How Long To Air Fry Tilapia

How Long To Air Fry Tilapia

When it comes to cooking tilapia in an air fryer, the process is quick, easy, and results in a delicious dinner in just 7 minutes. This tender white fish is perfect for those who are skeptical of seafood and is a great option for a healthy and flavorful meal.

Recipe highlights

This air fryer tilapia recipe is not only easy and quick, but it also does not require marinating, making it a perfect choice for busy weeknights. Tilapia is an economical yet delicious option, as it is affordable and readily available at most grocery stores. Additionally, it is a healthy choice, being low in calories and carbs, with just 120 calories per 4-ounce serving.

Ingredients needed

To make air fryer tilapia, you will need tilapia fillets, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, lemon juice, garlic, butter, lemon wedges, cilantro, and parsley. These simple ingredients come together to create a flavorful and delicious dish.

How to cook tilapia in the air fryer

Cooking tilapia in the air fryer is a simple process. Start by preheating the air fryer to 200C/400F and spraying the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Pat dry the tilapia fillets and season them with a mixture of salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic. Then, air fry the tilapia for 7 to 8 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time. While the fish is cooking, prepare a sauce using butter, garlic, fresh lemon juice, and cilantro. Once the tilapia is cooked, brush the sauce generously on the fillets and sprinkle with more cilantro before serving.

Tips to make the best recipe

When cooking tilapia in the air fryer, it’s important not to overcrowd the basket to ensure even cooking. If needed, cook the fish in batches. Additionally, using parchment paper or air fryer liners can prevent the fish from sticking to the basket. It’s also recommended to flip the tilapia fillets during cooking to avoid overcooking on one side. Checking the internal temperature using a meat thermometer is an easy way to ensure that the fish is cooked to perfection.

Flavor variations

One of the great things about tilapia is its mild taste, which allows for various flavor variations. You can experiment with different spice mixes such as Cajun, blackened, teriyaki, lemon pepper, or spicy variations to customize the dish according to your preferences.

Storage instructions

If you have leftover tilapia, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Alternatively, you can freeze cooked and cooled tilapia in an airtight container for up to two months. When reheating, either microwave the fish for 20-30 seconds or reheat it in the air fryer for 2 minutes until crispy around the edges.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does fish take in the air fryer? Whitefish, like tilapia, need just 7-8 minutes to cook in the air fryer.

Do you have to thaw the fish before air-frying it? It depends; you can thaw it or cook it without thawing. If the fish isn’t thawed, you’ll need to increase the cooking time.

Are air fryers good for fish? Air frying fish is considered to be the best way to cook fish. It’s healthier, the fish is flakier, and it cooks in less time.

More air fryer recipes to try

If you enjoy cooking with an air fryer, there are plenty of other recipes to explore, such as air fryer chicken breast, chicken thighs, pork chops, chicken drumsticks, and chicken wings. These recipes offer a variety of options for delicious and convenient meals using the air fryer.

Air Fryer Tilapia (Recipe Card)

For a quick reference, here’s a printable recipe card for air fryer tilapia:

  • 4 tilapia fillets 4-6 ounces each
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • For the lemon butter sauce:
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon parsley


Air fryer tilapia is a quick, easy, and delicious dinner option that is perfect for those who are skeptical of seafood. With minimal preparation and quick cooking time, this recipe offers a convenient and healthy meal choice for busy weeknights or any time you’re craving a flavorful dish.

Author Bio

Arman Liew is a two-time cookbook author, photographer, and writer who is passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. His focus is on using simple ingredients to make delicious food that anyone can enjoy, regardless of their level of experience in the kitchen.

You May Also Like

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like other air fryer seafood recipes and dishes such as Swai Fish, Honey Mustard Salmon, and other air fryer recipes like Crab Cakes, Catfish, Salmon Cakes, Garlic Butter Shrimp, Lobster Tails, and Crab Legs.


What do you serve with tilapia? Tilapia pairs well with roasted vegetables, rice pilaf, or a light side salad. It can also be used to make fish tacos or added to a salad for a delicious meal.

How do you reheat leftover tilapia? Leftover tilapia can be gently reheated on the stove in melted butter or enjoyed cold on a salad or in a sandwich.

Can frozen tilapia be cooked in the air fryer? Yes, frozen tilapia can be cooked in the air fryer by adding one to two minutes to the cooking time. It’s a convenient option for a quick meal.

How do you know when tilapia is done cooking? Tilapia is done cooking when it reaches an internal temperature of about 145 F and is easily flaked with a fork.

How many portions can you make at once? The number of portions depends on the size of your air fryer. It’s important to cook tilapia in a single layer to ensure even cooking.

Do you need to flip tilapia in the air fryer? Yes, flipping the tilapia is necessary to ensure even cooking, especially if you’re cooking multiple pieces or using frozen filets.

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