This delicious tilapia in Air fryer is ready in minutes, needs no marination and is truly delicious. Making it in the Air fryer makes it oil free, mess free and really fabulous.
Try it as a main course or an appetizer.
Tilapia is a very popular fish not only for its reasonable cost but also its mild and less fishy flavour. It has firm flesh that flakes well on cooking.
I make it in a number of ways, but this Air fryer fish recipe is truly a favourite. I am generally wary of deep frying anything and deep frying fish is very messy.
Also Air fryer gives amazing results that are as close to deep frying, so much so that you can’t tell the difference.
But do source your Tilapia from credible sources and not from regions with questionable fish breeding practices.
This air fried fish is ready in under 30 minutes, leaves no mess with oil, no smells and uses very few dishes.
Pair it with a rice dish or this avocado salad for a quick meal.
These Air fried chicken drumsticks made KFC style, Air fryer coconut shrimp and Air fryer Oyster mushroom are unbelievably crispy and juicy within. Must try recipes.
How to Make the perfect Air fryer fish fillet?
1. It is important to choose fresh fish.
2. Always dry the fillets completely. Use paper towels for drying them.
3. You can use any combination of spices as per your liking but ensure that your breadcrumbs are seasoned well. Taste them and adjust the seasoning.
4. Use a little oil spray or brushing during air frying. This helps in a nice brown colour to the crust.
5. Do not turn the fish mid-way. It can break. Let it cook through without turning.
6. Leave ample space between fillets and don’t overcrowd the air fryer when cooking the fillets.
7. Adjust the time as per the size of your fillets.
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Wash and completely dry tilapia fillets and keep aside.
In a shallow dish, beat one egg and keep. Take breadcrumbs in a shallow dish.
Add all the spices to the breadcrumbs and mix well. Keep in a shallow dish. To make the breadcrumbs pulse wholewheat bread slices in a blender or you can use store-bought ones.
Now preheat the Air fryer at 200 C or 390 F for 4 minutes.
For assembling the fillets
Take one fillet at a time. Use only one hand so that both your hands don’t become messy while dipping the fillet.
Dip both sides of the fillet in the egg wash. Shake off excess. Take it out and immediately put in the breading. Turn both sides till the breading sticks. Repeat the process for all the fillets that you are going to Air fry.
Brush the basket with some oil. Arrange one or two fillets on the basket depending upon the size of your fillets. Make sure not to overcrowd.
Air fry at 200 C or 390 F for 8-10 minutes. After 3-4 minutes, take out the basket and lightly spray or brush the fillets with oil.
No need to flip them. This time will vary depending upon the size of your fillets. Mine were on the smaller side.
You can use parchment paper to prevent the fillets from sticking to the basket.
After 6 minutes keep an eye on the time. Once the breading looks golden brown, take the basket out.
Your delicious air fryer fish is ready to be served. Enjoy.
Any firm white flesh fish is suitable. Catfish, cod, red snapper, rainbow trout, sea bass all work well. Indian fish like rohu and katla work well too
Yes we can by using gluten-free breadcrumbs.
You can use oats or crushed cereal as a perfect substitute
We only use a little oil for spraying or brushing during the cooking of the fish. That helps in good browning of the crust.
Yes, you can use parchment paper fit for use in oven but make sure you cut it to the size of your air fryer. Also, do not put in the parchment paper while preheating or it may fly up and catch fire. Only use it with the fish fillets on it.
I have found these tips to be helpful.
1. Brush you basket well with oil.
2. Preheat your Air fryer for 4 minutes.
3. Do not move around the fish fillets once placed in the basket for cooking. Midway take out the basket to lightly spray or brush oil on the fillets cooking. Don’t try to flip the fillets. They cook well just like this.
4. Take the fillets out of the Air fryer gently after you finished cooking them.
5. If your fillets are still sticking use a parchment paper cut to the size of your basket.
You can use a parchment paper to catch the breading that falls down in the basket. Tilapia is not smelly. Make sure that you immerse your air fryer basket in warm water with lemon or baking soda and then wash it off with soap and water. It will be free of any smell.
Yes frozen fish works well in this recipe.
Here is the recipe card:
📖 Recipe Card
Air fryer Tilapia
- 4 Tilapia fillets
- 1 egg
- 1.5 cups breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp. pepper powder
- 2 tsp. paprika or Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tsp. cayenne or spicy chilli powder skip if you prefer less heat
- ½ tsp. fennel crushed
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder with herbs like oregano
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp. oil for brushing
- Wash and completely dry tilapia fillets and keep aside.
- In a shallow dish, beat one egg and keep.
- Add all the spices to the breadcrumbs and mix well. Keep in a shallow dish. To make the breadcrumbs pulse wholewheat bread slices in a blender or you can use storebought ones.
- Now preheat the Air fryer at 200 C or 390 F for 4 minutes.
For assembling the fillets
- Take one fillet at a time. Use only one hand so that both your hands don’t become messy while dipping the fillet.
- Dip both sides of the fillet in the egg wash. Bring out and immediately put in the breading. Turn both sides till the breading sticks. Repeat the process for all the fillets that you are going to Air fry.
- Brush the basket with some oil. Arrange one or two fillets on the basket depending upon the size of your fillets. Make sure not to overcrowd.
- Air fry at 200 C or 390 F for 8-10 minutes. After 3-4 minutes, take out the basket and lightly spray or brush the fillets with oil. No need to flip them.
- After 6 minutes keep an eye on the time. Once the breading looks golden brown, take the basket out.
- Take out the fish fillets and serve immediately with a dip.
- If having it as a meal, serve with rice and salad.
2. Dip the fillet in the breading just before putting them for air frying. That keeps everything crispy.
3. Do not flip the fish midway during the cooking or it may break.
4. You can use a parchment paper cut to the size of the basket if your fish sticks to the basket. I have shared other tips in the FAQs below the recipe.
5. You can vary the spices used as per your taste. This recipe is moderately spicy.
6. You can use other fishes like cod, salmon, catfish or any other firm white fish.
7. Check out the recipe video to make the perfect fish.
If you liked this recipe, I request you to leave a star * rating. Thanks.
Just got an air fryer for Christmas and will be using your recipe tonight!
So happy to hear, Jesse. Hope you like it.
Good tip on not turning the fish. I like the addition of the fennel to the crust. Not something I would have thought of but really delicious.
Thanks Jen. I love the taste of fennel too in the recipe.
Amanda Wren-Grimwood says
I don't use my airfryer enough so I'm trying this fish recipe - thanks!
Thanks so much, Amanda
I'm always looking for new air fryer recipes to try. This looks perfect!
Thank you, Deanne. Happy to help!
Claudia Lamascolo says
I love that the fish wasnt dried out not at all it was perfectly crispy and moist delicious recipe!
Thanks Claudia. Nothing worse than a dried out piece of fish.
Karen Piech says
I'm trying this soon. I like the way you explain the recipe.