Cheddar’s Copycat Recipe for Coconut Shrimp

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My Recipe for Coconut Shrimp was inspired by Cheddar’s fried coconut shrimp recipe! Ready in just 30 minutes and incredibly easy to make, you’re going to love this savory and sweet appetizer. Or, pair it with your favorite sides and make it a meal. No matter how you decide to serve it up, I know you’re going to love it!

titled: Cheddar's Butterflied Coconut Shrimp


Recipe for Coconut Shrimp

I love going to Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. It’s easy, delicious, and affordable — and I just love how everything is made from scratch.

You don’t typically find that at some of these large chain restaurants!

One of my absolute favorite dishes from Cheddar’s has got to be their Butterflied Coconut Shrimp.

I’ll usually order it as an appetizer, because who doesn’t want to start off their meal with some good old-fashioned fried goodness?

This Cheddar-inspired recipe for coconut shrimp is actually super easy to recreate at home.

All you need are shrimp and a few easy-to-find pantry ingredients that you likely already have anyway. 

Simply prep the shrimp, fry, and enjoy. I’m sharing my favorite ways to serve up this fried coconut shrimp recipe too, plus a few other tips and tricks to help you!

Can’t get enough shrimp? Don’t miss these air fryer shrimp, shrimp tacos, and hot shrimp dip recipes! 

ingredients for fried coconut shrimp recipe

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Shrimp – I’m using 1 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined.

    I prefer fresh when I can find it, though you can also use frozen for this fried coconut shrimp recipe! If you do, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator first.
  • All-Purpose Flour – You guys know me… if I’m frying, I’m setting up some dredging stations!

    I like all-purpose flour for my breading, but you can use your favorite GF option if you need to.
  • Eggs – Also for dredging. Opt for 2 large eggs.
  • Shredded Coconut – While this is technically a savory recipe, I like sweetened shredded coconut! I find it’s a nice contrast to the other ingredients. 

You can use unsweetened shredded coconut if you want a less sweet flavor.

  • Panko – I mix this in with the shredded coconut for the final dredging layer!

    I love the crunch — Panko has a different texture than other breadcrumbs that I adore on fried food.
  • Vegetable Oil – For frying. Canola is my go-to, but you can use your favorite.
how to butterfly shrimp

Tips and Tricks to Make Perfect Butterfly Coconut Shrimp

  • Use a sharp knife to butterfly the shrimp.

After you’ve peeled and deveined your shrimp, make a shallow cut along the back of each where the vein used to be.

Then, gently use your hands to open them up so they lay flat.

Be careful not to cut all the way through — you want the sides to “butterfly” out to create the perfect shape for this recipe for coconut shrimp!

  • Don’t overcook the shrimp.

If you’ve never made shrimp before, the most important thing to keep in mind is that they cook up QUICK! Seriously… you only need to fry them for about 2-3 minutes.

Keep an eye on the clock as they fry up. Shrimp (and most other seafood) tends to become rubbery if left in hot oil for too long.

  • Keep an eye on the oil temperature too.

You need the oil to be around 350°F to get perfectly golden brown and crispy fried coconut shrimp. The easiest way to determine the temp is with a candy thermometer!

Check the oil after each round of frying, and don’t be afraid to adjust the temperature if needed.

Frying the shrimp at the right temperature ensures that they cook evenly — it also means they’ll be crispy on the outside while staying juicy on the inside!

  • Easy make-ahead hack.

If you’re making this recipe for coconut shrimp for an upcoming party, or simply want to get ahead before dinner tonight, you can prep the shrimp in advance.

Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp and then bread it. They’ll keep well in the fridge for a couple of hours before frying. 

shrimp dredged in flour

Prep Ahead

  • Peel and devein the shrimp
  • Butterfly shrimp

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Shallow Bowls for dredging
  • Skillet – This is my go-to pan that I’ve had for over a decade! It heats evenly and cleans up beautifully with a little baking soda so it still looks brand new.
  • Candy Thermometer to check the oil temperature.
  • Slotted Spoon to remove the butterfly coconut shrimp from the hot oil.
dipping shrimp into egg

Serving Suggestions 

Dish up your coconut butterfly shrimp while they’re hot! They make for a wonderful appetizer — paired with my copycat Cheddar’s painkiller sauce, of course. Or, serve with my fresh pineapple salsa or a citrus aioli. 

Coconut shrimp can even be served as a main course and would taste great with a side of rice and stir-fried vegetables!

pressing shrimp into breadcrumb and coconut mixture

Storage and Reheating

Store leftover butterfly coconut shrimp in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. As a note — the texture will change over time, so it’s best to eat them within a few days.

I recommend using your air fryer to reheat for the crispiest results! Preheat to 350°F and air fry for 3-5 minutes, or until hot.

frying butterfly coconut shrimp in a large pot of oil

Fried Coconut Shrimp Recipe FAQ

Can you taste the coconut in fried coconut shrimp?

Yes, you will be able to pick up on a subtle coconut flavor in my recipe for coconut shrimp. That said, it really isn’t overpowering so those who don’t love coconut will still be able to enjoy it! 

If you want the flavor to be super subtle, I recommend using unsweetened shredded coconut. The flavor will be even less pronounced!

What goes best with butterfly coconut shrimp?

Rice and vegetables are the most popular pairings for coconut butterfly shrimp, but there are tons of other options! 

No one can resist a big plate of fries, or what about serving these with some spaghetti and red sauce?! Garlic bread would round it all out nicely too. Get creative and don’t be afraid to experiment with your preferred sides!

Can I bake the shrimp instead of frying them?

You technically can, but they won’t come out as crispy as frying! If you do want to try baking, preheat your oven to 425°F and cook for about 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through. The texture will differ, but you won’t have to worry about any excess oil.

closeup of fried coconut shrimp recipe

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overhead shot of butterfly coconut shrimp

coconut butterfly shrimp on a plate with dipping sauce

Cheddar’s Copycat Recipe for Coconut Shrimp

Donna Elick
Try this Recipe for Coconut Shrimp when you’re craving Cheddar’s butterfly coconut shrimp! My copycat is crispy, crunchy, and so delish!!
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 4


  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • Begin by butterflying the shrimp: using a small sharp knife, cut along the back of each shrimp (where the vein was), but don’t cut all the way through. Open the shrimp up so they lay flat.
  • Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.
  • Set up three shallow bowls. In the first, place the flour. In the second, the beaten eggs. In the third, mix together the Panko breadcrumbs and shredded coconut.
  • Dredge each shrimp in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then dip it into the egg, and finally press it into the breadcrumb-coconut mixture, making sure to coat both sides well.
  • Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot (about 350°F/175°C), add the shrimp in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
  • Fry the shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and crispy.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
  • Serve the Fried Butterflied Coconut Shrimp hot, with your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Donna’s Notes

Be sure not to overcook the shrimp – they cook quickly and can become rubbery if left in the oil for too long.
You can use unsweetened shredded coconut if you prefer a less sweet flavor.
These shrimp make a wonderful appetizer but can also be served as a main course with a side of rice and stir-fried vegetables.
The shrimp can be prepared up to the breading stage and then refrigerated for a couple of hours before frying, making this a great make-ahead dish.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 345cal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 236mg | Sodium: 846mg | Sugar: 11g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 3mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Cheddar's Butterflied Coconut Shrimp - PIN

Originally published April 2024

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  1. 5 stars
    I have never been to Cheddars but when I saw these coconut shrimp I just had to make them!! The recipe was super easy to follow and the breading was out of this world delicious! Donna, you never recipes disappoint!! I will be making these quite often 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness, this recipe was a breeze to make! I followed Donna’s instructions, and it turned out perfect.

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