Crispy Buffalo Shrimp are large shrimp marinated in buttermilk, coated in seasoned flour, and fried to perfection before being tossed in buffalo sauce. Serve the crispy, spicy shrimp as an appetizer with ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping. Or, add a side dish to feature the shrimp as the main course. If you love shrimp, you will want to check out my popular Bang Bang Shrimp recipe, too!

Plate of Crispy Buffalo Shrimp on wooden table with bleu cheese dressing and a blue towel.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Shrimp: I used large frozen shrimp, thawed, that had been peeled and deveined with the tails on. Leaving the tails on works best for dipping. If buying fresh shrimp, it’s your choice whether to devein them. Deveining is mainly for appearance, not for any other reason. To peel the shrimp, start from underneath and remove the tail (if removing). If you choose to devein, make a shallow slit along the back of the shrimp and pull out the black vein with the tip of a knife. I do not recommend using pre-cooked shrimp for this recipe. And, if using smaller or larger shrimp, adjust the frying times as necessary.

Buttermilk: The shrimp is marinated in buttermilk for about 15 minutes before continuing with the recipe. This helps tenderize the shrimp, adds a tangy flavor, and helps the flour coating stick to it for frying.

Flour: I tested the breading using all-purpose flour and self-rising flour. There was not enough of a difference to choose one over the other. So, I stuck with all-purpose flour, which is more readily available and on hand. The flour will be seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper does not give too much of a kick, but you could leave it out if preferred. The buffalo sauce may be enough heat for you!

Oil: When frying the shrimp, specifically in batches, be sure the vegetable oil is at 350°F before adding the next batch.

Buffalo Sauce: For the most flavor, make homemade buffalo sauce. Then, you can make it as hot as you can handle! Or, choose your favorite store-bought variety. Toss the shrimp gently in the sauce to prevent any breading from coming off.

Close up of Crispy Buffalo Shrimp.

What To Serve With Crispy Buffalo Shrimp

There are many delicious ways to serve crispy buffalo shrimp. Here are a few of my favorite options:

  • Offer fresh crisp vegetables like carrots and celery, along with dipping options like blue cheese and ranch dressing.
  • For a satisfying contrast to the spicy shrimp, serve it with a side of french fries.
  • Serve the shrimp with cornbread (or cornbread muffins) and a side of coleslaw.
  • Top a lettuce salad with the fried shrimp. Yum!
  • For an indulgent side dish, serve the shrimp with creamy macaroni and cheese.
  • Pair buffalo shrimp with your favorite beer or beverage.

How To Ensure Crispy Fried Shrimp

To ensure the shrimp is nice and crispy, first, make sure the oil is hot enough, or 350°F before frying each batch. A couple of other ways to get the crispiest fried shrimp is to not overcrowd the pan or flip the shrimp too early. Flipping them too early may cause the coating to break off.

Dipping Crispy Buffalo Shrimp into blue cheese dressing.

Can I Fry The Shrimp In An Air Fryer?

After testing frying the shrimp in an air fryer, we found that you can, but it just didn’t give us the fried shrimp appearance we were going for. If using the air fryer, place the breaded shrimp in a single layer into the basket. Air fry for 8-10 minutes at 400°F, flipping halfway through cooking. If you are looking for a tried and true air fryer recipe, check out my Air Fryer Shrimp! It is not breaded, but delicious!

How To Store Crispy Buffalo Shrimp

Although best served fresh (that is when it is perfectly crispy), you can store leftovers. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat in the oven. The longer they are stored, the more soggy they will become, so if possible, serve them hot and fresh.

Plate of Crispy Buffalo Shrimp with sauce.
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Crispy Buffalo Shrimp

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Marinating Time 15 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Crispy Buffalo Shrimp are large shrimp marinated in buttermilk, coated in seasoned flour, and fried to perfection before being tossed in buffalo sauce. Serve the crispy, spicy shrimp as an appetizer with ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping. Or, add a side dish to feature the shrimp as the main course.


  • 1 pound large shrimp, thawed, peeled, deveined, tail-on
  • 1 cup (245 g) buttermilk
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • ½ cup (128 g) buffalo sauce
  • blue cheese dressing, for serving
  • ranch dressing, for serving


  • Set out a large baking sheet.
  • To a medium bowl, add shrimp. Pour the buttermilk over the shrimp. Toss to coat. Marinate at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
  • To a separate medium bowl, add flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Mix to combine. Set aside.
  • Working one at a time, remove the shrimp from the marinade, allowing any excess liquid to drip off. Dredge the shrimp generously in the seasoned flour mixture, making sure to coat the entire surface of each shrimp. Place on the large baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining shrimp.
  • To a large pot over medium heat, add about 2 inches of vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 350°F.
  • When ready, tap off any excess flour and carefully transfer coated shrimp into the hot oil, frying in batches to avoid overcrowding.
  • Fry for 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally, until the shrimp are golden brown and crispy. (Please note: You may have to let the oil heat up to 350°F again after each batch of fried shrimp.)
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the fried shrimp from the oil and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil.
  • Transfer the shrimp to a medium bowl. Add buffalo sauce and gently toss to coat, careful not to lose any breading.
  • Serve immediately with blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping.


Did you make this recipe?

You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.

What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:


These were delicious! Each bite has the perfect crunch. I dipped mine in the blue cheese, and I know not everyone likes that, but personally, I think blue cheese and buffalo belong together!


Wow! I was impressed with the crispiness of the shrimp. And, I love buffalo sauce, so this was a 'winner-winner, shrimp dinner' (or appetizer) for me! And, for the record, I'm 'team blue cheese'.


I absolutely love any form of buffalo and these are no exception! I loved these and would eat the whole batch easily!


These have a really interesting flavor. I'm not the biggest fan of buffalo sauce, but I think these shrimp are good, but even better with ranch!


Why is buffalo sauce so good!? I have only had buffalo sauce on chicken, and now I am a fan of it on shrimp! So crispy as well!


Super crispy and beautiful!

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