This Air Fryer Fish recipe is a tasty, healthier alternative to traditional fried fish. In only 25 minutes, you can have delicious, crispy fried fish that is guilt free!
Traditional fried fish is famous for its crisp, rich flavor. Growing up in a small town known for being the Home of the World’s Biggest Fry, we would never disparage such a great dish. With that said, air-fried fish does provide some benefits over traditional frying. There is less oil absorbed when air frying food. This significantly reduces the number of calories and fat creating a healthier dish. There is also less grease which leads to a much simpler and quicker clean up!
Air Fryer Fish only requires a few common ingredients. Taking only 25 minutes, this is a perfect weeknight meal that even your kids will love! We have also added a dipping sauce recipe. This isn’t a traditional tartar sauce, which would also be delicious with this air fryer fish, but we think you’ll love this twist on traditional tartar sauce!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Easy. This recipe is incredibly easy to make, requires only a few simple ingredients, and is ready in less than 25 minutes!
- Healthy. The downside to traditional fried fish is that deep frying is not the healthiest way to cook food. This recipe is made much healthier with an air fryer by reducing total fat and calories compared to traditional frying! Cod files are also a great lean protein source.
- Less Messy. Traditional fried fish seems to get grease everywhere and requires considerable clean up. This air fryer fish is less messy and minimizes clean up needed after the meal.
Air Fryer Fish Ingredients
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need for this recipe. For exact measurements, keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card below.
- Cod Filets: Other types of fish filets such as Haddock, Halibut or Sole also work in this recipe with similar cook times.
- Cooking oil: Any neutral oil works, such as olive oil or avocado oil.
- Bread crumbs: You can use your favorite variety. Seasoned or unseasoned will work, just remember this recipe does call for additional spices. You can easily make this recipe gluten-free with gluten-free bread crumbs such as 4C or Schar
- Spices: smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt
To make the optional dipping sauce you will need mayonnaise, sriracha sauce as well as your favorite cajun seasoning. This is a really easy dip to customize. You can use more or less spice depending on how you prefer things.
How to Make Fish in the Air Fryer
Pat the thawed fish filets dry with a paper towel. This step is important because if your fish is wet it will have a very difficult time getting crispy. The extra two seconds it takes to pat the fish dry makes a huge difference in the quality of the dish. Next, coat the fish with cooking oil and set aside.
Bread the Fish
Mix the bread crumbs, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Then dip the oil-coated fish filets in the bread crumb mixture, coating the fish filets completely one at a time, pressing firmly so the bread crumbs stick well.
Preheat the air fryer for 3 minutes to 400 degrees F. Spray your air fryer basket with cooking spray. Then set the fish filets in the basket in a single layer. Air fry at 400 degrees F for 12-15 minutes, or until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Be sure not to overcrowd the filets. It is better to cook multiple batches rather than overcrowding the air fryer. The filets will not be crisp if overcrowded.
Make the dip
Meanwhile, stir together the dipping sauce ingredients. Then serve the fish with the sauce and lemon wedges! Traditional tartar sauce, hot sauce, or even ketchup are other great dipping options.
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries– An easy, delicious, and healthier alternative to traditional French fries. These sweet potato fries only require a few ingredients and can be ready in 20 minutes or less!
- Corn on the Cob– This Air Fryer Corn on the Cob is the best way to cook corn! Ready in just 10 minutes, this corn turns out perfect every single time!
- Baked Keto Zucchini Fries– Breaded with almond flour, parmesan, and spices, then baked until perfectly crispy! The best keto, low-carb side dish!
- Cheddar Corn Muffins– These fluffy, moist Cheddar Corn Muffins have an amazing, healthy, super secret ingredient! It’s the perfect dinner side to help sneak more vegetables into your diet with no complaints!
- Keto Three Cheese Biscuits– Perfectly soft and fluffy! Each low carb biscuit is loaded with sharp cheddar, mozzarella and fresh basil for just 2 net carbs each!
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Reheating Instructions- In a microwave, reheat in 30 second increments until warmed through. If using the air fryer (our recommendation), preheat air fryer to 350 degrees F for 1-2 minutes. Then you will add fish filets. Reheat for 3-4 minutes, flip the filets around the 2 minute mark.
Refrigerator Storage- You can store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Freezer Storage- We don’t recommend freezing this recipe once it has been prepared.
Tips and Tricks
- For crispy filets, don’t overcrowd the air fryer. Fry in batches if necessary.
- If your filets are particularly thick, you may need to air fry the filets for longer.
- Traditional tartar sauce and/or hot sauce are also excellent dipping options.
- Don’t skip the first step, it is very important to pat the fish filets dry to remove any excess moisture.
Air Fryer Fish FAQ
This recipe can easily be made gluten-free with gluten-free bread crumbs.
No, you will need to completely thaw the fish first. The batter will not adhere as well and frozen fish will contain too much moisture.
We don’t recommend freezing this recipe once it has been cooked. Upon thawing, it would be difficult to reproduce the same level of crispness you will get when prepared fresh.
Halibut, Haddock or Sole are similar to Cod and would have very similar cooking times. Tilapia or catfish are two types of fish that would also work well with this recipe, however, they are traditionally thinner filets and would likely have a shorter cook time.
For the Fish
- 4 thawed cod filets (about 6 oz each)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp salt
For the Dipping Sauce
- ½ cup mayo
- 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
- 2 tsp cajun seasoning
- Pat the thawed fish filets dry with a paper towel, then coat with the oil and set aside.
- Mix breadcrumbs, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Dip the oil-coated fish filets in the breadcrumb mixture, coating the fish filets completely one at a time, pressing firmly so the breadcrumbs stick well.
- Spray your air fryer basket with cooking spray, then set the fish filets in the basket in a single layer. Air fry at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
- Meanwhile, stir together the dipping sauce ingredients. Serve the fish with the sauce and lemon wedges!
- The dipping sauce isn’t traditional tartar sauce, but it tastes so good with the fish! It’s spicy and pairs perfectly with fresh lemon and cod!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
- You may need to air fry the filets longer if they are particularly thick.
Serving Size:1 fillet
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 232Total Fat: 5.2gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 601mgCarbohydrates: 20gNet Carbohydrates: 18.6gFiber: 1.4gSugar: 1.6gProtein: 26g