Air Fryer Tilapia Recipe


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Air fryer tilapia is ready in 10 minutes and only needs 4 ingredients. It’s buttery soft on the inside and has a delicious crust. This is such an easy way to get a mouthwatering and healthy dinner on the table quickly!

Air Fryer Tilapia

This simple air fried tilapia is made with just 4 ingredients and the outcome is fantastic!

This fish is moist, flaky, and beautifully seasoned. The lemon pepper and paprika adds tons of flavor and gives it such a pretty color.

The air fryer literally does all the work and cooks this fish perfectly in so much less time than it would take in the oven.

Does Fish In The Air Fryer Taste Good?

Yes! This air fryer fish recipe makes perfectly cooked tilapia that tastes like it came straight from your favorite restaurant.


Tilapia: Tilapia is a very popular fish to cook with because it’s affordable and mild flavored. Since it’s a white fish with mild flavor, it takes on the flavors of seasonings really well. If you’re trying to avoid a fishy flavor, it’s very important to rinse the fillets under cool running water and then dry them completely with clean paper towels.

It’s a relatively small fish, so the fillets are normally pretty close to each other in size, which makes it easy to cook multiple pieces evenly in the air fryer. Medium fillets are about 6 ounces, which is how big mine were. If yours are a little bigger, you might need to cook them for a bit longer.

Even though you can cook frozen fish in the air fryer, I prefer this recipe using thawed fish.

Oil: I prefer using olive oil, but feel free to swap this for your favorite cooking oil. The oil helps the crust get a bit crispy and helps the spices stick to the fish.

Spices: My favorite flavor combination for tilapia is lemon pepper and paprika. You could easily swap this for your favorite spices though. Garlic butter or Cajun butter would both taste incredible here.

The best spice blend for tilapia depends largely on how you’re serving it. If you’re serving it with vegetables, I think lemon pepper is the way to go. If you’re planning on serving it in fish tacos, I’d recommend using either Cajun seasoning or taco seasoning.

The labeled ingredients for air fryer tilapia.

How To Cook Tilapia In Air Fryer

Start by preheating the air fryer. While it’s preheating, rinse the tilapia fillets under cool running water, then pat them completely dry using clean paper towels. Rub olive oil on both sides of the fish, then sprinkle half of the seasonings on the first side of the fish. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)

Rubbing oil and seasonings to both sides of the fillets.

Rub the seasoning into the fish, then flip it over and rub the remaining seasoning into the other side. Place the coated fish in the preheated air fryer basket.

A pair seasoned tilapia fillets being added to a heated up air fryer basket.

Cook the fish until it flakes easily with a fork and the internal temperature reaches 145F using an instant read meat thermometer. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.

An image showing what the fillets look like once reaching an internal temperature of 145F.

How Long To Cook Tilapia In Air Fryer

You only need to air fry tilapia for about 6-8 minutes in a preheated air fryer. The amount of time varies based on the thickness of the fillets. Since tilapia is a small fish, the fillets are relatively small and cook quickly in the air fryer.

An overhead image of plated air fryer tilapia on top of a bed of rice.

How Do You Keep Fish Moist In The Air Fryer?

It’s very important to preheat your air fryer. This heats up the air fryer basket, which then crisps the outside of the fish fillet and allows the inside to remain moist. It’s also really important to cook relatively evenly sized pieces of fish. That way the pieces will cook evenly, rather than having one piece dry out by the time the second one cooks fully.

A close up image showing how flakey the fillets are.

At What Temperature Does Tilapia Cook?

The best temperature to cook tilapia in the air fryer is 350F. Any higher will dry the fish out too quickly. Tilapia is finished cooking when it flakes easily with a fork and reaches an internal temperature of 145F on an instant read meat thermometer.

A side shot image of garnished tilapia fillets next to an air fryer.

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

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A Pinterest pin image with a picture of air fryer tilapia, with title text at the top.

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Yield: 2 servings

BEST Air Fryer Tilapia Recipe

The best air fryer tilapia recipe.

Air fryer tilapia is ready in 10 minutes with just 4 ingredients. It’s buttery soft on the inside, flavorful, and has a delicious crust.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes


  • 2 (6-8 ounce) tilapia fillets
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Lemon wedges (optional, for serving)


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350F for 4 minutes.
  2. Rinse the fillets under cool running water, then use clean paper towels to pat dry. 
  3. Drizzle and rub the olive oil over the entire fillets. Sprinkle half of each seasoning over the top of the fillet, and massage in so that it’s evenly coated. Flip the fillets over and season the other side. 
  4. Place the fillets in the preheated air fryer basket, and cook until golden brown (about 6-8 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish). The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork and reaches an internal temperature of 145F when using an instant read thermometer.
  5. Serve immediately with desired sides.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 254Total Fat: 7.4gCarbohydrates: 1.4gFiber: 0.6gSugar: 0.1gProtein: 45.8g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


Tag @KeyToMyLime on Instagram so we can see your delicious meal!

If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious dinner that the entire family will love, this air fryer tilapia is the perfect recipe for you!

The best air fryer tilapia recipe.

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