Homemade air fryer fish nuggets using cod tilapia or salmon turn out great! With a light breading they’re tender on the inside but crispy on the outside. Fish bites may be our favorite new dinner creation.
These air fryer fish nuggets were kinda’ an experiment but they were so yummy I thought I’d share! Bite size pieces perfect for little fingers and full of protein for the win. Just one more air fryer recipe on The Typical Mom blog.
If you’re looking for an easy Ninja Foodi recipe you’re in luck. Using the air crisp function on that machine, and our directions, you’ll love this meal too.
If you love air fryer recipes too, here are some resources to start with:
- THIS is my Favorite Air Fryer!
- You can find more Air fryer recipes here, we have Ninja Foodi recipes as well; bookmark them both!
- Here’s a printable air fryer cook times chart here for your fridge.
- It has temp. and times for making the best frozen foods for air fryer too.
- Then join our Facebook page where you can share and find more ideas you’ll love. We have a Foodi social media group as well.
Yes you could cube this and just sprinkle with seasonings with no breading. It would be delish as well but when you have frozen chicken nuggets lovers at home, they love a bit of crisp.
I just used flour and egg as a coating for this. You could alternatively use a bagged fish breading mix of sorts and go that direction too. I’m sure the timing would be the same as ours using that on the outside.
Is Air Fryer Good for Fish?
Air Fryer Catfish Nuggets
Let’s talk about the type of fish you use. I chose cod because it was on sale really, and I knew it was somewhat firm. That is important but there are several other varieties that would work just as well, like catfish.
The seasonings I just threw together. Of course you can swap out what you love more but Old Bay is my go to really. I personally like to add flavor but tone down on the salt. You can always add more of that when it is served.
You can throw this into an air fryer fish tacos when you’re done too if you want.
Cod Nuggets in Air Fryer
This is the size I cut my fillets into. Of course the thickness will vary from the middle pieces to the end. Make sure they’re just all the same size so they cook evenly.
Then it is time to dunk, coat, and put into a preheated air fryer. MAKE sure you spray the basket with non stick spray first though! These will definitely stick with the flour coating and you don’t want any to fall off.
I learned that the hard way on the first round because I totally forgot to do it, after that they just slid right out.
This is what I found to be the best method to add the most seasoning but not overdo it. I lightly sprinkled the fish pieces with salt and pepper, then dunked into the flour, then the egg, and the flour again.
This does take a bit of time so just make it an assembly line on your countertop.
Can you cook nuggets in air fryer?
Yes! The key is placing your fish bites or air fryer popcorn chicken into a single layer. This is important. Not only do you not want them sticking together but you need the hot air to touch it all the way around.
Every piece will get crispy browned that way during every round this way.
How long do fish fingers take in an air fryer?
If you chose to slice these into longer pieces like chicken tenders they would take a bit longer. I wouldn’t increase time by more than a minute or so though.
Here are quick step by step directions but there is a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post as well:
Time needed: 8 minutes.
Air Fryer Fish Nuggets
Cube deboned fish into bite size pieces. Blot dry with paper towels. Lightly sprinkle all of them with salt and pepper to season.
In a shallow bowl mix together flour, salt, pepper, Old Bay and garlic powder. (or just use bagged fish breading mix) In another bowl whisk eggs.
One at a time dip fish pieces into flour mixture, then dip into egg (allow excess to drip off), then coat again with flour mixture again.
Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees F for 5 minutes. Spray air fryer basket with olive oil spray.
Put coated pieces inside basket in one layer without overlapping. Spray top of fish bites with olive oil spray so flour is moist.
Close basket once full and cook for 8 minutes total, flipping halfway through the total cook time. Spray olive oil spray on top of pieces again when flipped over.
Remove fried fish, taste, sprinkle more salt and pepper on if desired and enjoy with tartar sauce.
If you have a Foodi you could do this same method but make air fryer fish and chips with the frozen french fries on the bottom! Air frying is a game changer when you’re a busy family who’s meal planning for a group.
Like I said before, if your pieces are quite thick your timing may be closer to 10-12 minutes versus my 8. I would check after 8 though and break one piece open to check.
This is what ours looked like. Any longer and it wouldn’t still be moist and flaky inside. Serve with tartar or white sauce for fish and enjoy.
A printable recipe for this is below which includes nutritional information as well.
Remember that olive oil spray is your friend on all air fryer fish recipes. Next you should try air fryer catfish and go from there. A little spray will get the outside crispy yet keeping the inside nice and tender.
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Air Fryer Fish Nuggets
- Cube deboned fish into bite size pieces. Lightly sprinkle pieces with salt and pepper. (you can coat using a bagged fish breading mixture if you want or mix flour and seasonings together like I did below)
- In a shallow bowl mix together flour, salt, pepper, Old Bay and garlic powder.
- In another bowl whisk eggs.
- One at a time coat fish piece in flour mixture, then dip and coat with egg (allow excess to drip off), and then coat again with flour mixture.
- Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees F for 5 minutes. Spray basket with olive oil spray and put coated pieces inside in one layer without overlapping. Spray top of fish bites with olive oil spray so flour is moist.
- Close basket once full and cook for 8 minutes total. Flip pieces over after minute 4 and spray olive oil spray on top of pieces again.
- Remove, taste, sprinkle more salt and pepper on if desired and enjoy with tartar sauce.