Simple to make and bake- Cornflake and Coconut crusted shrimp! It’s light, crisp, gluten-free, and healthy! Perfect for a party appetizer or as a main course!
I’m on a big coconut kick, lately! Must be the heat, because nothing quite quenches my thirst like an ice-cold coconut water. Natural coconut water contains five key electrolytes: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Coconut water is packed with potassium, even more than a banana or 15 sports drinks, making it a supreme and healthy way to hydrate!
And even better than that, try a pressed coconut water, like my favorite from Vita Coco. I like to add a few mint leaves and extra ice! Pressed coconut water is just a bit sweeter and coconutty than traditional coconut water. If your co-co crazy for coconut, this is a must-try!
Anyway, now that we’ve established some basis for inspiration… let’s talk about my twist on the tropical favorite- COCONUT SHRIMP!
This recipe for Crispy Baked Coconut + Cornflake Shrimp is so simple to assemble in advance or right on the spot. I went back and forth with whether to bake or fry. Ultimately, I just thought it would be easier, quicker, AND healthier by baking. Yep, sure enough, success. But if I had an air fryer, I think that would be a prudent route to go as well.
Yes ma’am.. u heard it. All u have to do is smash up a couple cups in a ziplock bag. Bang away, get your frustrations out. Dinner and therapy, brilliant. And why cornflakes, well they are super crunchy and textured, lend a nice toasty flavor to the coating while remaining gluten-free. And just between you and me, I happened to have a half-empty box of cornflakes in my pantry already. I bought the cereal thinking my kids would like them for breakfast, and alas- they are not fans. Wasting food is a pet peeve of mine so VIOLA, I found another use!
However, if you do not to not have any cornflakes on hand, try Panko breadcrumbs instead. The flavor won’t exactly be the same, but they will do the trick.
Unsweetened COCONUT only, please
There are two types of shredded coconut varieties, and I warn u they look like twins, yet have VERY different personalities! This recipe calls for UNSWEETENED shredded coconut and I can assure u this is a must! SWEETENED coconut is mostly used in desserts and in my opinion really wouldn’t work with this shrimp recipe.
A High-level overview with pictures
You will need a breading station with three shallow mixing bowls. One will be for whisked eggs. One will have coconut flour mixed with salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder. And the other will have the crushed cornflakes and coconut flakes.
You can see here that I decided to use the ziplock bag where I smashed up the cornflakes, in lieu of a 3rd mixing bowl simply because.. less dishes!
Holding shrimp by tail, dredge in flour, then egg and finally the coconut/cornflakes.
Place coated shrimp on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining shrimp until all of been coated.
Before baking, drizzle a small amount of melted coconut oil over each shrimp.
Place in preheated 450-degree oven and bake 5 minutes on the upper rack, closest to the high heat. Remove from oven and flip over, return to oven and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Can i make in advance?
My summer schedule is jam-packed with sports in the afternoon, so meals that I can prep ahead of time and just pop in the oven when we get home are absolute lifesavers!
To make ahead of time, just follow directions for coating the shrimp with the coconut and cornflake crust, place on prepared baking sheet, and refrigerate until ready to bake. They will be fine in the fridge for up to four hours. Any longer than that I would worry about the coating getting soggy from the egg. Drizzle with coconut oil and cook according to directions.
To make ahead and freeze: follow directions as stated, and instead of baking freeze on sheet pan for 30 minutes to an hour. Then transfer to freezer-safe ziplock bag, remove any trapped air and seal. They will be safe in the freezer for up to four months. Bake from frozen with coconut oil drizzle when ready to eat.
This Coconut + Cornflake Shrimp paired perfectly with a store-bought Sweet Thai Chili dipping sauce, and a Mango Citrus Salsa with a Crispy Kale Caesar Salad.
Crispy Baked Coconut + Cornflake Shrimp
- 1½ lbs large shrimp peeled, deveined, tail on
- ½ cup coconut flour (GF) or all purpose
- 3 eggs beaten
- 3 cups cornflake cereal smashed
- 1 cup coconut flakes unsweetened
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp coconut oil melted
- Preheat oven to 450°F and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper or aluminum foil. If you are using 1½ pounds of shrimp, like I did, you will most likely need 2 baking sheets.
- Dry shrimp with paper towel to remove excess moisture and set aside.
- Set up a breading station with three shallow bowls. One will be for whisked eggs. One will have coconut flour mixed with salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder. And the other will have the crushed cornflakes and coconut flakes.
- Holding shrimp by tail, dredge in flour, then egg and finally the coconut/cornflakes.
- Place coated shrimp on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining shrimp until all of been coated. As you lay each coated shrimp on the sheet pan, be sure to space them apart to ensure even cooking.
- Before baking, drizzle a small amount of melted coconut oil over each shrimp. Place in oven and bake 5 minutes on the upper rack, closest to the high heat. Remove from oven and flip over, return to oven and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Shrimp should be crispy on outside and cooked to internal temperature of about 120°F.
- Serve hot with Sweet Thai Chili sauce or other condiment you would enjoy.