Juicy, flakey and delicious this Air Fryer Tilapia without breading is ready in 10 minutes. This low carb and keto friendly recipe is perfect for busy weeknights. Serve it with a side of salad or vegetables for a hearty dinner!
Air Fryer Tilapia
Looking for an easy and quick dinner? Then you need to try tilapia in air fryer. Tilapia fillets get cooked in about 10 minutes in the air fryer making it a great option for a quick and delicious dinner on a busy weeknight. Don't have tilapia? Try spicy salmon or juicy shrimp in the Air fryer.
Tilapia is a white fish with a mild flavor. It's a blank canvas that can be seasoned to your heart's liking. A popular choice among fish lovers, it's affordable and you can probably find both fresh and frozen tilapia in a grocery store near you.
Cooking tilapia in Air fryer with a mix of spices makes it so flavorful with a crispy coating on the outside you don't need any breading at all. Juicy and flaky on the inside it's sure to become one of your favorites!
For more air fryer fish recipes, check my Air Fryer Recipe Collection.
Why We Love This Recipe:
- Healthy: This air fried tilapia has no breading making it an accessible meal to many diets, specially low carb, keto and Gluten free. Fish is nutritious, full of protein, low in calories and one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
- Quick & Easy: What I love about Air fryer recipes, I have plenty on my site, is how convenient it makes to get dinner on the table fast. This Air fryer tilapia recipe should be in your quick and easy recipe arsenal.
- Flavorful: For me, recipes should not only be easy but it has to be big on flavor. This fish recipe is so flavorful you'll be going for seconds.
- Versatile: Tilapia has a mild flavor so you can experiment with different seasoning mixes. Air fried tilapia can be served as a main dish or used in fish tacos.
Tilapia Filets: Tilapia is a farmed fish so make sure you buy it from a sustainably farmed source.
Olive oil: Use any cooking oil or cooking spray you prefer. Melted butter works too.
Spices: I use a mix of smoked paprika, turmeric powder, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt and ground black pepper. Add red chili powder or cayenne pepper for more heat. You can also add cajun seasoning, taco seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, lemon pepper seasoning or your favorite seasoning mix.
Lemon: a squeeze of fresh lemon juice brightens up the flavors so serve with lemon wedges.
How to Make Air Fryer Tilapia
*Scroll below for the printable recipe card and ingredient measurements.
Air frying tilapia is super easy. Pat dry fish fillets with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. This helps it cook fast with a crisp outer layer.
Brush oil all over the fillets. You can also use an olive oil spray on the fillets.
Mix together smoked paprika, turmeric powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Rub the seasoning mixture on the tilapia fillets covering all sides.
Place tilapia fillets in the air fryer basket in a single layer. The air fryer doesn't need to be preheated for this recipe as I find tilapia cooks faster anyways. Preheat air fryer if you want to but it only saves a few minutes.
Air fry tilapia at 400˚F for 10 to 12 minutes. It should flake easily with a fork without any resistance. Or until the internal temperature is 140˚F when checked with a meat thermometer. For thick fillets, you'll have to cook for a few minutes longer.
Remove the tilapia fillets from the air fryer and serve with lemon wedges and sprinkle of chopped parsley or cilantro.
*Air fryers come in different sizes and models, and you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Use Air fryer parchment paper liners to make cleaning easier.
- Not necessary to preheat the air fryer for this recipe.
- You can use this recipe to air fry other types of white fish like basa, cod or haddock.
How To Serve
Air fried tilapia is so versatile and can be served in many ways.
Use them in fish tacos with pico de gallo, sour cream or guacamole.
How To Store & Reheat
Storage - Store leftover tilapia in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Reheat - You can reheat fish in the oven, microwave or air fryer for a few minutes. I prefer reheating tilapia in the Air fryer and it comes out crisp and fresh. Reheat tilapia at 375˚F for a few minutes until warm.
How To Cook Frozen Tilapia in Air Fryer
Not only fresh tilapia fillets frozen tilapia can be cooked in the air fryer too. The cook time will be little longer when cooking from frozen.
Spray oil on the frozen fish, rub with spices and cook at 400˚F for 12 to 15 minutes. You should taste and adjust seasoning specially when cooking frozen food as the seasonings might come off with extra water. Sprinkle more seasoning on the fish and air fryer for a minute or too.
For best results thaw the frozen fish in room temperature water for a few hours. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels and follow with the recipe.
It takes about 10 minutes to cook tilapia in the air fryer. For thick filets you might have to cook a little bit longer.
The best way to check for doneness is to use a meat thermometer. The fish should be cooked when the internal temperature reaches 140˚F in the thickest part.
The fish is also done cooking when the flesh turns from pink to white in color and flakes easily with a fork.
No, you don't need to. Tilapia filets are not very thick and they cook easily. They're also very delicate and you might break them when flipping.
More Recipes You'll Love:
Air Fryer Tilapia (No Breading)
- 1 pound tilapia fillets about 2 fillets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- lemon wedges for serving
- Pat dry the tilapia fillets. Brush with oil or cooking spray on all sides.
- Mix the paprika, turmeric powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the seasoning mix on the tilapia fillets.
- Place tilapia fillets on parchment lined air fryer basket. Air fryer fillets at 400˚F for 10 to 12 minutes. Or until the internal temperature is 140˚F.
- Remove the tilapia fillets from the air fryer and serve with lemon wedges. Drizzle some oil if you prefer.
- To cook from frozen, follow the recipe and increase the cooking time.
- Store leftovers in airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
- Reheat tilapia in the air fryer at 375˚F for a few more minutes until warm and crisp.