Can you cook frozen cod in air fryer? Yes! You don’t need to defrost frozen cod when you make this air fryer cod fish (no breading). If you’re looking for a light and low calorie air fryer recipe, this air fryer frozen cod is for you. You’ll love how easy it is to make this flaky fish for a tasty seafood dinner.
Looking for a low effort AND healthy dinner? Look no further! This frozen cod air fryer recipe is just what you need.
Cod is a white fish with a much milder flavor than oily fishes like salmon and sardines. That means it may be more readily accepted by the picky eaters in your family.
Though cod has less omega-3 fats than oily fish, it still counts towards your seafood intake. And that’s a very good thing, considering most of us in the U.S. are not meeting recommendations for fish.
This cod dinner is also great for novice cooks. If your fish breaks apart in the air fryer, no one will know. I’m providing a delicious salsa for fish recipe that will hide the evidence.
Plus, the fruit salsa fish topping brings a lot of beautiful color to the plate. Cod by itself is rather boring looking. Adding some plant foods really provides some pizazz (and some good-for-you phytonutrients as well).
Frozen cod fillets in the air fryer have become part of my summertime dinner menu rotation. I hope this recipe becomes a regular meal in your family as well!
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of frozen cod in the air fryer has 160 calories, 0 grams net carbs, and 26.7 grams protein. The fruit salsa fish topping adds 58 calories, 11.9 grams net carbs, and 1.4 grams protein to your meal.
What are the benefits of frozen cod fillets? Here are some reasons I love this healthy air fryer recipe:
- Lean protein: whitefish such as cod are a rich source of lean high-quality protein. That means there's a lot of protein in cod relative to the calories (i.e., it’s high protein and low fat).
- Cook quickly: You can air fry frozen cod in about 18 minutes. (You could technically air fry cod faster at a higher temp, but you risk drying it out.)
- Versatile: the mild flavor of cod means it can be incorporated into a wide variety of dishes.
- Gluten free: have celiac disease, wheat allergy, or NCGS? Good news, this frozen cod fillet recipe has no gluten. It’s also pescatarian, Paleo, and Whole30 compliant.
- Tasty: I think the flavor of this air fried frozen cod with strawberry salsa is fresh and delicious. This main dish does a wonderful job of being nutritious, satisfying, and tasty at the same time!
You don’t need much to air fry frozen cod, not even cooking spray! Here’s your shopping list:
- Frozen cod fillets (3 per pound)
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper (optional)
My most important tip for recipe success is to use cod fillets that are ½-inch (1.27 cm) thick. Ideally, the fillets should be uniformly thick, with no extra thick middles and thin edges. This is the best way to ensure even cooking.
If you use pieces of fish that are too thick (1-inch/2.54 cm or so), they will dry out before reaching a safe temperature. So don’t use thick cuts of fish here! Cod loins are typically cut from the fattest middle section of the fillet, and may be too thick for this recipe.
It's easiest to use cod fillet pieces that have been individually packaged. That way there will be no issues with them sticking together frozen. (If they are frozen together, we’re going to use the air fryer to help defrost them before cooking through.)
If you have fresh cod that you’re not planning to cook for a day or two, freeze it and use it in this recipe. Freeze the fish in a single non-touching layer so that the pieces don’t stick together.
You can also make frozen cod bites in the air fryer instead of fillets. Keep in mind that air frying times will be shorter with smaller pieces of fish.
If you are looking for sustainable seafood options when shopping, don’t miss the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch List. They are a great resource if you’d like to learn more about environmentally-friendly seafood choices.
Cod Topping Ingredients
Plain cod is a bit bland, so I hope you’ll top it with my strawberry kiwi salsa. It’s great on a variety of fish (such as tilapia), not just cod! Here’s what you need to make it:
- Diced strawberries
- Chopped Champagne mango
- Chopped kiwi
- Fresh squeezed orange juice
- Orange zest
To make frozen cod in the air fryer, I recommend an air fryer, silicone pastry brush, and a meat thermometer. A good knife is helpful to make the cod topping. I was able to fit all of the fish on one air fryer tray.
I developed these directions for air frying frozen cod with a 10-Quart Kalorik Air Fryer Oven. Those using a Ninja Foodi, Philips, Cosori, Instant Vortex, Cuisinart, Pampered Chef Air Fryer, Actifry, Nuwave, Power Air Fryer, etc. may have slightly different cooking times.
🔪 How to Make Frozen Cod in Air Fryer
To make air fried frozen cod, start by putting the frozen cod pieces on your air fryer tray. Don’t rinse the fish, it can leave it waterlogged. If you have an air fryer oven, put the tray in the top rack position.
You want the fish to be in a single layer that is not touching. If some of the pieces are stuck together at the edges, that is OK. This first step in the air fryer will thaw them out so they can be separated.
If you’ll be making the topping for fish, chop the fruit and mix everything together while the fish air fries. Keep your strawberry kiwi salsa in the fridge until serving time.
️⏲ Cooking Time and Temperature
How long to cook frozen cod in air fryer? What temp to make frozen cod in an air fryer? Air fry frozen cod for 4 minutes at 350F (175C). Then air fry for an additional 14-15 minutes at 375F (190C), flipping halfway through cooking time.
We’re cooking our cod at a lower temperature and for a longer time than we did with air fryer frozen salmon. We need to be extra careful with our cod because it can dry out and become overcooked fast.
We’re starting the fish at 350F (175C) to thaw it a little and make it easier for oil to stick. Then flip them, and brush the tops of the fillets with ½ tablespoon of oil. Air fry for 7 minutes at 375F (190C).
Flip the fillets once more and brush the tops of the cod pieces with the last ½ tablespoon of oil. Air fry for 7-8 more minutes at 375F (190C).
Check the cod with a meat thermometer to ensure it reached a safe temp of 145F (63C). Add cooking time if needed. Sprinkle the fish with some salt and pepper, if you wish.
To serve, plate the cooked cod and top with the fruit salsa. YUM!
Leftover air fried cod can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for 1-2 days. However, it’s best to just cook the amount of cod you’ll eat so there are no leftovers.
You can reheat cooked cod that was refrigerated in the air fryer or on the stovetop. Try air frying the cod for 4-5 minutes at 350F (175C), just until heated. Cod can be reheated on the stovetop in a pan with a little oil.
🥗 How to Serve
What to serve with cod fillets? Fruit salsas are wonderful on plain codfish fillets. I’m sharing a favorite in the recipe card, but here are some other ideas for fish toppings:
- Sweet and Spicy Cherry Peach Salsa
- Award-Winning Peach and Pineapple Salsa
- Pear Cranberry Salsa with Ginger and Orange
- Carrot Leaves Pesto
Instead of using a salsa, you could go heavier on seasoning the fish. Try lemon pepper, Cajun spice, blackened cod, Old Bay, or serve with garlic butter and a squeeze of lemon.
For cod side dishes, I like to add a starch (usually rice) and some non-starchy veggies to my meal. This time I went with pesto-roasted zucchini, but a garden salad or Air Fryer Frozen Vegetables would be great too.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). Cod fish topped with fruit salsa is a healthy, low calorie, protein-packed entrée. It’s a great start for a high-volume and filling meal that can support a healthy weight. Adding lots of low-oil non-starchy veggies to your plate gives you a substantial portion of food for very few calories.
I served my cod meal with pesto-roasted zucchini and brown rice. If you add a glass of milk, you’re getting all five food groups with this meal. (P.S. I don’t tend to be this nutritionally “perfect” and cover any dietary gaps with healthful snacks.)
If chopping a bunch of fruit is too much work right now, serve the cod with fruit salsa from the store. Most grocery stores have an abundance of ready-made salsas that would go well with fish. (That said, you get a lot more options for fruit combos when you make your own!)
Yes, it is perfectly safe to cook cod from frozen as long as you follow a few food rules. First, the cod should not be in the food safety danger zone (40-140F/4.4-60C) for more than 2 hours. Second, the cod should be cooked to a minimum safe internal temp of 145F (63C).
Fish that is cooked properly flakes easily with a fork and is opaque instead of translucent. The most important thing, however is that the cod has reached a safe internal temp of 145F (63C). Use a meat thermometer to check the fillets!
You have lots of options to keep cod from sticking to the air fryer! You can use cooking oil spray on your air fryer trays. Air fryer parchment paper and silicone liners for the air fryer are some other options. (Make sure to get the right sized liners for your fryer!)
The frozen cod fish is very low carb (keto), but the fruit salsa contains some higher carb mango. To make this a keto cod recipe, use a lower carb tomato-based pico de gallo to top the fish instead.
Put 2 cups of water in bottom of pot. Put cod on steamer rack over water. Pressure cook on high for 5-8 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fillets). Check to ensure the fish reached the safe temp of 145F (63C) when done cooking.
👩🏻🍳 More Cod Recipes
Want more ways to cook cod? Here are some more recipes using cod for you:
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 wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Frozen Cod in Air Fryer
- 1 lb frozen cod 454 grams; three ½-inch (1.27 cm) thick fillets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 recipe cod topping (optional but HIGHLY recommended, see recipe notes)
- Place the frozen cod pieces in a single layer on your air fryer tray or in the air fryer basket.
- Air fry the cod for 4 minutes at 350°F (175°C). (Use the top rack position if you have an air fryer oven.) Then flip the cod, and brush the tops of the fillets with ½ tablespoon of oil. Air fry for 7 minutes at 375°F (190°C).
- Flip the cod once more, and brush the tops with the rest of the oil (½ tablespoon). Air fry for 7-8 more minutes at 375°F (190°C).
- Check the cod with a meat thermometer to ensure it reached a minimum safe internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Add cooking time if needed. Sprinkle the fish with some salt and pepper, if you wish. Serve with the optional topping (recipe below).
- Note: Using ½-inch (1.27 cm) thick cod pieces is very important for this recipe! Your cod may not cook properly if it is too thick.
Cod Topping Recipe
- 1 cup diced strawberries
- ½ medium peeled and chopped Champagne mango (about 4 ounces/113 grams)
- 1 medium kiwi, peeled and diced
- ¼-½ jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon orange juice, freshly squeezed
- ½ teaspoon orange zest