Discover our easy-to-follow recipe for air fryer fish tacos. Enjoy crispy, flavorful cod wrapped in a warm tortilla and topped with cabbage, sour cream, and a squeeze of lime!
It’s the easiest way to make baja fish tacos right at home.
It gives a perfect fried fish with tender chunks of cod in a golden-brown, crispy coating. When served inside a warm tortilla and your favorite toppings, it’s a 10/10.
Whether you’re trying to eat more seafood or just looking for a quick and delicious meal, these cod tacos have got you covered.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Fish: I use cod for this recipe, but you can substitute it for another white fish such as tilapia, mahi mahi, or haddock.
- Flour: Flour helps the egg stick to the fish so your breading can stay thick and get nice and crispy. I use all-purpose flour, but you can also use whole wheat flour or almond flour .
- Egg: The egg is what allows the breadcrumbs to stick to the fish so it is breaded evenly. You can also use heavy cream, buttermilk, or an egg replacement like I do in my air fryer ravioli recipe.
- Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs give these fish tacos the crispiness they’re known for. I use panko breadcrumbs because they get extra crunchy. You can substitute regular breadcrumbs or even pork rinds for a gluten free and low carb alternative.
- Spices: Spices are what make the flavor pop in these air fryer fish tacos! I use garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper for a simple but flavorful combination. You can also use your favorite seasoning blends. I’ve used smoked paprika, Old Bay, taco seasoning, and even cayenne pepper for a little spice.
- Coleslaw: Coleslaw brings some veggies to these tacos! I use premade coleslaw from the store, but you can replace it with some shredded cabbage and chopped red onion.
- Warmed Tortillas: You can’t have tacos without tortillas (well, unless you’re making a taco bowl and in that case add some rice or quinoa). Use corn or flour tortillas or even hard shell tacos! To warm up soft tacos, cover them in a damp paper towel and microwave them for 15 to 20 seconds. This make the taco shell more pliable so it’s won’t break while eating.
How to Make Air Fryer Fish Tacos
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: In a shallow bowl, mix the flour with paprika, salt, garlic powder, cumin, and black pepper. In another clean bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Add the panko to a third bowl, seasoning it with a bit of salt to taste.
STEP TWO: Pat the cod chunks dry with a paper towel.
STEP THREE: Dredge the cod in the flour mixture, then the egg, and finally the panko breadcrumbs, pressing the crumbs against the fish to make them stick.
STEP FOUR: Place the breaded fish bites in the air fryer basket in an even layer inside. Spray them with oil.
STEP FIVE: Air fry at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time until the fish is crispy and lightly golden. It should flake easily with a fork and be opaque inside.
STEP SIX: Serve in corn or flour tortillas with cole slaw or shredded cabbage, red onions, crema, cilantro, and lime wedges.
Tips for Making the Best Air Fried Fish Tacos
- Want to use another kind of fish? Instead of cod tacos, feel free to use tilapia, mahi mahi, or any other simple white fish. If you have frozen cod, use these directions for air frying them instead.
- Press the panko breadcrumbs gently into the fish. This ensures a satisfying crunch in every bite.
- Place the cod in the air fryer in a single layer. This allows hot air to circulate and really crisp up the breading on all sides.
- Flip the cod bites halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking.
- Elevate your air fryer fish tacos with fresh and vibrant toppings! Think tangy lime wedges, crisp shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes or salsa, and a dollop of avocado crema or even red pepper crema.
- Turn these fish tacos into something else by skipping the tortillas and serving on top of quinoa or rice. You can even top tortillas with the crispy fish and toppings to make nachos!
How Long to Cook Fish Tacos in the Air Fryer
Air fryer tacos make a quick meal and only need 10-12 minutes to cook.
The first sign your fish is ready is that the coating will turn a beautiful golden-brown color. Next, you want to cut into one of the pieces to make sure the fish is opaque inside and that it flakes easily.
If not, continue air frying for 1-2 more minutes.
What is the Best Fish to Use to Make Fish Tacos in the Air Fryer?
When it comes to making fish tacos, having a firm and flaky texture is important. This makes it easier to handle and gives the tacos a satisfying crunch.
While there are many types of fish that can be used for fish tacos, some are better suited for cooking in an air fryer.
Here is what I recommend:
Why is My Fish not Crispy in Air Fryer?
To get crispy fish, make sure the air fryer basket is not overcrowded and the breading on your fish is not too heavy so it can get crispy.
More Delicious Recipes To Try
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 ¼ cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1 pound cod, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 cup coleslaw
- Warmed tortillas (heat in the microwave covered in a damp paper towel for about 20 seconds)
- Corn or flour tortillas, shredded green cabbage, diced red onion, sour cream or Mexican crema, lime wedges, fresh cilantro, for serving
- In a shallow bowl, mix the flour with paprika, salt, garlic powder, cumin, and black pepper.
- In another clean bowl, whisk the egg and water together. Add the panko to a third bowl, seasoning it with a bit of salt to taste.
- Pat the cod dry with a paper towel. Dredge the cod in the flour mixture, then the egg, and finally the panko breadcrumbs, pressing the crumbs against the fish to make them stick.
- Place the fish bites in and even layer inside. Spray them with oil.
- Air fry at 400F for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time until the fish is crispy and lightly golden. If the fish is opaque inside and flakes off easily, it’s ready; otherwise, continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve in tortillas with shredded cabbage, onion, crema, cilantro, and lime.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 884mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 34g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.