Air Fryer Tilapia is fast and delicious. Air fry up plain tilapia fillets into tender, flaky portions that are an absolute delight! The best part is that this flavorful seafood dish comes together in 10 minutes for a super convenient weeknight meal!
Summer calls for light meals that can be made without much fuss!
It’s amazing with buttery tilapia – but you can also use whatever favorite white fish you have available!
Full of heart-healthy Omega-3’s, tilapia is a fantastic, healthy, and affordable option for dinner.
This Tilapia recipe is flavorful, tender, and effortless – everything you want in a main course!
Let the air fryer do the cooking with this effortless 4 ingredient recipe. Unable to find Cajun seasoning in your grocery store? Make my simple and quick recipe!
- Tilapia Fillets – Fresh is always best! You can use frozen fish, too – but make sure to thaw! You can also substitute any white fish for the tilapia.
- Olive Oil – A fantastic, healthy cooking oil. You’ll use this to coat the air fryer basket and rub on the fillets.
- Cajun Seasoning – An incredibly delicious seasoning blend to sprinkle on the fish. Use your favorite store-bought or use mine to add delicious flavor to so many recipes.
- Lemon – This is optional, but lemon enhances the flavor of the fish and adds an incredible fresh bite.
*Be sure to see the free printable recipe card below for ingredients, exact amounts & instructions with tips!*
🔪 How To Air Fry Tilapia
This fast and delicious tilapia comes together so effortlessly that you’ll be amazed!
This recipe makes 2 servings, but you can easily increase this recipe to feed the whole family.
- Prep the air fryer. Rub a small drizzle of olive oil (about ½ of a teaspoon) on the air fryer basket or use an air fryer liner. Then preheat your air fryer to 400°F (205°C).
- Prep the tilapia. Rinse and pat dry one 8-ounce tilapia fillet or two 4-ounce tilapia fillets. Next, rub a small amount of olive oil (about 1 teaspoon) over both sides of the fish. Then, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning over both sides of the tilapia until well-coated.
- Air fry the tilapia. Place the tilapia in the air fryer and air fry at 400°F (205°C) for 4 minutes, then flip and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. When the fish is done, it will reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). It should also be completely opaque and flaky.
- Serve. If desired, squeeze a lemon wedge over the fish and serve immediately.
I love to serve this fast and delicious air fryer tilapia for a light summertime lunch or dinner with my equally effortless air fryer asparagus.
💭 Tips & Notes
- Variable Cooking Times: Remember that cooking times are approximate and can vary. Differences in air fryer models and the thickness of the fish can affect cooking duration. Use your air fryer's manual along with my recommendations for best results.
- Prevent Sticking: Oil the air fryer basket or use a liner to prevent the tilapia from sticking. This is crucial as fish tend to stick and break apart easily, and this step helps in serving intact, appealing fillets.
- Avoid Overcooking: Monitor the cooking closely and use a thermometer to check for doneness, ensuring perfectly cooked tilapia.
- Ideal Internal Temperature: According to USDA guidelines, tilapia should reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). If you don't have a thermometer, check for doneness by ensuring the fish is opaque and firm and flakes easily with a fork at the thickest part.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
This tilapia is fantastic for lunch the next day or for meal prep! If you do make extra, this incredible air fryer salmon will last for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator!
You can further extend the shelf life by freezing it. Place cooled fillets in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag.
Eat the fish within 3 months for the best flavor. When defrosting, a slow defrost in your refrigerator overnight is the safest and best option!
Bake at 275°F (135°C) for about 10-12 minutes or until it’s reached an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
Tilapia is a lean white fish with a buttery flavor and firm, but delicate texture. Any white fish would make a good substitute, but Catfish, Striped Bass, Bream, Red Snapper, Flounder, and Branzino are the closest substitutions.
Because freshwater fish and lake fish can have parasites, you really do want to cook them to that completely done (and safe) temperature of 145°F (63°C). Fish that has been in the deep freezer has had the bacteria killed, so this is the exception. Someone else had the same question here.
🐟 More Amazing Seafood Recipes
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📖 Recipe Card
Air Fryer Tilapia
- 8 oz tilapia fillet (or 2 4oz portions)
- ½ tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning (use mine or store bought)
- 1 lemon (optional)
- Rinse and pat dry the 8 oz tilapia fillet.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (205°C). Lightly coat the basket bottom with cooking oil, or use an air fryer liner.
- Rub a small amount of ½ tablespoon olive oil over both sides of the fish and sprinkle the 1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning over both sides of the tilapia.
- Place into your preheated air fryer and cook at 400°F (205°C) for 4 minutes, then flip and continue cooking for another 3 minutes.
- When the fish is done, it will be flaky and completely white throughout. Squeeze a bit of 1 lemon over the fish if desired, and serve immediately; enjoy!
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!