Air Fryer Shrimp made with garlic and lemon are so easy to make and come out plump and delicious! Perfect as an appetizer or on shrimp tacos, salad, or pasta.
Air Fryer Shrimp – this simple, but so flavorful dish is rich in protein and, like our Air Fryer Pickles or Air Fryer Okra, it makes a delicious appetizer but is also a great topping for salads, tacos, and pasta.
The most important thing when preparing shrimp is not to overcook it! Shrimp meat is so delicate and cooks very fast. A minute too long and they go from tender to rubbery. This is why the Air Fryer is so perfect for this, yes it takes a bit longer than frying it in a pan, but the risk of over-cooking is much lower, and they cook more evenly.
Looking for more Air Fryer Recipes? Check out my personal favorite Air Fryer Potato Wedges, my homemade Air Fryer Donuts (yes, they taste like the real deal!), and our reader-favorite Air Fryer Chicken Breast (perfect for meal-prep!).
What you need for this recipe
- Raw shrimp: I use peeled and deveined white shrimp. They have a tender texture and a mild flavor. Costco is a good choice for buying shrimp!
- Olive oil spray: Oil spray is perfect for Air Fryer recipes because it evenly coats food and saves calories.
- Lemon juice: I prefer fresh, but whatever you have at home works! 1/2 lemon makes about 2 Tbsp juice. Cut the remaining lemon in slices and serve with the cooked shrimp.
- Garlic powder: More convenient than fresh garlic and doesn’t burn while cooking. You can also use 1 minced clove of fresh garlic, just make sure the garlic is coated with oil.
How to defrost shrimp
Shrimps are delicate, so it’s important to avoid shocking them with extreme changes in temperature because this can mess with the texture. That’s why cooking shrimp from frozen always makes them taste kind of weird!
To defrost shrimp, put the amount of shrimp you want to cook into a bowl and cover them with cold water (warm water will change the texture!). Depending on the size of the shrimp, defrosting takes between 10 to 20 minutes.
When the shrimp are thawed, they will look translucent. Drain them, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels, and blot them with a paper towel to remove excess moisture from the exterior of the shrimp. This prevents overcooking the shrimp in the Air Fryer!
How to peel and devein shrimp
Peeling and deveining shrimp before cooking makes not only for a better presentation and easier way to eat, you also probably don’t want to eat the digestive tract of the shrimp. Usually, most shrimp you buy is already deveined but here’s what to do if your shrimp is not:
Peel: To peel the shrimps, start where their legs are attached, crack the shell open with your thumb and peel the shell away from the shrimp. If you like, you can leave the last tail segment on for looks.
Devein: Make a shallow slit with a pairing knife down the middle of the back of the shrimp to expose the black intestine. Using the tip of the knife, lift out the black vein and discard it.
How to make Shrimp in the Air Fryer
Detailed measurements and instructions can be found at the bottom of the page on the printable recipe card.
- Defrost shrimp if frozen. In a bowl, toss shrimp with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic powder until coated.
- Place shrimp in the Air Fryer basket. It doesn’t need to be in a single layer, just make sure the basket isn’t overcrowded.
- Air Fry for 6 to 8 minutes, until opaque and pink. Shake basket once or twice during cooking.
- Serve drizzled with lemon and sprinkled with parsley.
- What kind of shrimp should I buy? I buy deveined and peeled White shrimp to save time. If it is not deveined, check my instructions above. I like to buy shrimp with the tails on if I serve them as an appetizer.
- When is shrimp done? It is done when the thickest part turns from translucent to opaque. White shrimp takes about 5 minutes, and the cooking time for larger shrimp e.g., Black Tiger Shrimp, will be closer to 8 minutes.
- What to serve with shrimp? Aioli or cocktail sauce makes a great dip. Serve over pasta, on tacos, salads, or with rustic bread on the side.
- Can I cook shrimp from frozen in the Air Fryer? I don’t recommend using this method to cook shrimp from frozen because they will lose a lot of water and dry out, defrosting shrimp is really fast (See my tips above)
Air Fryer Shrimp
- 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, or olive oil spray
- 1/2 lemon, juiced, about 2 Tbsp
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat an air fryer to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Toss shrimp with olive oil (or spray with oil spray), lemon juice, and garlic powder until coated.
- Place shrimp in Air Fryer basket and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, depending on size, until opaque and pink. Serve drizzled with lemon and sprinkled with parsley.
- Shrimp: I buy deveined and peeled white shrimp. Defrost before cooking (see instructions above). White shrimp takes about 5 minutes, and the cooking time for larger shrimp e.g., Black Tiger Shrimp, will be closer to 8 minutes.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon juice tastes best, but bottled juice works too. You could also use lime juice
- Air Fryer: I recommend to preheat your air fryer. Don’t overcrowd the basket, so the shrimp cooks evenly.
- When is it done: Shrimp is done when the thickest part of the shrimp turns from translucent to opaque.
- Dips: Aioli or cocktail sauce makes a great dip.
- Serving suggestion: Serve over pasta, on tacos, salads, or with rustic bread on the side.
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