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Air Fryer Prawns (Shrimp)

Make deliciously juicy prawns (aka shrimp) in minutes in your air fryer. Add them to tacos, salads, pasta, or snack on them straight from the basket! Fast, fuss-free prawn perfection!  

Air fryer prawns with garlic butter sauce on a white plate.

Air frying = prawn perfection

Air frying is hands down my favorite way to cook prawns, and trust me, I’ve tried a lot of methods over the years. This recipe is ridiculously easy – we’re talking minimal prep work and just a few minutes of cooking time – and they turn out irresistibly juicy with crispy edges. Drizzle in garlic butter sauce and devour!

Cooked shrimp/ prawns in air fryer basket.

What do you need?

Flat-lay image of the ingredients for this recipe.

Shrimp/ Prawns

I used peeled, deveined raw large prawns to make this recipe. However, you can also use shrimp (see note below for more details). You can use jumbo prawns/ shrimp, but the cooking times will be slightly longer.

If you want to use frozen prawns, you will have to thaw them first. Keep them chilled until you are ready to cook, as they are highly perishable.

Quick note

While there is a difference between shrimp and prawns, they are nearly identical in terms of taste and texture. To further complicate things many countries (like the UK, Australia, and New Zealand) use the blanket word “prawns” to refer to both shrimp and prawns.

Luckily, the method is the same to air fry shrimp or prawns, so don’t stress about it too much.

Oil

I use light olive oil to make this recipe, which is my usual cooking oil for air frying. You can substitute another liquid cooking oil if you like, but be sure to choose one with a high smoke point, like corn oil, vegetable oil, or avocado oil.

Tip

Choose a cooking oil with a high smoke point to reduce the chance of your air fryer smoking.

Seasoning

I like to season prawns with a simple homemade seasoning mix of paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. But you can make some additions to customize the recipe to your taste.

Try substituting smoked paprika for a smoky wood-grilled flavor, or adding ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder to make spicy shrimp. Alternatively, you could substitute lemon pepper seasoning or another favorite spice blend.

Let’s cook some prawns in the air fryer!

1

Preheat.

Preheat the air fryer to 200°C/ 400°F. Preheating is important for this recipe because the air frying time is relatively short, and so you want it to be hot when you put the prawns in.

If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheat mode, just set it to air fry for 3-4 minutes.

2

Prepare.

While the air fryer is preheating, prepare the prawns. First, pat them dry (this helps to get the crisp golden edges), then drizzle with oil, add the seasoning, and gently toss to coat.

Raw shrimp mixed with seasoning in a glass bowl.

Note: Only season the prawns right before cooking. If they sit for long in the seasoning it can draw some of the moisture out of them making them less juicy, so season them just before you are ready to air fry.

3

Pop them in the air fryer.

Place the prawns in the air fryer basket in a single layer. It’s ok if they overlap a little, but try not to pile them on top of each other – the air needs to be able to circulate so they cook evenly.

Raw shrimp in air fryer basket.

4

Air fry.

Air fry the prawns for around 8-10 minutes, but keep a close eye on them! Prawns are easy to overcook, so it is best to check on them regularly close to the end of the cooking time to get them just right.

Air fried shrimp in air fryer basket.

A note on cooking times:

The exact cooking times will vary depending on the size of the prawns and the power of your air fryer.

Generally, medium-sized prawns will take about 6-8 minutes, larger ones may take 8-10 minutes, and jumbo prawns will take more like 10-12 minutes. However, always keep an eye on them to avoid overcooking, as shrimp cook quickly and can become rubbery if overdone.

To ensure the shrimp are cooked safely and to the proper doneness, use an instant-read thermometer to check their internal temperature. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 63°C/ 145°F for seafood.

Air fried shrimp on a white plate.

Serving ideas

  • Smothered with lemon garlic butter sauce or top with garlic herb butter.
  • Fill warm corn or flour tortillas with the air-fried prawns, a zesty slaw, and a dollop of guacamole.
  • Add the prawns into your favorite pasta dish, like linguine with garlic and white wine sauce.
  • Toss the air-fried shrimp with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and your favorite dressing for a light and satisfying salad.
  • Arrange the air-fried shrimp on a bed of crisp iceberg lettuce and smother them in a tangy cocktail sauce for a refreshing and classic appetizer.
Air fryer shrimp on a white plate.
Air fryer prawns with garlic butter sauce on a white plate.

Air Fryer Prawns (or Shrimp)

4.2 from 5 votes
Make deliciously juicy prawns (aka shrimp) in minutes in your air fryer. Add them to tacos, salads, pasta, or snack on them straight from the basket! Fast, fuss-free prawn perfection!  
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Total Time13 minutes
Serves2

Ingredients

  • 500 g / 1.1 lb prawns or shrimp [Note 1] (large, peeled, deveined)
  • 2 tablespoons / 2 tablespoons light olive oil [Note 2]

Seasoning [Note 3]

  • 1 teaspoon / 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon / 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon / ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon / ½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  • Preheat the air fryer to 200°C/ 400°F.
  • Pat the prawns dry, then place in a bowl, add the oil and seasoning, and gently toss to coat.
  • Place prawns in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Try not to overcrowd the basket.
  • Air fry the prawns at 200°C/ 400°F for 8-10 minutes until they are cooked through and golden brown.

Notes

  1. You can use shrimp or prawns for this recipe. The cooking times in the recipe are calculated for large (31/40) shrimp, and will need to be adjusted up for larger shrimp, or down for smaller shrimp.
  2. Or substitute another liquid cooking oil with a high smoke point.
  3. Or you can use pre-made seasoning rub, use around 3 teaspoons.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving  Calories: 146.6kcal  Carbohydrates: 1.9g  Protein: 15.6g  Fat: 8.2g  Saturated Fat: 1.1g  Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.9g  Monounsaturated Fat: 5.2g  Trans Fat: 0.01g  Cholesterol: 142.9mg  Sodium: 933.5mg  Potassium: 150.3mg  Fiber: 0.3g  Sugar: 0.1g  Vitamin A: 451.1IU  Vitamin C: 0.01mg  Calcium: 63.8mg  Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.

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Bev

Tuesday 30th of January 2024

Best recipe, wonderfull..

Anita B.

Wednesday 25th of October 2023

Sooooooo delicious!!! and so simple and easy to make. Tasted wonderful!! Will now always make my shrimp this way.

Kylee N.

Saturday 5th of August 2023

Delicious juicy prawns. Air frying is amazing! <3

Tia

Monday 26th of June 2023

Yum! Came out perfect.

Layne Faulkner

Tuesday 4th of April 2023

Perfect! Thanks for another excellent recipe!

Comments are closed.

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