If you love crunchy battered fish, you will love these Air Fryer fish sticks. They cook up so much crispier than baked fish sticks and are healthier than deep frying. A kids’ favorite, they are a perfect dinner option for busy families.
Post includes Weight Watchers points.
Fish is an incredibly healthy protein and nothing is tastier than crispy, flaky fish sticks. When deep-fried, the oil you consume can cancel out any health benefits, and baked fish sticks can be soggy and bland.
Fish Sticks In Air Fryer
Your Air Fryer is the answer to having crispy fish sticks that got crunch, flavor and is healthier than store-bought options or deep fried fish sticks and are ready in about 25 minutes.
And these are as loved by kids and grown ups as these super crispy Air Fryer Fish and really Juicy Air fryer Salmon or crispy Frozen Fish In Air Fryer. Or check otu this other favorite for my readers Air Fryer Whole Chicken.
These go well when serve with Air Fryer Zucchini Fries and Air Fryer Beets.
This perfectly crisp eat will be a hit in your house, and your kids are going to love dunking these into their favorite sauce. I recommend that you make your fish sticks a little shorter than regular fish sticks. My kids love them a little chunkier, and it makes them easier to handle when dipping.
These best air fryer fish sticks are easy to make from scratch so that you can save money. They cook quickly so you can save time. You are going to love making these fish sticks in the air fryer.
A kids’ favorite, they are a perfect dinner tonight option for busy families any time of the week.
Why Make This Recipe
- Kid-friendly – Kids love fish sticks, so this dinner will be a big hit.
- Healthier – You will use less oil than deep frying but still get the incredible crunch.
- Fast – The fish sticks cook fast in the air fryer so the kids will be full and happy.
Notes on what you need to make Air Fryer Fish Sticks.
- Fish fillets – use white fish like tilapia or cod. You can also use thawed fish instead of fresh.
- Flour – this uses plain all purpose flour to help with breading.
- Eggs – beat egg well before using – helps bind the breading to each fish stick.
- Breadcrumbs – use panko breadcrumbs coz these crisp up well. But you can use regular breadcrumbs as well. If you want golden fish sticks then toast your breadcrumbs first before air frying.
- Cooking spray – or olive oil this is optional but can help you crisp up and brown the fish fillets.
Ready to learn how to Air Fry Fish Sticks? Gather your ingredients and I will show you…
How To Make Fish Sticks in the Air Fryer
Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.
- Pre heat Air Fryer to 350F / 176C.
- Set out three bowls to create a dipping station. Place flour in the first bowl, beaten egg in the second bowl, and bread crumbs in the third bowl.
- Cut the fish into bite-sized chunks and dip each piece in flour, egg mixture, and then in the breadcrumbs.
- Place the fish fingers into your preheated air fryer basket with space between each piece. Spray with nonstick cooking spray if you prefer.
- Air fry sticks for 12-15 minutes until golden brown, flipping halfway through cooking. If cooking in batches, then air fry remaining fish sticks till all are done.
- Sprinkle with paprika and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
Note: It is important to check for doneness using a digital meat thermometer. The internal temperature of fish should reach 145F / 63C.
Air fryer temperatures can vary depending on the make and model. I recommend starting with less cook time, checking for doneness, then adding more cooking time as needed.
Baked Fish Sticks
Want to bake these instead. Then here is how.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F / 200 degrees C.
- Set out three bowls to create a dipping station.
- Place flour in the first bowl, beaten eggs in the second bowl, and breadcrumbs in the third bowl.
- Cut the fish into bite-sized chunks and dip each piece in flour, egg mixture, and then in the breadcrumbs.
- Repeat with remaining fish until all done.
- Place the breaded fish sticks into a prepared baking sheet with space between each piece.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes turning half way through.
Frozen Fish Sticks
Want to learn how to cook the frozen version? Then head on over to the Air Fryer Frozen Fish Sticks post to find out more.
- Don’t overcrowd the basket, leave space so the hot air circulates and helps crisp up the fish.
- If you can use shallow dish to hold the flour etc. Makes it easier to dip.
- You can use thawed fish, just make sure the frozen fish fillets are defrosted according to the package directions before making the fish sticks.
- If the fish is really wet, pat dry fish with a paper towels before coating to avoid soggy fish sticks.
- If using spray oil make sure to use the right version that does not damage your air fryer basket coating.
- Paprika tends to burn, so I like to sprinkle on smoked paprika after the fish sticks have cooked.
- Thicker fillets make need a little longer to cook.
- If you have a larger air fryer you can cook all of these in one go.
- If cooking fish in the oven, use a rimmed baking sheet to avoid them falling off the sheet.
- To make it gluten free use gluten free flour and breadcrumbs.
Air fryer temperatures can vary depending on the make and model. I recommend starting with less cook time, checking for doneness, then adding more time as needed.
- Try different types of fish – We love tilapia, but any white fish will be delicious.
- Spice it up – Add a bit of Old Bay Seasoning, Creole Seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder to the flour before coating for a burst of flavor. You could simply season with salt and pepper.
- If you want you can start with seasoned breadcrumbs for even more delicious flavor.
Make Ahead and Storage
This Fish Sticks Air Fryer recipe is perfect for prepping ahead.
- Prep ahead – breaded Fish sticks can be made in advance and frozen according to the directions below.
- Store – Leftover Air Fryer Fish Fingers should be stored in the fridge and consumed within 24 hours.
- Freeze – These are perfect for freezing. Follow the recipe and freeze the fish sticks after breading. Aka freeze them raw. Place them on a cookie sheet to flash freeze for about 1 hour and then add them to an airtight container.
- Cook from frozen – To Air Fry fish sticks from frozen, cook them for 15-18 minutes at 400F.
At 350 degrees F / 176 degrees C air fry fish sticks for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Thicker ones may need a little longer to cook.
We love to use tilapia and cod is also a great choice. You can use just about any fish except for tuna and swordfish, which tend to dry out during cooking.
Combine ½ cup mayo with one diced pickle. You could also use a bit of pickle relish.
If you aren’t a fan of tartar sauce, you can dip fish sticks in dill dip, Thousand Island dressing, cocktail sauce, or make a dip of equal parts mayo and ketchup and mix in a splash of lemon juice and sriracha to taste.
What To Serve With Fish Sticks
To make this a main course you can serve along with Air Fryer Zucchini Fries, the best Air Fryer Frozen French Fries fluffy inside and crispy outside Air Fryer Baked Potatoes and family loved Air Fryer Green Beans. I love serving these with Air Fryer Potato Wedges.
These go great with dipping sauces like Tarter sauce, spicy Yum Yum Sauce and Bang Bang Sauce, Homemade Ketchup and a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice.
Leftover fish sticks can also make an awesome fish finger sandwich in tortilla wraps or sandwich rolls.
More Delicious Recipes You May Like
Ooh so many easy recipes you will like.
Especially this easy Air Fryer Pierogies and rather colorful Air Fryer Beets and crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower.
For different protein why not try Air Fryer Whole Chicken, the best Air Fryer Chicken Thighs, family loved Air Fryer Hotdogs, juicy Air Fryer Meatloaf and easy Air Fryer Frozen Meatballs.
Especially this golden crispy Air Fryer Fish, easy Air Fryer Frozen Fish Sticks and Air Fryer Salmon Croquettes and how to reheat Air Fryer Frozen Fish Fillets, Juicy Air Fryer Salmon fillets and best ever Parmesan Crusted Air Fryer Shrimp.
Weight Watchers Points
There are 7 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.
- An Air Fryer.
- A sharp knife.
- Handy mixing bowls.
- Measuring cups and spoons.
Thank you for reading my Air Fried Fish Stick recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes, Crockpot Recipes and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.
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Air Fryer Fish Sticks
- 4 tilapia fillets
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (110g) flour
- 1 cup (108g) Italian bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Preheat air fryer to 350F / 176C.
- Cut tilapia into bite-sized chunks.
- Set out three bowls, place flour in one, beat eggs in another, put bread crumbs into the third.
- Working with one piece of fish at a time, dip into flour, then the eggs, and finally into the breadcrumbs
- Place fish pieces into the air fryer basket, making sure they don’t touch. Depending on the size of your air fryer you should be able to fit 12 pieces in each batch.
- Air fry for 12-15 minutes, flipping over halfway through. When finished, remove from air fryer and sprinkle with paprika.
- Be sure to thaw frozen fish according to the package directions before making the fish sticks.
- If the fish is really wet, dry the fish with a paper towel before coating to avoid soggy fish sticks.
- Paprika tends to burn, so I like to sprinkle on paprika after the fish sticks have cooked.
- Thicker fish fillets make need a little longer to cook.
- There are 7 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving.
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Oh yum! Love the tips to get that nice, crisp coating on the fish. These will definitely be a hit with my family.
I am definitely going to give this a try. I tried fish in my fryer oven and it was a flop. With your step by step, it will be better. Thank you so very much.
Using air fryer for recipes has been a goal and this is a great option for that. It looks incredible and flaky.
We love making fish fingers in the air fryer. Perfectly cooked every time.
We love fish and this air fried is a bonus so much healthier and it looks fantastic! A must try!