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Tender Frozen Fish in Air Fryer

Frozen fish in air fryer is the way to go! Flaky tender meat inside with perfect crispiness to the outside. Lemon pepper tilapia or salmon done perfectly. 

Frozen Fish in Air Fryer

Ready to learn how to cook frozen foods perfectly?? We were on a mission to figure it out, and share them all with you. THIS frozen fish in air fryer recipe turned out great, I think you will agree once you take a bite. Find this and more air fryer recipes here.

  • We love air fryer fish!!
  • It’s easy to cook if it’s fresh, but frozen is a bit of a head scratcher, we’re here to help you.

Once you get the hang of this you will be the hero of the day when dinner has been forgotten about until 4pm and everyone is hungry!

If you love air fryer recipes too, here are some resources to start with:

cosori review

Air Fryer Frozen Fish

  • First we made air fryer frozen shrimp with a parmesan crust for dinner and they were over the top!
  • Next on the list was air fryer salmon but it was defrosted, so the next challenge was some air fryer frozen fish. Here. It. Is!

Tilapia was bought from the grocery store in a bag, but you could find halibut just as easily if you preferred that seafood variety. Grab some fresh lemons and parsley while you’re there and get to cookin’ y’all!

air fryer fish

You can see what we used here. As far as the seasonings go you can really use your favorite ones, or use what’s listed in the recipe card below.

  • That goes for any of our Ninja air fryer recipes in general.
  • I tend to under-season and add salt and pepper at the end so everyone gets it exactly how they like it. 

Now the difference between cooking Instant Pot frozen salmon vs. in your hot air machine is that you’ll get a bit of crispy crunch on the outside. It won’t be as much as if it were breaded, and that isn’t possible if your fish isn’t defrosted first but still.

If I had to choose whether I preferred an Instant Pot tilapia, or this method I think I’d opt for this one. Try them both though and decide for yourself.

fish in air fryer

Now let’s answer the question can I cook frozen fish in the air fryer? The answer is a resounding YeS!! Throwing a batch of air fryer fish sticks in there is SO good too if you want a quick meal.

  • We have done this with a few of our Instant Pot fish recipes. That is convenient as well if you’ve forgotten to take your food out.
  • If you are looking for air fryer Costco recipes this is a good one too. You can buy a bag of frozen salmon for a lot cheaper than the grocery stores and have a healthy meal in no time.

You can see here how yummy it comes out in just 12 minutes. 

What color should cooked fish be?

Fish filet should be opaque, not translucent like when it’s raw. When cooked perfectly it should break easily into flakes when you nudge it with a fork. If it’s still translucent and doesn’t flake add a few more minutes.

Frozen Fish Air Fryer

Keep in mind that air fryer cook times will vary according to:

  1. How thick the fillet is
  2. The size of the fish
  3. Type of fish
    1. salmon will take a bit longer
    2. tilapia and halibut are about the same as the recipe card below
    3. air fryer scallops take little to no time
best scallops

Air Fryer Frozen Fish Fillet

If you do remember to thaw it out, here are directions for air fryer tilapia. You can make fried fish it in just a few minutes with light breading but tons of flavor.

Here’s what you do make frozen fish in air fryer

  • Spray air fryer basket with non stick cooking spray
    • I like to preheat the air fryer ideally – to 390
  • Put frozen fish fillets in and use sliced half of lemon to squeeze lemon juice on top
  • Sprinkle seasonings on top
  • Place 1 slice of other half of lemon on top of each filet
  • Close drawer and set to 390 degrees for 12 minutes

Check, add 2 minutes at a time until meat is white and flaky with a fork. Then serve it inside air fryer fish tacos and enjoy!

how to cook frozen fish

Is air fryer fish healthy?

YES!! It’s a way to make each piece lower in fat, calories, and eliminates some potentially harmful elements sometimes found in typically fried foods. If you love deep-fried foods crispiness this is a healthier option to get that same crunch!!

Air fryer side dish recipes

Or you can choose the quicker option of cooking air fryer french fries!

french fries in air fryer

Below is a printable recipe card to keep on hand, or just come back again to get directions to other easy dinners. We always love “seeing” you here on The Typical Mom blog.

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Frozen Fish in Air Fryer
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5 from 7 votes

Frozen Fish in Air Fryer

Frozen fish in air fryer is the way to go! Flaky tender meat inside with perfect crispiness to the outside. Lemon pepper tilapia or salmon done perfectly.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer, fish, frozen, ninja foodi
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 12kcal
Author The Typical Mom



  • Spray air fryer basket with non stick spray and lay frozen fillets inside, do not overlap them.
  • Cut lemon in half, lightly squeeze some of one half on to fish and then sprinkle with seasonings. (if you are only doing 2 at a time then only add half of seasonings to top of first batch)
  • Slice other half of lemon and put a thin slice of fresh lemon on each fillet.
  • Close basket and set to 390 degrees for 12 minutes, then check. Timing will vary depending on how thick each piece is and how "done" you like your fish to be. Add 2 minutes at a time and check again if you want them to have more time.
  • Sprinkle diced fresh parsley on top and serve.


Nutrition Facts
Frozen Fish in Air Fryer
Amount Per Serving (3 oz)
Calories 12 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 292mg13%
Potassium 37mg1%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 7mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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