Air Fryer Frozen Fish with Parmesan Crumbles

Two fish fillets with parmesan crumbles and tartar sauce on the side.

Air Fryer Frozen Fish with Parmesan Crumbles. You family is going to love this super fast and easy dinner idea!! No thawing required and this air fryer fish recipe is uber kid-friendly, as well. And, if you’re looking for more air fryer fish recipes on the healthy side, this fits that bill, too.

Air Fryer Frozen Fish with Parmesan Crumbles Recipe

Air Fryer Fish Fillets with Parmesan Crumbles with carrots on the side.

Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We?? 🙂

We love our air fryer. I was actually kind of skeptical to get one since it takes significant counter space (very precious real estate in my kitchen!) and I was also concerned that we wouldn’t actually use it that much.

I have never been more wrong! I have been shocked at how much we use it. After getting an air fryer, I became very aware at how useful it truly is for busy families because we all seem to be eating in shifts most of the time due to crazy busy schedules.

An air fryer is great for cooking, but also for re-heating since it makes every exterior nice and crispy again. Wait until you try reheating leftover restaurant pizza – it’s the bomb!! All fresh and new again.

Easy Air Fryer Recipes

I am constantly on the look out for new and tasty air fryer recipes, especially easy recipes, so I can share them here on my blog. To satisfy our Italian cravings, we are big fans of Air Fryer Pizza Breadsticks and Easy Air Fryer French Bread Pizza.

My guys are big meat-eaters, so of course they love Air Fryer Marinated Steak Bites, Pulled Pork Nachos Made in the Air Fryer, and (my fav) Air Fryer Brats with Peppers and Onions.

And, if you’ve got appetizers on your mind, check out Air Fryer Pepper Jelly Dip with Bacon!

Air Fryer Frozen Fish with Parmesan Crumbles

What to love about this recipe –

  1. Easy-peasy
  2. Cook from frozen – no thawing involved
  3. Fast!!

Which ingredients do I need for making this air fryer fish recipe?

  • Tilapia fillets, or any mild fish fillets that are on the thinner side
  • Grated parmesan cheese (the pizza kind of parmesan cheese)
  • Spices: garlic powder, onion powder, dill weed, black pepper
  • Butter

Which air fryer should I use for this recipe?

There are many, many brands of air fryers out there, as well as many styles. My recipes are all made in the Cuisinart TOA-60 air fryer because that’s what we own.

I really like the flat-rack style of air fryer instead of a basket-style since you can cook more at one time because the foods are spread out over the rack. For us, the best part of cooking in an air fryer is how crispy it makes the foods you are preparing and also how quickly it cooks.

Why do I NEED an air fryer, anyway?

Whether you’re empty-nesters like we are now, you’ll find yourself using your air fryer all the time since you’re just cooking for two.

However, if you have a family to cook for, you will definitely find an air fryer handy since busy families usually have to eat in shifts to accommodate everybody’s schedules.

Air Fryer Fish with golden brown parmesan crumbles on top.

5 Easy Steps: How to Cook Frozen Fish in an Air Fryer

Full, printable recipe card below – just scroll on down within this post to find it! 

  1. In a microwave-save bowl, combine the parmesan cheese with the spices; stir in the melted butter, combining well. Microwave this mixture for 20 seconds, or just until the parmesan is slightly melted and a bit stuck together; let cool for 1 minutes, then use your fingers to crumble up this mixture.
  2. Spray the air fryer rack with a bit of non-stick spray, then place the fillets onto the rack. Divide the parmesan crumbles mixture into fourths, then sprinkle the crumbles over the top of each fillet.
  3. Now, give each fillet a good sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
  4. Air fry the frozen fillets at 350 degrees F. for 9-10 minutes or until the fillets flake easily with a fork at the thickest part and the flesh is opaque in color instead of light pink. The topping should be nicely golden brown. **If cooking thawed fillets using this recipe, reduce the cooking time to 7-8 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the tartar sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Serve the fillets topped with the tartar sauce or on the side.
Dill tartar sauce beside fish fillets with parmesan crumbles on top.

7 Reasons Your Kitchen Needs an Air Fryer – click here to see!

Common Questions Asked About This Recipe

Which tools are helpful for making fish in the air fryer?

The air fryer we have is the Cuisinart TOA-60 and we use it all the time. There are lots of styles and brand of air fryers out there, but we like this style because it’s got a rack that you can pull out and load, instead of a basket.

A narrow metal spatula is great for lifting the fish from the air fryer rack to serve. Or, you may actually prefer using a metal fish spatula which also works great if you decide to fry fish in a skillet.

Does air fryer fish taste like fried fish? Is air fried fish crispy?

Yes!! Don’t even worry about that. Anything, including fish, gets crispy and golden brown in an air fryer…in just minutes. You will not miss all the fat from frying at all.

Can I bake this fish from frozen in the oven if I don’t have an air fryer?

Yes. Bake the fish on a rimmed (greased) baking sheet at 400 degrees F. for 15-22 minutes or until the fish flakes easily at the center when tested with a fork.

Which other types of frozen fish can be cooked in an air fryer? Can I cook frozen salmon in an air fryer? What about cooking frozen Mahi Mahi in an air fryer?

For the most part, nearly any frozen fish fillet can be cooked from frozen in an air fryer. Thinner frozen fillets, like tilapia, swai, flounder, crappie, sole, or haddock (to name a few) will take 9-12 minutes to air fry. Firmer and thicker frozen fillets, such as salmon, halibut, and cod will typically take 13-16 minutes to air fry.

Can I air fry frozen raw fish as well as frozen breaded fish fillets, like fish sticks?

Yes!!! Either one works great when air fried from frozen. Breaded fish fillets should be crispy on the outside and warm on the inside, clear to the center. Un-breaded fish fillets are fully cooked when they flake easily at the thickest part of the fillet when tested with a fork.

Easy to make air fryer frozen tilapia with parmesan crumbles and tartar sauce

How do I know when fish is done and fully cooked?

Fish is fully cooked and ready when the flesh has gone from light pink in color to an opaque white, flakes easily at the center when tested with a fork, and is 140-145 degrees F. at the center.

How can I tell when fish is 140-145 degrees F. at the center and safe to eat?

When cooking fish, the only way to know the internal temperature is to use an instant-read thermometer to temp it. Slide the instant-read thermometer in from the side

Do I need to have an instant read meat thermometer to cook fish in the air fryer?

Absolutely not! Again, you can know that fish is fully cooked when the color of the flesh has gone from light pink in color to an opaque white and flakes easily at the center (or the thickest part of the fillet) when you test it with a fork! **For salmon, the flesh goes from a dark pink color to a lighter color of pink, fyi.

Why is my fish crispy and warm on the outside but still cold on the inside?

This usually means that your air fryer is set too high in temperature. I like to air fry frozen fish at 350 degrees F. so that the exterior gets golden brown and crispy at a little slower pace, allowing the center of the fish to get fully cooked and hot.

If the temperature of the air fryer (or oven) is set too high, the outside over-cooks before the inside is ready.

How do I reheat fish in the air fryer so it’s crispy again?

Here’s how I do it: I mist the breaded cooked fish with cooking spray and air fry at 350 degrees F. for 5-7 minutes. If the fish is a thicker type, you may need to reduce the heat to 325 degrees F. and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.

Do I need to preheat my air fryer when I’m cooking frozen fish?

I know that some people preheat their air fryers. I have never felt this necessary since the air fryer heats up so fast and is such a small space.

Remember – there is no wrong or right way of cooking, just better and different ways! Once you get to know your air fryer better, you’ll know whether you should preheat it or not.

What can I serve with air fryer fish?

Golden brown fish fillets on a white plate.

Find all of my air fryer recipes here!

Printable Air Fryer Frozen Fish with Parmesan Crumbles Recipe

Two fish fillets with parmesan crumbles and tartar sauce on the side.

Air Fryer Frozen Fish with Parmesan Crumbles

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 fillets
Calories: 372kcal

Ingredients

Parmesan Fish

  • 4 frozen tilapia fillets (thawed fillets work fine, as well)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. melted unsalted butter
  • additional parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

Dill Pickle Tartar Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs. sour cream
  • 2 Tbs. dill pickle relish, drained
  • 2 tsp. red vinegar, may substitute cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. dill weed
  • tiny pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Instructions

  • In a bowl, combine the parmesan cheese and spices; stir in the melted butter, combining well. Microwave for 20 seconds, or just until the parmesan is slightly melted and stuck together a bit; let cool for 1 minute, then use your fingers to crumble this mixture in the bowl.
  • Spray the air fryer rack with a bit of non-stick spray, then place the fillets onto the rack. Divide the parmesan crumbles mixture into fourths, then sprinkle the crumbles over the top of each fillet. Now, give each fillet a good sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
  • Set the air fryer to 350 degrees F. Cook the frozen fillets for 9-10 minutes or until the fillets flake easily with a fork at the thickest part and the flesh is opaque in color instead of light pink. The topping should be nicely golden brown. **If cooking thawed fillets using this recipe, reduce the cooking time to 7-8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the tartar sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Serve the fillets topped with the tartar sauce or on the side.
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer fish, frozen fish, how to make air fryer frozen fish, parmesan fish fillets, tilapia

Nutrition

Calories: 372kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 579mg | Potassium: 606mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 548IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 2mg

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Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

Blog Comments

5 stars
Wow this sounds delicious and so stinking easy!!! I have some tilapia in my freezer, going to make this tonight! Looks like a tasty healthy way to eat fish!!!

Hi Kellie –
Just wait until you try it! I think you’ll be pleased, especially since you don’t even have to thaw the fish fillets first. Let me know – I always appreciate you comments and ratings here.
Your fan,
Chef Alli

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