Crispy Popcorn Shrimp Appetizers & Snacks

Hot, crunchy, popcorn shrimp are easy to make at home and can be baked in the oven, air fryer, or even fried crispy in oil.

Tender little shrimp with a seasoned crispy coating cook quickly for a great meal or appetizer!

Crispy Popcorn Shrimp on a tray

Perfect Popcorn Shrimp

What is popcorn shrimp? Popcorn shrimp doesn’t contain popcorn, itIt’s small shrimp with a crispy coating, small enough to be eaten Like popcorn!

And as much as we love breaded popcorn shrimp from Popeye’s or Red Lobster we love homemade even more!

  • Prepare the shrimp ahead of time and bake or fry before serving.
  • Air fry, deep fry, or oven-bake to crispy perfection.
  • Swap up the seasonings or dippers to change the flavor.
  • Eat them as a snack or tuck them into tortillas for crispy shrimp tacos.

ingredients assembled to make Crispy Popcorn Shrimp

Ingredients in Popcorn Shrimp

SHRIMP: Popcorn shrimp are meant to be the size of, well, popcorn! Short on size, but long on taste, choose fresh or frozen 61/70 or 51/60 size for the best results.

BATTER: Eggs and milk help the coating stick!

BREADCRUMBS: Panko bread crumbs add crunch while seasoned breadcrumbs add flavor and ensure even coating.

Flavor Variations

Add seasoning blends or rubs to the breading to create a different popcorn shrimp every time!

  • Homemade Cajun Seasoning
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Blackened Seasoning
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Homemade Taco Seasoning

How to Make Popcorn Shrimp

  1. Pat shrimp dry. Combine flour mixture and seasonings. Place bread crumbs, Panko, and seasonings in another bowl.

ingredients assembled to prepare Crispy Popcorn Shrimp

  1. Dip shrimp in seasoned flour (per the recipe below), then egg, and finally bread crumbs.

process of battering shrimp

  1. Bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes (or fry/air fry per directions below).

battered shrimp on a pan

Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer and spray shrimp with cooking spray. Place in a single layer in the basket with enough space between the pieces for the hot air to flow. Flip after two minutes or until they are cooked through and crispy.

Deep Fryer: Lower prepared shrimp into hot oil in small batches and cook until they are crispy. Drain on paper towels before serving.

Crispy Popcorn Shrimp with lemon slices


Keep leftover popcorn shrimp in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them under the broiler or in the air fryer until they are crispy and heated through.

Delicious Dippers

  • Cocktail Sauce – 5 easy ingredients
  • Yum Yum Sauce – light & tangy
  • Chipotle Ranch Dressing – creamy with a kick
  • Dill Pickle Tartar Sauce – ready in 10 minutes
  • Chipotle Aioli – so fresh & flavorful

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

Crispy Popcorn Shrimp with lemon slices

In this space, I am always sharing flavorful, fresh, (mostly) healthy recipes that I love to make and eat in my real, actual, every day life. If I wouldn’t eat it in real life, I won’t put in on the blog. You’re cooking for yourself, your family, your roommates, or your friends. I want you to be so excited about these recipes that you eagerly await 5pm when you can go home from work and start cooking.

5 from 1 vote

Review Recipe

Crispy Popcorn Shrimp

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Holly Nilsson
Perfectly seasoned & breaded shrimp is cooked 3 different ways with this easy recipe!
Print Recipe


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon each salt & pepper
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 pound uncooked small shrimp peeled and deveined
  • cooking spray or oil for cooking


  • Whisk eggs and water in a bowl. Place flour in a separate shallow bowl with salt & pepper.
  • Combine both breadcrumbs, garlic powder, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste in a third bowl.
  • Toss shrimp in the flour and shake off any excess.
  • Dip in egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs gently pressing to adhere.
To Bake
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Spray shrimp with cooking spray until well coated. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Bake 6 minutes. Flip shrimp and bake for an additional 6-8 minutes or until cooked through.
To Air Fry
  • Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
  • Spray shrimp with cooking spray until well coated. Place in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
  • Air fry for 2 minutes. Flip shrimp and air fry an additional 2-3 minutes or until cooked through.
To Deep Fry
  • Heat deep fryer or oil to 350°F.
  • Add shrimp in small batches and cook 3-4 minutes or until crispy. Drain on paper towels.

Recipe Notes

Smaller shrimp may Ask for less time, larger shrimp may Ask for more time.
Season with salt or seasoned salt after cooking.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 292, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 225mg, Sodium: 1276mg, Potassium: 269mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 598IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 133mg, Iron: 3mg

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

Crispy Popcorn Shrimp Appetizers & Snacks

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