It’s no secret that I love using my air fryer to make frozen vegetables for easy dinner side dishes, but now, we’re making frozen shrimp! I love this as the quickest dinner option, especially when I forget to plan and need dinner ASAP.

Up close cajun shrimp together.

Making frozen shrimp in the air fryer requires no thawing, and the shrimp turn out perfectly juicy. Toss them with your favorite homemade spice blend to add flavor, or toss them in a creamy alfredo pasta. Endless options with this super easy recipe!

Ingredient Spotlight

The beauty of this recipe is that it really only requires two ingredients, plus any additional spices you want to add.

Frozen shrimp in bowl next to oil and cajun seasoning.

Frozen Shrimp

There are so many varieties when it comes to purchasing frozen shrimp. From size, to how they’re prepared, to cooked and uncooked.

First, I recommend looking for sustainably farmed or fished shrimp. Check for labels of approval from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

For the easiest variety to use in recipes, look for peeled, tail-off, and deveined shrimp. If you don’t mind peeling the shrimp, cooking them with the shell on will actually keep them juicier and means they were handled less in processing. For this recipe, you’ll also want to use raw shrimp.

The other variable is size. The number correlated with the shrimp size is measured by how many shrimp you’ll get per pound. If the size says 26/40, you’ll receive 26-40 shrimp per pound. Therefore, the smaller the shrimp, the more shrimp there will be per pound and vice-versa. Keep in mind that labels aren’t necessarily regulated and can vary.

I tested this recipe with raw frozen shrimp that were labeled “large”, 41/50, peeled, deveined, and tail off.

Spice Additions

If you plan to use the cooked shrimp in another recipe, you might only want to season with salt and pepper. However, if serving them as a main dish, I highly recommend tossing them with a flavorful spice blend!

Jar of cajun seasoning with measuring spoon.

This air fryer shrimp recipe uses a cajun seasoning blend, but you can easily substitute it with another variety and change the flavor profile. Try lemon pepper seasoning, an East Coast favorite – Old Bay seasoning, or even just a basic seasoned salt to add flavor.

How to Make Air Fryer Frozen Shrimp

  1. Break apart any shrimp that are stuck together. This ensures they’ll cook evenly in the air fryer.
  2. Toss frozen shrimp with olive oil and cajun seasoning (or your seasoning of choice). Note if your seasoning blend does not have salt, you’ll want to add some to properly bring out the flavor.
  3. Set the air fryer to 325°F. No need to preheat, just spread the shrimp in an even layer in the basket, on top of the rack.
  4. Air fry for 6-8 minutes total, flipping halfway through. The time will vary depending on the size of your shrimp (and your air fryer), but 7 minutes always works out perfectly for me with medium-sized shrimp.
  5. Finish with a squeeze of lemon as desired, and enjoy!

Ways to Serve Air-Fried Shrimp

I’ve been living off of air fryer shrimp and my new favorite seasoned rice recipe lately. I add in some sort of vegetable side dishes like green beans and mushrooms or roasted broccolini.

There’s really no end to the side dishes they’ll go great with, from sauteed shredded Brussels sprouts, tender steamed carrots, or even these one-pot rustic garlic mashed potatoes.

They are also excellent in main dishes. Add them to pasta recipes like this reader-favorite fettuccine alfredo for two, or even substitute in this lemon butter pasta recipe in place of the salmon. Add them to shrimp tacos and serve with creamy jalapeno sauce and coleslaw for the ultimate meal.

They’re also perfect for adding some protein to lettuce salads! They’re an excellent substitute in this chipotle shrimp salad, too.

Why stop there? Turn them into an appetizer! For shrimp cocktail, cook them with salt and pepper. Let them cool and then chill in the fridge. When ready, serve them with cocktail sauce!

Side view of plate with air fryer frozen shrimp.

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Plate of shrimp with cajun seasoning.
5 (2 ratings)

Get the Recipe 10-Minute Air Fryer Frozen Shrimp (No Thaw)

Making frozen shrimp in the air fryer is *the* answer to quick, easy weeknight meals – especially when you need it at the last minute because this recipe doesn't require any thawing! Toss frozen shrimp with your favorite seasoning blend and air fry for less than 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces raw frozen shrimp*, 41/50, peeled & deveined
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, or neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning, or seasoning of choice

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Gently break apart any frozen shrimp that are stuck together. Toss them with oil and seasoning, coating them as best as possible.
    8 ounces raw frozen shrimp*, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
  • Spread in a single layer on the rack of the air fryer basket. It's important to use the rack because it helps cook them evenly, and drains the excess liquid as they thaw.
  • Cook at 325°F for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through. The shrimp should be pink and opaque when ready. If using jumbo shrimp, they may need longer, if using smaller shrimp, they'll need less time.
  • Serve alongside vegetable sides or toss with a creamy pasta recipe. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 1-2 days. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Air Fryer: this recipe was tested with a 4-quart Ninja air fryer. The exact cook time may vary depending on the model of your air fryer and the size of your shrimp.
  • *Serving Size: I use 8 ounces of shrimp as to not overcrowd the basket of my air fryer. Use more or less, depending on the size of your air fryer, or double the recipe and cook in batches, if needed.
  • Seasoning: use any variety of seasoning you’d like, or simply toss with salt and pepper if using in another flavor-forward recipe.
Calories: 161kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 183mg, Sodium: 136mg, Potassium: 322mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 0.1g, Vitamin A: 493IU, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 75mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!