Air Fryer Tilapia with Easy Mango Salsa

 

If you don’t own an Air Fryer yet (*affiliate link), I highly recommend adding one to your must-have list. This small kitchen appliance is very easy to use and gives so many different foods a delicious crispy, crunchy texture that a deep fryer does… without the deep frying! This simple recipe for healthy air fryer tilapia shows just how easy it is to use the air fryer for perfectly cooked fish.

The perfectly seasoned tilapia tacos is light, slightly crispy on the outside and flaky and tender on the inside. The mango salsa topping is simple and minimal and makes the best accompaniment for this tasty fish.

Can you cook fish in an Air Fryer?

 

Absolutely! When you think of “air frying” you might think of foods that are more common to be deep fried like fries, chicken wings, and mozzarella sticks, but you can seriously put almost anything “fryable” in an air fryer and get great results, including fish. 

When it comes to cooking fish in the air fryer you can bread the fish with a heavier breading to get a more deep-fried crunchy texture like that of “fish and chips” or you can lightly season and get a more baked texture. You can easily use fresh fish, frozen fish, fish sticks, and the like in an air fryer. 

Air Fryer Tilapia Ingredients

 

For this recipe I really wanted the perfectly air fried fish to be the star, so I kept the ingredients list really simple . The items you need are common, healthy, and most of them you likely already have in your fridge and pantry.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fresh tilapia filets 
  • Garlic powder 
  • Chili powder 
  • Paprika 
  • Dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Mango Salsa Ingredients

 

The light and fresh mango salsa is totally optional but elevates this simple dish. It’s perfectly sweet with a touch of tanginess and the flavour goes so well with the seasoned tilapia. 

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Fresh mango
  • Fresh cilantro 
  • Red onion 
  • Lime 
  • Salt

Other Optional Accompaniments:

To make this a heartier meal I chose to add in wild rice but you can also use white rice, brown rice, corn tortillas (to make tacos!), or any other carbohydrate you wish to add (or none at all)

How long do you air fry fish filets?

 

To cook fish in the air fryer it doesn’t take long at all! While the type of fish you use (fresh, frozen, etc.) will vary the cooking time, here are general recommendations:

First, I recommend preheating the air fryer for 3-5 minutes before cooking fish for best results!

  • Fresh fish filets: 6-10 minutes at 330-400 degrees, flipping once halfway through (increase the temperature for heartier fish like halibut or salmon, and lower the temperature for thinner fish like tilapia).
  • Frozen fish filets (unbreaded): 10-12 minutes at 370 degrees, flipping once halfway through
  • Frozen breaded fish sticks/bites/etc: 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping once halfway through

Note: These are general cooking times and may vary depending on the brand/size of the fish. 

 

Preparing Air Fryer Tilapia

I’ve been using my air fryer even more than my oven lately. I find in the summer it’s so handy as you don’t have to preheat the oven or heat up the house by turning the oven on. The air fryer truly does cut down on time and makes cooking a breeze!

 

Do you have an air fryer? What kind of delicious and healthy air fried meals or snacks have you been making? Tell me about it in the comments and be sure to pin the photo below the recipe to save this one for later!

 

Plate of Air Fryer Tilapia on a bed of wild rice with mango salsa and cilantro on the side

Air Fryer Tilapia

Yield: Serves 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

This quick, easy, and healthy recipe is perfectly crispy and flavourful and comes together in a flash with a simple mango salsa . Gluten free, dairy free, and made with whole foods. 

Ingredients

  • 2 fresh tilapia filets (approx 4-5 ounces each)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley

Mango Salsa

  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • juice from 1/2 lime

Optional Accompaniments:

  • 1 cup cooked wild rice, white rice, or brown rice or 4-6 warmed corn tortilla shells

Instructions

  1. Mix the salt, pepper, spices and parsley on a large plate.
  2. Rub each tilapia filet with the olive oil then dredge in the seasoning mixture to coat each filet on both sides.
  3. Preheat the air fryer for 3 minutes at 370 degrees.
  4. Place the seasoned tilapia filets in the air fryer basket and set to the fish setting (or 330 degrees) and cook for 7 minutes.
  5. While the fish is cooking prepare the mango salsa by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl.
  6. When the fish is done, place on a plate over a bed of cooked rice or in taco shells (optional), and top with the mango salsa.
  7. Enjoy!

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Have a great day!

Christal // NITK

Author: Christal Sczebel

Christal is the creator of Nutrition in the Kitch. She's a Certified Nutritional Consultant, twice published author, gluten and dairy free recipe developer, food photographer, speaker, wife, and mama. Christal loves good food, all things wellness, and loves to travel. Her wellness philosophy is centred around balance and sustainable health, life's way too short for boring diets and restriction!

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