May 10, 2022

Nashville Hot Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken and Shrimp

Are you more of a chicken person or a shrimp person? Personally, I am both! Especially when it comes to popcorn sized pieces, having the mixture of the two gives you the ultimate satisfaction because you can pop these little guys in your mouth and get the flavors and textures of both with every other bite.

The chicken and shrimp pieces get drenched and marinated in a southern hot buttermilk mixture, which gives it that nice kick. Then, they are coated with crispy corn flakes, bread crumbs and flour to give them the ultimate crunch and golden brown look when they are air fried.

Speaking of air frying, air frying these is quite possibly the best way to make them. They are much healthier and eliminate the extra, unneeded oils. Plus, they still get extra crispy. I will give you a little tip on what also helps make them extra crispy, ready? Spray the tops of them with non-stick spray. Having that spritz on the tops helps give them that extra crisp.

If you have any picky eaters in the family or you are looking for a crowd pleasing meal, this is it! It is kid friendly, so not only will adults love it, but it’s perfect for feeding a whole family.

Another thing that I love about this recipe is that it is one of those versatile recipes. If you want to just eliminate the shrimp and make popcorn chicken, you absolutely can and vice versa! If you have family members or guests that are not into the Nashville hot flavoring, you can skip that as well and serve them as is with your sauce of choice!

When it comes to the Nashville hot flavoring, you add that at the end when they are done in the air fryer. You make the mixture by combining all ingredients in a bowl and whisking to combine. When ready just baste, brush or toss the popcorn chicken and shrimp with the Nashville Hot flavor and serve immediately. Again, if this is not something you desire, no worries, just skip it. I love also dipping mine in ranch with or without the Nashville Hot on it.

Did you make this? If so, make sure to tag and follow @prettyplatebymichelle on instagram and tiktok or leave a comment below and let me know what you think! I would love to see your Pretty Plate and hear from you!

Nashville Hot Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken and Shrimp

It’s healthier, yet still has that “fried” taste and texture, this Southern Nashville Hot Popcorn Chicken and Shrimp platter is considered “addictingly good”. Once you pop, you won’t be able to stop! Make these for a snack or a unique dish to pass.




For the Marinade: 

  • ½ Lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined (they tend to come in smaller pieces when frozen)
  • ½ Lb. chicken, cut into cubes
  • 16 Oz. buttermilk
  • 1 Egg, beatened
  • 3 TBSP hot sauce (Franks)
  • 1 TSP salt
  • 1 TSP black pepper

For the Coating:

  • 1 Cup flour
  • 2 Cup cornflakes, crushed
  • 1 Cup plain breadcrumbs

For the Nashville Hot Sauce: 

  • 1 Cup olive oil or safflower oil
  • 2 and ½ TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TSP garlic powder
  • 1 TSP smoked paprika
  • ½ TSP chili powder
  • 1 and ½ TBSP cayenne pepper
  1. To make the Nashville Hot Sauce, place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk well until smooth, set aside.
  2. To make the coating, crush your corn flakes and place in a bowl. Add your bread crumbles and flour. Using a fork or your hands, mix well to combine. Set aside.
  3. Cut your chicken into cubes and place in a bowl, add your shrimp.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together: egg, buttermilk, hotsauce, salt and pepper. Pour over your chicken and shrimp and let marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. When done marinating, take each piece of chicken and shrimp individually, shake off excess liquid and coat each one in the flour corn flakes coating. Place on plate or sheet pan. Continue this process until all items are coated.  
  6. When all pieces have been coated, preheat your air fryer to 380. When ready, add your coated chicken and shrimp pieces. Air fry at 380 for 8 minutes, shaking halfway through.
  7. While your chicken and shrimp are air frying, make your nashville sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small pot, heat over the stove over medium to low heat for 5-10 minutes or until hot. When done, remove from heat.
  8. When the chicken and shrimp are done in the air fryer, remove from the basket, brush/baste them with the Nashville Hot Sauce.
  9. Garnish with green onions if desired and serve with extra sauce or ranch on the side.
  10. ENJOY!
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October 9, 2023
The ingredient list is missing lemon slices, shallot and garlic.
July 5, 2023
Can I do this in a slow cooker instead of the oven?
October 19, 2021
So delicious!