The Best Air Fryer Fish

5 from 5 votes
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Crispy, crunchy and so easy to make, this flaky air fryer fish recipe is the perfect option for a flavorful mid-week meal that tastes just as good as it looks.

Air fryer white fish with tartar sauce

Air frying might be one of the easiest, mess-free ways to cook fish – without leaving a lingering smell in your kitchen. It holds in all of the moisture and flavor, giving you wonderfully tender, flaky fish, but maintains the signature crunch that makes this recipe so good. Plus, the ingredients are so versatile that you can adapt them to a variety of fish filets, making it an easy way to use whatever’s available to you without having to buy extra ingredients.

Ingredients

Ingredients for air fryer fish
  • White Fish: Cod, haddock, halibut, and tilapia tend to hold up best when air-fried, though you can experiment with other kinds. I use fresh fish fillets, but you can use frozen too.
  • Breadcrumbs: I use Panko breadcrumbs for crispiness, but you can use any you have to hand. Make them at home or buy from the store.
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasonings: Salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika.

How to air fry fish

First, if needed, preheat your air fryer to 400ºF/200°C.

Prepare Breading: In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the salt, pepper, paprika, onion, and garlic powder. Mix until the seasonings are completely combined. A flatter bowl is best for this as it’ll make breading the fish filets easier.

Mixing spices for breading fish

Coat the Fish Fillets: Put the fish fillets in another large, flat bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Using your hands, make sure the fillets are completely coated. Then, one by one, coat the oiled fish in the breadcrumbs, covering all sides, and set aside on a clean plate. Repeat with each filet until they’re completely covered.

Steps for coating fish with breading

Air Fry: Spray or drizzle a little oil on the basket – this will stop the fish from sticking. Arrange the fillets in the basket and air fry the fish for 12-15 minutes, turning halfway through so both sides are evenly browned. The fish will be ready when it’s easily flaked with a fork and the crust is golden brown.

Before and after air frying white fish

Serve: Air fryer fish is best served with a dipping sauce on the side – tartar sauce is the traditional and the most delicious option. Garnish with lemon wedges or fresh parsley for extra flavor.

Otherwise, serve it with your favorite side dishes: I like pairing it with a fresh side salad, crispy French fries, creamy mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or some sautéed garlic mushrooms for even more flavor.

Serving air fried white fish with tartar sauce

Top tips for the best air fryer fish

  • Thaw First: You can use both fresh or frozen fish fillets for my air fryer fish recipe – but if you are using frozen, let it thaw completely first. This will stop moisture from getting out during the cooking process. Thaw in the fridge overnight or seal in a bag and submerge in cold water for a quick defrost.
  • Dry The Fish Well: For a perfectly crispy exterior, use a paper towel to pat the fish fillets dry before coating them in the oil. This will stop any excess moisture from getting into the crust.
  • Don’t Overcrowd: If you’re cooking for a crowd, air fry in batches. Overcrowding the air fryer basket will stop the fish from browning evenly and can slow down the cooking process, so give them all their room.
  • Spray The Basket: Spray the basket with a little cooking oil before adding the fish. It’ll give it a beautiful color on the outside and stop it from sticking.
  • Flip Halfway: At around the 6-7 minute mark, flip over the fish fillets. They’ll cook more evenly on the inside and allow both sides of the crust to brown to perfection.

More air fryer recipes

If you try this air fryer fish recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

The Best Air Fryer Fish

5 from 5 votes
By: Samira
Crispy, crunchy and so easy to make, this flaky air fryer fish recipe is the perfect option for a flavorful mid-week meal that tastes just as good as it looks.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients 
 

  • 18 oz white fish 4 fillets – cod, haddock, halibut, etc.
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika

Instructions 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF/200°C and allow it to run for a few minutes so it warms up.
  • In a flat bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the salt, pepper, paprika, onion, and garlic powder. Mix until the seasonings are combined.
  • Put the fish fillets in another large, flat bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Using your hands, make sure the fillets are completely coated.
  • One by one, coat the oiled fish in the breadcrumbs and set aside on a clean plate. Repeat with each filet until they’re completely covered.
  • Spray the basket with a little oil. Arrange the fillets in it and air fry the fish for 12-15 minutes, turning halfway through so both sides are evenly browned. The fish will be ready when it's easily flaked with a fork and the crust is golden brown.

Video

Notes

  • Thaw First: You can use both fresh or frozen fish fillets but if you are using frozen, let it thaw completely first. This will stop moisture from getting out during the cooking process. Thaw in the fridge overnight or seal in a bag and submerge in cold water for a quick defrost.
  • Dry The Fish Well: For a perfectly crispy exterior, use a paper towel to pat the fish fillets dry before coating them in the oil – it’ll stop any excess moisture from getting into the crust.
  • Don’t Overcrowd: If you’re cooking for a crowd, air fry in batches. Overcrowding the basket will stop the fish from browning evenly and can slow down the cooking process, so give them all their room.
  • Spray The Basket: Spray the basket with a little cooking oil before adding the fish. It’ll give it a beautiful color on the outside and stop it from sticking.
  • Flip Halfway: At around the 6-7 minute mark, flip over the fish fillets. They’ll cook more evenly on the inside and allow both sides of the crust to brown to perfection.
  • To store: Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Check the blog post for serving suggestions!
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Shelf life: 3 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 484kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 55g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 128mg, Sodium: 928mg, Potassium: 847mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 77IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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