A few weeks ago, Shawn and I went to Red Lobster to grab a quick dinner before we saw a movie. I spent all day thinking about how excited I was to get the coconut shrimp, which I haven’t eaten in years. Then we got there and I looked at the menu. 880 calories before you even start thinking about sides? I don’t think so!

I swear, living in a county that requires chains to put calorie counts on the menu is both a blessing and a curse. For the most part I love it, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to learn that some things aren’t’ nearly as bad as I would have guessed. Other times the number is so outrageous that even if I was planning a splurge I just can’t do it.

I ended up getting the garlic-grilled shrimp, which were a much more reasonable 370 calories (and were really tasty – I recommend them!) but I couldn’t get those coconut shrimp out of my head. So I made them myself. And healthified them, of course.

This version shaves off almost 350 calories and a whopping 43 grams of fat per serving. Not too shabby! Even better is that they still taste like a splurge.(Especially the pina colada dipping sauce. Which, let’s be honest, bears a strong resemblance to frosting and wouldn’t be totally out of place used as a glaze on a cupcake or sweet bread.)


Yields 4

Skinny Coconut Shrimp {with Pina Colada Sauce!}

15 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

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    For the Shrimp:
  • 1 pound Peeled Shrimp
  • 1 cup Shredded Coconut
  • 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup Light Coconut Milk
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup Light Coconut Milk
  • 8 ounce can Crushed Pineapple
  • 2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons Water


  1. Heat oven to 425F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray (or line with parchment).
  2. Mix the coconut, breadcrumbs, and 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch in a shallow dish. Pour the remaining cornstarch into a second dish; pour the coconut milk into a bowl.
  3. Dip the shrimp into the cornstarch, then into the coconut milk. Dredge in the coconut-panko mixture. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet; spray the tops of the shrimp with olive oil spray. Bake 10 minutes. Turn and bake another 8-10 minutes or until coconut begin to toast.
  4. Combine the coconut milk, pineapple, and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat; simmer 10 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water to create a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the sauce; cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.