Crispy Coconut Shrimp – Spend With Pennies

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Looking for an appetizer that is both delicious and easy to make? Look no further!

Crispy Coconut Shrimp is a family favorite with jumbo shrimp coated in a sweet coconut coating, cooked crispy and golden brown.

They can be prepared ahead of time, making them perfect for any gathering or event.

coconut shrimp with dip

Coconut Shrimp are Easy to Make

  • Crispy, sweet, and tender – this Coconut Shrimp recipe is sure to disappear from the snack table.
  • These shrimp are oven-baked (or air fried) for a nice crispy coating.
  • Make ahead and refrigerate or freeze before baking for a quick and easy appetizer.
  • Just dip, coat, and bake – it’s that simple!
  • Making your own coconut shrimp costs less than pre-packaged, and more importantly, tastes better.
Labeled image of all ingredients required to make coconut shrimp

Ingredients & Variations

Shrimp – medium or large, fresh or frozen, peeled and deveined. Butterflying the shrimp open can create a more dramatic presentation, and leaving the tails on can make them easy to pick up and dip.

Coating – the key to this recipe is the light, crunchy, sweet coconut breading. Shredded coconut is pulsed in a food processor and then added to breadcrumbs for the perfect texture and flavor. You can use either sweetened or unsweetened coconut, but sweetened is recommended.

Seasonings – feel free to mix up the seasonings to your liking. Try adding some homemade Cajun seasoning or DIY lemon pepper seasoning for a unique twist.

Coconut shrimp being breaded

How to Make Coconut Shrimp

  1. Coat the shrimp: Dredge each shrimp in cornstarch and egg, and then roll in a mixture of coconut and panko crumbs.
  2. Bake: Cook in the oven, air fryer or deep fryer until golden brown.
  3. Serve: with your favorite dipping sauce, Sweet Chili Sauce.

An optional step to prevent curling while cooking is to skewer each shrimp lengthwise with a small skewer. Be sure to remove it before serving!

breaded coconut shrimp prepared to be baked on a parchment lined baking tray

Tips for Crunchy Coconut Shrimp

  • Shake off any excess cornstarch – you just want a light dusting.
  • If you don’t have cornstarch, you can use all-purpose flour instead.
  • Use sweetened coconut flakes for the best flavor although unsweetened coconut flakes can also be used.
  • Spray the coconut coating with cooking spray before cooking to get a crispy exterior.
  • Coconut shrimp cook quickly and appliances can vary, so be sure to check them early to ensure they don’t overcook.

How to Prepare Ahead of Time

To prepare shrimp ahead of time, follow the recipe below. Once breaded with coconut, lay the shrimp out in a single layer on a baking sheet.

  • Refrigerate up to 24 hours before baking.
  • Freeze on the baking sheet and once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag or air-tight container. Store up to 2 months before baking.
  • Cook frozen prepared shrimp as directed, adding 2 minutes to the cooking time.

Leftover shrimp can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container or zippered bag.

a plate of coconut shrimp with sweet chili sauce

More Shrimp Faves

Did you make these Coconut Shrimp? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

a platter of coconut shrimp with dip

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Coconut Shrimp

Sweet Coconut Shrimp are battered and coated in coconut, then oven-baked until golden brown!

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.

  • In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, salt, and cayenne pepper. In a separate bowl, beat the egg.

  • Place the coconut in a food processor and pulse to create a finer texture or finely chop it with a knife. You don’t want it too fine, just broken up a little bit. Mix the chopped coconut with the bread crumbs.

  • Dredge the shrimp in the cornstarch mixture and gently shake off any excess cornstarch. Dip it into the beaten egg, and then into the coconut mixture, gently pressing to adhere.

  • Place the shrimp on a parchment-lined pan and spray with cooking spray.

  • Bake for 8 minutes, flip the shrimp over and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until cooked and crispy. Broil for 1 minute if desired.

  • Serve warm with sweet chili dip (recipe below).

Homemade Dipping Sauce: Melt 1/2 cup apricot jam or orange marmalade in a small pan. Whisk in 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek or sriracha.
Air Fry: cook at 400°F for 7-9 minutes, flipping over after 4 minutes.
Deep fry: preheat oil to 375°F. Fry shrimp in small batches for 3-4 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel and season to taste.

  • Cooking time is for large shrimp, adjust cooking time for other sizes.
  • Spray the shrimp very well with cooking spray for a crispy exterior.
  • Be sure to shake off any excess cornstarch, you just want a light dusting. Cornstarch can be replaced with all purpose flour.
  • You can use sweetener or unsweetened coconut flakes, we prefer sweetened.
  • Coconut shrimp cook fast, check them early to ensure they don’t overcook.

Calories: 329 | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 225mg | Sodium: 1136mg | Potassium: 266mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 349IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Seafood
Cuisine American
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Crispy Coconut Shrimp with sauce and a title
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