Air Fryer Crispy Fish Sandwiches can be prepared quickly in the air fryer. The fish gets a perfect crispy texture in the air fryer. Then just add your preferred sandwich toppings like tomatoes, avocado, and tartar sauce.
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If you’re a seafood lover looking for a quick and flavorful meal, this Air Fryer Crispy Fish Sandwich recipe is just what you need. With its golden-brown, crunchy exterior and tender fish inside, topped with creamy tartar sauce, fresh tomatoes, and delicious avocado, this sandwich makes a tasty dinner or lunch option.
You can use any fish that you prefer for this recipe but I recommend using cod or tilapia for the best results. Both cod and tilapia have the advantage of being readily available in most grocery stores and fish markets.
Breading your fish takes just a few minutes with a dredging station that you set up with 3 bowls. Then you’ll just need to add a bit of oil to the fish in the air fryer to get that crispy exterior. We can’t stop making these sandwiches. It’s easy and so tasty.
- 2 independent XL air fryer baskets
- Integrated Foodi® Smart Thermometer
- Cook 2 foods 2 ways that finish at the same time
- Fish – Cod and tilapia are both good choices but other fish such as halibut and flounder are options too.
- Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs add a crispy coating to the fish fillets. You can use Panko or regular breadcrumbs. Use Italian for even more flavor.
- All-Purpose Flour – Use the flour for the dredging station to make sure the egg and breadcrumbs stick to the chicken.
- Paprika – I use sweet or Spanish paprika most often, but you can use smoked paprika too for a different flavor.
- Garlic Salt
- Salt & Ground Black Pepper – Adjust the amounts to suit your taste preferences.
- Egg – If you have an egg allergy or prefer an egg-free alternative, you can use a mixture of milk or non-dairy milk and a tablespoon of cornstarch as a binding substitute.
- Buttermilk or Cream – The buttermilk adds a slight acidic flavor, which is very tasty, but cream or whole milk works just as well.
- Brioche Buns – You can use any bun that you like but my favorite is brioche for sandwiches.
- Tartar Sauce – Use a store bought sauce or make your own with this recipe.
- Tomato – Feel free to substitute with other types of sliced fresh or roasted vegetables such as cucumber, lettuce, or pickles.
- Avocado – Fresh haas avocado slices with a sprinkle of salt on them!
- Cilantro – I love cilantro on my sandwiches.
- Air fryer: I use this 4-quart basket-style air fryer. It’s large enough to fit a meal for 4-6. But some things need more space in the air fryer basket, so they cook evenly.
- Kitchen tongs: It’s very easy to remove food from your air fryer with kitchen tongs. I use these kitchen tongs that are silicon coated so they don’t scratch the interior.
How to Make Air Fryer Crispy Fish Sandwiches
Mix together the breadcrumbs, flour, paprika, garlic salt, salt and pepper on a plate.
In a bowl, combine the egg and buttermilk and whisk together.
Dredge the tilapia through the egg mixture then through the breadcrumbs to coat on both sides. Spray evenly with cooking oil.
Pre-heat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) for 2-3 minutes. Set the fish in the basket, not overlapping. Cook for 10 minutes on one side, then flip and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the fish from the basket and set it aside to cool.
Dress the buns with tartar sauce. Then add a piece of fish, slice of tomato, avocado, and cilantro to each.
Why Use an Air Fryer
An air fryer is an incredibly easy way to cook just about anything. You place the food in a fryer-style basket and hot air rapidly circulates all around the food, making the food crisp – much like deep-frying, but without the oil. You can cook anything you’d make in the oven.
- I use a Ninja MaxXL air fryer (pictured left). If you don’t have an air fryer yet, check out these options to find one that fits your needs.
- See reviews and prices for air fryers on Amazon.
- Here’s a printable Air Fryer Cooking Times Cheat Sheet to get you started.
- Click to find more recipes to make in your Air Fryer.
- Learn how to make fun things in the air fryer, like potato wedges, pork belly bites, and chicken wings.
Additional Helpful Tips
- Before coating the fish, pat it dry using paper towels. Removing excess moisture helps the breading adhere better.
- After coating the fish, gently shake off any excess breadcrumb mixture to prevent a heavy coating that may lead to uneven cooking.
- Don’t forget to season your tomato slices, avocado, or any other toppings with a pinch of salt and pepper to enhance their taste.
- Avocado tends to oxidize and turn brown quickly. Slice it right before assembling the sandwich to keep it looking fresh.
- Accompany your Air Fryer Crispy Fish Sandwich with a side of sweet potato fries, coleslaw, or a fresh green salad for a complete and satisfying meal.
How to Store Leftover Fish
Refrigerator: Store the cooked fish fillets in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap. Place them in the refrigerator, where they can be kept for up to 2-3 days.
Freezer: When stored properly in the freezer, cooked fish can typically last for about 2 to 3 months. However, for the best quality and flavor, it is recommended to consume the fish within the first month of freezing.
How to Reheat Leftover Fish
Air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C). Place the fish in the air fryer basket and cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until it’s heated through and crispy.
Oven: Preheat your oven to around 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover fish on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil to prevent sticking. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the fish is heated through and crispy.
Remember to reheat the fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F to ensure food safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use frozen fish for this recipe?
Yes, you can use frozen fish fillets for this recipe. Thaw them according to the package instructions before breading and cooking.
Can I use a different sauce instead of tartar sauce?
You can use other sauces like mayonnaise mixed with a squeeze of lemon juice, aioli, or even spicy sriracha mayo.
How do I know when the fish is cooked through?
The fish should be opaque and easily flake with a fork when it’s cooked through. The internal temperature should reach 145°F.
What Side Dishes to Serve?
You can serve some really easy side dishes with your main dish cooked in the Air Fryer. Sometimes, you can cook them together in the air fryer to make it even faster.
Some of our favorite side dishes to serve include:
- Air fryer cauliflower
- Air fryer baked potatoes
- Brussels sprouts
- Corn on the cob
- Crispy smashed potatoes
- Cottage fries
Here are 28 more air fryer side dishes to try
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Air Fryer Crispy Fish Sandwich
- 2 pieces fish like tilapia or cod
- 1/2 cup (54 g) breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) ground black pepper
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tablespoon (7 ml) buttermilk or cream
- 2 brioche buns
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) tartar sauce
- 1 tomato sliced
- 1/2 avocado sliced
- Cilantro if desired
- Mix together the breadcrumbs, flour, paprika, garlic salt, salt and pepper on a plate.
- In a bowl, combine the egg and buttermilk and whisk together.
- Dredge the tilapia through the egg mixture then through the breadcrumbs to coat on both sides. Spray evenly with cooking oil.
- Pre-heat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) for 2-3 minutes. Set the fish in the basket, not overlapping. Cook for 10 minutes on one side, then flip and cook an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove the fish from the basket and set it aside to cool.
- Dress the buns with tartar sauce. Then add a piece of fish, slice of tomato, avocado, and cilantro to each.
All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.
What Oil & Oil Sprayer is Best for the Air Fryer?
The biggest issue most air fryer lovers face is finding the right oil and oil sprayer to use on food cooked in the air fryer. A fine mist of oil will help the entire piece of food crisp evenly, so it’s very important.
My personal preference is to use canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil. I use both a refillable spray bottle like the Evo one pictured below and non-propellant extra virgin olive oil, which has not harmful aerosols or chemicals.