How to Make Air Fryer Fish

Air Fryer Fish is quick, easy, and healthy, too! We’ll show you the best tips and tricks to learn how to cook fish in the air fryer with bold flavor and a flakey texture from both frozen and thawed. Ready in minutes, it pairs well with all your favorite appetizers and sides for a complete meal you’ll love! Gluten Free and Dairy Free-Friendly. 

Three cooked fish fillets topped with lemon in an air fryer

Air Fryer Fish (3 Ways) 

Are you obsessed with air fryer recipes like we are? Whether it’s Air Fryer Chicken Tenders, Air Fryer Lamb Chops, or a side of Air Fryer Cauliflower Sweet Potato Tots, we can’t get enough! Recently, we’ve been using our air fryers to make white fish, and you won’t believe the results. If you struggle to create flaky, flavorful fish, this air fryer fish is the recipe for you! We’ll teach you how to make perfect cod, halibut, and tilapia with tons of flavor in a matter of minutes. All you’ll need is a few pantry staples, and you’ll be on your way! 

Can You Cook Raw Fish in the Air Fryer? 

Yes! In fact, we recommend it. Not only does raw fish in the air fryer taste like it came from your favorite local restaurant, but it also cooks super quickly and is really easy to make! We cook it at a high temperature to ensure that it reaches an internal temperature of 140-145° Fahrenheit, ensuring it is completely safe to eat. 

Overhead shot of a frozen fish fillet with a cube of butter on it sitting in an air fryer.

Ingredients You’ll Need

A common misconception is that white fish requires lots of ingredients and complicated herbs and spices to taste great, but that just isn’t true! We’ll prove it with the simple ingredients in this air fryer fish fillet recipe. 

Overhead shot of ingredients - lemons, lemon pepper, melted butter and garnish
  • White Fish – We use cod, halibut, and tilapia, but just about any white fish can be used. 
  • Butter or Olive Oil – This helps the seasoning cling to the fish while locking in moisture to guarantee it bakes to flakey perfection. 
  • Spices – Lemon pepper seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, sea salt, and black pepper created a refreshing, savory flavor. 
  • Lemon Juice – This helps cut through the heaviness of the fat, creating a light, well-rounded taste. 
  • Garnish – Technically optional, herbs like parsley, chervil, or chives help enhance the herbaceous taste, and lemon slices enhance the lemon flavor while creating a picture-worthy presentation. 

How to Cook Fish in the Air Fryer

Once you learn how easy it is to make fish in the air fryer, you’ll never go back to stovetop or oven-baked versions again! 

  1. Prepare the Fish. Use a paper towel to pat your fish dry. Then, brush both sides of the fillets with your oil or butter, and add a drizzle of lemon juice. 
  2. Prepare the Seasoning. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the seasoning mix, and generously season both sides of your fish. 
Pro Tip

Pro-Tip: This recipe works best with thawed fish, but frozen fish in the air fryer will work as well. You’ll just need to add a few extra minutes of cooking time.

  1. Air Fry the Fish. Grease the basket of your air fryer with cooking spray, and arrange the fish in an even layer. Cook until the fish can be easily flaked with a fork and reaches an internal temperature of 140- 145°F, placing a slice of lemon on each filet with 2 minutes of cooking time remaining. 

Note: Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness and type of fish used. So, be sure to keep a close eye on it, checking it frequently as it cooks. See the recipe card below for specific cooking times for each fish and whether it is thawed or frozen! 

  1. Serve. Garnish your fish with any herbs or extra seasonings of your choice, and serve warm with all your favorite sides

Notes About the Different Types of Fish

Although similar, cod, halibut, and tilapia are not the same and cook slightly differently as a result. Therefore, it’s important to know which type of fish you’re using and to take heed of the notes below. 

Close up show of cooked Tilapia with topped with seasonings

Halibut – This is a fairly dense, firm fish and has a thicker texture than cod or tilapia. It is very lean, slightly sweeter and is less oily than other white fish. As a result, it is prone to drying out when overcooked. So, be sure to keep an eye on it in the air fryer, and don’t forget your butter or oil! 

Cod – A cross between the textures of halibut and tilapia, cod is fairly dense and thick like halibut but has a sweeter, less “fishy” taste more like tilapia. 

Tilapia – Mild and light in flavor, tilapia is mildly sweet and is not “fishy.” It is the thinnest of the three varieties and cooks the fastest, yielding a flaky delicate texture and taking on the flavor of the seasonings. 

Tips for the Best Air Fryer Fish Fillet

Learning how to make air fryer fish is the fastest, easiest way to guarantee a delicious meal. Especially when you follow our tips below! 

  • Frozen vs. Thawed. For the best results, we recommend using thawed fish whenever you can. However, if you forget to thaw it out, frozen will work as well. Just be sure to add extra cooking time as needed to ensure it cooks all the way through. 
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Basket. Arrange the fish fillets in a single layer, making sure there’s a bit of space between them. Work in batches if needed. Otherwise, your fish won’t cook! 
  • Adjust the Cooking Time. Depending on the type of air fryer you use, whether your fish is frozen or thawed, and the thickness of each fillet, the cooking time is likely to vary slightly. So, be sure to keep an eye on your fish, and begin checking it for doneness halfway through cooking. 

How to Store

Fish in the air fryer is best when served right away. However, if needed, it can be stored in the fridge or freezer as well. 

Refrigerator: Once cooked and cooled, transfer the fish to an airtight container, and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. 

Freezer: Store leftover fillets in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

To Reheat: When you’re ready to eat, let your fish thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, preheat your air fryer to 325° Fahrenheit, and warm your fish until your desired temperature is reached, flipping it over halfway through. Be careful not to overcook! 

Serving Suggestions

The great thing about fish, white fish in particular, is that it pairs well with everything! To turn this recipe into a complete meal, we love to pair it with all our favorite gluten free sides like: 

Print

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Three cooked fish filets topped with lemon in an air fryer

Air Fryer Fish Recipe



  • Author:
    Lindsay Cotter

  • Total Time:
    20 minutes

  • Yield:
    3-4 1x

  • Diet:
    Gluten Free

Description

Air Fryer Fish is quick, easy, and nutritious, too! We’ll show you the best tips and tricks to learn how to cook fish in the air fryer with bold flavor and a flakey texture from both frozen and thawed. 



Instructions

  1. Pat the fish fillets dry with a paper towel. Brush both sides of the fillets with melted butter or olive oil. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon pepper, garlic, salt, paprika, black pepper and parsley. Generously season both sides of each fish fillet with the seasoning. Place fish on a plate or baking sheet while the air fryer preheats. 
  3. Preheat the air fryer to 360 F. Once preheated, spray the basked with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange fish in the air fryer basket. (See notes for cooking from frozen.)
  4. Close the air fryer basket and air fry for 6 to 14 minutes (see cook times below for specific fish).  If desired, with two minutes left of cooking time, open the basket and add a sliced lemon to each filet.
  5. Close the basket and continue to cook for the remaining time or until the fish flakes easily with a fork (internal temperature reaches 140- 145 F). 
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs before serving.
  7. Once cooled, store the fish in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Cooking Times for Fish:

Cod  (depending on thickness) 

  • Frozen: 12 to 14 minutes
  • Thawed: 8 to 10 minutes

Halibut (depending on thickness) 

  • Frozen: 10 to 14 minutes 
  • Thawed 6 to 8 minutes

Tilapia (depending on thickness) 

  • Frozen: 10 to 12 minutes
  • Thawed: 10-12 minutes

Notes

  • Cooking Tips – Do not overcrowd the basket or stack the fish filets, cook in batches if needed. Cook from frozen or thawed. For best results, prepare from thawed. Depending on the thickness of the fish fillets, start checking for doneness  halfway through cooking 7 minutes and add more time as needed. 

Storage Tips – Store leftover fillets wrapped tightly in aluminum foil or freezer paper in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, let the fish thaw in the fridge overnight. Preheat the air fryer to 325° Fahrenheit, and warm the fish until the desired temperature is reached, flipping it over halfway through. Be careful not to overcook! 

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 6-14 minutes
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6 ounce cod fillet with seasoning
  • Calories: 209
  • Sugar: 0.1 g
  • Sodium: 316.3 mg
  • Fat: 9.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.5 g
  • Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 30.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 78.2 mg

Keywords: quick fish, air fryer fish, fish dinner, lemon pepper fish

Do you have questions, feedback, or tips about this recipe? Leave a comment below with any questions or feedback you’d like to share!

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