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CRISPY AIR FRYER FISH STICKS

Air Fryer Fish Sticks are a quick and easy snack, appetizer, or even fun kid-friendly weeknight meal. Air Fried to perfection, hearty fish fillets have a crispy outer shell and a flaky tender center that is so much better than any box from the frozen food section!

bowl of fish sticks

If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

AIR FRYER FISH STICKS

Once you start making your own homemade fish sticks, you’ll never buy the store-bought frozen boxed version again!

Most people will agree that frying food makes it taste A LOT better – whether it’s store bought or homemade.

And the beauty of an air fryer is it gives you the rich, deep, fried taste and texture without all the mess!

So, when you’re looking for an amazingly easy-to-make weeknight dinner that is 100% kid approved, grab your favorite fish fillets, whip up a simple breading, coat, toss into your air fryer basket and voila!

In less than 10 minutes, your fish fillets will have a deliciously crispy shell and that perfect tender, flaky interior.

Add in your favorite dipping sauce, French fries, or a side salad and enjoy!

WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • Fun & Easy
  • Kid Friendly
  • Healthier than frying
  • Can be used with fresh or frozen fish
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labeled picture of fish stick ingredients

INGREDIENTS FOR HOMEMADE FISH STICKS

  • Fish Filets
  • Egg
  • Panko
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Spices

Fish – Any mild-flavored white fish such as haddock, tilapia, halibut, bass, or grouper, will work well in this recipe.

Traditionally, Cod is used in fish sticks and what I used as it’s the heartiest and I prefer its flavor over any others.

Egg – Used to help bind the bread crumbs to the fillets.

Panko – Also known as Japanese breadcrumbs, have a light, flaky texture and is typically used for frying or baking food.

Breadcrumbs – Used in conjunction with the panko to create an extra crunchy coating on the fried fish fillets.

Spices – This recipe uses a combination Old Bay Seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER FISH STICKS

FIRST: Thaw fish and gently remove excess water with a paper towel. Be sure to pat dry. Preheat air fryer to 400F. Grease basket with cooking spray.

SECOND: In a shallow bowl, combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, Old Bay Seasoning, breadcrumbs, and Panko. In another bowl, beat egg with a fork.

THIRD: With a sharp knife, cut the fillets into sticks measuring 1” wide and 2” long.

FOURTH: Dunk each piece of fish into the bowl with beaten egg then toss in the breadcrumb mixture, being sure to coat each side of the fish.

Press the crumbs gently with a spoon to ensure they stick to the fish.

FIFTH: Place the breaded fish sticks into the air fryer basket. Drizzle with olive oil or spray with cooking spray.

Air fry for 5-minutes on one side, flip, then cook for another 5-minutes on the other side.

SIXTH: Repeat until all fish sticks have been cooked. Serve with fries and your favorite sauce. Enjoy!

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

For more insider tips & tricks, and a candid behind the scenes look follow me on social media! Check use out on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter (yes, people still use Twitter, LOL!)

air fryer fish sticks in basket

CAN I AIR FRY FROZEN FISH STICKS?

Sure can! Place the frozen fish sticks in a greased air fryer basket, ensuring they aren’t overlapping.

Air fry at 400F for 8 minutes, flip, and cook for another 2-4 minutes on the other side or until the sticks are cooked through and the coating is crisp.

CAN I USE FROZEN FISH?

Of course! This recipe calls for frozen fish fillets; just be sure to completely thaw and pat dry prior to coating.

WHAT IS THE BEST FISH TO USE?

Any mild-flavored white fish such as haddock, tilapia, halibut, bass, or grouper, will work well in this recipe.

Traditionally, Cod is used in fish sticks and what I used as it’s the heartiest and I prefer its flavor over any others.

bowl of crispy fish sticks

HOW TO STORE HOMEMADE FISH FINGERS

Store any leftover homemade fish sticks in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days.

When ready to reheat, bake in a preheated oven (350F) for 10-15 minutes. Or air fry at 350 until warmed through.

HOW TO FREEZE FISH STICKS

Fish sticks are a wonderful make ahead, freezer-friendly dish. Unbaked fish sticks can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Prepare fillets, bread, then place on a wax-paper lined baking sheet and freeze for up to 2 hours, or until frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe bag and place in freezer.

Fully prepared and cooked fish sticks freeze well too. Place any leftovers or extras on a plate and place in the freezer for 1 hour.

Once the fish sticks are frozen, transfer to a freezer safe zip top bag and place in the freezer for up to 1 month.

When ready to consume, allow frozen fish sticks to completely thaw overnight in the fridge and heat in the air fryer until warmed through.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH AIR FRYER FISH STICKS

Homemade fish sticks are delicious with a multitude of sides.

For a complete meal, serve with your favorite French fries, side salad, and dipping sauce!

Old Bay Tartar Sauce, Old Fashioned Tartar Sauce, Bang Bang Sauce, or Blooming Onion Dipping Sauce are the best!

fish stick dipping in sauce

TAPAS TIPS & TRICKS

  • Be sure to cut fish in equally sized pieces so they cook evenly. 1 inch by 2 inches is perfect finger food size.
  • Spray the air fryer basket with nonstick spray to keep them from sticking to basket.
  • Do not overcrowd the basket. Keep at least 1 inch of space around each piece. Air fry in single layers.
  • You can bake these in the oven if you don’t have an air fryer.
  • I use a Cosori air fryer and it works great. This recipe cooks in 3 batches in this one.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

bowl of fish sticks with text "air fryer recipe"

These quick and easy Air Fryer Fish Sticks are the perfect snack, appetizer, or kid-approved weeknight meal. Air fried to perfection and ready in under 10-minutes, these hearty fish fillets are so much better than any box from the frozen food section!

MORE EASY APPETIZERS

bowl of fish sticks

Air Fryer Fish Sticks

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Air Fryer Fish Sticks are a quick and easy snack, appetizer, or even fun kid-friendly weeknight meal. 

Ingredients

  • 2 fish fillets (frozen or fresh, roughly 8 ounces)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil *optional*

Instructions

  1. Thaw fish and let it drain. Use paper towels and press gently to remove any excess water.
  2. Preheat the air fryer to 400 F. Grease the basket with cooking spray or a drizzle of olive oil.
  3. In a shallow bowl, combine salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, Panko crumbs, garlic powder, and Old Bay seasoning.
  4. In another bowl, beat the egg with a fork. If too thick, add a teaspoon of water.
  5. With a sharp knife, cut the fillet into sticks 1 inch wide by 2 inches long.
  6. Dunk each piece of fish into the beaten egg then dredge in the crumbs bowl. Make sure to coat each side of the fish.
  7. Press crumbs gently with a spoon or your fingers to make sure that it sticks to the fish.
  8. Place the fish sticks in the air fryer basket in a single layer with space between them. You will need to cook in 2-3 batches.
  9. Spray with cooking spray or drizzle lightly with olive oil.
  10. Air fry for 5 minutes on one side then flip and cook another 5 minutes on the other side.
  11. Remove and repeat with the remaining fish sticks. You might need to cook into 2 or 3 batches.
  12. Serve with fries and your favorite sauce.
  13. Serve warm and enjoy!

Notes

*If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 555mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 23g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party. I can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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