It’s so easy to cook frozen tilapia in an air fryer. You’ll love how quickly you can cook a meal from start to finish and then have very little to clean afterward. And it’s the best way to cook frozen tilapia because you don’t have to thaw the fish first.
Also, you can find tilapia at almost any grocery store. I find frozen fish fillets in the seafood freezer section.
I love air frying almost anything. The cooking process is smooth, and cleanup is a breeze. It’s a healthy way for the entire family to enjoy a tilapia fish dinner.
This great recipe is perfect for a low carb or keto diet, as long as you are careful about the sauces. This main dish goes with a wide variety of side dishes that you can chose according to your personal preferences.
In fact, if I were following keto, I probably wouldn’t use a sauce. With the seasonings I use, this is a tasty fish that doesn’t need anything extra.
Some recipes require a preheated air fryer. However, this one doesn’t.
Fresh Tilapia Fillets
If you have fresh tilapia, you can use the same basic recipe. The only difference is that the fish will cook more quickly. Check it after 8 minutes. You can always add more time if you need to.
Air Fryer Tilapia Ingredients
I’ve cooked tilapia with a variety of ingredients. It’s a mild flavored white fish that can handle a lot of seasoning.
Here are the ingredients for this recipe:
- Frozen tilapia fillets
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Paprika (regular or smoked paprika)
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- Parsley flakes (optional)
- Lemon slices (optional)
For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.
You can swap out or add to any of these ingredients. Here are some that we’ve tried and liked:
- Cajun seasoning
- Parmesan cheese
- Chili powder
- Italian seasoning
- Cayenne pepper
- Panko bread crumbs
Almost any spice mix works for this air fryer tilapia recipe. Try the original version first and adjust it in the future to suit your family’s taste.
How to Cook Frozen Tilapia in an Air Fryer
Cooking this tilapia couldn’t be any easier. Just make sure you don’t overcook it. If you do, it will become dry and rubbery.
First, spray the air fryer basket with some type of oil. I used avocado oil. Or cover the bottom with air fryer parchment paper.
Place tilapia in a wide bowl or on a plate.
Drizzle it with olive oil or use an olive oil spray.
Either brush or rub the oil all over the fish so the seasonings will stick to it.
In a small bowl, combine all of the spices. Whisk or stir them.
Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the tilapia. Coat both sides of the fish.
Now place the seasoned fillets in a single layer on the bottom of the air fryer basket. You don’t need a preheated air fryer.
Cook the fish at 400 degrees F at 11 minutes, turning the fish over halfway through. Cooking time may vary, depending on the thickness of the fish.
The fish is done when the internal temperature is 145 degrees F and the fish flakes easily with a fork. I just use a standard meat thermometer.
If the fish isn’t done, return it to the air fryer in 1 or 2 minute intervals until it’s ready.
I like to sprinkle parsley flakes over the fish after it’s plated. Also add lemon wedges or lemon slices and offer either this tartar sauce. Or if you prefer more of a tomato-based sauce, try this easy cocktail sauce.
Another sauce we enjoy is this lemon dill cream sauce. This one is especially good for people who love an extremely tart flavor. Or you can add a little honey to it for the sweet and tart combination.
For thawed or fresh fish, cut a couple of minutes from the cook time. It obviously doesn’t take the same amount of time to cook as frozen fish.
What to Do with Leftover Fish
I normally cook just enough tilapia for one meal. However, there are times when I want to have it for lunch the next day, either with a salad or in fish tacos.
When you want to store some for the next day, either wrap it in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator. Sometimes I give it an extra squeeze of fresh lemon juice so the flavor will seep into the fish.
It should be good for another day or two. I don’t recommend freezing frozen tilapia because the texture of the fish will change.
More Air Fryer Recipes
Ever since I got my air fryer, I’ve discovered some amazing recipes. And I’ve learned that almost anything that you can cook in a conventional oven cooks more quickly in an air fryer.
Here are some of the recipes we’ve enjoyed:
Garlic Lemon Chicken – Cooked in an air fryer, these delicious chicken thighs come out with a crispy crust and juiciness that will have everyone asking for more.
Pork Tenderloin – It’s easy to cook this delicious lean meat to perfection when you use your air fryer.
Country Style Ribs – If you like barbecued ribs as much as we do, you’ll love the ease of cooking them in the air fryer. Plus cleanup is super easy.
Boneless Chicken Breast – Air frying chicken breast is an easy way to cook this popular meat without losing flavor.
Crispy Juicy Pork Chops – For a delicious main dish, cook pork chops in an air fryer using this wonderful recipe from Back to My Southern Roots.
Corn Tortilla Chips – Make a big batch of fresh corn tortilla chips in your air fryer and watch everyone’s face light up!
Caramelized Pineapple Rings – Put some fresh or canned pineapple rings in your air fryer, and you’ll be amazed by how delicious they are. Serve with the meal or dessert … or all by themselves.
Quick and Easy Dinner
Pick up a package of frozen tilapia for those nights when you’re too tired to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Next time you want a quick and easy dinner, simply pull out the fish, add the seasonings, and pop it into your air fryer. Dinner will be ready in a flash!
- 2 frozen tilapia fillets
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika (regular or smoked paprika)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Dash of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Parsley flakes (optional)
- Lemon slices (optional)
- Spray the air fryer basket with oil. I used avocado oil.
- Drizzle the oil over the frozen fillets. Rub it all over the fish to make sure it’s coated.
- In a small bowl, mix all of the spices. Sprinkle them over the tilapia fillets.
- Place the seasoned fillets in the bottom of the air fryer basket.
- Cook at 400˚ F for 11 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- The fish is done when you can easily flake it with a fork. The internal temperature should reach 145˚ F.
- Garnish with parsley flakes and lemon slices.
If the fish doesn’t flake easily with a fork, return it to the air fryer and cook for another 2 minutes. The size of the fish determines how quickly it cooks.
Nutrition InformationYield 2 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 282Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 97mgSodium 361mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 45g
The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.