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Easy Air Fryer Tilapia (Flakey, Parmesan Crusted)

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This easy air fryer tilapia can be made 3 different ways: with breading, grilled and with simple seasonings for a healthy recipe. The ultimate simple recipe for flakey fish flavor without having to deep fry.

tilapia with lemon wedge and tartar sauce
Easy and delicious parmesan-crusted tilapia filets

Why you’ll love this recipe

Air Fryer Tilapia is rich with crisp parmesan crust and the absolute best air fryer seafood recipe. My loves air fryer fish and crab cakes on seafood night. It tastes just like beer-battered/restaurant-style, but without the need to deep fry.


To prepare your fish for the air fryer, first pat dry with a paper towel.

Next, you will dip your tilapia into the egg mixture, followed by rolling it into the breadcrumb/parmesan mixture. 

tilapia in the air fryer
Delicious seafood breading that’s crispy every time!

how to air fry tilapia

Air frying tilapia is easy.

  1. Pat the fish dry and coat with breading
  2. Air fry at 400°F for 5 to 6 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145°F.

Serve your tilapia with salt/pepper to taste and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top of each filet.  Serve with tartar sauce (optional). 

best seasonings for tilapia

If you don’t have Old Bay seasoning around, or if you like a grilled filet, try these flavors: 

  • Lemon pepper
  • Cajun spices
  • Italian/butter seasoning blend

air frying fish vs pan frying

I prefer air frying my fish because it doesn’t fall apart in a pan and I don’t have to flip it over to get both sides evenly cooked. I’ve found this method of cooking useful for my other recipes, including calamari.

It’s also healthier, uses less oil, and it’s so easy.

Also, by air frying, you will get the flakiest and most delicious restaurant-quality fish. 

flakey tilapia with tartar sauce
Flakey and yummy!


how to make this recipe without breading?

To follow this recipe without breading or for a low-carb option, simply coat your tilapia and melted butter and a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning.

how long to keep tilapia in fridge?

I recommend keeping tilapia in the refrigerator no more than two days stored in an airtight container or zipper bag.

To reheat, I recommend using your air fryer on 350° for 5 to 10 minutes or in the oven for up to 10 minutes.

can I freeze this?

Frozen tilapia will keep for up to a month in an airtight zipper bag.

Roll in egg mixture, then parmesan bread crumb mixture and seal each filet in a zipper freezer bag. When ready to prepare, place in air fryer at 380°F for 12 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145°F. 

how do I make this recipe in the oven?

To make tilapia in the oven follow the same directions except increase cooking time by 2 to 4 minutes, or until fish reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.

crunchy and easy tilapia crust
Amazing seafood crunchiness!

What can I substitute for tilapia? 

No tilapia? Some great alternatives are:

What sides go with tilapia?

The best side dishes for seafood include: 

What can I make with leftover tilapia?

If you have leftovers, you can make: 

  • Tilapia fish tacos with coleslaw
  • Fish protein bowl with rice 
  • Fish and chips 
  • Tilapia sandwich with cheese, buttered bun and tartar sauce
  • Tilapia salad for an easy make ahead lunch idea
parmesan crusted air fried tilapia with tartar sauce and lemon wedges

Easy Air Fryer Tilapia (Parmesan Crusted)

Easy and delicious, this flakey parmesan-crusted air fryer tilapia is the BEST seafood recipe out there.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 313kcal
Author: Amber


  • Air fryer


  • 4 tilapia filets
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • ½ cup Italian Breadcrumbs (or plain bread crumbs)
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning optional
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan *or packaged shredded parmesan cheese blend
  • 1 lemon for juice, after air frying


  • Pat dry tilapia filets.
  • Whisk salt, pepper and eggs in a large bowl.
  • Add cheese, Old Bay and bread crumbs mixture to a plate.
    parmesan bread crumb mixture
  • Place tilapia in egg bath, then batter.
    egg bath and batter for tilapia
  • Place tilapia in the air fryer. Do not overcrowd and fry tilapia in one layer at a time.
    tilapia in the air fryer
  • Air fry at 400°F for 6 minutes. Tilapia is finished when crust is golden brown and internal temperature reaches 145°F.



Grilled Tilapia:
  • Lemon pepper
  • Cajun spices
  • Italian/butter seasoning blend
Can’t have eggs?
Try dipping filets into heavy whipping cream instead of the egg bath. Then, follow up with the breading. 


Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 175mg | Sodium: 812mg | Potassium: 637mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 279IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 223mg | Iron: 3mg


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