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Can you air fry frozen tilapia? Yes! Try my frozen tilapia air fryer recipe with no breading. Frozen tilapia in air fryer takes only 10-12 minutes at 400F (200C), flipping halfway through cooking time. Learn my tips and tricks on seasoning air fryer frozen tilapia, and enjoy this easy budget-friendly fish option. Even picky eaters may be won over by the mild flavor of delicious tilapia!

tilapia air fryer

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Air fryer tilapia from frozen is cooked in about the time it takes to preheat the oven. That’s because tilapia fillets tend to be thin, so they can be air fried very quickly. If you’re ready for some near-instant gratification, let’s make this quick and healthy low carb keto recipe!

How to Air Fry Frozen Tilapia

Here are the ingredients you need to make frozen tilapia in an air fryer:

  • 8-10 ounces frozen tilapia (2 tilapia fillets)
  • Cooking spray (such as olive oil spray)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Lemon slices for serving (optional)
air fryer frozen tilapia

Get a printable recipe card at the end of the post!

You can buy tilapia fish filets at just about any regular grocery store in the US, as well as Walmart supermarkets and Trader Joe’s.

To air fry tilapia safely, I recommend having a meat thermometer in addition to an air fryer. I tested this recipe in my Ninja Foodi as well as an air fryer with a smaller air fryer basket. Cooking times may need to be adjusted slightly if you are using a different air fryer than I use.

The Ninja Foodi, Actifry, Nuwave, Cosori, Instant Vortex, Philips, Pampered Chef, Cuisinart, Power Air Fryer, etc. can air fry frozen tilapia. It’s a good idea to keep a close watch on the food the first time you try a new air fryer recipe, since air fryers all cook a little differently.

🐟 Frozen Tilapia Air Fryer Recipe

Here are the step-by-step instructions for how to cook frozen tilapia in air fryer:

  1. Mist your air fryer basket or tray with cooking oil spray. Place the frozen tilapia fillets in the basket and mist them with more cooking spray. Keep the thinnest edges of the fish towards the middle of the tray or basket.
  1. Stir the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper together. Sprinkle half of this seasoning over the frozen fish.
how to make frozen tilapia in air fryer
  1. Air fry the fish for 5 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200C). (Use the top rack position if you have an air fryer oven.)
  1. Next, carefully flip the fish and spritz them with cooking spray. Sprinkle the rest of the seasoning on the tilapia and air fry at 400F (200C) for 5-7 minutes more. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature in the thickest part of the fish. Fin fish should reach a minimum safe internal temperature of 145F (63C). Add cooking time if needed.
cook frozen tilapia in air fryer
  1. Serve with an optional squeeze of fresh lemon juice from the lemon wedges and enjoy!

It’s important not to overcrowd the fish; air circulation is needed for proper cooking in the air fryer. If you can’t fit two pieces of tilapia in your air fryer in a single layer, you can cook them in batches.

frozen tilapia in air fryer

⏲️ Frozen Tilapia Air Fryer Time and Temp

How long to cook frozen tilapia in the air fryer? Air fry for a total of 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200C). Flip the fish fillets after the first 5 minutes of cooking.

You can also cook fresh tilapia fillets this way. The only difference is that frozen tilapia has a slightly longer total cooking time. You do not need to preheat the air fryer to cook tilapia.

How to know when tilapia is done cooking?

Tilapia and other finfish should reach a minimum safe internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63C). Use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the fish to ensure it has been cooked safely.

Don’t try to determine that tilapia is done with a visual check only. The fish may look opaque and flaky but still be slightly undercooked inside.

Tilapia fillets are very thin, so they’ll cook quickly. Just don’t overcook them- they will dry out on you!

frozen tilapia air fryer

🥗 Tilapia Side Dishes

What are some good sides for tilapia? Some cooked wild rice and a large side salad would be perfect. Here are some other ideas:

air fried frozen tilapia

🌡️ Reheating Leftovers

How to reheat leftover tilapia? Leftover fish really isn’t the best, so I recommend cooking only what you need and avoiding leftovers when possible. If you want to reheat it, try microwaving briefly or reheating in a skillet with a little lemon butter.

FAQs

Can you cook fish from frozen in air fryer?

Yes, you can cook just about any frozen fish in an air fryer. Just season the frozen fish fillets and cook slightly longer than you would for fresh fish, adding a few minutes to the cooking time.

Should I rinse tilapia before cooking?

Do not rinse tilapia before cooking, as this can spread harmful bacteria around your kitchen. However, patting the fish dry with paper towels can help achieve a better sear.

How much tilapia per person?

You typically get 3 tilapia fillets per pound (i.e., they are 5-6 ounces each). I like to serve one fillet per person. Small children may only want half a fillet.

What other fish can I use?

You can use other white fish in the air fryer, such as haddock, cod, flounder, Swai, and halibut. However, air frying times can vary depending on the thickness of the fish fillets. Tilapia fish fillets tend to be very thin!

Can you make crispy tilapia in an air fryer?

Yes, you can make air fryer breaded tilapia as well! Don’t miss my post on Frozen Breaded Fish in Air Fryer to learn more!

How to make a frozen tilapia Instant Pot recipe?

To make a frozen tilapia Instant Pot recipe, place frozen tilapia fillets in the Instant Pot, add your preferred seasonings and some liquid (e.g., broth or sauce), then cook on high pressure for a few minutes, followed by a quick release.

How to cook whole tilapia in the air fryer?

To cook whole tilapia in the air fryer, season the fish, place it in the air fryer basket, and cook at around 375F (190C) for about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the fish is cooked to the safe temp of 145F (63C).

🌮 Frozen Tilapia Recipes

You can use this frozen tilapia recipe to make fish tacos, tilapia piccata, or tilapia curry. Alternatively, experiment with different flavors and seasonings for tilapia. Here are some ideas:

  • Lemon pepper seasoning
  • Tajin
  • Make Parmesan crusted tilapia with Parmesan cheese
  • Blackened tilapia with Cajun seasoning
  • Salsa
  • Low calorie teriyaki sauce
  • Italian seasoning
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Creole seasoning
  • Cilantro chimichurri sauce
  • Butter garlic sauce
  • Make breaded tilapia with panko, almond flour, wheat flour, or cornmeal
  • Make a quick compound butter with chives, garlic, and miso to serve with tilapia

👨‍🍳 Other Air Fryer Seafood Recipes

Looking for more easy air fryer recipes using seafood? Here are some air fryer fish recipes (and other recipes for seafood) to check out next:

Watch How to Make It!

air fryer tilapia

Frozen Tilapia Air Fryer Recipe (How to Air Fry Frozen Tilapia)

Summer Yule
Can you air fry frozen tilapia? Yes! Try my frozen tilapia air fryer recipe with no breading.
4.88 from 8 votes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 116 kcal

Ingredients

  • 8-10 ounces frozen tilapia 227-283 grams (2 fillets)
  • cooking oil spray
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • lemon wedges (optional, for serving)
Don’t be a stranger! 😊If you love this recipe, please come back and leave a rating. This helps readers and I’d love to hear from you. Thank you ❤️

Instructions

  • Mist your air fryer basket or tray with cooking oil spray. Place the frozen tilapia fillets in the basket and mist them with more cooking spray. Keep the thinnest edges of the fish towards the middle of the tray or basket. 
  • Stir the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper together. Sprinkle half of this seasoning over the frozen fish. 
  • Air fry the fish for 5 minutes at 400℉ (200°C). (Use the top rack position if you have an air fryer oven.) 
  • Next, carefully flip the fish and spritz them with cooking spray. Sprinkle the rest of the seasoning on the tilapia and air fry at 400°F (200°C) for 5-7 minutes more. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature in the thickest part of the fish. Fin fish should reach a minimum safe internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Add cooking time if needed. 
  • Serve with an optional squeeze of fresh lemon juice from the lemon wedges and enjoy! 

Notes

💭 Expert Tips from Dietitian Summer Yule

This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). Are frozen tilapia fillets healthy? Tilapia is a lean (low-fat) protein that fits easily in a variety of healthy dietary plans.
For example, if you have a fat loss goal, you can easily compose a meal that fits a low carb or diabetes plate method using this air fryer tilapia recipe. Focus on adding non-starchy veggies and you can make a low calorie and tasty meal.
If you are looking to gain weight, add more energy-dense foods to your tilapia. This could include sauces or dressings with added fats and oils, a double-serving of rice (or other grains), or other high-energy foods.
Most of us in the U.S. are not getting the recommended amount of seafood in our diets. If you avoid seafood because you don’t like the strong flavors, try tilapia. Better yet, try this air fried frozen tilapia recipe, because it’s about as easy as you can get! 
Nutrition information is for one serving.

 

nutrition info disclaimer

 

All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.

 

The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.

 

“To taste” means to your preferences, which may have to be visual to follow food safety rules. Please don’t eat undercooked food x

Nutrition

Calories: 116kcalCarbohydrates: 1.3gProtein: 23.3gFat: 2.1gSaturated Fat: 0.5gFiber: 0.4gVitamin A: 18.9% DVVitamin C: 0.3% DVCalcium: 0.4% DVIron: 7% DV
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4 Comments

4.88 from 8 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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