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Easy and nutritious, this simple air fryer tilapia gives you tender, flaky, perfectly-seasoned fish fillets in less than 20 minutes. Naturally gluten free, dairy free, Whole30, paleo, low carb, and keto.

Overhead view of air fryer tilapia on a plate with broccoli and a lemon wedge.

What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • Like other white fish, tilapia is nice and light, not at all fishy-tasting. The air fryer is perfect for tilapia because it gives it a nice, crisp crust while the fish stays moist and tender inside. Plus, it’s a much lighter option than battering and deep-frying or even pan-frying.
  • Because the flavor of the fish itself is so light, you can pair it with almost anything and your meal will always taste amazing! My favorite sides for this recipe are asparagus, Italian green beans, and cauliflower with lemon-garlic aioli.
  • This method will work with any tilapia, regardless of the flavors you’re wanting. You can even cook the tilapia plain (or with a little salt and pepper) and then use a sauce (like this lemon butter sauce) with it after cooking.

Key Ingredients

Tilapia Fillets – Fresh or frozen! This recipe is written for fresh fillets, but you can thaw frozen fillets overnight and then season and proceed as written. I don’t recommend air frying them straight from frozen just because you won’t be able to season them first.

Spices – I love the savory blend I use this in this recipe, but feel free to customize yours however you like. Lemon pepper tilapia, blackened tilapia, parmesan-crusted tilapia – anything goes!

Chef’s Tips

  • If you have leftover tilapia, you can reheat it in the air fryer, too. Just pop it in for 5 minutes at 400° Fahrenheit. Be careful, though. Fish doesn’t take long to cook in the first place, so it’s really easy to overcook when you reheat it. Note that reheated fish won’t taste as good or have as nice of a texture as freshly-cooked fish.
  • The food-safe temperature for fish is 145° Fahrenheit internally. I highly recommend you use a thermometer and don’t rely on the cook times alone! Every air fryer is different and yours may take more or less time to cook than mine does.
  • As with most air fryer recipes, don’t overlap the food. Place the tilapia fillets in one flat layer, not touching each other, so the air can circulate around them completely. If the air can’t reach a spot, it won’t cook that spot. Cook in batches as needed depending on the size and number of fillets and the size of your air fryer.
Overhead view of air fried tilapia fillets on a white plate.

Check Out These Air Fryer Recipes

Recipe By: Jasmine Comer
5 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Tilapia

Prep 5 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 15 minutes
Easy and nutritious, this simple air fryer tilapia gives you tender, flaky, perfectly-seasoned fish fillets in less than 20 minutes. Naturally gluten free, dairy free, Whole30, paleo, low carb, and keto.
3 servings


  • 1 air fryer
  • 1 Small bowl



  • Preheat air fryer to 400° Fahrenheit. Mix together all spices in small bowl, distributing thoroughly.
    Spice mixture for air fryer tilapia.
  • Cover both sides of each fillet with olive oil, then coat well with spice mixture. Place fillets in air fryer basket and return basket to preheated air fryer.
    Seasoned tilapia fillets on white plate.
  • Cook fillets 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through and flaky. Serve with desired sides, lemon wedges, and chopped parsley if desired.
    Cooked tilapia fillets in air fryer basket.
  • Cook to a food-safe internal temperature of 145° Fahrenheit, regardless of cook time. Your air fryer may take more or less time to cook than mine.
  • Don’t overlap the tilapia fillets in the air fryer basket. Cook in batches as needed so the fish can lay in one flat layer, not touching.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1filletCalories: 251calProtein: 34gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 477mgPotassium: 539mgTotal Carbs: 1gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 172IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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    1. Molly | 40 Aprons Team Molly | 40 Aprons Team says:

      So glad you enjoyed! Thanks so much for the review!

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