to keep the tails on! The tail is how you grab the shrimp to coat it in the breading – and how you eat it in a classy way 😉

Is air fryer coconut shrimp healthy?

Obviously, it depends on what you consider “healthy”, but I can absolutely confirm that making coconut shrimp in an air fryer will be much healthier than in a deep fryer! You do have to spray the shrimp with a cooking oil, but you’re saving on all the other oil that you would consume from a deep fryer!

Shrimp themselves are actually fairly low in calories, which makes them a great healthier appetizer recipe!

How do you make air fryer coconut shrimp?

Start by getting all of your ingredients in order. You will need to dip your shrimp 3 times:

  1. A mixture of flour, paprika and some salt and pepper
  2. Beaten eggs
  3. A mixture of unsweetened, shredded coconut and panko crumbs.

Once you dip the shrimp, arrange them in the bottom of a pre-heated air fryer basket. The shrimp will take roughly 6-8 minutes to cook (AMAZING right)!?

I would caution you not to crowd your shrimp in the bottom of your basket. That means you might have to cook the shrimp in a few batches, but it’s ok because it’s SO QUICK!

What do you serve coconut shrimp with?

If you’re ordering coconut shrimp at a restaurant, you’ll typically find that it’s served with a sweet and sour type of sauce. I created the easiest sweet chili Thai sauce for dipping these bad boys in.

You only need a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand:

You can simmer the ingredients for the dip in a saucepan while you’re preparing the shrimp!

The shrimp is best served warm and fresh, straight from the air fryer. If you’re preparing them for a party, I would get everything ready beforehand and then cook them up right before your guests arrive!

It’s a terrific appetizer, and your guests will appreciate that they’re on the healthier side.

Dig in!

PS – this is the air fryer that I have (and love). I did receive this air fryer for free from Ninja, but this post is not sponsored and my opinions on the device are all my own.

air fryer coconut shrimp

air fryer coconut shrimp

More easy appetizer and snack ideas coming your way!

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air fryer coconut shrimp

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 11 reviews

  • Author: Katherine | Love In My Oven
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 16 shrimp 1x


In the world of air fryer appetizers, these air fryer coconut shrimp are among the best! This is a healthy coconut shrimp recipe with an easy sweet chili Thai sauce!


  • 1 lb jumbo raw shrimp, peeled (tail on)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • non-stick cooking spray

Thai Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp sambal oelek paste
  • 1/4 cup water + 1 tbsp, divided
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch


  1. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour with the salt, pepper and paprika. In another bowl, place the eggs, and in a third bowl, combine the panko crumbs with the coconut.
  2. Preheat the air fryer to 400 F. Once preheated, begin dipping the shrimp, first in the flour mixture, then the egg, then the coconut. Be sure to press the shrimp firmly into the coconut to be sure it sticks. Repeat with remaining shrimp, placing 6-8 shrimp in the air fryer basket. Do not overcrowd the shrimp! You may have to cook it in 2 batches. Spray the coconut shrimp with the non-stick spray, then close the lid of the air fryer and cook for 4 minutes. Open the lid of the air fryer, gently turn the shrimp, spray them again and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink and fully cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the basket and repeat with the second batch, if necessary.
  3. While the shrimp is cooking, whisk together the rice vinegar, honey, sambal oelek paste and 1/4 cup water into a medium-sized saucepan placed over medium-high heat. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then combine the cornstarch with the remaining water, adding it to the mixture. Turn the heat to low and simmer the sauce until thickened, stirring often. Remove from heat.
  4. Serve the shrimp immediately, with the dipping sauce on the side.

Shrimp is best enjoyed immediately, but leftover shrimp and sauce can be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge, for 2-3 days. To reheat the shrimp, microwave it for about 30 seconds.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: appetizer
  • Method: air fryer
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Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

About Katherine

Heeey! Thank you for stopping by! I like 30-minute dinners and giant peanut butter cups made with only 3 ingredients. I LOVE food! If you do too, you're in the right place.

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  1. Coconut shrimp is definitely a weakness of mine too! The air fryer looks like a perfect way to prepare them. I’m just like you, I’ve been toying with the idea for a long time, but have yet to get one of my own. I just might have to change that! 😉

    1. These will definitely make you glad you invested in one, Tasia! Hope you get a chance to try them out! And happy holidays!!

  2. The air fryer is one of the best inventions ever! I haven’t tried shrimp in it yet though!! I will have to try this out!

    1. I LOVE my air fryer!!! I was unsure what I would think of it but I have been using it a ton!! Thank you girl!

  3. Hi Katherine!

    Thanks for the recipe. As I am an advanced cooking novice, I misread your instructions and had the egg mixed with the coconut shreds and crumbs, in one bowl. But my dish survived somewhat. I am still pleased with the results. I look forward to the second time around.😉

    1. Hi Llyod!! Too bad the egg got mixed in but I’m glad it still turned out deliciously! I hope you give it another shot soon!

  4. Oh my goodness that crispy texture of your shrimp look soooo amazing! I love how this is made in an air fryer instead of deep frying it! Awesome!