Air Fryer Tilapia Fillet: Light But Flavorful

Last modified on September 10th, 2021 at 6:12 am

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Would you like to try a light and tempting air-fried tilapia fillet? A simple air fryer recipe that you can whip up for a great weeknight.

Crispy on the inside with a hint of lemon while having a moist, flaky texture inside is what this air fryer tilapia is made. A super easy fish recipe that will entice the whole family to ask for more.

air fryer tilapia serving suggestion

Air Fried Tilapia Fillet

Yield: 4-5 SERVINGS
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Crispy on the inside with a hint of lemon while having a moist, flaky texture inside.


  • 1 kg Tilapia fillet
  • 1 ½ tsp fine salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 250g all-purpose flour
  • 500g panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp minced lemon zest
  • 1 large Egg


  1. Cut the fillet in a way to fit into the size of your air fryer. 

    sliced tilapia fillet
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, lemon zest, a teaspoon of salt, and black pepper; set aside.

    flour mixture for tilapia
  3. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, half a teaspoon of garlic powder, and cayenne pepper; set  aside. 

    breadcrumbs mixture for tilapia
  4. In a standard breading procedure, dredge the fillets into the flour mixture, beaten egg mixture, and mixture into the breadcrumbs.  

    flour, egg and breadcrumbs
  5. Shake off any excess breading and place it on the cooling rack. 
  6. Coat the rest of the fillets. 

    coated tilapia fillets
  7. Meanwhile, preheat the air fryer at 180 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes. 

    setting air fryer to 180 degrees
  8. Using a silicone brush, brush the basket's bottom plate and its sides.  

    brushing air fryer basket
  9. Place the fillets on the air fryer basket and cook for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.

    cooked tilapia fillets in air fryer
  10. Place the air-fried fillets on a serving plate together with a choice of greens and sides.

    air fried tilapia plating
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1122Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 1946mgCarbohydrates: 138gFiber: 8gSugar: 8gProtein: 90g

Can You Cook Fish In The Air Fryer?

One of the most popular dish to put an air fryer to fair use are air fryer fish recipes. There are many ways to cook fish in the air fryer.

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Some recipes will require you to season the fish with different herbs and spices. Some fish recipes will be marinated for a couple of minutes to incorporate different flavors into a delicate fish.

air fryer tilapia with mango salsa

What Temp Should Tilapia Be Cooked To?

Tilapia is a white fish with a mild-tasting flavor — which can be flavored with most of anything. Since it is a white fish, it doesn’t need a longer cooking time. Correct temperature will result in a perfectly cooked fillet of tilapia.

air fryer tilapia ingredients

Tilapia can be cooked between 180-200 degrees Celcius that will differ from the cooking time. Cooking time for a tilapia under 180 degrees Celcius is around 10-12 minutes total.

It can be perfectly cooked for a 200-degree Celcius air fryer at 7-8 minutes. The fillet must be turned halfway through for an even distribution of heat.

seasoned tilapia in air fryer

Is Air Fryer Fish Healthy?

Air-fried fish is a healthy option as it does not need a lot of oil to cook. Cooking methods destroy nutrients to some extent, but some methods are better than others in this respect and minimize other unhealthy factors, such as fat and salt content. Air frying has an advantage in preserving nutritional contents in food.

bite-sized air fryer tilapia

Protip: Thinking to buy an air fryer? You would love how the Power XL Vortex Air Fryers produce the perfect crunch and the nice “golden brown” color that you seldom get from air fryers.

What Cannot Be Cooked In An Air Fryer?

Air frying is a great cooking technique to master. You can cook most anything, but there are still some limitations, just like any other modern technological advancement.

serving of air fried tilapia

Steak-cut beef can’t be turned into an air-fried dish as the cut is cook for a more extended period; it becomes tougher and hard to chew. Broccoli and cauliflower will dry out if you try to air fry them. They don’t have enough moisture to give them a character as it cooks.

Recipes that involve wet batter can’t be cooked in the air fryer. The wet batter won’t hold and set since it needs a proper oil bath to work.

That means that it won’t get crispy, and the batter will be drained into the oil basket. The batter would burn and would be hard to clean once it happened.

I hope you enjoyed making this dish as much as I do. Please let us know if you are able to achieve the crunchiness and moist texture of this air fryer tilapia dish and if you agree that it is far better than cooking a traditional fried tilapia? Until the next recipe!

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