Air fryer shrimp tacos are quick, easy and so delicious! Perfect for busy weeknights, these air fried shrimp tacos are ready in under 10 minutes and easily customizable based on what you have on hand! Change up your usual taco Tuesday with these air fryer shrimp tacos!
Why you will love this recipe
- Easy to make – tacos are perfect for fast, easy dinners and these air fryer shrimp tacos are no exception. Simply coat the shrimp in spices and cook in the air fryer basket. You don’t even need to stop to shake the basket or turn the shrimp! Stuff the shrimp in your favorite taco shell (hard tacos, soft tacos, lettuce wraps or salads) and enjoy!
- Quick – Ready from start to finish in less than 10 minutes, it will likely take you longer to chop up the veggies to serve with the tacos than it takes to make them! The air fryer does all the work for this recipe!
- Simple ingredients – keep this as simple as you would like! The smoky, slightly spicy spice blend is the perfect compliment to the slightly sweet shrimp and makes for the best tacos! You can find everything you need to make these air fryer shrimp tacos at the local grocery store. You can even use frozen shrimp.
- Customizable – make these air fryer shrimp tacos as simple or as elaborate as you wish! Add your favorite sauce (I highly recommend a spicy sauce or something cool and creamy but there are so many options! Serve with tortillas, hard taco shells, lettuce wraps, jicama tortillas or over salad greens for the perfect 10 minute meal!
- Spices: Chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt, oregano – these spices create a slightly spicy, smoky coating for the shrimp. You can also use your favorite taco seasoning.
- Shrimp: I recommend using a large shrimp, preferably one that has been peeled and de-veined for ease of use. If you have to peel the shrimp and devein them, they will take longer to prepare than the time indicated in the recipe.
How to make air fryer shrimp tacos
Check out the step by step story on how to make air fryer shrimp tacos!
Start by putting the shrimp in a large bowl and adding all the spices to the shrimp.
Stir well to ensure all the shrimp are well coated.
Add the shrimp to the air fryer basket.
Cook at 375F for 6 minutes (up to 8 minutes depending on how large your shrimp is and the power of your air fryer).
Serve with your favorite toppings and on your go-to tortilla or wrap of choice.
- Coat the shrimp with the spices before adding to the air fryer basket. This helps to ensure all the shrimp are well coated before cooking. Doing this in the air fryer basket can get messy but if you are trying to dirty less dishes, you can do this all in the air fryer basket.
- Be sure to use peeled, de-veined shrimp for this recipe (or peel them and devein them yourself before starting the recipe). The tails can be attached or removed when cooking the shrimp, but you will want to remove them before serving the tacos.
- If you are using smaller shrimp, reduce the cooking time. Small shrimp may be done in 3-4 minutes cooking time. Medium take 4-6 minutes. Large and extra-large cook for 6-8 minutes. Start with the shortest time listed and check on the shrimp. This will help ensure the shrimp don’t get overcooked and rubbery. Shrimp should get a tight C-shape when cooked and reach an internal temperature of 120F.
- If you want to double this recipe, cook the shrimp in batches to avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket.
- To use frozen shrimp, increase the cooking temperature to 400F and time to 10 minutes. I often wait to toss the shrimp in the spices until after they have defrosted most of the way in the air fryer. You may want to add some oil to help the spices stick.
- To soften tortillas: Place the tortillas on a plate with a damp paper towel or clean dish towel. Microwave for 20 seconds right before serving. This will help make the tortillas more pliable and easier to roll or fold.
How to serve taco shrimp cooked in the air fryer
- On tortillas or hard taco shells
- In lettuce wraps (low carb)
- On jicama tortillas (low carb)
- On taco bowls or burrito bowls
- On top of rice and beans
- Over nachos (chop up the shrimp to evenly distribute)
What to serve with air fryer shrimp tacos
The best thing about making air fryer shrimp tacos is how versatile they are. Serve them simply with store bought salsa and guacamole or make a big meal out of them! Here are some of my favorite recipes to serve alongside of air fried shrimp tacos.
- Add your favorite Mexican inspired slaw (creamy cilantro lime slaw or red cabbage slaw)
- Add your favorite sauce – creamy cilantro lime sauce, spicy sriracha mayo, chipotle tahini sauce, lime tahini sauce, creamy cilantro lime dressing, chimichurri sauce, vegan buffalo sauce
- Mango salsa, peach salsa, traditional salsa or pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream
- Rice or Quinoa: Instant Pot Yellow Rice, Chimichurri Rice, Cilantro Lime Quinoa
- Veggies: Mexican veggies, Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice, Mexican Cauliflower Rice, Pickled onions
- Black beans for tacos
- Chips and dairy free nacho cheese
Other spices to add to the shrimp
Heat: Crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper
Smokiness: Chipotle pepper, chipotle in adobo (chop finely and toss with the shrimp)
Brightness: Squeeze fresh lime juice over top right after cooking
How do you air fry shrimp?
Add your favorite spice blend to the shrimp and toss well to ensure the shrimp is well coated.
Add shrimp to air fryer basket and cook 375F for 6-8 minutes (or less for smaller shrimp).
Do you have to flip shrimp in the air fryer?
No, you do not need to flip the shrimp in the air fryer basket.
The only time this may be an issue is if you overcrowd the basket or if you are cooking frozen shrimp and they were stuck together. Otherwise, the hot air will circulate and fully cook the shrimp without flipping them.
Does cooking shrimp in the air fryer dry them out?
No! Shrimp cooked in the air fryer are juicy, plump, and full of flavor. The air fryer allows you to cook the shrimp perfectly without overcooking them.
What kind of shrimp should you use?
This recipe was written for using large or extra-large shrimp that have already been peeled and de-veined. The shrimp can be fresh or previously frozen and defrosted.
Note: The recipe can be made with medium or smaller shrimp, but it may be necessary to reduce the cooking time by 1-3 minutes to ensure the shrimp do not get overcooked.
How to clean and de-vein shrimp
Pull off the shrimp hard outer skin by peeling it off from the bottom side of the shrimp. Then take a knife from the top to the tail of the top of the shrimp to remove the vein.
Check out this helpful video to clean/devein the shrimp.
Can you use frozen shrimp?
Yes, you can use frozen shrimp to make air fryer shrimp tacos. You will need to adjust the cooking time and temperature to account for the defrosting that happens while the shrimp are cooking.
Cook the shrimp at 400F for 10 minutes in the air fryer. Check out all my tips on how to cook frozen shrimp in the air fryer.
How to thaw frozen shrimp
The easiest way to thaw frozen shrimp is to let them sit overnight in the fridge to thaw.
To quick thaw frozen shrimp, put the shrimp in a bowl of cold water that you change out periodically (every 20-30 minutes) or you can put the shrimp in a colander and run them under cold water until the shrimp are defrosted.
Can you use pre-cooked shrimp?
Yes, coat the shrimp with the spices and olive oil. Place in air fryer basket for just 2-3 minutes at 375F to warm them through (cooking time will depend on how large the shrimp are).
Is this air fryer shrimp taco recipe healthy?
Yes, these air fryer shrimp tacos are very healthy. The shrimp is packed with protein and low in calories and this recipe is naturally Whole30, gluten free, dairy free, low carb and keto friendly.
Many shrimp tacos have shrimp that are deep fried and coated in a thick batter which can make them less healthy. Using the air fryer keeps these shrimp light and very healthy!
Can you make shrimp tacos without an air fryer?
Yes! You can make shrimp tacos in the oven as well. Check out my favorite sheet pan shrimp fajitas for my go-to method!
To quickly cook shrimp in the oven, coat the shrimp with the spices and cook at 450F for 10 minutes in a preheated oven.
Fridge: Store leftover shrimp in the fridge in a well-sealed container for up to 3 days. Serve leftovers over salads (cold) or reheat them gently in the air fryer (350F for 2-3 minutes just to heat them up) and on your favorite taco shell.
Freezer: You can technically freeze air fryer shrimp after cooking, but I don’t recommend it unless 100% necessary. Cooked shrimp can be frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer safe bag or container. Remember to label the leftovers with the name, date and use by date for quick reference.
Spices: If you don’t have one of the spices listed, simply omit it. You can alternatively use about 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite taco seasoning as well.
If you love seafood, check out these recipes
Teriyaki Salmon and Vegetables
Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos$10.35 Recipe/$2.59 Serving
- 1/2 tbsp. chili powder - $0.15
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder - $0.05
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin - $0.05
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika - $0.05
- 1/2 tsp salt - $0.03
- 1/4 tsp oregano - $0.03
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined - $9.99
- Add shrimp to a large bowl and add spices on top. Stir well.
- Transfer seasoned shrimp to the air fryer and cook at 375F for 6 minutes.
- Once cooked, add shrimp to tortillas, salads or on rice and beans.
- Use peeled, de-veined shrimp for this recipe (or peel them and devein them yourself before starting the recipe). The tails can be attached or removed when cooking the shrimp, but you will want to remove them before serving the tacos.
- If you are using smaller shrimp, reduce the cooking time.
- Small shrimp may be done in 3-4 minutes cooking time.
- Medium take 4-6 minutes.
- Large and extra-large cook for 6-8 minutes. Start with the shortest time listed and check on the shrimp.
- If you want to double this recipe, cook the shrimp in batches to avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket.
- To use frozen shrimp, increase the cooking temperature to 400F and time to 10 minutes. Check out the instruction on how to make air fryer frozen shrimp.
- Fridge: Store leftover shrimp in the fridge in a well-sealed container for up to 3 days. Serve leftovers over salads (cold) or reheat them gently in the air fryer (350F for 2-3 minutes just to heat them up) and on your favorite taco shell.
- Freezer: You can technically freeze the shrimp after cooking, but I don’t recommend it unless 100% necessary. Cooked shrimp can be frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer safe bag or container. Remember to label the leftovers with the name, date and use by date for quick reference.