Forget about buying frozen fish sticks! This homemade Air Fryer Fish Sticks is a healthier option and will be ready in minutes! They are crunchy on the outside with tender, flaky fish on the inside. Enjoy it as an appetizer or as an entree for a simple family dinner with tartar sauce and fries or rice.
These homemade fish sticks in an air fryer are so easy to make with just five basic ingredients and a few seasonings. Fish fillets coated in flavorful, crispy breading and golden-fried to perfection! They are uber-crunchy and great as appetizers, party food, or as a fun light family dinner.
Why make them?
- Making these fish sticks from scratch is much healthier than buying frozen stuff. You know exactly what is used to make them!
- It's fun, easy to make, and kid-friendly. Even picky eaters would surely love and enjoy these fish sticks cooked in the air fryer.
- Compared to deep-frying, this recipe requires almost no oil, so it has fewer calories.
- It is more convenient and faster than oven baking.
Ingredients for Air Fryer Fish Sticks
Fish- You may use any firm white fish fillet like cod, tilapia, bass, or grouper. Make sure to remove the skin before cooking.
Seasonings- apart from salt and pepper to flavor the fish fillets, we also used garlic powder and Italian seasoning to make the coating extra tasty!
Coating/Dredging- For a crispy coating, you need to set up three shallow bowls: (1) beaten eggs + milk, (2) all-purpose flour, and (3) the bread crumbs and seasonings.
- Pat dry the fish fillet before cutting it into strips.
- Place the breaded fish fillets in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook in batches and do not overcrowd the basket.
- Using fresh fish is always the best. But if not available, you may use frozen fish fillet, just make sure to fully thaw it before using.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, you may use gluten free flour and bread crumbs.
Serving Air Fryer Fish Sticks
These are best served with chips or french fries on the side and of course, tartar sauce for dipping. You may also enjoy these with a fresh green salad, potato wedges, or steamed white rice. You may also enjoy these with ranch or even ketchup for dipping sauce.
Another way to enjoy this recipe is to make fish fillet sandwiches! They are great for packed lunches or snacks for kids and adults alike.
Reheat your fish sticks using an air fryer, a toaster, or an oven to retain the crunchy exterior. Set your air fryer or oven at 350F/180C and reheat the fish sticks until warmed through.
Definitely! You may either store them cooked or uncooked. To store uncooked fish sticks, place them on a baking sheet, about ½ inch apart, and freeze them. Once frozen, place them in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.
To store cooked fish sticks, allow them to completely cool. Place them on airtight containers or Ziplock bags and refrigerate them for up to 3 days or keep them frozen for up to 2 months.
Yes, just place the breaded fish fillets on a rack placed over a baking sheet, spray them with a little bit of oil. Bake in a preheated 400F oven for about 6-8 minutes, flip them and bake for another 8-10 minutes.
Homemade Air Fryer Fish Sticks
- 2 white fish fillets tilapia, cod, catfish, etc.
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsps milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Pat dry fish fillets. Slice fillets into 3-inch long and ½-inch wide pieces. Season fish pieces with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Prepare breading station (You would need 3 shallow dishes/bowls).
- In the first shallow dish, whisk egg and milk; In the second dish, place flour. Combine breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning in the last dish.
- Dredge each fish stick in flour, making sure that it is fully covered and shaking off the excess flour.
- Dip in egg mixture, then finally in breadcrumbs patting to help the coating adhere. Shake off excess. Repeat with remaining fish pieces.
- Arrange breaded fish sticks in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for about 30 minutes or until firm.
- Lightly spray air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place the frozen breaded fish sticks in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Make sure they aren't overlapping.
- Air Fry at 400°F/205°C for 8 minutes. Flip the fish sticks over and then continue to cook at 400°F/205°C for another 2-4 minutes or until cooked through and the coating is crispy.
- Remove the fish sticks from the air fryer and serve right away with dipping sauce(s).