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frozen popcorn shrimp in air fryer

Frozen Popcorn Shrimp in Air Fryer (Frozen Breaded Shrimp)

Summer Yule
Learn how to cook frozen popcorn shrimp in air fryer! Crispy air fryer frozen breaded shrimp takes only 6 minutes to cook without thawing!
5 from 2 votes
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 6 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 220 kcal


  • 6 ounces frozen popcorn shrimp (170 grams; Gorton's shrimp or Seapak shrimp)
  • dipping sauce (optional)


  • Put the frozen popcorn shrimp in a single layer on your air fryer tray. Put the tray in the top rack position of the air fryer, if you're using an air fryer oven.
  • Air fry the popcorn shrimp for 4 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Then flip them and air fry an additional 2 minutes. 
  • Check the shrimp with a meat thermometer to ensure they reached a minimum safe internal temp of 145°F (63°C). Add additional air frying time if needed.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.


This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). I've got a bit of bad news. The Gorton’s frozen popcorn shrimp I used provides 220 calories and 8 grams of protein per 3 ounce serving. Per Cronometer, a 3-ounce serving of shrimp (no breading) provides 84 calories and 20 grams of protein
Shrimp without breading is a low-calorie lean protein. With the breaded popcorn shrimp, about half the calories come from added fat. Additionally, you’re getting more calories from white flour in popcorn shrimp than you are from protein. 
You could save over 130 calories by choosing a serving of plain shrimp instead of breaded. The plain shrimp provides more filling protein and (unlike popcorn shrimp from the store), it’s not an ultra-processed food.
We’re all different, but I do find it possible to fit some “imperfect” food choices in an overall healthy diet. The method I like for healthy weight management is the Diabetes Plate. It's ¼ protein, ¼ starch, and ½ non-starchy veggies (with a small amount of added fat).
I look at popcorn shrimp as filling the starch portion of the plate. More protein and some non-starchy vegetables need to be added. A Greek yogurt-based dip for the shrimp would be one way to add more protein.
For a higher energy meal, add some whole grains or starchy vegetables to the plate as well. It could be in the form of potatoes, crackers, rice, noodles, or bread.
Fries and popcorn shrimp are delicious together but not my favorite duo nutritionally. Fries add even more fat and carbs to an entrée that is high in both. Non-starchy veggies (think garden salads, zucchini, peppers) add low-calorie volume to the meal, something lacking in breaded shrimp.
Nutrition information is for 3 ounces (85g) of Gorton’s Popcorn Shrimp


Calories: 220kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 8gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3.5gSodium: 470mgPotassium: 85mgFiber: 1gAdded Sugar: 1gCalcium: 4% DV
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