Easy Air Fryer Fish Sticks is a quick homemade recipe using cod fillets and breadcrumbs. These healthy nuggets can be made using fresh or frozen fish. This is a seafood dish the whole family will love!
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Can you cook fish in an air fryer? The air fryer can literally do it all, including making some of the best crispy fried fish. How to cook raw fish, is actually pretty easy and you only need a handful of ingredients.
I cringe when I think about the boxed fish sticks we ate growing up. They are the epitome of convenience food and something my mom could serve to us kids with minimal effort. Luckily, I find making homemade recipes with the air fryer pretty quick and easy.
Are Fish Sticks Bad For You?
Frozen fish sticks in the grocery store are processed and deep-fried in vegetable oil. They also contain ingredients like maltodextrin and modified food starch. Maltodextrin is highly processed from potatoes and corn. It is closely related to corn syrup solids, which is basically sugar.
Processed food is not usually healthy. Homemade fish sticks are another story. You have direct control of the ingredients you add.
What Kind of Fish to Use
Cod or any white fish will work great for this recipe. You can also use tilapia or pollock if you wish.
Tilapia is farm-raised fish and isn’t available in the wild. Some tilapia is genetically modified, I typically don’t eat tilapia and prefer wild-caught cod.
Can You Use Frozen Fish?
You can use previously frozen fish, but defrost it prior to air frying.
How to Make Air Fryer Fish Sticks
- Slice the cod into sticks or smaller portions about an inch wide.
- Season panko breadcrumbs with paprika, lemon pepper seasoning, and salt.
- Dip the cod in all-purpose flour, then egg, and then breadcrumbs.
- Place the fish sticks in the air fryer basket. Spray with olive oil.
- Air fry.
Air Fryer Temperature
I recommend 400 degrees.
How Long to Cook and Cook Time
Cook the fish for 10-12 minutes total, or until the fish has reached your desired level of crisp. Flip the fish halfway through. Crispy fish will need a longer cook time. Monitor the fish, every air fryer brand will cook at varying speeds.
How Long to Cook Frozen Fish Sticks
Frozen processed fish sticks will need 10-15 minutes of cook time on 400 degrees.
How to Reheat Homemade Fish From Frozen
I like to make batches of these and freeze them to have on hand for later. I find the fish only needs 3-4 minutes in the air fryer on 350 degrees to reheat.
More Air Fryer Seafood Recipes
Serve the Fish with These Condiments
Pair the Fish Sticks with These Recipes
Click here for a complete listing of Air Fryer Recipes.
Easy Air Fryer Fish Sticks
- Slice the cod into 1-inch strips or whatever size you wish. Pat dry.
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil. I use this oil spray bottle.
- Add the breadcrumbs to a bowl large enough to dredge the fish sticks along with the seasonings.
- Set up a cooking station with the beaten egg, flour, and seasoned breadcrumbs in 3 separate bowls large enough to dip the fish sticks.
- Dip the fish in the flour, then egg, and then the breadcrumbs. Keep a moist towel nearby. Breading can get really messy.
- Place the fish sticks in the air fryer basket. Spray with cooking oil. Do not stack the fish. Cook in batches if necessary.
- Cook for 5 minutes on 400 degrees.
- Open the basket and flip the fish. Spray with cooking oil. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until crisp.
- Your serving size may vary based on how you slice the fish sticks.
- The amount of flour and breadcrumbs you will need may vary based on the width and height of the fish you use. You may need a little or more or less than what I use in the recipe.
- Spray the fish sticks with oil at a distance to prevent lost breading.
- You can season this fish in a variety of ways. You can also use a half teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning or Creole Seasoning.
- Crispy fish will need a longer cook time. Monitor the fish, every air fryer brand will cook at varying speeds.