These easy air fryer shrimp tacos are cheesy, full of flavor, and so quick. You can customize the toppings however you want, and cooking everything in the air fryer makes cleanup a breeze.
💗 Why We Love These Tacos
- They're cheesy but still light: Sometimes I want a super cheesy meal without feeling groggy and terrible afterward. These shrimp tacos fit the bill. They're loaded with melty, oozy cheese, but the lightness of the shrimp and toppings balance them out.
- They're quick and easy: Every component of these tacos is cooked in the air fryer, so there's minimal cleanup and they're super hands-off and fast.
- They're customizable: You can add your favorite toppings to these tacos or use our recommended ones (see "Recommended Toppings" section below)—either way they'll taste great!
🍤 Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Shrimp: We use peeled and de-veined large or jumbo frozen shrimp. We just place it in a bowl of water about half an hour before cooking to defrost it. You can use fresh shrimp if you prefer, just make sure you peel and de-vein it prior to cooking.
- Sharp cheddar cheese: You could easily substitute any other kind of cheese here. Pepper-jack, monterey-jack, colby-jack, or mild cheddar cheese all work great! We buy a block of cheddar and grate it ourselves—it's so much gooier that way!
- Flour or corn tortillas (street taco size): We have used both flour and corn tortillas for this recipe, and both work well. Use whatever you generally love. Cassava or almond flour tortillas work too. We love the street taco size because they're smaller and more manageable.
- Taco seasoning: We use taco seasoning to season the shrimp. Taco seasoning is fast, easy, and full of flavor. We love Siete Taco Seasoning or Mateo's Southwest Ranch Taco Seasoning (sold at Walmart), but any taco seasoning works well.
- Optional toppings: cilantro, sliced radishes, pickled jalapenos, queso fresco, and guacamole
See recipe card for amounts.
🥣 Step-by-Step Instructions
Step 1: Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel, then add it to a large mixing bowl with oil and taco seasoning. Mix until well combined.
Step 2: Add the shrimp to your air fryer basket and air fry for 8 minutes at 400°F. At the 4 minute mark, shake the air fryer basket to redistribute the shrimp.
Step 3: While the shrimp is cooking, add cheese down the center of each tortilla. Once the shrimp is done, remove it from the air fryer and place it into a serving bowl or onto a plate. Then fold the tortillas like a taco and place them side-by-side in the air fryer. Air fry for 2 minutes at 400°F, or until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are warm.
Step 4: Compile the tacos. Add shrimp and your desired toppings to each taco, then serve immediately.
🌮 Topping Ideas
Here are our favorite cheesy shrimp taco toppings:
- Sliced radishes
- Pickled jalapeños
- Guacamole: Use store-bought or homemade. We love using our guacamole recipe!
- Queso fresco: Queso fresco is a soft, white, crumbly Mexican cheese perfect for crumbling over the top of tacos. It has a mild, fresh flavor.
- Cilantro lime aioli: When I'm feeling ambitious, I love topping these tacos with a little bit of homemade cilantro lime aioli.
- Mango Peach Salsa: Alternatively, you could serve these shrimp tacos with homemade mango peach salsa for a fun summer twist.
💭 Top Tips
- If you have a small air fryer basket, don't overfill it or things won't cook correctly. Instead, cook your shrimp and tacos in batches.
- Line your air fryer basket with a liner to make cleanup easier.
- Don't overcook the shrimp or it'll become rubbery and chewy. If your air fryer tends to cook things faster than directions indicate, then check your shrimp periodically to see if they're done early. The shrimp are done cooking when they're slightly pink in color and no longer translucent.
Frequently asked questions
We love using taco seasoning for shrimp tacos because it's fast, easy, and full of flavor. We love Siete Taco Seasoning or Mateo's Southwest Ranch Taco Seasoning (sold at Walmart), but any taco seasoning works well.
If you plan to have leftovers, only add cheese to the tortillas you plan on using, and save the rest for future meals. Store the cooked shrimp, cheese, and tortillas in separate air-tight containers for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Then heat the tortillas and cheese as instructed, and reheat the shrimp for a minute or two at 400°F in the air fryer (or until warm).
These sides go perfectly with cheesy shrimp tacos.