Skip to Content

How Long to Cook Tilapia in Air Fryer

The air fryer has grown into our everyday lives and is a go-to appliance for almost anything. Plus, it makes an amazing fried tilapia recipe with a robust hint of flavor and delicious flakiness. But if you’ve tried this idea but don’t find it ending well, it’s probably because the timing is wrong. So, we’ll help you get a good footing on how long to cook tilapia in an air fryer, plus other insightful tips.

Tilapia Nutrition Facts

How long to Cook Tilapia in Air Fryer

Why Cook Tilapia in the Air Fryer?

Tilapia is one of the easiest fish to cook and rarely requires any special equipment or appliance. So, you may consider trying a tilapia recipe in an air fryer pointless, especially if you’re used to the stove or oven. But you’ll be itching to give the technique a whirl once you discover its exciting advantages.

Quick-Cooking: Tilapia cooks so fast in an air fryer that you’ll be done with a recipe and prepare a menu in less than 10 minutes!

Flavor-Packed: The air fryer is welcoming to the generous coating of dry seasoning featured in this tilapia recipe, offering you an intense flavor experience like no other.

Healthier Food: Unlike the stovetop that requires heating a large amount of oil, you’ll only need a thin film for the air fryer tilapia recipe resulting in fewer calories!

Less Fuss: An air fryer is an excellent option for cooking multiple batches without fuss, as opposed to the oven’s cumbersome procedures.

Easy Procedure: Anyone can whip this recipe using an air fryer, thanks to its easy-to-use programming and the recipe’s straightforward instructions.

Prepping the Tilapia

You’ll be using tilapia filets for air fryer cooking, so select options between six to eight ounces. And if they’re fresh, give them a quick rinse in water, then dry with paper towels before cooking. Tilapia filets are naturally moist, and the rinsing will add extra to the tissues. So, ensure to lap up as much moisture as you can with the paper towels before proceeding to season the filets so they’ll cook faster.

You can also use frozen tilapia filets for the air fryer but ensure to thaw them before cooking. Seal the filets in a plastic bag and drop them in a bowl of cold water, then let them sit and defrost for 15 to 30 minutes. Afterward, blot the moisture with paper towels.

Prepping the Air Fryer

Depending on your preference, you can cook tilapia filet in a 350F to 400F air fryer. And the appliance must first be preheated before putting the basket so the cooking time stays on track. Greasing the basket isn’t necessary since the filets will be coated in oil before cooking, but you can do this if you’re worried it’ll stick to the surface.

Seasoning the Tilapia

A good sprinkle of dry spices and seasoning can help infuse a robust flavor to the tilapia, but you should first coat it with olive oil, so it doesn’t stick. Another suggestion is to skip the oil and jump to the seasoning instead, then prepare a rich butter sauce to drizzle over the fish when it’s finished. This sauce can contain parmesan, butter, salt, and Italian seasoning ingredients. You can also go creative with your seasoning choices, like coating the tilapia in your favorite bottled sauce or finishing with a dash of lemon juice.

Air Fryer Tilapia Cooking Time

You’ll be cooking the tilapia for around five to eight minutes in a 350F to 400F air fryer. The appliance’s speed and fish’s thickness will also affect the recipe’s doneness time. But you can be certain by checking the fish for an internal temperature of 130F to 145F, which is ready by sticking a meat thermometer in the filet’s thickest area. And some recipes suggest you flip the fish at least once before it reaches doneness.

But if you need a visual tell for the doneness, take the fish down when it flakes easily with a fork. The appearance should also be opaque all through

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Air Fryer Tilapia (2 Servings)

Save Recipe


  • Two Tilapia filets; fresh, six ounces each
  • One tablespoon of olive oil
  • One teaspoon of chili powder
  • Half teaspoon of paprika
  • Half teaspoon of salt
  • A quarter teaspoon of black pepper


  1. Briefly rinse the tilapia filets in water, and blot the moisture with paper towels, then set it aside for seasoning.
  2. Brush the fillets with olive oil and mix the spices and salt in a bowl. Then, sprinkle the fish with the mixed seasoning, ensuring it coats all surfaces.
  3. Arrange the tilapia fillets in the air fryer basket, avoiding any overlap, and cook for five to six minutes at 350F. The tilapia filets should develop a golden brown appearance and flake easily with a fork. If not thoroughly cooked, add additional minutes, and track the doneness with a meat thermometer for an internal temperature of 130F to 145F.
  4. Serve the tilapia hot, and a desired immediately after cooking.

Also, check this video recipe for more help.

  • Author: Bobby