Low-Carb, Main Dish, Seafood

Easy Frozen Tilapia Air Fryer Recipe

Can you air fry frozen tilapia? Yes! This Easy Frozen Tilapia Air Fryer Recipe is perfect for those busy days when you need to cook a quick dinner and still want it to be healthy. This air fryer frozen tilapia is one of my favorite easy last minute dinners to get on the table when I’m short on time. This recipe works well for fresh or frozen tilapia.

If air frying is your jam, try more seafood recipes in the air fryer: Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos and Air Fryer Mahi Mahi.

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Frozen Tilapia Air Fryer recipe on a plate with lemon wedges on the side.

This is one of my favorite air fryer tilapia recipes! This recipe has no breading so it is suitable for a low carb or keto diet. This recipe is a delicious keto tilapia!

Ideally, when I have the time, I prefer to cook fresh fish fillets or defrost them before cooking. But, if you’re in a pinch, it’s quick and easy to cook frozen fish in air fryer. Read on to learn how to cook tilapia in air fryer, especially how to air fry tilapia frozen.

Ingredients Needed for Air Fryer Tilapia:

  • Tilapia fillets – You can cook frozen tilapia fillets or fresh (thawed) fillets. Instructions for air frying frozen tilapia and fresh (thawed) tilapia can both be found below.
  • 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.
Package (bag) of frozen fish fillets.
Ingredients needed to make this recipe: frozen fish, lemon, garlic, and butter.

How to Cook Frozen Tilapia in Air Fryer

Don’t worry about thawing your frozen fish fillets, you can cook frozen tilapia in air fryer with minimal ingredients and little time. This affordable and healthy recipe shows you how to quickly air fry tilapia no breading required. Air frying fish fillets is one of my favorite ways to cook tilapia and I bet it will soon be yours too!

First, preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil spray to prevent the fish from sticking to the bottom. I like to brush melted butter over the fish fillets for an added buttery flavor, but you can just spray them with olive oil, if you prefer.

Next, season tilapia with salt and pepper. If you want to spruce up tilapia fillets with more than just salt and pepper, more tips for seasoning the fillets can be found below. Before cooking, spray the top of the fish with olive oil spray to prevent the garlic and seasonings from burning.

Finally, place frozen tilapia fillets in the air fryer. How long to cook tilapia in air fryer? Cook for 10-13 minutes depending on the size and thickness. In my opinion, fish is always best with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Voilà – your air fryer tilapia recipe is complete!

How long to cook tilapia in 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. Cook tilapia to an internal temperature of at least 145°.

Frozen fish in an air fryer basket seasoned with salt, pepper, and butter.
Two cooked fish fillets in an air fryer basket.

How to Season Tilapia?

Tilapia will take on the flavor of the seasonings and/or sauce you pair with it, so it’s important to season fish fillets before air frying. Tilapia can be seasoned with simple ingredients, such as: salt and pepper, garlic, butter, and lemon.

One of my favorite ways to add flavor to tilapia is with a Cajun garlic butter sauce: to make this air fryer blackened tilapia coat the fish with this Homemade Blackened Seasoning Recipe and drizzle melted butter over the top.

Fish tacos are fun to make! To make air fryer tilapia tacos, season the fish with this Low Sodium Taco Seasoning before cooking.

FAQs & Tips

What does tilapia taste like?

Tilapia is a very mild flavored fish. It is light and slightly sweet, but for the most part tilapia can be a bit flavorless, so it is important to season this fish properly. Tilapia will take on the flavor of the seasonings and/or sauce you pair with it.

What are good tilapia side dishes?

What to serve with tilapia? My favorite side dishes for tilapia are Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes, Air Fryer Green Beans, and Cauliflower Spanish Rice. Tilapia is delicious with roasted or steamed vegetables, rice, or a side salad.

What should the internal temperature of tilapia be cooked to?

Air fryer tilapia should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145° as recommended by FDA. Cook fish until it’s opaque (milky white) and flakes with a fork.

Do I need to preheat my air fryer?

Yes. Just like you would preheat an oven before cooking, it’s best practice to preheat your air fryer too.

How do you preheat an air fryer?

Every air fryer is different. Some air fryer models have a built in preheat button. Depending on the size of your air fryer, it should take about 5 minutes to preheat. If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheat button, turn it on to the temperature the recipe says to cook at and let it heat up for a few minutes while still empty. Remember, always keep safety in mind.

Air fried tilapia on a plate with a gold fork flaking the fish apart.

More Air Fryer Recipes to Try:

More Seafood Recipes to Try:

Frozen Tilapia Air Fryer recipe on a plate with lemon wedges on the side.

Easy Frozen Tilapia Air Fryer Recipe

Can you air fry frozen tilapia? Yes! This Easy Frozen Tilapia Air Fryer Recipe is a quick meal for when you need to air fry frozen fish.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 13 mins
Total Time 18 mins
Course Main Course, Seafood
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings
Calories 110 kcal

Equipment

  • Air Fryer

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tilapia fillets fresh or frozen
  • olive oil spray
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
  • Spray the preheated air fryer basket with olive oil spray to prevent the fish from sticking to the bottom. Place tilapia fillets in the air fryer basket being careful not to overlap.
  • Spray the top of the fish with olive oil spray and season tilapia with salt and pepper (more tips for seasoning the fillets can be found in the notes). Lightly spray the fish again so the seasonings don't burn.
  • Cook for 10-13 minutes to an internal temperature of at least 145°. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Notes

  • My favorite air fryer is the Cosori Pro II. (linked in post)
  • Flipping the fish halfway through cooking isn’t necessary.
  • Tilapia can be seasoned with simple ingredients, such as: salt and pepper, garlic, butter, and lemon.
  • To make air fryer blackened tilapia coat the fish with Homemade Blackened Seasoning.
  • To make air fryer tilapia tacos, season the fish with Low Sodium Taco Seasoning.
Keyword air fryer

8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love tilapia, it is very easy and fast to prepare. I did not know it can be prepared in an air fryer. Thanks!

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  3. 5 stars
    ooh, I didn’t know you can air fry them frozen! I always waited until they thawed… Thank you for the tip 🤗

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