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Air Fryer tilapia, green beans and a lemon wedge on a plate.

Air Fryer Tilapia From Fresh or Frozen

Crispy on the outside, moist inside, delicious parmesan-crusted air fryer tilapia recipe that you can make using fresh or frozen fillets, with no thawing. At 2 grams net carbs per serving, this recipe is keto and low-carb, with a paleo option.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 334kcal


  • An Air Fryer - I used a Ninja Foodi 8 Quart Pressure Cook, Air Fry and Crisp but any type of pressure cooker will do.


  • 4 tilapia fillets - (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives or Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • some cooking spray or oil to brush the rack or basket
  • lemon - to serve (squeeze the lemon juice on the fish, when serving).


  • Brush or spray the air frying rack or basket with some cooking spray or oil (this makes cleaning up later much easier, as it basically results in less sticking) and preheat the air fryer to 392F/ 200C for 5 minutes.
    2 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoon yellow mustard, some cooking spray or oil
  • Next, mix lemon pepper, smoked paprika, ground garlic, salt, parmesan cheese, chopped chives (or Italian seasoning), and black pepper then proceed on to follow the following steps, depending on the state of your fillets.
    1 teaspoon lemon pepper, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon ground garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 cup parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon chopped chives, ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • Brush the tilapia fillets with the prepared olive oil and mustard.
    4 tilapia fillets - (frozen or fresh)
  • Lay each fish fillet on the plate with the seasoned parmesan cheese crumbing and press to coat. Flip then press again, shaking off any excess coating.
  • Still using the 200C / 392F temperature, set the time at 7 minutes for small fillets and 10 minutes for larger and thicker ones. Depending on the size of your basket or rack, place two to three of the parmesan-crusted tilapia fillets in the basket, set it in place then close.
  • Allow to air fry then use a spatula to turn the fillets midway through cooking, at the 4th or 5th-minute mark, respectively. Because of the way the air fryer cooks food, you actually do not need to turn them halfway but I find they cook more evenly when turned. Allow the fillets to cook further for the outstanding time then repeat the process for the remaining fillet(s). Check for doneness by inserting a fork on the thickest part of the fish at an angle and gently twisting. It should be flaky and should have lost its translucent appearance.
  • Serve the air-fried tilapia with a squeeze of lemon, and some mashed cauliflower, low-carb rice or your preferred sides!
    lemon - to serve


  • Set the air fryer at 392F/ 200C and program it to cook for 5 minutes. Lay the frozen fillets on the basket or rack and air fry so they slightly thaw.
  • Next, carefully remove the fillets from the air fryer and transfer them to a plate. Working quickly, brush the fillets with the prepared olive oil and mustard, then coat with the seasoned parmesan cheese and press to combine, shaking off any excess crumbing.
  • Return the fillets back to the air fryer, cook for 5 minutes then use a spatula to flip. Air fry for a further 5 minutes, then check whether it is cooked. To do this, insert a fork on the thickest part of the fish at an angle and gently twist. It should be flaky and should have lost its translucent appearance. Depending on the type and thickness of fish you are using, you may need to cook the tilapia fillets for a further 2-4 minutes.
  • Once cooked, transfer to plates and serve with a squeeze of lemon, alongside your favorite side dishes.



Note: The Air frying time has been calculated only for the frozen fillets.
Serving:-Air-fried tilapia can be served with a variety of dishes!
  • Vegetables - serve them with vegetables such as creamed spinach, collard greens, steamed broccoli, or green beans.
  • Rice - serve it with regular rice or some low-carb rice alternatives such as konjac rice.
  • French fries (or chips, if you call them that in the part of the world you are in)!
  • Baked potatoes, cauliflower, mashed white or sweet potatoes with gravy, yum!
Useful Tips:
  • You can use other types of fish such as cod, sole or salmon. Just keep in mind that you may have to adjust the cooking time, depending on the thickness of the fish.
  • To avoid spoiling your air fryer, do not use aerosols sprays. Instead, fill a sprayer bottle with a healthy high smoke point cooking oil such as coconut oil and use this as a cooking spray.
  • Just like most breaded or crumbed fish recipes, these tilapia fillets are best consumed immediately. You can keep and consume the cooked fish in the fridge within 3 days, but it will not taste as good once stored longer. Also, make sure to use suitable airtight containers. It can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 866mg | Potassium: 579mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 484IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 323mg | Iron: 2mg