Air fryer frozen tilapia fish- A quick and easy way to make a healthy, low-carb meal, straight from the freezer, without thawing the fish.A perfect dinner for busy weeknights
Are you tired of the hassle of thawing frozen fish before cooking it? Do you find yourself in a bind when you forget to plan for your healthy meals? Look no further!
The air fryer is here to save the day and provide a quick and healthy solution - air fryer fish that is golden brown, crispy around the edges, and flaky in the middle.
In just 15 minutes, you can have a mouthwatering, low-carb tilapia fish on your dinner table straight from the freezer. No more fretting over forgotten thawing.
This tilapia is crispy around the edges, moist, and flavorful in the middle. You can make this a low-carb meal or serve it over rice, tacos, and pasta.
If you're cooking for yourself, you only need one or two fillets of frozen tilapia and a handful of beans tossed in the same seasoning. Place the fish fillet in the air fryer alongside the beans, and voila! In one shot, you'll have a complete and satisfying meal that's both nutritious and flavorful.
You can also cook frozen chicken wings in the air fryer. Straight from the freezer, without defrosting.
Here is what we are going to do
- Take the fish out of the freezer
- Season and Pop it in the Air fryer! That's it!
You can enjoy this fish dish with the whole family. It's not only a great protein source but also super easy to rustle up.
Ingredients for Air Fryer Frozen Tilapia Fish
Here are the simple ingredients you need to make this delicious recipe
- Frozen Tilapia Fish fillet
- Garlic Powder
See the recipe card for quantities.
Frozen Tilapia Fish
Tilapia is an inexpensive white fish with almost no taste of its own. Like chicken, the way you cook and add flavor determines the taste.
I always have a bag of frozen tilapia in my freezer. I like the packs with individually frozen fish fillets to take out just one.
You can also use the same recipe with any flaky white fish.
I love the lemon flavor, and aroma lemon gives the fish. It's a flavor pairing made in heaven. The lemon also helps fish not stick to the bottom.
You can further enhance the pop of flavor by adding some grated lemon zest to the spice mix.
If you do not have a lemon, you can use any other citrus fruit like orange or lime.
I love garlic powder. I love the instant level-up this tiny ingredient can give any dish.
You could use fresh garlic, but I like how garlic powder clings to the fish, making a delicious spicy coating.
You can choose to use oil or butter. To make it dairy free, use olive oil, canola, or avocado oil. You can also use a cooking spray to make this fish uber low fat and carb dish.
I love using butter with tilapia. It just hits differently. I often use Roasted garlic compound butter or homemade lemon butter instead of oil or plain butter while making this fish.
Most of the ingredients listed in the recipe are pretty simple. However, for whatever reason, if you do not have them on hand, here are some common substitutions.
- Frozen Tilapia Fish- You can use fresh tilapia and reduce the time by 2 minutes. Any other frozen mild white fish or a fresh white fish fillet, like mahi mahi, will also work. The cooking time will largely depend on the thickness of the fish.
- Lemon - Lime, Orange, and Onions are suitable replacements for lemon.
- Garlic Powder - Same amount of garlic flakes. You can substitute Half a tablespoon of Fresh minced garlic or garlic paste for one teaspoon of garlic powder. Garlic salt is also a great choice.
- Paprika - Smoked or Sweet Paprika.Any mild ground chili or black pepper. If you like spicy food, you can substitute this with cayenne pepper too.
You can substitute Garlic Powder and Paprika with taco seasoning, lemon pepper seasoning, Italian seasoning, or Cajun seasoning.
How to cook frozen tilapia in air fryer
Step 1: Preheat and Prep
Preheat the air fryer for 1-2 minutes at 400F or 200C until you ready all your other ingredients.
Cut the lemon into slices. Place them in the preheated air fryer.
Mix the salt, paprika, garlic powder, and oil in a small bowl. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and brush the spice mixture over the fish fillet.
Lay the fish on the lemon slices in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
Frozen tilapia brushed with seasoning
Step 2: Air Fry Tilapia
Air fry the tilapia filets at 400F or 200C for 12-13 minutes.
The actual time will depend on the thickness and size of the fish. Check the internal temperature of the fish using a meat thermometer. It should be 145F or more.
Frozen, seasoned Fish, in the air fryer
Air fried Tilapia fish
In just 15 minutes, you can relish a wholesome, healthy meal without extensive preparation, planning, or post-meal cleanup.
How to Check if fish is cooked
There are a lot of ways to check if the fish is cooked
- Color- The fish will turn from translucent white to opaque bright white.
- Texture- Cooked Tilapia has a Flaky Texture instead of the squishy watery texture of raw fish.
- Temperature- The meat thermometer should register an internal temperature of 145F
You could give this recipe so many different delicious twists-
- Air fryer Low carb meal for one- Air fry the fish with beans or broccoli tossed in the leftover garlic powder mix.
- Lemon pepper tilapia- Use a storebought tangy lemon pepper seasoning instead of garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Or you can combine lemon zest with black pepper, salt, and garlic powder to make the seasoning at home.
- Kid-friendly - Skip the paprika to make this kid-friendly
- Gochujang Tilapia - Slather gochujang mixed with salt and honey on the fish. So so good!
- Curry Tilapia - Swap out garlic powder and paprika for your favorite curry powder.
I have a trusty Phillips Air fryer that has lasted about ten years. Yes, I know. I was one of the early adopters of this technology.
If you are not eating the fish in a couple of hours, leftover tilapia can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
These beauties last well in the freezer.
It can be air fried for 5-6 minutes to thaw and refresh. You can also microwave it for one-two minutes instead.
Serving Air fryer Tilapia Fish
You can serve the fish straight out of the air fryer with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a sauce like Tartar sauce or a spicy Sriracha Garlic Lime Aioli.
- Low Carb Meal -I usually like a salad or roast vegetables on the side with it. You can make your whole meal in the air fryer in one shot. Check the variations section to see it.
- Rice Bowls - Over a Salad and a cup of rice.
- Fish Tacos - Guacamole, shredded cabbage, and this fish- broken into chunks.Here are two delicious salsas that we have been making all summer long- Mango Corn Salsa- Pico de Gallo & Black Bean Corn Feta Dip
- Pasta - Seve this over a nice tomato-basted pasta. I love fish in tomato sauce.
This easy air fryer tilapia recipe will take you through your mid-week blues and keep your diet on point.
Here are some more easy air fryer recipes -
These are my favorite dishes to serve with :
If you make this air fryer tilapia fish, please leave a review. I appreciate every rating and review comment!
- 2 Tilapia fish fillet Frozen
- ½ teaspoon Garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Paprika
- 1 Lemon Cut into slices
- 1 teaspoon Oil or Butter
- Preheat the Air fryer to 200 C or 400 F till you prepare the ingredeints.
- Take out the frozen fish from the freezer.No need to thaw.
- In a bowl, mix the paprika, galric powder, salt and oil.
- Brush it over the frozen fish.
- Place lemon slices in the air fryer basket.Lay the fish on top of the lemon slices
- Air fry for 12 minutes at 200 C or 400 F.
How long to cook frozen tilapia in air fryerThe air fryer time can vary based on the size and thickness of the fish. You know fish has cooked when its
- White and Opaque in color
- When it's firm, flaky, and bright white inside, as opposed to a translucent white and squishy
- It registers an internal temperature of 145F inside.
- Low Carb Meal -I usually like a salad or roast vegetables on the side with it. In fact, you can make your whole meal in the air fryer in one shot. Check the variations section to see it.
- Rice Bowls - Over a Salad and a cup of rice.
- Fish Tacos - Guacamole, shredded cabbage, and this fish- broken into chunks.
- Pasta - Seve this over a nice tomato-basted pasta. I just love fish in tomato sauce.
The cooking time can vary depending on the size and thickness of the fish fillets, as well as the specific model of the air fryer. However, as a general guideline, it usually takes 10 to 15 minutes at around 400°F (200°C).
No, you can cook frozen tilapia fish directly in the air fryer without thawing. The air fryer's hot circulating air will cook the fish from frozen.
Yes.That way the seasoning would cook with fish, flavoring it from the inside.
You can season the frozen tilapia fish with a simple seasoning of salt & pepper, cajun seasoning, taco seasoning, old bay seasoning, hot sauce, BBQ sauce etc.
It is generally recommended to preheat the air fryer before cooking. Preheating ensures that the cooking temperature is consistent and helps to achieve better results. I usually preheat the air fryer while gathering and prepping ingredients.
Air frying generally requires less oil than deep frying, making it a healthier alternative. Air-fried tilapia fillets can have a crispy texture similar to deep-fried ones but with less fat and fewer calories.