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Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia

Forget to thaw your frozen tilapia? Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia recipe cooks quickly and easily, so you can enjoy this high-protein fish with your favorite side dishes in no time!

cooked tilapia filets

Can frozen tilapia be cooked in an air fryer? Yes, the air fryer is a great way to cook any tilapia quickly and easily with no defrosting or thawing needed!

Tilapia is a white fish that is popular in many different cuisines. It has a mild flavor and a firm, flaky texture. When cooked properly, tilapia is a delicious and healthy option for any meal!

This popular fish is a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, low-fat protein source rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health. One 4-ounce serving of tilapia contains only 110 calories and 2 grams of fat!

Use it to make delicious fish tacos with your favorite tortillas, or serve on its own with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil!

✅Why The Air Fryer Is The Best Way To Cook Frozen Tilapia

  • The air fryer uses dry circulating heat to cook food. This means that the outside of the fish will form a golden brown crust as it stays tender on the inside even when frozen!
  • It cooks quickly. Because the heat constantly circulates, the air-fried fish not only thaws, but cooks quickly in under 15 minutes.
  • No need to turn on the oven. Air frying is the way to go if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to cook fish. You won’t have to heat up your oven, and your kitchen will stay cool.
  • It’s a healthy cooking method. When you cook in the air fryer, little to no oil is needed. This means that you can enjoy your fish without deep frying.

🐟Key Ingredients & Helpful Tools

  • Frozen Tilapia Fillet – You can find fresh tilapia fillets at your local grocery store or fish market. You can also use frozen breaded tilapia or parmesan crusted frozen tilapia.
  • Cooking Oil – A light brush of avocado oil or cooking oil spray helps the texture of the fish cook properly without adding any flavor. It also helps the seasonings stick.
  • Salt & Black Pepper – Used to enhance the flavor of the fish.
  • Air Fryer or Ninja Foodi – Use any air fryer you have. We love using the Ninja Foodi because its highly versatile and reliable.

💧How To Cook Frozen Tilapia In Air Fryer

1️⃣Preheat the air fryer: Turn your air fryer to 375F and preheat for 3-5 minutes.

2️⃣Prepare the tilapia: Brush or spray a layer of cooking oil on both sides of the frozen fish, then sprinkle with salt and pepper or your favorite dry seasonings.

3️⃣Air fry the tilapia fillets: Place the frozen tilapia in the preheated air fryer basket. Set the timer to 15 minutes. Flip halfway. A half-inch fillet should fully cook in about 12 minutes; however, if your fish isn’t fully cooked through, continue to cook for 3-5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145F.

4️⃣Remove and serve: Remove with a spatula and serve while hot. Enjoy!

⏲️Best Time and Temperature To Cook Frozen Tilapia Air Fryer

What temperature do you air fry tilapia and for how long? This depends on how well you like it cooked and what type of fish it is. Generally, you can expect your fish to be cooked in about 10-12 minutes with a temperature of 375F. You can start there and check halfway to see if you’ll need more or less cooking time.

For best results, use a kitchen thermometer to ensure the thickest part of the fish is at a safe internal temperature of 145F.

👩🏻‍🍳Tips For Cooking Fish In The Air Fryer

Preheating is important: Preheat your air fryer before cooking the fish. This will help the outside of the fish cook evenly without overcooking the inside.

Don’t overcrowd the air fryer: If you overcrowd the air fryer, it will make it harder for air to circulate and properly cook the fish. Make sure to cook in batches if necessary.

Check the fish halfway through: Every air fryer is different so it’s important to check on your fish halfway through cooking. This will help you determine if you need more or less time.

Use a kitchen thermometer: The best way to know when your fish is fully cooked is to use a kitchen thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the fish and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 145F.

Let it rest: Once the fish is cooked, let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This will help the juices redistribute so that your fish is nice and juicy.

Serve immediately: Fish is best served immediately after it’s cooked. If you need to make ahead, you can cook the fish and then reheat in the air fryer for a few minutes before serving.

🧂Seasoning Ideas

Tilapia is a versatile fish that can be seasoned in so many different ways! Try these seasoning mixture ideas below. 

  • Lemon Pepper – A classic seasoning that’s perfect for air fryer tilapia. Serve with fresh lemon juice or lemon wedges.
  • Cajun – Add some spice to your fish with Cajun seasoning or smoky chili powder.
  • Italian – Give your fish an Italian twist with some garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, parsley, and oregano.
  • Panko Crusted – For a crispy tilapia, try coating it in some panko breadcrumbs or gluten-free panko bread crumbs. Coat with almond flour for paleo or Whole30. 
  • Parmesan Crusted – Another crispy option is to coat the tilapia in grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Old Bay – A seafood favorite that’s perfect for air fryer fish.
  • Garlic Butter – A simple seasoning of garlic and butter makes for a delicious air fryer tilapia
  • Serving Sauces – Serve with salsa, cocktail sauce, or tartar sauce.

🍽️ Best Side Dishes For Tilapia

There are so many delicious things you can serve with air fryer fish! Here are a few of our favorites:

Storage 

Leftover cooked tilapia can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat it in the air fryer at 350F until warmed through. You can also place it on parchment paper and reheat in the oven at 325 for 12-15 minutes.

Freeze air fryer tilapia leftovers for up to 3 months. Wrap the cooked pieces carefully in plastic wrap, then in a layer of aluminum foil and place in an airtight container or bag. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

🐟More Air Fryer Fish Recipes

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cooked tilapia filets

Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia

Forget to thaw your frozen tilapia? Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia recipe cooks quickly and easily, so you can enjoy this high-protein fish with your favorite side dishes in no time!
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 202kcal

Equipment

  • Air Fryer or Ninja Foodi
  • Spatula

Ingredients

  • 12 oz Tilapia frozen filets (2)
  • 2 tsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder

Instructions

  • Turn your air fryer to 375F and preheat for 3-5 minutes.
  • Brush or spray a layer of cooking oil on both sides of the frozen fish, then sprinkle with salt and pepper or your favorite dry seasonings.
  • Place the frozen tilapia in the preheated air fryer basket. Set the timer to 15 minutes. Flip halfway. A half-inch fillet should fully cook in about 12 minutes; however, if your fish isn’t fully cooked through, continue to cook for 3-5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145F.
  • Remove with a spatula and serve while hot. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 1252mg | Potassium: 526mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.02g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

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