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Air Fryer Tilapia Recipe (Frozen or Fresh)

Air Fryer Tilapia with no breading is the perfect quick dinner, because it’s easy to make and tastes delicious! Air fryers cook fast so this recipe is perfect when you need a quick weeknight dinner. Plus, you only need a few spritzes of olive oil and seasoning to prepare this dish, making it a breeze to put together.

Whether you are cooking frozen Tilapia or fresh Tilapia, we have got you covered! In less than 30 minutes, you’ll have a delicious dinner the whole family will enjoy.

Two air fryer tilapia fillets on a white plate with asparagus on the side.

Air Fryer Tilapia

Why is Air Fryer Tilapia the Perfect Quick Dinner?

If you’ve never made Tilapia in the Air Fryer before, then you are in for a real treat! This Air Fryer Tilapia recipe is easy to make, flaky, and full of flavor.

Now days, my favorite way to cook fish is with an air fryer. I used to bake or deep fry fish, but air frying fish is quicker, healthier and there’s almost no mess to clean up. Just like these Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas!

Plus, with no breading, this Tilapia air fryer recipe is low carb and high in protein, which makes it a healthy weeknight dinner option. Add Air Fryer Artichokes for a pre-meal veggie.

What is Tilapia?

If you’re new to cooking with Tilapia, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the mild flavor of this delicate and flaky fish.

Freshwater Tilapia is an affordable, healthy, white fish with a flaky texture. Look for high quality Tilapia that is farm raised, which can be found in most major grocery store chains.

Because Tilapia is a white fish with a mild taste, it’s delicious with traditional fish seasonings and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Or you can easily spice it up with your favorite Blackened or Cajun seasoning too. And, tilapia in the air fryer is the best way to cook it!

Upclose view of a flaky piece of Tilapia fish on a fork.

 

Can I Air Fry Frozen Tilapia?

Yes! It’s easy to air fry frozen Tilapia. For this recipe I’m using skinless, boneless frozen Tilapia fillets. These Tilapia fillets are flash frozen, meaning they maintain the same flavor and flaky fish texture as fresh fillets.

There is no need to defrost the frozen fillets before seasoning. Although when preparing your frozen Tilapia, the fillets will begin defrosting a little on their own, which is fine.

Can I Use Fresh Tilapia Fillets?

If you are using fresh or thawed Tilapia, the recipe is the same. Simply shorten the cook time by 3-5 minutes.

The best part of cooking with an air fryer is you can open the basket at anytime to ensure your food is not overcooking.

Then once you’ve made this recipe, the next time you’ll know exactly how long it takes to cook either fresh or frozen fillets in your air fryer model.

 

 

Kitchen Tools

The tools you’ll need to make air fryer Tilapia:

Air Fryer – The COSORI Air Fryer has a generous basket that is slightly more square, allowing you to cook several fillets at one time.

Parchment Paper for Air Fryer – Specifically designed to use with air fryers with small holes to help the hot air circulate all around the Tilapia. Keeps food from sticking to the basket and makes it even easier to clean the air fryer.

Oil Spray Bottle – Perfect olive oil spray bottle to lightly spritz foods.

Meat Thermometer – The easiest way to make sure your fish is fully cooked. When you cook Tilapia, or any fish, using a meat thermometer is always recommended.

Silicone Trivet – This air fryer accessory set includes a silicone trivet for when you remove your hot air fryer basket and need to set it on your counter. You can also simply line up a few hot pads too to protect your counter top.

Small Bowl and Spoon- to mix spices together.

 

Air Fryer Tilapia Ingredients

With simple seasoning, this healthy fish dinner is absolutely delicious.

  • 12 oz Fresh or frozen Tilapia fillets
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon peel powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic granules or Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Paprika
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Fresh lemon wedges
  • Tartar sauce (optional for dipping)

Air Fryer Tilapia ingredients displayed on counter top.

 

How to Cook Tilapia in Air Fryer

Here’s how to make this mouthwatering simple recipe:

Step 1: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.

Step 2: In a small bowl, add in all of the seasonings and stir together with a spoon.

Step 3: Once the preheated air fryer is ready, add a piece of parchment paper inside the air fryer basket.

Step 4: Add in a couple of the tilapia fillets in a single layer, making sure not to crowd them. Lightly mist them with the olive oil sprayer and then add seasoning on top of the fish fillets.

Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook Tilapia in several batches.

Frozen Tilapia inside air fryer basket with seasoning sprinkled on top.

 

Step 5: Place the basket back into the air fryer and press the “fish” button. If your air fryer doesn’t have a fish setting, set the cook time for 13 minutes for frozen fish. For fresh, set it to 10 minutes.

Step 6: You will want to check the fish at the half way mark and flip it over. Remove the basket and place on a silicone trivet. Once you flip all the Tilapia fillets, lightly spritz with olive oil again and add more seasoning.

Step 7: After the 13 minutes is up using the thermometer, check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the fish fillets. Fish is considered done when it registers 145 degrees and it should flake easily.

Note: All air fryers cook differently, which means checking the internal temperature is the best way to determine when the fish is done.

Cooked Tilapia in the air fryer basket.

 

Step 8: To remove the fish from the parchment paper, carefully remove the paper from the basket with your hands and then turn the paper over onto a serving platter or large plate. The fish should come right off.

Alternatively, you can try using a spatula to scoop each fish fillet. I find it easier to just flip them off the parchment paper.

Serve immediately.
 

Variations

This mild fish goes perfectly with your favorite seasonings. If you want to change it up, you can use any of your favorite seasonings, such as:

  • Lemon Pepper Seasoning
  • Blackened Seasoning
  • Cajun Seasoning
  • Italian Seasoning

 

How to Serve Air Fried Tilapia

Serve them straight out of the air fryer for an easy dinner!

But if you’re looking for more options, give one of these a try:

  • Make fish tacos and serve in flour tortillas with your favorite toppings.
  • Serve on a bun for a delicious fish sandwich.

 

Side Dishes for Air Fryer Tilapia

Looking for a few side dish ideas? These tasty sides are perfect to serve with your air fried tilapia:

  • Vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli or green beans.
  • Potatoes: French fries, mashed potatoes or a baked potato.
  • Rice: Wild Rice, Lemon Herb Rice or Rice Pilaf.
  • Side salad or Cesar Salad.
  • Garlic bread.

How to Store Leftover Tilapia

You can store this tasty fish for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How to Reheat Leftover Tilapia

To reheat leftover air fryer Tilapia fillets, set your air fryer to 320 degrees F and cook for 5-6 minutes until heated all the way through.

More Air Fryer Recipes to Enjoy

Air Fryer Southwest Egg Rolls

Air Fryer Frozen Ravioli

Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas

Air Fryer Artichokes

Closer view of two tilapia filets.

 

This easy Air Fryer Tilapia recipe is a fast and easy meal that requires little prep time. It’s a healthy fish recipe that goes well with your favorite seasoning. Serve it up tonight for a delicious meal the entire family will love!

Yield: 3

Air Fryer Tilapia (Frozen or Fresh)

Air Fryer Tilapia (Frozen or Fresh)

Air Fryer Tilapia is the perfect quick dinner, because it's easy to make and tastes delicious! Air fryers cook fast so this recipe is perfect when you need a quick weeknight dinner. Plus, you only need a few spritzes of olive oil and seasoning to prepare this dish, making it a breeze to put together.

Whether you are cooking frozen Tilapia or fresh Tilapia, we have got you covered! In less than 30 minutes, you'll have a delicious dinner the whole family will enjoy.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 oz Fresh or frozen Tilapia Fillets
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon peel powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic granules (or garlic salt)
  • ¼ teaspoon Paprika
  • Fresh lemon
  • Tartar sauce (optional for dipping)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, add in all of the seasonings and stir together with a spoon.
  3. Once the preheated air fryer is ready, add a piece of parchment paper inside the air fyer basket.
  4. Add in a couple of the tilapia fillets in a single layer, making sure not to crowd them. Lightly mist them with the olive oil sprayer and then add seasoning on top of the fish fillets.
  5. Place the basket back into the air fryer and press the “fish” button. If your air fryer doesn't have a fish setting, set the cook time for 13 minutes for frozen fish. For fresh, set it to 10 minutes.
  6. You will want to check the fish at the half way mark and flip it over. Remove the basket and place on a silicone trivet. Once you flip all the Tilapia fillets, lightly spritz with olive oil again and add more seasoning.
  7. After the 13 minutes is up, using the thermometer, check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the fish fillets. Fish is considered done when it registers 145 degrees F and it should flake easily.
  8. To remove the fish from the basket, carefully pick up the parchment paper from the basket with your hands and then turn the paper over onto a serving platter or large plate. The fish should come right off.
  9. Serve immediately.

Notes

See recipe post for variations and tips.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 133Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 177mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 23g

Nutritional values are estimates and not exact.

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