Learn how to cook frozen shrimp in an air fryer to use in a wide variety of easy dinners including air fryer shrimp tacos, shrimp pasta or salads, and easy shrimp rice bowls just by changing the shrimp seasoning and sauces!
Frozen shrimp is such a budget-friendly protein to add to a wide variety of easy dinners, especially during the Lent season when we need meatless meals on Friday.
Our air fryer is one of my very favorite small kitchen appliances because it helps me cook shrimp so quickly for adding to pasta, a salad, tuck inside a shrimp taco, or add to a rice bowl.
Once you know how to thaw frozen shrimp, you'll love that you can cook frozen shrimp in the air fryer in under 10 minutes!
Be sure to check out my easy serving suggestions listed below so you can use this versatile recipe in countless ways for family dinners.
How to Cook Frozen Shrimp in an Air Fryer
Cooking frozen shrimp in an air fryer takes just 7 - 8 minutes and they turn out just a little crispy on the outside.
The first thing to do is start by thawing your frozen shrimp.
If you try to cook them directly from frozen, the ice will thaw as they cook and make a wet mess in your air fryer.
To thaw the shrimp, simply fill a large bowl of COLD water in your sink. Add the frozen shrimp and let them soak for 20 minutes.
Drain and rinse them well and pat them dry on a plate with paper towels.
Now they are ready to season and cook!
Toss the dry shrimp in olive oil and your preferred seasonings and they're ready for the air fryer.
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
Add the thawed and seasoned shrimp to the air fryer basket and cook for 7 - 8 minutes or until they have just turned pink.
Shake the air fryer basket half way through to make sure the shrimp cook evenly.
When they are finished, they'll be curled up and look like this:
Best Seasoning for Shrimp
I love this easy method for cooking frozen shrimp in an air fryer because it is just the starting point to countless easy dinner ideas depending on how I season the shrimp.
When I tested this recipe, I decided to toss them in my homemade Caribbean jerk seasoning so I could add them to a salad with red peppers and pineapple.
However, there are so many different seasoning blends you could choose to use for your shrimp:
- Cajun seasoning
- Blackening seasoning
- Creole seasoning
- Old Bay seasoning
- Spicy shrimp seasoning
- Lemon pepper seasoning
- Classic Homemade Seasoned Salt
If it works for fish, it will probably work for your shrimp!
Easy Air Fryer Shrimp Dinner Ideas
Now that you have your perfectly cooked shrimp, the next step is to add it to an easy dinner!
Here are just a few of my favorite shrimp dinner ideas to get you started.
Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos
Toss the shrimp in fajita seasoning, caribbean jerk seasoning, or a blackening seasoning and cook them in the air fryer.
This easy cilantro lime ranch dressing would be amazing drizzled over the top.
Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp
Whisk together a batch of my easy homemade bang bang sauce and serve it in a cup for dipping your shrimp.
You could also warm the sauce in a saucepan, add the cooked shrimp, and your favorite cooked pasta for a bang bang shrimp pasta dish.
Cajun Shrimp Alfredo Pasta
Season the shrimp with cajun or homemade blackening seasoning and add a sliced red pepper and onion to the air fryer basket when you cook the shrimp.
Use them as a delicious topping to homemade alfredo pasta for a simple variation of cajun shrimp alfredo.
Easy Shrimp Salad Ideas
Air fryer shrimp would be a great topping to turn my simple citrus salad into a full entree.
You could also add them to the lemony orzo pasta salad with fresh tomatoes and dill.
The shrimp tacos mentioned above would also make a delicious salad. Use a bed of lettuce, top with the cooked shrimp, and add fresh pineapples, red bell peppers and cilantro ranch dressing.
More Air Fryer Shrimp Recipes
Looking for even more ideas for using your air fryer shrimp?? Don't miss the 35 easy shrimp dinner recipes for busy nights.
You could also use the cooked shrimp on a platter with a couple of these easy shrimp dipping sauces as the base for a snack board or appetizer.
I know you're tempted to skip the thawing time, but if you try to cook frozen shrimp in the air fryer without thawing, the icy coating on the shrimp will melt as they cook and make a wet mess in your air fryer basket. The texture of the shrimp will also be affected. I strongly encourage you to thaw them first.
Be sure you are buying raw frozen shrimp if you plan to cook it in the air fryer. Pre-cooked shrimp that has been frozen will be tough if you cook it a second time. It simply needs to be thawed before being eaten.
Air Fryer Shrimp
- 12 ounces frozen raw shrimp, peeled and deveined thawed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon seasoning *see notes
Thaw the Frozen Shrimp
- Fill a large bowl of cold water in your kitchen sink. Add the frozen shrimp and let them rest in the water for 20 minutes. Drain them in a colander and rinse with cold water for 15 seconds. Pat them dry on paper towels and add them to a clean, dry bowl or plastic zip top bag so you can season them.
Season the Shrimp
- Drizzle the olive oil over the shrimp and gently stir them to coat. Add the seasonings and toss again.
Cook Shrimp in Air Fryer
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 2 minutes.
- Add the shrimp to the air fryer basket and cook for 7 - 8 minutes or until just pink. Shake the basket about half way through to make sure the shrimp cook evenly on all sides.
A Note on Seasoning for ShrimpThere are several seasoning blends that work perfectly for cooked shrimp. Mix and match your favorites depending on what dinner you plan to use your air fryer shrimp in. Air Fryer Shrimp for Pasta:
- Cajun or Creole seasoning blends would be great for shrimp you plan to add to an alfredo pasta
- Caribbean Jerk Seasoning: would be especially great with pineapple salsa
- Blackening seasoning
- Fajita seasoning: You could even add sliced bell peppers and onions to the shrimp in the air fryer
- Stick with just salt and pepper and then once cooked, toss in a bowl with bang bang sauce
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