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+ servings
breaded fish

Frozen Fish in Air Fryer (Breaded Fish Fillets)

Summer Yule
Can you cook frozen fish in air fryer? You sure can! Air fryer frozen breaded fish fillets take only 12 minutes to cook without thawing!
5 from 6 votes
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 12 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine British
Servings 3
Calories 280 kcal


  • 1 lb. frozen breaded fish fillets (454 grams; I used Trader Joe's Frozen Breaded Cod Fillets; fillets are 4-inches long by 2-inches wide by ¼-½ inches thick)
  • 1 medium lemon, quartered

For quick tartar sauce (optional):


  • Put the fish fillets in a single layer on an air fryer tray. I was able to fit them all on one tray. If your breaded fish contains a significant amount of fat or oil, you should not need to use cooking spray. 
  • Place the tray with the fish fillets in the top rack position of your air fryer. This is the position that is closest to the heating element.
  • Air fry frozen fish for 5 minutes at 350°F (175°C). Then flip the fillets over and put the tray with the fish back in the top rack position. Air fry for 7 minutes more at 350°F (175°C).
  • Check your fish with a kitchen thermometer to ensure it has reached the minimum safe internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). If it has not, you will need to air fry it a little longer.
  • While the fish cooks, make a simple substitute for tartar sauce by stirring the mayo and pickles together.
  • To serve, squeeze the lemon over the fish. Serve tartar sauce on the side.


This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Here’s the bad news. The Trader Joe’s breaded fish I used provides 280 calories and 17 grams of protein per 5 ounce serving. Per Cronometer, a 5-ounce serving of cod (no breading) provides 108 calories and 25 grams of protein. 
White fish without breading counts as a low-calorie lean protein. The breading typically adds a lot of calories from refined flour and added fat, turning the entree into ultra-processed food.  
In this case, you could save over 170 calories by choosing a serving of plain fish instead of breaded. You’ll also get more filling protein in your meal. 
All of that said, it’s possible to fit less optimal food choices into an overall healthy diet. I like the Diabetes Plate method for healthy weight management. This plate is ¼ protein, ¼ starch, and ½ non-starchy veggies (with just a small amount of added fat). 
If you’re a volume eater like I am, feel free to add even more non-starchy veggies to feel full. I added a HUGE salad to my 10-inch diameter dinner plate. The breading on the fish counts as the starch, while the fish provides the protein. 
If you need a higher energy meal, you can add a serving of whole grains as well. I added ¾ cup of cooked wild rice mix to my meal. The rice adds fiber, B vitamins, and around 150 calories to the meal. 
Though fries are extremely tasty with breaded fish, this duo is not the best pairing nutritionally. (I know, what a bummer!) Fries add even more added fat to an entrée that is already fairly high in fat. On the other hand, non-starchy veggies would add fiber and low-calorie volume to the meal, items lacking in breaded seafood. 
Nutrition information is for one serving without tartar sauce. The exact nutrition information for your meal depends on the brand of breaded fish you use. 


Calories: 280kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 17gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 650mgPotassium: 393mgFiber: 1gAdded Sugar: 2gCalcium: 2% DV
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