For a delicious 20-minute meal, make this air fryer frozen fish fillet recipe! It’s a healthy, hearty meal that works perfectly as an appetizer or dinner.
You can find fried fish and shellfish all over the world. Some cooks batter it before frying, and others just coat the fish in spices.
One famous fried fish dish, called “pescado frito,” was invented in Spain. From there, it spread around the world, and it may even be the ancestor of Britain’s famous “fish and chips”!
So, even if you’re a beginner in the kitchen, you can easily put a delicious meal on the table. And it tastes so much better than the frozen breaded fish fillets from the supermarket!
Depending on portion size, this dish works perfectly as a main dish or appetizer. As well, you can make a fish salad sandwich with the leftovers for lunch the next day.
All About the Air Fryer Frozen Fish Fillet Ingredients
There are many types of frozen fish fillets you can find at the supermarket, but some work better than others in this recipe. For example, you want to use fish that retains its flavor and texture when frozen.
Species such as swordfish, walleye, tilapia, halibut, catfish, and pollack are all good options for frozen fish. However, there are some varieties to avoid.
For instance, fish with lots of oil in it, such as tuna or yellowfin, won’t cook well if it has been frozen. Even salmon doesn’t always freeze well.
In this air fryer recipe, I like to use cod because it’s both tasty and economical. It’s a very versatile fish with a mild flavor and soft texture.
But if you don’t like cod, you can substitute any white fish, such as haddock, flounder, or halibut. All of these frozen fish fillets will cook similarly, and they’re very nutritious!
Since this air fryer frozen fish recipe is so simple, you don’t need many seasonings. But most of them are very important.
For example, you need to use olive oil if you’re cooking raw instead of breaded fish fillets. The oil will keep the frozen air fried fish fillets from sticking to the air fryer basket.
Also, this recipe uses garlic powder and dried parsley in addition to salt and pepper. However, you can use any herbs that you like!
For instance, I love using fines herbes or Italian seasoning. And don’t forget a squeeze of fresh lemon juice!
Tips and Tricks for Making Air Fryer Frozen Fish Fillets
Check the Thickness
Before you cook frozen fish fillets, check how thick each fillet is. The thicker the piece of fish, the longer it will take to cook.
But if your fish is very thin, it will air fry quickly, and you won’t even need to flip it! Also, make sure your pieces are about the same size if you’re cooking them together in the air fryer tray.
Slice the Frozen Fish
If the frozen fillets are very thick, you may want to cut them into smaller pieces. Simply slice them through the middle, and the cut fillets will cook faster.
If you overcook frozen fish, the texture can be rubbery and hard to chew. Therefore, you want to take the fish fillets out of the air fryer basket once the flesh has turned opaque.
As well, the meat will stick slightly to the fork and be quite flaky when it’s cooked through.
Check the Middle
The thin edges of frozen fish fillets will cook faster than the center. So, you always need to check the middle to ensure each piece is cooked through.
Also, keep in mind that every air fryer cooks food a little differently, so you may need to adjust the recipe slightly for your particular appliance.
Air Fryer Frozen Fish Fillets Recipe
- Prep Time5 min
- Cook Time12 min
- Total Time17 min
- Preheat and Prep
First, set your air fryer to 350 degrees F and allow it to preheat while you prepare the fish.
Next, rinse the frozen fish fillets and then pat them dry with paper towels.
- Mix the Seasoning
Then, add the dried parsley, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to the small bowl. Stir them gently to combine.
Also, slice the lemon in half, and cut one of the halves into thin round slices.
- Prepare the Air Fryer Fish Fillets
Now, brush the olive oil over the frozen fish fillets to coat them evenly. Then, take the remaining half lemon and squeeze it over the fillets.
Finally, sprinkle some of the seasoning mix evenly onto each piece of fish. And place a slice of lemon on top.
- Fry the Frozen Fish
Next, put each of the fish fillets in the air fryer basket with just a little space in between each one.
To air-fry frozen fish, you want to cook it for about 12 minutes. And if the fish fillets are thin, you don’t need to flip them.
But if the frozen fish fillets are thick, turn them over after about 8 minutes and then continue cooking for the remaining 4.
- Test for Doneness
If your fish is cooked through, remove it from the air fryer. But if it’s still raw in the center, continue cooking for an extra 2 minutes.
- Serve and Enjoy!
Finally, choose your favorite sides, set out more lemon slices, and enjoy your delicious air fryer frozen fish fillets!
With my air fryer frozen fish fillets, I like to serve a starch and a vegetable. That way, I have a well-rounded dinner!
- I generally choose between potatoes and grains, such as rice or quinoa, for starches. One of my favorite comforting sides is mashed potatoes with lots of butter and salt.
- Or, for an easy “fish and chips” meal, I make oven-baked potato wedges and a side of tartar sauce. It’s like going to London without the plane ride!
- As for vegetables, any mix of seasonal produce will be delicious. Usually, I’ll chop up the veggies, sprinkle them with olive oil and salt, and then roast them in the oven. It’s a simple side that always comes out well!
How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat Air Fryer Frozen Fish Fillets
With any air fryer fish recipes, the leftovers will stay good in the refrigerator for about 3 or 4 days. But if you want them to stay fresh for longer, you can freeze them in airtight containers for no more than 3 months.
However, raw frozen fish will stay good much longer, and you don’t have to worry about it making you sick. But the longer it sits, the more the texture and flavor will degrade (1).
When you’re ready to enjoy your leftovers again, you don’t need to thaw them out. Just preheat your air fryer, add a little more oil or cooking spray to your fish, and fry it for about 5 minutes.