I LOVE fish. Especially salmon and tilapia – my two favorites. Who’s with me? Making this Air Fryer Tilapia recipe is a special treat. Because the rest of my family doesn’t like most seafood, I often make this kind of meal when I’m on my own for lunch, or can’t have what the rest of the family is having. That way I have something healthy that I really love to eat!
Cooking tilapia in the air fryer is pretty straightforward, and the method we use in this recipe would work for any breaded fish! Honestly, the air fryer really does work well for fish, and with our Air Fryer Tilapia Recipe the resulting fish is flaky and perfectly cooked. It does not disappoint.
Tips and Tricks for our Air Fryer Tilapia Recipe
First of all, I recommend you first prepare the zucchini by peeling it and slicing it according to the directions in our zoodle recipe, start your pot heating with that, and then start cooking tilapia in the air fryer, and get that going. While the tilapia is cooking will be plenty of time to finish up the Tomato Garlic Noodles using the second recipe in this post. And still have the whole dish hot and ready to serve. That’s not how we always do it, but that’s what we think works best, especially if it takes your stove a while to boil water.
Once you thaw your frozen tilapia, breading the tilapia is super easy. Simply dip the tilapia into the liquid mixture first, and then dip it into the coating mixture. Another tip: leave out the whole wheat flour to make this gluten free if needed. I love that this recipe uses frozen tilapia in the air fryer because that is often our best option for purchasing fish. How I miss the days when we lived on the ocean and could purchase fresh fish almost anywhere, whenever we wanted!
Don’t forget to spray your air fryer net lightly with oil before you put your tilapia in. This will help keep it from sticking. You also need to shake the basket about halfway through, to help prevent the fish from sticking to the basket. Also, if you do not have a 400º setting as shown in our Air Fryer Tilapia Recipe below, use 390º and add a tiny fraction of time to make sure your fish is cooked. You may not even have to add time!
Serve our Air Fryer Tilapia recipe by itself and it will make a fabulous meal! Or serve it with a small mixed greens vinaigrette salad for a nice contrasting side. If you are trying to cut carbs, this is a great way to try tilapia in air fryer fashion.
Air Fryer Tilapia (with Tomato Garlic Zoodles)
- 3 pieces of frozen tilapia, thawed (about 4oz raw)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp water
- Olive oil (preferably using an oil spritzer/spray bottle, or a drop dabbed on a paper towel)
- ¼ C. corn meal
- 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp paprika
- Mix egg and water and place in a shallow bowl.
- Combine ingredients for coating and place in a shallow bowl.
- If you have an oil spritzer/spray bottle, use that to spritz the bottom of the air fryer basket. If you don’t have an oil spritzer, use a paper towel and dab a bit of oil on it and wipe the bottom of the air fryer basket, lightly coating it.
- First, dip a piece of tilapia into egg and allow excess to run off.
- Next, dip it into the coating and shake off excess.
- Place on lightly oiled air fryer (if using an oil spritzer/spray bottle spray top of fish).
- Set air fryer to 400°F for 10 minutes.
- About ½ way through, shake the basket to make sure it doesn’t stick.
Tomato and Garlic Zoodles
- 1 large zucchini
- ½ pint grape tomatoes
- 4-6 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin slicer, carefully peel zucchini into long, thin ribbons.
- In a large pot, cover zucchini with water and bring to a boil.
- Cook for about 2 minutes.
- Drain and set aside.
- In a large pan over medium heat, add olive oil.
- Once heated, add garlic cloves and stir until lightly brown.
- Add tomatoes and stir for about 30 seconds.
- Add zucchini “zoodles” and stir for another 30 seconds.
- Season with salt and pepper.