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Ready to learn how to make coconut shrimp? (Hint: It’s easy!) This baked coconut shrimp recipe is slightly sweet, slightly savory, and a little crunchy, with lots of coconut shrimp sauce options just like coconut chicken. It’s a nice change of pace from baked shrimp or grilled shrimp when you want a crispy coating. And as you’ve come to expect from my recipes, it is made with just 6 ingredients — most of them pantry staples.
Why You’ll Love This Coconut Shrimp Recipe
- Crunchy, light, and crispy texture
- Perfect balance of sweet and savory
- Just 6 simple, natural ingredients (plus salt & pepper)
- No white flour (naturally gluten free)
- Ready in just 20 minutes
- Healthy alternative to deep-fried versions
- Works as an appetizer or light meal
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for coconut shrimp, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Shrimp – Raw shrimp works best, otherwise they’ll get overcooked. You can buy it peeled and deveined, or do it yourself. I prefer to leave the tails on to hold onto, but you can also remove the tails (or buy the ones that have tails already removed) to just pop them into your mouth. Although this coconut shrimp recipe calls for medium shrimp (41-50 per pound), large or jumbo shrimp will work, too.
- Wholesome Yum Coconut Flour – Instead of white all-purpose flour, we’re using coconut flour for dredging. It’s more coconut flavor, less carbs, and better for you!
- Eggs – Whisked eggs make the coating stick. I haven’t tried egg substitutes here, but let me know how it goes if you try one of them.
- Coconut Flakes – Some coconut shrimp recipes use panko breadcrumbs, but they aren’t necessary, since coconut is already crunchy! I use unsweetened coconut flakes like these — sometimes they are called shredded coconut. You can use sweetened coconut flakes if you don’t mind the added sugar. I opted for medium-sized flakes for extra texture and crunch, but smaller flakes stick to the shrimp even better. (I use small ones for coconut chicken.) Avoid larger ones, which fall off easily.
- Seasonings – A simple mix of smoked paprika (or regular paprika also works), garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper.
How To Make Coconut Shrimp
This section shows how to make baked coconut shrimp, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Thaw the shrimp. If your shrimp are frozen, run them under lukewarm water to briefly thaw. (They don’t have to thaw completely, but should not be rock solid. If they are fully thawed, that’s also okay.) Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Set up the dredging stations. Arrange three small bowls – one with whisked eggs, one with coconut flakes, and one with a mixture of coconut flour, garlic powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, and black pepper.
- Coat the shrimp. Dredge each piece of shrimp in the coconut flour mixture, dip in the egg, shake off excess egg, and finally press/roll in the coconut flakes. Place on a baking sheet with a wire rack and repeat with all the shrimp.
TIP: Use 2 hands to prevent clumping.
Use one hand for the flour, switch hands for the egg dip, and return to the initial hand for rolling in coconut flakes. This prevents the coconut flakes from getting too wet and clumpy.
- Bake. Place the coconut shrimp in the oven and bake, flipping halfway through, until firm and fully cooked. Place under the broiler until golden brown.
VARIATION: Make coconut shrimp in the air fryer or on the stove!
Prepare and coat the shrimp the same way described above, but instead of baking:
- Air Fry – For air fryer coconut shrimp, arrange it in a single layer in the air fryer basket, and cook according to my air fryer shrimp recipe.
- Pan Fry – Heat a generous amount of olive oil or avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.
For both of these methods, make sure the shrimp has enough space and don’t crowd the basket or pan.
Coconut Shrimp Sauce Options
From tangy and spicy to creamy and sweet, there are lots of sauces that pair well with coconut shrimp recipes like this one. Here are some dipping sauce options to try:
- Honey Mustard – My fave is sugar-free honey mustard, pictured below! It’s sweet, tangy, and creamy all in one, with no refined sugar (or any sugar at all). Of course, regular honey mustard works as well.
- Spicy Mayo – Mix a fast batch of spicy mayo for a creamy kick.
- Sweet Chili Sauce – A classic pairing with its blend of sweet and heat.
- Honey – You don’t have to fuss with making honey mustard… honey on its own is also delicious with coconut shrimp! You can use regular honey or sugar-free honey, but my personal favorite pairing is sugar-free jalapeno honey for some heat.
- Aioli – My garlic aioli lacks the sweetness that most coconut shrimp sauces have, but it makes up for it in flavor!
- Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Reheat: For best results, bake at 350 degrees F or air fry at 320 degrees F. I don’t recommend microwaving, as the coating will lose most of its crispness.
- Freeze: You can freeze coconut shrimp before or after baking. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then, transfer to a zip lock bag or airtight container, and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat (or cook) straight from frozen, do not thaw first.
What To Serve With Coconut Shrimp
Coconut shrimp recipes make amazing finger food as a healthy appetizer, but they can also work as a main dish with a variety of sides. Here are some ideas for serving:
- Salad – Place coconut shrimp over an arugula salad to make a light meal, or serve cabbage salad or make-ahead broccoli cauliflower salad on the side.
- Fries – For a quick and easy meal, add a side of garlic parmesan fries. Or for lighter options, make jicama fries or healthy zucchini fries instead.
- Rice – Try it with fried rice, or cauliflower fried rice for a healthier choice.
- Slaw – The flavors here work well with a sweet, creamy side of broccoli slaw or classic coleslaw (or try my low carb coleslaw).
More Easy Shrimp Recipes
I always keep a bag of shrimp in my freezer for quick appetizers and healthy dinners. If you like this recipe for coconut shrimp, try these other easy shrimp recipes next:
- Baking Sheet & Wire Rack – The rack helps keep shrimp crispy by circulating air on all sides.
Coconut Shrimp Recipe
Coconut Shrimp (Crispy, Easy Recipe)
Learn how to make coconut shrimp with just 6 ingredients! This easy coconut shrimp recipe takes only 20 minutes and has 5 sauce options.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
If using the oven: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). Place a nonstick wire rack onto a lined baking sheet (This is the set I use). Spray or brush the rack with oil.
If your shrimp are frozen, run them under lukewarm water to thaw a bit. (They don't have to thaw completely, but should not be frozen solid. If they are fully thawed, that's also okay.) Pat dry.
Arrange three bowls — one with whisked eggs, one with coconut flakes, and one with a mixture of coconut flour, garlic powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, and black pepper.
Dredge each piece of shrimp in the coconut flour mixture, dip in the egg, shake off the excess, and finally press/roll in the coconut flakes. Place on the wire rack if using the oven method, or otherwise a cutting board.
Oven method: Bake coconut shrimp for 4 minutes. Flip and cook for 5-6 more minutes, until firm and cooked through. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, until lightly golden.
Pan fry method: Heat a generous amount of olive oil or avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook shrimp in a single layer for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through.
Air fryer method: Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Air fry for 2-4 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
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Serving size: 10-12 shrimp
Nutrition info only includes 2 tablespoons coconut flour, because 1 tablespoon will be left over. We use a little extra so that it’s easier to dredge the shrimp.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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