Air fryer frozen tilapia with no breading is a healthy dinner the entire family will love. This air fried tilapia has crisp edges with a smooth, flaky interior. Using only a handful of simple ingredients, it's a budget-friendly, easy meal for busy weeknights.
This recipe works well with fresh or frozen tilapia. Air fry tilapia frozen when your short on time. Ideally, I prefer to thaw fish before cooking, but when I'm in a pinch, this is a quick way to cook frozen fish in the air fryer.
Cooking this frozen tilapia air fryer recipe is one of my favorite easy, last-minute dinners to get on the table when I'm short on time. I will guide you through how to cook tilapia in the air fryer with a few ingredients in under 20 minutes.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- Convenient! No need to thaw frozen fish fillets, you can cook frozen tilapia in the air fryer.
- Quick & easy! Made in under 20 minutes with minimal ingredients.
- Healthy & budget-friendly! Tilapia is a high protein low fat fish that is very affordable.
- Crispy! An air fryer uses hot air to cook food, so you can achieve crispy and golden-brown fish without excessive oil. Although this air fryer tilapia recipe has no breading, the fish will have perfectly crispy edges.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Tilapia - Tilapia has a mild flavor. It is light and slightly sweet, but for the most part tilapia can be a bit flavorless. Tilapia will take on the flavor of the seasonings and/or sauce you cook it with. You can cook frozen tilapia fillets or fresh (thawed) fillets.
- Air fryer safe cooking spray or oil- use olive oil spray to coat the air fryer basket before cooking the fish so they don't stick to the bottom.
- Seasonings - find more seasoning options in the Flavor Variations section of this post.
How to Cook Frozen Tilapia in Air Fryer
We love this air fryer tilapia for an easy lunch or dinner for those days when we want a tasty and healthy meal quick.
Air fry tilapia frozen with these step-by-step instructions:
Step 1: Preheat air fryer to 400°F. Spray the air fryer basket with an olive oil spray to prevent the fish from sticking to the bottom.
Step 2: Remove frozen tilapia from the packaging and pat it dry with paper towels. Spray the top of the fish with an olive oil spray or brush melted butter over the fish fillets for an added buttery flavor. Season with salt and black pepper.
Step 3: Place frozen tilapia fillets in the preheated air fryer in a single layer for best results - golden brown and crispy on the outside. Cook fish for 10-13 minutes until it flakes easily with a fork.
Squeeze fresh lemon wedges over the fish before serving. Serve this flaky fish with a side of tartar sauce for dipping.
How long to cook tilapia in the air fryer?
Tilapia cooks quickly whether it is frozen or thawed. If you're cooking tilapia in air fryer you should add on a minute or two of cook time if it's frozen.
Depending on the size of the fillet, tilapia should be cooked at 400°F for 10-13 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the tilapia fillet is cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145°.
Tilapia takes on the flavor of the seasonings you use, so get creative and experiment with different flavor profiles.
This easy tilapia recipe calls for the fish to be seasoned with a simple seasoning of salt and pepper, but you can impart more flavor with a pinch of garlic powder, butter, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
For a more indulgent meal, drizzle seafood cream sauce over the fish.
For blackened or Cajun-style tilapia, coat the fish with homemade Cajun seasoning then drizzle melted butter over the top.
To make tilapia fish tacos, season with homemade taco seasoning before cooking. Slice fish and wrap in a tortilla with a slaw tossed in jalapeno cream sauce.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- For an even cook, air fry frozen tilapia in a single layer taking care not to overlap the fillets.
- Lightly spray fish with olive oil before cooking to ensure the fish gets crispy.
- Tilapia will take on the flavor of the seasonings and sauce you pair with it, so it's important to season fish fillets well before cooking.
Commonly Asked Questions
What to serve with tilapia?
Tilapia is versatile and can be served with a variety of side dishes. My favorite sides for tilapia are sweet potato cubes, green beans, and cauliflower Spanish rice. Tilapia is also great with roasted or steamed vegetables, rice, or a side salad.
Do I need to preheat my air fryer?
Yes, you should preheat the air fryer to ensure a quick and even cook. Just like you would preheat an oven before cooking, it's best practice to preheat your air fryer too.
How to know when air fryer tilapia is done?
Tilapia should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145° as recommended by FDA. Cook fish until it's opaque (milky white) and flakes easily with a fork.
Store leftover tilapia in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat tilapia on a large plate in the microwave for 1 minute or in the air fryer for 3-4 minutes.
More Air Fryer Recipes
If you try this recipe or any recipe from Happy Honey Kitchen, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Enjoy!
Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia
- 2 tilapia fillets fresh or frozen
- olive oil spray
- salt and pepper to taste
- lemon wedge optional
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F. Spray the air fryer basket with an olive oil spray to prevent the fish from sticking to the bottom.
- Remove tilapia from the packaging. Brush or spray the top of the fish with olive oil. Season tilapia with salt, pepper, and other desired seasonings (more tips for seasoning the fillets can be found in the blog post).
- Place frozen tilapia fillets in the preheated air fryer in a single layer. Cook fish for 10-13 minutes until it comes to an internal temperature of 145° and flakes easily with a fork. Squeeze with a lemon wedge before serving.
- Flipping the fish halfway through cooking isn't necessary.
- Air fry fish in a single layer to ensure an even cook and crispy edges.
- Tilapia will take on the flavor of the seasonings and sauce you pair with it, so it's important to season fish fillets well before cooking (a variety of seasoning options can be found in the blog post).