Air fried tilapia fillet on a white plate with lemon slices and small bowl of tartar sauce.

Air Fryer Tilapia Recipe

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American


  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted panko breadcrumbs (optional)*


  1. Arrange tilapia on a large plate and sprinkle them all over with half of the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Flip them and sprinkle the other sides with the remaining salt, pepper, garlic powder 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. Use a spatula to transfer fillets to serving plate and sprinkle with panko, if using.

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*The recipe and instructions for toasting panko is above the recipe.

**It’s fine if the fillets have to be propped up along the sides to get them all to fit, as long as they aren’t really touching each other. If you can’t fit 4 in a single layer like that, 3 is fine without changing the recipe. Or you can do 2 fillets, take them out and cover with foil. Then cook the other 2 fillets. Take them out and cover with foil. Put the first two back in for 2 minutes and then add the second two over top and finish cooking them all for 2 more minutes. They will all be hot and ready at the same time. Add the panko breadcrumbs once they’re all finished.