These Whole30 coconut shrimp with orange sauce are the best dang Whole30 coconut shrimp, I swear it. With a crispy, coconutty shell and a delicious orange sauce, these are a quick Whole30 dinner recipe and they’d work beautifully for company, too. Your friends would never guess they’re Whole30 coconut shrimp! One of our very favorite quick Whole30 dinner recipes for sure.
Number one craving this pregnancy? You’d never guess it.
Well, you might, considering the title of this post. You just might… OK, fine, it’s Whole30 coconut shrimp with orange sauce. And sure, maybe it wasn’t Whole30 coconut shrimp with orange sauce during the roughest part of the first trimester but just any damn coconut shrimp within a 5-mile radius, but man, I would’ve done anything for a plate of crispy coconut shrimp and a sweet sauce for dipping. Anything.
Except drive 6 miles to the closest Outback to get my orange sauce fix. You know. That first trimester is tiring!
So I essentially staved my craving off for weeks until I was feeling better, feeling enough energy to cook, not offended by the mere presence of the garbage can next to me in the kitchen. And I made the best damn Whole30 coconut shrimp in the world. And yeah, I haven’t probably tasted every single Whole30 coconut shrimp recipe out there, but I can say with confidence that this is the one, y’all.
I was worried, in fact, that the coconut wouldn’t stick right or coat everything in a crispy, coconutty shell. That the sauce would be too orangey, not grounded and a bit spicy, kinda like the stuff at Outback. What I should’ve been worrked about, really, was that my neighbors would wonder just what in the world was going on when we were eating these.
Groans and moans the entire time, that ohmygahhhhh this is amazing. Ohhhhhhh honey this is so good. Holy moooooly I am amazing.
These Whole30 coconut shrimp with orange sauce? Yeah, they’re that damn good.
The coconut shell is crispy and somehow takes on the form of a batter with just a couple ingredients. They’re easy to fry up and the coconut sticks well. The sauce is, again, just a few ingredients and shockingly good. The shrimp cook quickly and are so tender yet so, so full of flavor. I might even make the claim that this Whole30 coconut shrimp recipe is one of my best ever.
Aside from my Whole30 In N Out burgers (double double animal style, duh), my paleo chocolate mousse dip, and uh… like 19 others. But you know. All the love for my recipes, I have it. I have it all. I wouldn’t share less than whoa recipes with you all!
So here’s the deal.
Can I use regular orange marmalade?
Not if you want these Whole30 coconut shrimp to be, uh, Whole30. If you’re just paleo, roll with whatever. But if you’re on a Whole30, you’ll have to use St. Dalfour Orange Marmalade: it’s sweetened solely with fruit juice, making it Whole30 compliant. I learned of the stuff when I made NomNomPaleo’s curry turkey bites with apricot-ginger sauce years back, and it works perfectly in this sauce. The sauce will be a little more bitter than a standard orange marmalade sauce, because there’s no white sugar in there blitzing your tastebuds, but I actually prefer the taste! It’s more complex and works beautifully with the mustard and horseradish.
Can I bake these?
I wouldn’t. You don’t need too much coconut oil to crisp up the coconut shell beautifully. You might try it in the Air Fryer, though! I’m about to test that one out myself, and it’d be fantastic if it worked close to as well as frying in coconut oil.
Can I make these in the Air Fryer?
I’m not sure – I haven’t tried it myself. But it seems like it would work! Try cooking the shrimp in batches at 390º for 5 minutes, making sure to not overcrowd. And if you’re looking for a great Air Fryer, I love my Philips. I’m just dipping my toe into the world of Air Fryer recipes, but I’m already loving it so, so much.
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Whole30 Coconut Shrimp with Orange Sauce (Paleo)
- 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 tbsp coconut oil for frying I prefer refined but unrefined works great here, too
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 eggs whisked well
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Combine all sauce ingredients; whisk well. Chill while you make shrimp.
- In a shallow bowl, pour whisked eggs. In another shallow bowl, combine coconut and coconut flour. Season both sides of shrimp with plenty of salt.
- Dip each shrimp into the eggs then coat with coconut mixture. I placed the egg-coated shrimp on top of the coconut mixture then covered them with large pinches of the coconut mixture. I pressed down on the shrimp to firmly coat the bottom of the shrimp. Set aside on a baking sheet; repeat with remaining shrimp. If you run out of coconut mixture, replenish in the ratio of 4 parts coconut to 1 part coconut flour (e.g., 1/4 cup coconut + 1 tablespoon coconut flour).
- Heat enough coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat to coat surface. Fry the shrimp in batches until golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes total per batch. The bottom of the shrimp will be a beautiful golden brown; flip and cook the other side. Don't overcook. In between batches, clean out your skillet; the residual coconut mixture will burn otherwise.
- Drain cooked shrimp on paper towels or brown paper bags.
Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.