Ever wondered if you can cook frozen tilapia in the air fryer? Well, the simple answer is yes and today's post will teach you how to cook it in easy steps.
Cooking frozen tilapia in an air fryer is a quick, easy and delicious way to put dinner on the table on busy weeknights. It is super convenient and with the right ingredients and seasonings, you can create a flavorful dish that's ready in no time! Serve it with lemon butter sauce, parsley sauce, or creamy dill sauce.
I love cooking and eating fish, and I serve it at least twice a week, not only because it is easy and quick to make but also for its health benefits. Air-frying frozen tilapia is a great and quick alternative to traditional oven baking or pan-frying.
It requires minimal effort, it’s also fast and convenient with less cleanup. The air fryer cooks the fish evenly, resulting in a juicy and flaky texture on the inside while leaving it crispy on the outside.
It is essential to keep in mind that, tilapia fillets come in different sizes and that may determine how much you can cook at a time depending on the shape of your air fryer. I am using large fillets today and I am only able to fit 2 at a time in my Cosori 5.5L (1700W) basket.
Why cook frozen tilapia in an air fryer
To begin, air frying guarantees you the perfect result without the need to thaw the fish ahead of time. This is a quick and easy way to prepare your meal! This means you don’t have to wait for the fish to thaw or compromise on the taste and texture of your food.
Air frying also helps preserve the nutritional value of the food while reducing added fat or oil.
To top this, cooking in an air fryer can help reduce mess and cleanup time in comparison with oven baking. You don't need any extra pans or baking trays, all you need is your trusty air fryer!
Finally, cooking frozen tilapia in an air fryer ensures that your meal is cooked evenly and quickly. With just 10-15 minutes of cooking time (depending on your appliance) you'll have a perfectly cooked tilapia, every time without fail.
What you will need
To cook frozen tilapia in the air fryer, you will need the following ingredients
Frozen tilapia sub with any other hard white fish fillet such as mahi mahi, cod, haddock, flounder, and many more.
Old bay seasoning: you can use any other seasoning of choice, try my homemade fish seasoning recipe or all-purpose recipe.
Vegetable oil: any other flavorless oil will work here too
Garlic granules sub with garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Fresh lemon juice
How to cook frozen tilapia in air fryer
Preheat the air fryer at 190C/385F for 3-5 minutes
Carefully place the frozen tilapia in the air fryer basket.
Brush the frozen fish with oil on both sides placing the skin side down.
Season with salt and black pepper then generously sprinkle the old bay seasoning or any other seasoning of choice.
Cook the fish in the air fryer for 10-12 minutes or until it is fully cooked and the internal temperature reaches 45F/73C when checked with a meat thermometer.
Remove the fish immediately from the air fryer, garnish with chopped chives or parsley, and squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve hot with your favorite side dish and enjoy!
Watch how to cook frozen tilapia in air fryer
How long to air fry frozen tilapia
These will depend on the size and thickness of the fish and more importantly the wattage of your air fryer. It will take between 10-15 minutes at 190C/385F, this will vary if using a higher or lower temperature than stated here.
You can check the fish at about 8-10 minute mark to judge how long you will need to cook it. Using an instant meat thermometer also helps to determine the cooking temperature of your fish.
Insert a cooking thermometer in the thickest part of the fillet. The internal temperature should be 63C /145F for doneness.
Where to buy frozen tilapia
In the United States, frozen filleted tilapia is widely available in most grocery stores in the freezer section. That said, it is a little different here in the UK, the only store that has frozen tilapia fillets readily available is Costco and it is not cheap. Asda and Sainsbury do sell them, however, they are not readily available as you would find them in Costco.
Can I use fresh fish instead
Absolutely, you can cook fresh tilapia or (when) completely thawed in the air fryer. Fresh fish will require a shorter cooking time than frozen. Because it cooks faster, you should typically start checking from around 7 minutes depending on its thickness.
More fish recipes you should try next
More air fryer recipes
Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia
- 2 large Frozen tilapia each fillet about 200g each
- ½ Tablespoon old bay seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic granules
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh lemon juice
- Preheat the air fryer at 190C/385F for 3-5 minutes
- Carefully place the frozen tilapia in the air fryer basket.
- Brush the frozen fish with oil on both sides placing the skin side down. Season with salt and black pepper then generously sprinkle the old bay seasoning or any other seasoning of choice.
- Cook the fish in the air fryer for 10-12 minutes or until it is fully cooked and the internal temperature reaches 45F/73C when checked with a meat thermometer.
- Remove the fish immediately from the air fryer, garnish with chopped chives or parsley, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve hot with your favorite side dish and enjoy!
Nutritional data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients and brands you use. Under no circumstances will thedinnerbite.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.
There you have it, a simple and quick recipe of how to cook frozen tilapia in your air fryer. As always, if you made this recipe, I would love to hear from you! Kindly rate the recipe 5 star and leave me feedback in the comment section below. Tag me @thedinnerbite on Instagram and save it away to your Pinterest. Please subscribe to the blog if you haven’t for free new recipes in your inbox