Hot, crunchy popcorn shrimp are the perfect poppable snack!

Tender shrimp in a crispy seasoned coating can be baked in the oven, air fryer, or even fried crispy in oil.

Dip them in cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, or your favorite dipping sauce.

crispy popcorn shrimp on a tray with cocktail sauce

Perfect Popcorn Shrimp

What is popcorn shrimp? Popcorn shrimp doesn’t contain popcorn, it’s small shrimp with a crispy coating, small enough to be eaten like popcorn! You may have had 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.

shrimp, egg and breadcrumbs in bowls

Ingredients in Popcorn Shrimp

SHRIMP: Popcorn shrimp are meant to be the size of, well, popcorn! For a small bite with a big flavor, choose fresh or frozen 61/70 or 51/60 size for the best results.

EGG & FLOUR: A quick dip in flour and then in beaten egg helps 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 recipe every time! Try adding the following: cajun seasoning, lemon pepper, Old Bay seasoning, or even taco seasoning.

dipping shrimp in breadcrumbs and flour

How to Make Popcorn Shrimp

Popcorn shrimp is made much like chicken tender by dipping in flour mixture, egg, and seasoned bread crumbs.

  1. Pat shrimp dry per the recipe below.
  2. Dip shrimp in seasoned flour, then egg, and finally bread crumbs.
  3. Bake, air fry, or pan fry per the directions below until golden brown.

crispy popcorn shrimp on a tray before baking

Oven Bake per the instructions below or air fry/deep fry if you’d prefer.

Air Fryer Popcorn Shrimp: 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 on a tray with lemon and cocktail sauce


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

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

crispy popcorn shrimp on a tray with cocktail sauce
5 from 17 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Crispy Popcorn Shrimp

Perfectly seasoned & breaded shrimp comes out crispy and delicious.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
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  • 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.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F (see notes for air fryer or deep fryer).
  • 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.



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

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.
5 from 17 votes

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.

Course Appetizer, Party Food, Seafood
Cuisine American
popcorn shrimp with cocktail sauce shown with a title

plated Crispy Popcorn Shrimp with dip and writing

Crispy Popcorn Shrimp in the pan and plated with writing
close up of Crispy Popcorn Shrimp with a title


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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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