Keto Coconut Shrimp: A Delicious Low Carb Recipe for Air Fryer

Is Coconut Shrimp compatible with the Keto diet?

Most coconut shrimp recipes contain grains and sugar, but there’s a way to enjoy low carb coconut shrimp! I’ll show you how to make keto coconut shrimp in the air fryer with my simple recipe. Instead of using traditional flour, we’ll be using almond flour for a healthier twist. Want an extra burst of coconut flavor? Try using coconut flour instead. This grain-free, gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30 compliant recipe is perfect for those looking for a guilt-free indulgence.

Hey there! Did you know that shrimp can be a part of your keto diet? My keto coconut crusted shrimp combines savory flavors with a touch of natural sweetness from coconut. The result? Slightly crunchy shrimp with a delicious coconut coating.

These air fryer coconut shrimp are suitable for the Banting and Atkins diets, as well as most ancestral diets. And I haven’t forgotten about the dip! I’ll share my recipe for the best coconut shrimp dipping sauce, a sweet pineapple sauce. Of course, I’ll also provide some tips on making a keto-friendly version of the dip.

I’ve noticed that most recipes for keto air fryer coconut shrimp use only coconut for the “breading.” While this creates an intense coconut flavor, it can be overpowering. That’s why I decided to use a combination of coconut and ground pecans for a more balanced taste.

You might be surprised by how much less sweet this dish is compared to the coconut shrimp at Red Lobster and other seafood restaurants. It’s astonishing to realize how much sugar some places use to achieve the flavors we’ve grown accustomed to. By cooking healthy keto dishes at home, like low carb coconut shrimp, you can enjoy a lower sugar diet.

⭐ Benefits

Why should you try making Keto Coconut Shrimp in an Air Fryer? Here are some reasons:

  • Healthy fat: One criticism of the keto diet is its high saturated fat content. While coconut shrimp includes coconut, which is high in saturated fat, we’re also incorporating heart-healthy fat from pecans.
  • Protein: Shrimp is an excellent source of high-quality protein. This dish is a great way to meet the recommended seafood intake.
  • Not fried: Unlike most coconut shrimp recipes, this air fryer version is not deep-fried. That means fewer calories, as we’re not using as much oil.
  • Gluten-free: If you have non-celiac gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, you typically can’t have most coconut shrimp since it contains gluten. This recipe is a gluten-free alternative.
  • Whole foods: Unlike traditional coconut shrimp, this Paleo version contains no added sugar or refined grains. It’s a healthier alternative to store-bought coconut shrimp and reduces your intake of processed foods.
  • Appetizer or main dish: Whether you’re serving it as a snack, appetizer, or main course, coconut shrimp is always a hit. The tropical flavors make it perfect for a summer dinner, but it’s also a comforting dish during the winter.
  • Delicious: Coconut and shrimp are a match made in heaven. This crowd-pleasing dish is guaranteed to be a hit at any gathering.
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🥘 Keto Coconut Shrimp Ingredients

To make low carb coconut shrimp in an air fryer, you’ll need a few simple ingredients:

  • Raw medium shrimp (peeled, tail-off)
  • Almond flour (finely ground)
  • Large eggs
  • Pecans
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cooking oil spray (non-aerosol)

Specific quantities for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of this article.

I highly recommend using peeled shrimp to save time and avoid the hassle of peeling them yourself. I used medium-sized shrimp, but you can adjust the amount of coconut breading if you opt for larger shrimp or prawns.

When it comes to coatings, you have some flexibility. You can substitute coconut flour for almond flour and try different nuts instead of pecans. Ground pistachios and ground walnuts work well in this recipe. You could even use crushed pork rinds (pork panko) instead of pecans for a unique twist.

For cooking oil spray, make sure to use a non-aerosol variety. Popular options for those following Whole30 or Paleo include avocado oil and olive oil.

🍽 Equipment

To make keto coconut shrimp in an air fryer, you’ll need the following equipment:

  • Food processor
  • Air fryer
  • Meat thermometer

The food processor is used to grind the pecans and coconut for the breading. The meat thermometer will help ensure that the shrimp are cooked to perfection.

While I use a Kalorik Digital Air Fryer Oven for my recipes, you can use any air fryer brand, such as Ninja Foodi, Philips, Nuwave, Pampered Chef, Actifry, Instant Pot Vortex, Cosori, Breville, or others. Just keep in mind that the cooking time may vary slightly depending on the brand of your air fryer.

If you’re cooking in batches with a single air fryer basket or tray, the cooking time per batch may be much shorter. Air fryer oven recipes using two trays usually require a longer cooking time, as one tray is further from the heat source.

🔪 How to Make Keto Coconut Shrimp in Air Fryer

Now, let’s get into the step-by-step process of making keto coconut shrimp in the air fryer:

  1. Start by placing the raw shrimp on a few layers of paper towels. Pat the tops of the shrimp with more paper towels until they’re completely dry.
  2. Put the pecans in a food processor and grind them until they resemble coarse flour. Transfer the ground pecans to a bowl.
  3. Place the unsweetened coconut flakes in the food processor and grind them into crumbs. Combine the ground coconut with the pecans, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Prepare three bowls: one with almond flour, one with whisked eggs, and one with the coconut mixture. Line up the bowls in that order.
  5. Mist two air fryer trays with cooking spray.
  6. Coat the shrimp in almond flour, then dip them into the eggs. Shake off any excess almond flour before transferring the shrimp to the coconut mixture.
  7. Stir the shrimp in the coconut mixture until they’re well-coated. Press any excess coconut coating onto the shrimp with your clean hands. The coating should adhere well to the shrimp, with minimal excess.
  8. Place the shrimp in a single layer on the air fryer trays. If your air fryer is small, cook them in two or more batches to avoid overcrowding. Spray the shrimp with cooking spray.
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⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature

To achieve the perfect keto coconut shrimp, follow these cooking instructions:

  • Air fry the shrimp for 6 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200C).
  • Flip the shrimp pieces over on the top rack only, and switch the position of the trays in the air fryer.
  • Air fry for an additional 5-6 minutes at 400F (200C).

The coconut shrimp should turn golden brown outside and have opaque flesh inside. If you’re uncertain, you can use a meat thermometer to ensure the shrimp reaches the minimum safe internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63C).

Keep in mind that the cooking time may vary if you’re using extra-large or jumbo shrimp. You may need less coconut coating and a longer air frying time. For example, when using 21-30 count shrimp, the total cooking time can be around 15-18 minutes (using both air fryer trays).

While the coconut shrimp air fries, you can prepare your shrimp dipping sauce. Don’t worry if some coconut crumbs fall off after cooking – that’s normal. Most of the coating should stay intact if it’s applied properly.

🌡️ Leftovers

Coconut shrimp is best enjoyed fresh, but you can store any leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for 1-2 days. To reheat refrigerated coconut shrimp, simply place it in the air fryer at 400F (200C) for 1-2 minutes to warm it up.

If you’d like to freeze the shrimp, place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking tray before transferring them to freezer bags. Be careful not to overcook them during reheating, as that can result in a rubbery texture.

🍤 Keto Coconut Shrimp Dipping Sauce

My favorite coconut shrimp sauce is a pineapple coconut dip made with plain nonfat Greek yogurt, canned light coconut milk, and drained, crushed pineapple. Please note that this dip is not strictly keto-friendly due to the pineapple content, although it might fit into some low carb diets. Traditional dips for shrimp, such as cocktail sauce or sweet chili sauce, are not suitable for a keto diet.

If you’re looking for keto-friendly shrimp dips, try sugar-free BBQ sauce or mayo-based aioli dip. For a keto pineapple sauce, you can use pineapple extract, a keto-friendly liquid sweetener, unsweetened Greek yogurt, and canned coconut milk.

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🥗 What to Serve with Coconut Shrimp

For a complete meal, here are some keto-friendly sides that pair well with coconut shrimp:

  • Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash
  • Air Fryer Frozen Vegetables
  • Cabbage Wedges (Air Fryer)
  • Air Fryer Jicama Fries
  • Cauliflower Rice
  • Zoodles

You could also use this recipe to make keto coconut shrimp tacos for a delicious twist!

📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein

Wondering about the nutritional information? One serving of this keto coconut shrimp made in an air fryer contains approximately 548 calories, 3.2 grams of net carbs, and 32.6 grams of protein. Please note that this information doesn’t include the coconut shrimp dipping sauce.

💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian

While shrimp is generally a low-calorie, high-protein food suitable for weight loss diets, this particular recipe has a higher calorie content. The energy-dense ingredients like coconut, pecans, and almond flour contribute to the overall calorie count. One serving of this recipe, using ¼ lb of shrimp, contains over 500 calories – and that’s without considering the dip or side dishes. In comparison, plain shrimp typically contains only 80-100 calories (depending on size) per ¼ lb.

To keep this meal moderate in calories, stick to keto and incorporate non-starchy vegetables as side dishes. Options like lightly roasted broccoli or a garden salad work well. If you prefer a higher calorie meal, add grains (such as coconut rice made with coconut milk) and/or non-starchy vegetables to round out your plate.

It’s important to note that although this air fryer coconut shrimp recipe falls under level 3 in terms of calories, it doesn’t mean it’s “bad” or unhealthy. It’s packed with nutritious whole foods but has higher energy density (i.e., calories per volume). This makes it more suitable for weight gain rather than weight loss, especially if you tend to consume larger portions.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about coconut shrimp:

  • Can I freeze coconut shrimp? Yes, you can freeze coconut shrimp. Follow the instructions mentioned earlier in the article.
  • Can I reheat refrigerated coconut shrimp in the air fryer? Yes, simply place the refrigerated coconut shrimp in the air fryer at 400F (200C) for 1-2 minutes to warm it up.
  • What are some other shrimp recipes I can try? If you’re looking for more shrimp recipes, check out my suggestions in the article.

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The Disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be suitable for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with your registered dietitian or physician to determine the dietary pattern that suits you best.

The nutrition information provided is an estimate and should be used as a courtesy. Calorie information on food labels can be inaccurate, so don’t worry too much about the numbers.

For more information on how the three recipe levels can help with your weight management goals, refer to our article on overnight oats with no added sugar. Let’s get cooking!

Recipe

Here’s the complete recipe for Keto Coconut Shrimp in an Air Fryer:

Link to recipe on Hook’d Up Bar and Grill

Low Carb Coconut Shrimp Dip Recipe

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