Copycat Red Lobster Coconut Shrimp Recipe

Red Lobster Coconut Shrimp Recipe

Red Lobster’s coconut shrimp is a fan favorite. It’s crispy and fried, wrapped in sweet coconut. Paired with a luscious pina colada sauce, the dish is now a click away from your kitchen. Our guide will show you how to make the shrimp, create the crunchy coconut coating, and mix the creamy dipping sauce. Soon, you’ll savor the taste of Red Lobster’s signature dish without leaving your home.

Key Takeaways

  • Recreate the iconic Red Lobster coconut shrimp at home with our easy-to-follow recipe.
  • Achieve the perfect crispy, golden-brown coating on the shrimp with a combination of panko breadcrumbs and shredded coconut.
  • Pair the coconut shrimp with a delightful pina colada dipping sauce for a truly tropical experience.
  • Customize the recipe to your taste by adjusting the amount of coconut or adding a kick of spice.
  • Enjoy a healthier version of the dish by air frying the shrimp instead of deep frying.
Red Lobster Coconut Shrimp Recipe Copycat

Recreate the Iconic Red Lobster Coconut Shrimp at Home

Recreating the iconic Red Lobster coconut shrimp is simpler than you might imagine. It allows you to relish crispy, golden-fried shrimp with a sweet coconut breading. This version’s crunchy outer layer leads to a juicy shrimp interior. The pina colada dipping sauce adds a tropical flavor that enhances the dish.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

If you enjoy the original Red Lobster coconut shrimp, you’ll love this version. The recipe makes it simple to enjoy the flavors and textures at home. It also comes with a crunchy, golden-brown look that’s similar to what you’d get in the restaurant. The addition of a creamy, tropical pina colada dipping sauce makes it unforgettable as an appetizer or main dish.

A Glimpse into the History of Coconut Shrimp

Coconut shrimp’s story is both lengthy and delicious. It has its origins in various tropical cooking styles globally. For centuries, people have enjoyed the mix of sweet shrimp and a coconut-based, crispy coating. This dish is loved around the world, with versions found in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. Although Red Lobster helped spread its fame in the U.S., coconut shrimp is a global culinary delight.

red lobster coconut shrimp snack

Ingredients for the Perfect Coconut Shrimp

You need a few key ingredients for great coconut shrimp. First, get fresh, large shrimp. Jumbo or extra-large ones work best. They bring the perfect texture and taste.

Shrimp Essentials

The shrimp are the heart of this recipe. Choose plump, juicy jumbo shrimp or extra-large ones. Make sure they are peeled with the vein removed but the tails are left for elegance. For a true Red Lobster experience, use their Parrot Bay Coconut Shrimp.

Coating Ingredients

You’ll make the crispy coating with all-purpose flour, panko breadcrumbs, and sweetened coconut flakes. Panko gives it crunch, while the coconut flakes add sweetness and a tropical touch.

Dipping Sauce Delights

A good coconut shrimp needs the perfect dipping sauce. For a true Red Lobster feel, make a creamy pina colada dipping sauce. Mix pina colada mix, Greek yogurt, and a bit of rum. It balances sweet and tropical flavors.

With these ingredients, you’re set to make super tasty Red Lobster coconut shrimp at home. You’ll wow your guests with this dish!

red lobster coconut shrimp copycat

Copycat Red lobster coconut shrimp recipe

This recipe captures the magic of Red Lobster’s iconic coconut shrimp. It’s all about the perfect mix of crispy, golden-brown shrimp with a sweet shredded coconut coating. We’re here to help you craft this classic at home, ensuring it’s as flavorful and textured as the original.

First off, you’ll need fresh, jumbo shrimp. Butterfly and coat them in cornstarch for that perfect crunch. Then, mix flour, panko breadcrumbs, and coconut flakes to create a crunchy breading. After frying, you’ll have crispy perfection outside and tender, juicy shrimp inside.

Next, we’ll make a tropical pina colada dipping sauce. This sauce perfectly pairs with the coconut shrimp. It’s ideal for any occasion, from desiring Red Lobster’s famous dish to wanting a delicious seafood appetizer. This copycat recipe will delight your friends and your taste buds.

Ready to cook your own Red Lobster-quality coconut shrimp? Follow our steps, and you’ll be savoring this memorable, irresistible dish soon.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Coconut Shrimp

Making Red Lobster-style coconut shrimp at home is easy and fun. You’ll end up with shrimp that are just as good as at a restaurant. Follow this step-by-step guide for crispy, golden shrimps that taste amazing.

Preparing the Shrimp

First, butterfly the jumbo shrimp. Cut along the back, but not all the way through. This lets them cook flat and helps the coconut breading stick. It also ensures they cook evenly.

Then, dry the shrimp with paper towels. Coat them lightly in cornstarch. Dredging them helps the breading stick well to the shrimp.

Creating the Crispy Coating

In a bowl, mix all-purpose flour, panko breadcrumbs, and sweetened shredded coconut. Add a little salt and pepper. This is your crispy breading.

Now, dip the shrimp in the breading mixture. Press down gently. Make sure each shrimp is fully covered for the crispiest results.

Frying to Perfection

Heat 1-2 inches of vegetable oil in a skillet to about 350°F. Then, fry the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes. They should be golden brown and crispy when done.

After frying, move the shrimp to a paper towel to drain a bit. Serve them hot and crispy right away.

overhead view of red lobster coconut shrimp copycat

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp: A Healthier Alternative

Want a healthier twist on the classic Red Lobster coconut shrimp? Try the air fryer way. By using an air fryer, we get that crunch we love without deep-frying in lots of oil. The result? A dish with far less fat and calories but just as crunchy as what you find at the restaurant.

To make air fryer coconut shrimp, start by breading the shrimp. Use flour, panko breadcrumbs, and shredded coconut just like the original. Instead of frying, pop them in the air fryer. You’ll end up with crispy, flavorful shrimp, all without the extra oil.

This healthier version tastes just as good as the one at Red Lobster. Add the pina colada dipping sauce for a classic touch. It makes a perfect appetizer or main course that’s memorable and nourishing.

homemade red lobster coconut shrimp


Why will we love this Red Lobster coconut shrimp recipe?

This recipe lets you make Red Lobster’s famous coconut shrimp at home. The shrimp come out crispy and golden, covered in sweet coconut breading. The pina colada dipping sauce gives it a tropical twist. It’s a dish that’s hard not to love.

What is the history behind coconut shrimp?

Coconut shrimp became a hit in the 1980s, thanks to seafood spots like Red Lobster. The mix of crunchy shrimp and sweet coconut is a crowd-pleaser. This classic dish still wins hearts today.

coconut shrimp red lobster

What ingredients do I need to make the perfect coconut shrimp?

For perfect coconut shrimp, you’ll need fresh, big shrimp and some pantry staples. This includes flour, panko, and sweetened coconut. You’ll also want spices. For the dip, gather pineapple juice, rum, and a mix of sour cream and chili sauce to mimic a pina colada.

How do I prepare the shrimp and create the crispy coating?

First, butterfly and devein the shrimp. Next, coat them in flour, dip in the wet mix, then cover in the coconut-panko mix. This method ensures a crunchy, golden finish.

coconut shrimp red lobster recipe

How do I fry the coconut shrimp to perfection?

To fry these shrimps, heat oil to 350°F. Cook them for 2-3 minutes on each side. Fry in batches to keep the oil hot. Drain on paper towels for the crispiest results.

Can I make air fryer coconut shrimp instead?

Sure! An air fryer can give you crispy coconut shrimp with less oil. Use the same coating and cook at 350°F. They’ll be ready in 8-10 minutes, turning out just as tasty but with fewer calories.

closeup of red lobster coconut shrimp

Copycat Red Lobster Coconut Shrimp

Recreate Red Lobster’s famous coconut shrimp at home with this easy copycat recipe. These crispy, golden shrimp are coated in a blend of sweet coconut flakes and panko breadcrumbs, and paired with a delectable piña colada dipping sauce that adds a tropical twist. Perfect for appetizers or a fun dinner!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Seafood
Keyword: Copycat Red Lobster Coconut Shrimp, Copycat Red Lobster Coconut Shrimp Recipe, Red Lobster Coconut Shrimp, Red Lobster Coconut Shrimp Recipe
Servings: 4 servings


  • Deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot
  • Mixing bowls
  • Shallow dishes
  • Parchment Paper
  • Wire rack


For the Shrimp:

  • 1/2 lb jumbo shrimp butterflied
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch divided
  • 1/2 cup piña colada mix
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

For the Piña Colada Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 cup Coco Lopez cream of coconut
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice


For the Shrimp:

  • In a deep bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, coconut flakes, and 1/4 cup cornstarch. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the piña colada mix, powdered sugar, and rum. Set aside.
  • Place the remaining 1/2 cup cornstarch in a separate bowl.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot to 375°F.
  • Dredge each shrimp in cornstarch, dip into the piña colada mix, then coat with the coconut breadcrumb mixture. Repeat this process for a second coating.
  • Fry the shrimp in batches until golden brown. Remove and drain on a wire rack.

For the Piña Colada Dipping Sauce:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to let the flavors meld.
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