Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia –Embark on a journey of simplicity and flavor with our Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia recipe!  

No more stress about defrosting or lengthy prep times. Discover the wonders of cooking frozen tilapia straight in your air fryer, transforming it into a perfectly flaky and deliciously seasoned meal in minutes. This method saves time and locks in flavor, ensuring a delightful fish dish every time. 

And frozen tilapia is fantastic in the air fryer!

Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia in Air Fryer Basket

Stay tuned as we share this game-changing recipe that guarantees a healthy, fuss-free, and utterly scrumptious seafood experience right from the comfort of your kitchen.  

The Best Frozen Tilapia Air Fryer Recipe

From crispy tacos to flavorful stir-fries, frozen tilapia has become a versatile household favorite for seafood lovers. But what if I told you there’s a game-changing way to cook this delectable fish? Yes, you guessed it right!

Today, we will delve into the realm of the air fryer and discover the best-frozen tilapia air fryer recipe that will make your taste buds sing with delight. Trust me when I say that this cooking method will revolutionize how you enjoy your tilapia, leaving you with perfectly tender and succulent fillets every time.

Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that combines convenience, healthiness, and, most importantly, incredible flavor! So grab your apron, dust off that air fryer, and let’s dive into the world of mouthwatering tilapia goodness like never before.

Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia in Air Fryer Basket

There is nothing better than a simple fish dinner, and cooking the frozen tilapia filets in the air fryer makes for an easy dinner when you are looking for an easy meal. This recipe is perfect for cooking flaky white fish.

Can You Cook Frozen Tilapia In Air Fryer?

If you’re wondering if you can cook frozen tilapia in the air fryer, the good news is that it’s possible!

Air fryers are a great way to prepare your fish because they give you a crispy outer layer with minimal oil. If you want to make sure that your fish comes out perfectly cooked and delicious each time, follow these tips.

Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia

Why You’ll Love This Recipe!

You’ll find plenty to love about this Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia recipe:

  • Ultimate Convenience: The ability to cook tilapia straight from frozen makes this recipe a go-to for those busy days when you have little time for meal prep. It’s a perfect solution for a quick, hassle-free dinner.
  • Healthier Option: Using an air fryer means enjoying a lower-fat dish than traditional frying methods. Tilapia is a lean source of protein, making this meal both heart-healthy and waistline-friendly.
  • Quick Cooking Time: You can have a delicious meal ready in just about 12-14 minutes. The air fryer’s efficiency saves you time, making it ideal for a last-minute lunch or dinner.
  • Crispy and Tender: The air fryer cooks the tilapia to a perfect texture – crispy on the outside while remaining moist and flaky inside. The hot air creates a delightful culinary experience.
  • Versatile and Flavorful: The simplicity of the base recipe allows for easy customization with your favorite herbs and spices. Whether you like it zesty, spicy, or herby, this recipe can be adapted to suit your taste buds.
  • Easy Clean-Up: Air frying is a healthier cooking method and minimizes clean-up time with less oil splatter compared to traditional frying.
  • Perfect for Any Occasion: Whether cooking a family dinner, a quick lunch or preparing a meal for one, this tilapia recipe fits the bill for any situation.

In summary, this Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia recipe is a beautiful blend of convenience, health, and flavor, making it a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a quick and easy yet satisfying meal.

Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia

Embark on a culinary journey with minimal effort and maximum flavor using our Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia recipe. This dish is the epitome of convenience, transforming simple, readily available ingredients into a healthy, delicious meal perfect for any day of the week.

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.

  • Frozen Tilapia Fillets: The star of the dish, frozen tilapia is a mild, lean fish that cooks beautifully straight from the freezer, making it a convenient and healthy choice.
  • Olive Oil or Cooking Spray: A light coating of olive oil or cooking spray helps in achieving a golden, crispy exterior while keeping the fish moist and tender.
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper: Essential seasonings that enhance the natural flavors of the tilapia, bringing out its delicate taste.
  • Lemon Juice: Adds a bright, citrusy note that complements the fish, cutting through the richness and adding a refreshing zing.
  • Optional – Garlic Powder: For those who enjoy a hint of garlic, this adds a subtle pungency and depth to the flavor profile of the fish.
  • Optional – Paprika: Gives a gentle heat, a smoky flavor, and a beautiful color to the tilapia fillets.
  • Optional – Herbs and Spices: Feel free to customize your favorite herbs and spices like dill, parsley, or a seafood seasoning blend for an extra flavor boost.

Each ingredient in this Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia recipe works together to create a dish that’s easy, quick to prepare, satisfying, and brimming with flavor.

How To Make Frozen Tilapia In Air Fryer

Cooking frozen tilapia in an air fryer is convenient and produces deliciously tender and flaky fish. Here’s a recipe for making the best Frozen Tilapia in an Air Fryer:

Ingredients Needed for Tilapia On The Blackstone

Preheat the Air Fryer:

  • Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200°C). This helps in cooking the tilapia evenly.

Season Tilapia:

Lightly brush or spray the frozen fish fillets with olive oil. This not only helps in cooking but also adds flavor, be sure to coat the sides of the fish with seasoning mix.

Season the fillets with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Feel free to add garlic powder, paprika, or other herbs and spices you prefer.

Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia

Arrange in Air Fryer:

Place the seasoned tilapia fillets in the air fryer basket. Make sure they are not overlapping, even when cooking.

Cooking Time:

Set cook time for 12-14 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. There’s no need to flip the fillets halfway through cooking.


Once done, carefully remove the tilapia from the air fryer. Serve hot with a side you choose, like steamed vegetables, rice, or a fresh salad.

Garnish with additional lemon wedges and a sprinkle of fresh herbs if desired.

Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia in Air Fryer Basket

Seasoning Variations For Cooking Frozen Tilapia In Air Fryer

Experimenting with different seasonings can transform your Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia into various delightful dishes. Here are some season variations to try:

  • Lemon Herb Seasoning:
  • Combine dried herbs like dill, parsley, and thyme with lemon zest. This blend gives a fresh, citrusy, and herby flavor, perfect for a light, summery dish. Another great option is a simple lemon pepper seasoning. 
  • Cajun Seasoning: Spice things up with a Cajun seasoning mix. It’s great for adding a bit of heat and Southern flair to the tilapia. Or use old bay seasoning or a dash of cayenne pepper for added heat.
  • Garlic Butter Seasoning: Mix melted butter with minced garlic, and brush it on the tilapia before air frying. This classic combination brings a rich and savory taste.
  • Asian-Inspired Seasoning: Create a marinade with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a hint of honey or brown sugar for a sweet and savory Asian twist.
  • Mediterranean Seasoning: Use a spice mix of oregano, basil, onion powder, and garlic powder, and finish the cooked fish with a sprinkle of feta cheese and a squeeze of lemon.
  • Smoky Paprika Seasoning: Paprika, especially the smoked variety, combined with a touch of cumin and garlic powder, can give the tilapia a smoky and slightly earthy flavor.
  • Curry Seasoning: For an Indian-inspired variation, coat the tilapia with curry powder and a pinch of turmeric before air frying.
  • Italian Seasoning: Mix dried Italian herbs like basil, oregano, parmesan cheese, and rosemary with garlic powder for a classic Italian flavor.
  • Sweet and Spicy Glaze: Brush the tilapia with honey and sriracha or hot sauce for a sweet and spicy kick.
  • Balsamic Glaze: After air frying, drizzle the tilapia with a balsamic reduction for a tangy, sweet finish.

Each of these seasoning variations can completely change the profile of your Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia, making it a versatile recipe that can suit a wide range of taste preferences and dining occasions.

Air-Fryer-Tilapia (1)

Pro Tips

Perfecting the art of cooking frozen tilapia in an air fryer involves a few key techniques and considerations. Here are some professional tips to ensure the best results:

  • Preheat the Air Fryer: Always start with a preheated air fryer. This ensures a consistent cooking temperature right from the start, which is crucial for evenly cooked fish.
  • Do Not Thaw: Cook the tilapia straight from frozen. Thawing can change the texture and moisture content of the fish, affecting the final outcome.
  • Seasoning Matters: Season the tilapia well to enhance its mild flavor. Even a simple seasoning with salt, pepper, and lemon can make a big difference. Consider marinating the fish for a few minutes in your favorite herbs or sauces for more flavor.
  • Oil Lightly: Lightly brush or spray the tilapia with avocado oil before cooking. This helps to achieve a golden-brown finish and prevents the fish from drying out.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Cook the fish in a single layer without overlapping. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking and steaming instead of frying.
  • Flip Gently: If the size of your air fryer requires it, flip the fish halfway through cooking. Be gentle to avoid breaking the fillets.
  • Use Parchment Paper: To prevent sticking and to make cleanup easier, you can use a piece of parchment paper at the bottom of the air fryer basket.
  • Don’t Overcook: Tilapia cooks quickly, especially in an air fryer. Overcooking can make it dry and tough. It’s done when the flesh flakes easily with a fork and reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Before removing the fish from the air fryer, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. 
  • Rest Before Serving: Let the fish rest for a few minutes after cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a moist and flaky texture.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve the tilapia with a wedge of lemon, your favorite side dish, or a light salad to complement its flavors.

By following these tips, you can enjoy perfectly cooked, flavorful, and healthy Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia every time, turning a simple meal into a delightful dining experience.

Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia in Air Fryer Basket

Faq about cooking frozen tilapia in air fryer

Do I need to thaw the tilapia before cooking it in the air fryer? No, one of the advantages of using an air fryer is that you can cook the tilapia directly from frozen. Thawing is not necessary and could actually affect the texture of the fish.

What temperature should I set my air fryer to for cooking frozen tilapia? A general guideline is to set your air fryer to around 400°F (200°C). This temperature is ideal for cooking the fish evenly and getting a nice exterior without drying it out.

How long does it take to cook frozen tilapia in an air fryer? It typically takes about 12-14 minutes to cook frozen tilapia in an air fryer, but this can vary depending on the thickness of the fillets and the specific model of your air fryer.

Do I need to flip the tilapia during cooking? It’s a good idea to gently flip the tilapia halfway through cooking to ensure even cooking and browning. However, be careful as the fillets can be delicate.

Can I season the tilapia before air frying it? Yes, you can season frozen tilapia before cooking. Lightly brush it with oil and then apply your seasonings. The oil helps the seasonings stick to the fish and prevents it from drying out.

What are some good seasonings for tilapia? Tilapia is quite versatile. Simple seasonings like salt, pepper, and lemon work well, or you can use garlic powder, paprika, herbs like dill or parsley, or even a Cajun or blackening seasoning for more flavor.

Can I use foil or parchment paper in the air fryer when cooking tilapia? Yes, you can use parchment paper to prevent sticking and make cleanup easier. Foil can also be used, but ensure it doesn’t block air circulation in the air fryer.

How do I know when the tilapia is done cooking? The tilapia is done when it flakes easily with a fork and reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). The flesh should be opaque and no longer translucent.

What can I serve with air fryer tilapia? Tilapia pairs well with a variety of sides, serve wtih your favorite sides, such as steamed vegetables, rice, quinoa, or a fresh salad.

Can I cook other types of fish in the air fryer using this method? Absolutely! The air fryer is great for cooking various types of fish. Just adjust the cooking time based on the thickness and type of fish.

How to store leftover tilapia Let the tilapia filets cool to room temperature, then place the leftover fish into an airtight container or wrap it tightly in saran wrap or plastic wrap.

Air Fryer Tilapia

More Air Fryer Recipes

Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia

Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia

3.82 from 22 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


Do you love seafood but don't want to spend much time preparing it? If so, then you need to try air fryer frozen tilapia! This dish is effortless to make and tastes delicious. In this recipe, we will teach you how to make air fryer frozen tilapia in just a few simple steps, without evening having to thaw it!
And frozen tilapia is fantastic in the air fryer!


  • 4 frozen tilapia fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • Add the frozen tilapia to the air fyrer basket.
  • Spray the tops of the fish with cooking spray, or brush with olive oil.
  • Sprinkle the seasoniings on top of the fish.
  • Set the temperature to 390 degrees f, using the air fryer setting, and cooking time for 12-14 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F.
  • Serve with sliced lemons, or tartar sauce.


  • Air Fryer
  • Cooking Spray
  • Parchment Paper, optional


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 4kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.3gFat: 0.03gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 292mgPotassium: 13mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.03gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 0.1mg

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