Looking for a healthy meal option?
Air fryers are a great way to cook food without using oil.
You can cook frozen fish fillets without breading in an air fryer, and they will come out crispy and delicious.
Fish is a healthy protein that is low in calories and high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Cooking it in an air fryer is a quick, easy, and healthy way to prepare it.
Frozen fish fillets are the type of thing that I love to have in my freezer when I’m too tired or busy to think about cooking.
So, when I got an air fryer, it seemed natural to want to cook frozen fish in it without any breading because breading and frying go hand in hand, right?
The answer is yes and no.
I tried cooking frozen breaded fish fillets, and the breading fell off!
If you skip the breading or use an alternative that doesn’t involve frying, you will find that air frying frozen fish fillets can make a delicious, crispy treat.
As I mentioned, I tried cooking frozen breaded fish fillets in my air fryer.
Don’t do this!
The breading fell into a hot mess, and there was grease everywhere.
However, if you remove the breading from the equation, you might still think that frying frozen fish is worth it because even though there can be some mess, the little bit of residual oil is easily cleaned up with wet paper towels.
But before you fry your frozen fish fillets…
The first thing to note is that most types of bread are not going to fare well in an air fryer.
You can try it if you like, but I recommend breading them after being dried with a paper towel or cloth.
You don’t have to get it perfectly dry, but the goal is simply to remove some of the excess water from the frozen fish fillets themselves.
The second thing to note is that if you try this with breading of any sort on your frozen fish fillets, make sure not to overcrowd the basket.
If the fillets are too close together, they will not cook evenly or quickly enough.
You can place smaller items in a single layer in the same basket with larger pieces of frozen fish, but do not try to stack them on top of each other.
This is how you wind up with half-cooked or burned pieces of fish.
I’ve done it before, and I’m not eager to repeat that mistake!
Here are the times that my two test batches of frozen breaded fish fillets required at 350°F.
The first fillet was a larger piece, approximately 7 inches in length by 5 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick.
The second fillet was relatively small–around 4 inches in length by 3 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick.
Smaller, thinner pieces of frozen fish will cook faster than thicker pieces.
If you are cooking more significant amounts, it’s best to be sure that the fish is thoroughly defrosted before attempting to cook it in your air fryer.
I left both fillets at 350°F for 16 minutes, and they came out perfect!
If you want fried breading on your breaded frozen fish fillets, you’ll want to follow the directions on your favorite breading mix.
I recommend panko breading because it’s lighter and crispier than other types.
Be sure that your oil is hot enough before you add any frozen fish pieces to prevent them from sticking together or falling apart when you remove them from the breading mix.
If you’re not breading them, simply follow the same steps as you would for non-frozen fish fillets.
Just remember that they will cook faster than unfrozen fillets!
You might want to serve your fish with the following additions to your basic frozen fish fillet recipe.
If your family likes rice, serve the fish with a rice side dish or microwaveable packets of rice.
Toast provides an excellent base for the fish, as does white bread cut into cubes.
The last suggestion for this recipe is to pour a little lemon juice or garlic butter over the finished product before serving.
What to serve with frozen fish fillets
French fries: If you are serving fish fillets as the main dish, chances are good that your family loves French fries.
There is no reason not to serve them together.
You might want to bake the frozen French fries instead of frying, so the fish stays low in fat.
Salad: A generous salad makes a delicious side dish to fish.
Microwaveable rice: This can be served along with the fish fillets.
White bread cubes: Diced white bread is the perfect accompaniment for this meal.
Lemon juice or garlic butter: If you bake your fish, it doesn’t hurt to drizzle a little lemon juice or garlic butter over the finished product to provide extra flavor.
Broccoli: Broccoli is a perfect side dish for this meal, and it makes the fish healthier.
Cookie sheet: You don’t need to serve your dish on toast, but you can put some toast on a cookie sheet to serve as a base for the fish.
Cauliflower: You can make a great “fry” out of cauliflower for the side dish.
Ketchup: Many people like to serve ketchup with their fish and chips.
Onion rings: Onion rings would be a good side dish for these fillets.
Mashed potatoes: Mashed potatoes are an excellent accompaniment to these fish fillets.
Green beans: Green beans are a delicious way to serve your family frozen fish fillets.
Tartar sauce or cocktail sauce: Tartar sauce or cocktail sauce can be served with the fish for extra flavor.
Canned green beans: If fresh green beans aren’t available, canned green beans are an excellent side dish for the fish.
Mashed potatoes: A little garlic and cheese make mashed potatoes a flavorful side dish.
French fries: French fries go great with this dinner – serve them along with ketchup or mayonnaise to dip them in.
Fresh green beans: This is an excellent way to prepare frozen fish fillets.
Potato wedges: Potato wedges are a great side dish for the fish fillets – bake them together for an easy meal.
For best results, don’t thaw the fish before cooking.
It’s much easier to cook it frozen than to try to cook it after you’ve thawed it out – the fish tends to fall apart when you try that.
Just leave that frozen fish in your freezer until you’re ready for dinner!
Hence, it is better to keep the fish in the freezer until you are ready to use it.
All in all, cooking frozen fish fillets is a straightforward process that can be completed in a short amount of time.
If you are looking for a quick and healthy meal to prepare for your family, this is a great option.
As long as you have some essential ingredients on hand, you can easily create a delicious dinner using frozen fish fillets.
Air Fryer Fish Fillets
- tartar sauce
- lemon wedges
- Defrost frozen fish fillets before using. Drizzle with olive oil, making sure the fish is thoroughly coated.
- Mix the bread crumbs with the paprika, chili powder, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a shallow dish.
- Coat each fish fillet in bread crumbs before placing in the air fryer basket.
- Cook for 12-15 minutes in an air fryer at 390°F (200°C). After 8-10 minutes, open the air fryer and flip the fish fillets to the other side before continuing to cook.