Love coconut shrimp but want a healthier version? Quick and easy Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp is a crispy, succulent appetizer or dinner that is low fat and gluten free without compromising on flavor! Made with egg white and cooked without oil.

Air fryer coconut shrimp on white ruffled plate with cocktail sauce

Confession: I hate deep frying at home. I hate both the clean up and the smell lingering afterwards.

That means any time I order out at a restaurant, I tend to gravitate towards fried foods. Especially fried seafood.

But as you can imagine, eating out (especially in this economy) really adds up. Plus it’s definitely not the healthiest choice for my waist line.

That’s why I love making Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp at home.

Same recipe as my baked coconut shrimp but no waiting for the oven to preheat.

That’s especially important in the summer when it’s way too hot to cook in my inferno of an oven.

Bursting with flavor between the crunchy coconut coating and succulent juicy shrimp, air fried coconut shrimp will transport your taste buds to paradise with every crunchy bite.

To cut back on the fat, I used an egg white instead of a whole egg. Great way to use up those leftover egg whites after making my mini lemon meringue pies.

And because I use cornstarch instead of flour, they’re gluten free as well.

Please don’t let these healthy words fool you! Coconut shrimp made in the air fryer is still succulent with a touch of sweetness thanks to the flaked coconut.

It’s a quick and easy way to enjoy a restaurant-quality meal right in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Coconut shrimp in air fryer on white ruffled plate

What is an air fryer?

An air fryer is a countertop appliance similar to a convection oven. It uses hot air rather than oil to “fry” anything.

This rapid air circulation makes the food crisp, similar to deep frying but without the oil.

I like to make my air fryer chicken fajitas because it only takes 10 minutes to cook or my air fryer fried chicken because then my kitchen doesn’t smell like oil for days.

Other times I make a quick snack of homemade pita chips or reheat tater tots and chicken strips.

You can even make dessert such as air fryer cheesecake in one!

At first glance it may seem like a trendy appliance, but honestly I use mine several times a week.

It’s also the perfect appliance when cooking for one or two because the basket is just the right size for small portions.

Which air fryer to buy?

The air fryer I personally use is Gourmia with a 6 quart basket (although mine is an older model so it looks different).

However, there are plenty of brands in the market. The key is knowing the quirks of how your air fryer works so you can adjust recipes if needed.

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp on white plate with blue border

Why Make Coconut Shrimp In Air Fryer

As much as I love cooking the traditional way, I choose my air fryer over baking because my gas oven is an inferno.

It’s not an issue in the winter, but oh boy does it get hot during the summer.

Making coconut shrimp in air fryer means my kitchen remains cool without making my a/c work overtime (and causing a huge spike in my electric bill).

Sure, I could fry everything on the stove but cooking in the air fryer means I can put everything in the basket and walk away without using any oil.

Plus air fryers don’t require preheating so instead of waiting 15 minutes you can start cooking right away.

Close up of air fryer coconut shrimp on white plate

Ingredients For Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

Here are the ingredients needed for air fried coconut shrimp:

  • Cornstarch: Helps create a crispy golden coating
  • Salt: Seasons the shrimp
  • Egg white: Allows the coconut to stick to the shrimp
  • Coconut: I used flaked sweetened coconut as that’s what’s available in the baking aisle. You can use unsweetened but it won’t be as sweet (or you can stir in some sugar before coating)
  • Shrimp: Make sure the shrimp are completely dry, especially if thawing.

What To Do With Leftover Egg Yolks

Because you’re using egg whites instead of a whole egg, you’ll have egg yolks leftover. Check out my recipes using egg yolks for ideas.

How To Cook Coconut Shrimp In Air Fryer

Making your coconut shrimp in an air fryer is very easy! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Prepare dredging station by combining cornstarch and salt in one bowl, egg whites in a second bowl, and coconut in a third bowl.
  2. Dredge shrimp in cornstarch mixture first then egg then coconut.
  3. Air fryer at 320F for 10-15 minutes or golden brown and fully cooked.

Serve with cocktail sauce. Coconut shrimp is best eaten the day they’re made but can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat in air fryer for 5 minutes or until hot and crispy again.

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp FAQ

What if I don’t like coconut?

Use an equal amount of Panko breadcrumbs instead of coconut.

What if I don’t have an air fryer?

Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes or until fully cooked and crispy.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, but you’ll need to cook it in two batches. If you overcrowd the basket too much, your food will steam rather than fry.

More Shrimp Recipes

Enjoyed your coconut shrimp? Check out these other shrimp recipes for two:

Air fryer coconut shrimp on white ruffled plate with cocktail sauce

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Love coconut shrimp but want a healthier version? Quick and easy Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp is a crispy, succulent appetizer or dinner that is low fat and gluten free without compromising on flavor! Made with egg whites and cooked without oil.


  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg white, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • 6 ounces medium raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and patted dry (tails optional)


  1. In one wide shallow bowl, combine the cornstarch and salt. In a second shallow bowl, add the egg white. In a third shallow bowl, add the coconut.
  2. Working with one shrimp at a time, dredge in cornstarch mixture, then egg white, then coconut.
  3. Add shrimp to the air fryer basket without overcrowding (you'll likely need to do this in two batches). Cook at 320F for 5 minutes then flip and cook another 5-10 minutes or until fully cooked. Repeat until all of the shrimp are cooked.


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