Air Fryer Tilapia Fish Tacos on a plate

15 Minute Air Fryer Tilapia Fish Tacos

Air fryer tilapia gives you the crispier texture of fried tilapia but without all the extra oil and calories. Which means you can eat twice as many tacos!

We’ve been focused on getting fit this year for our wedding in Paris, and we found ourselves eating fish a lot more frequently. 

Tilapia calories ring in at only about 100 calories for a small sized filet, which makes about three tacos. 

Paired with healthy slaw and a corn tortilla, tilapia fish tacos are under 200 calories per taco.

This will become one of your best air fryer tilapia recipes!

Tilapia is a great fish to use for fish tacos because of the mild flavor and low price point compared to other fish.

Tilapia Filet

Cod vs. Tilapia

We have been making fish tacos for YEARS in a variety of different ways.

We came up with this recipe by initially using cod fish and frying it, but have evolved to also making this recipe with tilapia in the air fryer for a healthy, cost effective substitute.

Tilapia is a great substitute for cod. Both cod and tilapia are high protein fish with B12 and vitamin D, although cod has slightly higher nutrients per serving. Cod is also slightly fattier, but has a similar taste.

Tilapia is roughly $3 cheaper per pound which makes it an affordable cod substitute.

Tilapia Fish

How to Cook Tilapia in an Air Fryer

When it comes to cooking tilapia for fish tacos, we like to cut the fish into small “taco-sized” strips. 

This method will cook the fish even faster and helps to create more texture on more sides of the tilapia.

We also like to lightly coat the fish in seasoned flour. Doing so helps to create a flavorful light texture for the tilapia tacos without the heavy batter. 

Air Fryer Tilapia Fish Sticks

(Note, you can absolutely fully batter food for the air fryer if you prefer, check out our air fryer boneless wings or our air fryer chicken fried steak recipe for reference on tips for air frying breaded foods).

Our tilapia seasoning takes some Mexican spices like smoky paprika and cumin, plus onion powder and it adds a nice flavor to the fish.

Air Fryer Tilapia

How Long to Cook Tilapia in an Air Fryer

Air fry tilapia until it is opaque white and flaky. Air fryers can vary, so you want to ensure the tilapia internal temp reaches 145 degrees F. 

In our air fryer this took 8 minutes for the air fried tilapia to be fully cooked.

Keep in mind if you keep the tilapia whole instead of cutting it into strips, you may need additional cook time.

Air Fryer Tilapia Fish Tacos

Air Fryer Tilapia Recipe

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 8 Minutes

Serves: Makes 8 tacos

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of tilapia filets, thawed, cut into 1 ½ inch wide strips
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil spray
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup of coleslaw

Directions:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  2. Ensure your tilapia is fully thawed.
  3. Slice your tilapia into 1 wide strips.
  4. Pat the fish strips dry with a paper towel, then season with salt and pepper.
  5. In a shallow bowl or plate, mix together the flour, cumin, onion powder, and paprika.
  6. Coat the fish strips into the flour mixture, coating all sides and shaking off all excess.
  7. Spray the fish with olive oil spray and place in your air fryer basket.
  8. Cook your tilapia in the air fryer for 7-8 minutes, until the fish is white and flaky.
  9. Serve in tortillas with coleslaw, salsa, and avocado. We also love to add our homemade cilantro chimichurri on top!
Air Fryer Tilapia Fish Tacos

15 Minute Air Fryer Tilapia Fish Tacos

Yield: 8 tacos
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes

Air fryer tilapia is incredible as fish tacos. This healthy air fryer recipe can be made from start to finish in under 15 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of tilapia
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil spray
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup of coleslaw

Instructions

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  2. Ensure your tilapia is fully thawed.
  3. Slice your tilapia into 1 wide strips.
  4. Pat the fish strips dry with a paper towel, then season with salt and pepper.
  5. In a shallow bowl or plate, mix together the flour, cumin, onion powder, and paprika.
  6. Coat the fish strips into the flour mixture, coating all sides and shaking off all excess.
  7. Spray the fish with olive oil spray and place in your air fryer basket.
  8. Cook your tilapia in the air fryer for 7-8 minutes, until the fish is white and flaky.
  9. Serve in tortillas with coleslaw, salsa, and avocado. We also love to add our homemade cilantro chimichurri on top!
Air Fryer Tilapia Fish Tacos

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