Tacos with flour tortillas, crispy fish, coleslaw, and avocado slices in air fryer basket.

Air Fryer Fish Tacos Recipe

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 16 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American


If you are making 3 fillets for 6 tacos, you’ll have coleslaw left over. If you make 4 fillets, you’ll use all the slaw, see my suggestions in the post above for making 8 tacos.


Units Scale
  • 3 tilapia fillets
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 3 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped, plus 1/2 teaspoon liquid from the can*
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar**
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 head cabbage, finely sliced***
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 6 tortillas


  1. Arrange tilapia on a large plate and sprinkle fish fillets on both sides with the salt, pepper, garlic and paprika. Brush the fillets on both sides with the olive oil.
  2. Transfer fillets to the air fryer basket in a single layer.
  3. Place basket into air fryer and cook at 400°F without opening or flipping for 7 minutes. Check if they’re opaque and flaky throughout. If yes, they’re done. If not, do not flip them but return the basket to the air fryer and cook until fillets are done, 2-3 more minutes.
  4. While the fish is cooking, make the coleslaw. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayo, sour cream, lime juice, chipotle pepper and liquid, sugar, salt, and garlic powder. Add the cabbage and stir to combine. Add in the cilantro and green onion and set aside until the fish is done.
  5. When the fish is cooked, cut it into 2 inch chunks.
  6. Fold tortillas in half and arrange them open side up in the air fryer, leaning against each other and against the sides of the basket (see above for alternatives if your air fryer isn’t suitable for this).
  7. Distribute the cut up fish among the tortillas and cook at 400°F for 4 minutes (3 for corn tortillas), until tortillas are warmed and just starting to toast in places.
  8. While tortillas are still in air fryer basket, use tongs to slip the coleslaw into the tacos over the fish. Serve.

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*Instead of the canned chipotle in adobo, you can use 1/2 to 1 seeded jalapeno, minced. Or, 1 to 2 teaspoons of chopped jarred jalapenos. Or, use 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder, or 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne.

**If you like your slaw a bit less sweet, omit the sugar, make the dressing, and then taste it and add sugar if desired.

***This is equivalent to one 14-16 ounce bag of shredded cabbage, or about 6 cups of shredded cabbage.