Air Fryer Tilapia | Crunchy and Flaky

Air Fryer Tilapia is delicious. One of the easiest air fryer fish recipes, it is moist and flakey on the inside, and magnificently brown and crispy on the outside.

Air fryer tilapia on platter horizontal

I was a virgin when I first tried air fryer tilapia. And air fryer virgin!! I had never cooked anything in it.

Air fryer tilapia on platter horizontal

And now air fryer tilapia is one of my very favorite air fryer recipes! It’s such an easy and healthy recipe and comes together in about 15 minutes!

So if fish filets are your thing, cook them in your air fryer. You will never look back. Tender, flakey, and so easy to make, it will become a go-to in your family.

Gone are the days of messing up your kitchen with traditional fried fish. The air fryer is clean, efficient, and much better for you!

You will love it the most in the peak of summer when you just do not want to deal with more heat from your cooktop, oven, or grill. 

One other good reason to use an air fryer is the Tilapia filet’s delicate nature. Air fryer crispy fish will not break while cooking and is packed with flavor. Give this air fryer tilapia filets recipe a try and it will become one of your weeknight favorites. And it’s great served with this Instant Pot Beans and Rice recipe.


Air fryer tilapia filets are air-dried to perfection, delicious, and healthy. They are healthier than fried fish because there’s almost no oil used. Top it off with a squeeze of fresh lemon and you’ve got it made!

I love olive oil as much as anyone, but did you know while oils like olive oil are good for the heart, they are also pretty high in calories? Yes, a single tablespoon of olive oil has about 120 calories. So drowning your fish in oil really counteracts the health benefits.

Tilapia in pan with breading

Most people will drizzle oil onto their filets, packing in more calories than necessary. Have oil in moderation by using the air fryer to cook. It will deliver fewer calories, leaving you extra calories for dessert or a glass of wine.

After all, a glass of red wine only has 85 calories. Yep! I’m a big fan of a wee bit of red wine with dinner!


The best air fryer temperature setting is 400 degrees to make sure the fish is flaky and crispy. The internal temperature should be 145 degrees. If your air fryer has a preheat setting, run it for thorough and even cooking. 

Your air fryer circulates hot air during the cooking process. For this reason, avoid overcrowding the appliance’s basket if you want the crispiest of fish. Space out your fillets and they will turn out drool-worthy and perfectly flakey. 


Yes you can. If your air fryer’s manual allows it, then you can put aluminum foil inside your air fryer when cooking. 

Having said that, remember that the key to crispy air fryer fish fillets is excellence in airflow inside the fryer. If the aluminum foil blocks the airflow around the fish fillets, you will have sad, soggy fish instead. 

Air fryer tilapia in air fryer basket

You do not need to wrap your fish in aluminum foil when making this recipe. If you have to, leave the basket’s airflow valves unobstructed.


Yes. Use salmon, sole, cod, or mackerel fish filet to make air fryer fish. Tilapia is however cheap and easily accessible. Costco has tons of it. 

Air fryer tilapia’s delicate flavor makes it an excellent canvas for flavoring. Serve it with easy dishes such as rice pilaf, Brussels sprouts, or light salads to preserve its delicate light favor.


It is possible to cook frozen tilapia in the air fryer, you’ll get the best results if you don’t use frozen. Defrost your frozen tilapia first before cooking. You can leave it in the fridge overnight to thaw first. 

Alternatively, place your filets in a plastic bag and then dip them in cold water for half an hour. Thawing will ensure even cooking. Always pat your filets dry before coating them for a crunchy crust.


  • Tilapia fillets – although you can use frozen, it is best to thaw first. Frozen will work in a pinch, though. (See full recipe below.)
  • Bread crumbs – homemade or store-bought will work well.
  • Fish seasoning – I like Old Bay, but you can use whatever type you like or have on hand.


Air fried tilapia is so easy to make that you will have it hot and ready to serve in ten minutes tops.

  1. Simply mix your fish seasoning of choice and breadcrumbs on a large plate.
  2. Coat your tilapia fillets with the mixture and shake off any excess breadcrumbs. 
  3. To make the bottom of your air fryer basket non-stick, wipe it with a little oil.
  4. Cook your tilapia in the air fryer for 8 minutes and then flip them over. Cook for an extra two minutes for the perfect double-sided crisp. Garnish with lemon wedges, and parsley and serve.
Vertical air fried fish on plate with fork

Watch me make it here on my YouTube Cooking Show!


Easy and quick recipes can be a lifesaver come dinnertime when you’re exhausted. These air fryer fish filets are healthy and packed with flavor. They will become your family’s go-to recipe when the craving for fish filets and fries strikes.

Air fryer tilapia on platter horizontal

Air Fryer Tilapia

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes

Air Fryer Tilapia is quick, easy, crunchy, tender, and healthy! Who could ask for more! Ready in 10 minutes!


  • 2 large tilapia filets, thawed, rinsed, and lightly patted dry
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fish seasoning of choice (Old bay or something similar)


  1. Whisk together breadcrumbs and fish seasoning and put on a large plate. Firmly press the fish filets into the breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides. Shake off excess coating.
  2. Wipe the bottom of the air fryer basket with cooking oil to prevent sticking. Place the coated fish filets in one layer into the basket. 
  3. Cook at 400 degrees for 8 minutes, then remove and flip over with a spatula and cook another 2 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.
  4. Serve garnished with lemon wedges and chopped Italian parsley.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 220Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 342mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 27g

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