Everyone once in a while we crave a restaurant style fish sandwich but don’t want to pay the restaurant prices. Now that we’ve started making our air fryer crispy fish sandwich homemade, there’s no need to eat-out anymore. Air frying a fish sandwich is so easy and we can feed a whole family on a budget. 

holding air fryer crispy fish sandwich

Easy Air Fryer Crispy Fish Sandwich 

It all started with our easy homemade air fryer crispy fish fillets. We kept eating it on repeat and realized we haven’t had it in a sandwich yet. The following week we made it happen and OMG, air frying fish for a sandwich is amazing. It’s so easy and can’t believe we didn’t do it sooner. The whole process is simple, fresh and budget friendly. It’s so cost effective to make this restaurant quality fish sandwich in the air fryer.

air fryer crispy fish sandwich on cutting board

Best types of fish to air fry for fish sandwiches?

There’s alot of different options out there. It all depends on availability in your area and budget. But even buying frozen fish works great too.

  • We suggest white fish that has a firmer texture. It cooks well and when the fish is firmer, it won’t break apart.
  • Tilapia or haddock are always easy to find fish in your local grocery store.
  • You can use cod or halibut. Though they are more expensive, they have a great flakey texture, perfect for air frying.
  • Or if you like salmon, the rich flavor is good too. Here’s a list of great healthy fishes you can cook with.

Video: Air Fryer Crispy Fish Sandwich

Different types of fish breading

We have a recipe that uses fresh breading. It has the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs. But for a quicker way, you can use prepared fish and seafood breadings. These are very seasoned and flavorful so you don’t need to season the fish at all. Just use follow the instructions on the package to coat the fish. Here’s a few tasty boxed breadings

Tips on How to Make Crispy Fish Sandwich in Air Fryer

  • Make sure to season the fish well with salt, pepper and other spices. If you’re on a low salt diet, then sure use a minimal amount. But seasonings really bring out the flavor of the fish. We like adding lemon pepper, smoked paprika, garlic salt and even using different types of steak or chicken seasonings are wonderful.
  • Add some tartar sauce for extra flavor. The chunky texture and tang of tartar sauce really makes the crispy air fried fish sandwich come alive.
  • Make sure to leave space between the fish fillets during air frying. The space between the fish helps the sides get really crispy. If you pack your air fryer too tight with fish, they won’t get as crispy on the sides.
  • All air fryer crispy fish sandwich recipe details are in the recipe box below.
holding air fryer crispy fish sandwich

Air Fryer Crispy Fish Sandwich

There are so many options for the breading that come out crispy and accommodate different dietary choices. We love them all, each giving slightly different texture and flavor.
Lots of factors influence how the fish filets cook. They all vary in size and thickness, so you’ll have to adjust timing. All air fryers are different and some cook much hotter than others. Once you cook your first batch, you’ll know more of what works for your model of air fryer and size of food.
Make sure to spray the filets to completely coat all the dry spots of breading or else it may cook up dry and crunchy instead of crispy. Want to know what oils and sprayers are best for an air fryer? This article is a great write up.
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Ingredients

For the Crispy Fish

  • 1 pound (454 g) white fish fillets (cod, halibut, tilapia, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) kosher salt , or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper , or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) paprika
  • 1-2 cups (60-120 g) breadcrumbs or breading of choice (panko, crushed pork rinds or almond flour)
  • 1 egg , or more if needed
  • cooking spray , for coating the fish

For the Sandwich

  • 3-4 burger buns
  • Optional Sandwich toppings/condiments (mayo, mustard, tartar sauce, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, sliced onion, etc.)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the Air Fryer at 380°F/193°C for 4 minutes.
    Touching the Air Fryer panel
  • If using frozen filets, make sure to thaw first. Cut fish filets in half if needed. Make sure they are even sized so they’ll cook evenly. The thicker they are, the longer they will take to cook. Pat the filets dry. Lightly oil the filets and then season with the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
    Season Fish
  • Put the breading in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs. Dip the filets in the egg, shaking off excess egg. Dredge the filets in your breading of choice. Press filets into the bowl of breading so that they completely coat the filets. Repeat this process for all fish pieces.
    Bread Fish
  • Line air fryer basket or tray with perforated parchment paper or perforated silicone mat (highly recommended – if you don't have perforated parchment paper or mat, make sure to generously coat the air fryer basket with oil spray). Lightly spray parchment paper with oil spray. Lay coated fish in a single layer on the parchment (cook in batches if needed). Generously spray all sides of the breaded filets with oil spray to coat any dry spots.
    Place fish in air fryer
  • Air Fry at 380°F/193°C for 6 minutes. Flip the fish fillets. Lightly spray any dry spots.
    Half cooked fish in air fryer
  • Continue to Air Fry at 380°F/193°C for 4-8 minutes, or until they are crispy brown and the fish is cooked through (time will vary depending on the size and thickness).
    Air Fry fish fillets
  • Assemble the sandwich with your favorite toppings & condiments. We love to do a spread of mayo, a little mustard, pickles, the crispy fish filets, then top with some lettuce & tomato. But you do you and make the sandwiches to your liking.
    Crispy Air Fryer Fish Sandwich on a board

If your air fryer is preheated or if you are cooking multiple batches, you may need to reduce timing by a few minutes (unless preheating is called for in the recipe).

Video

YouTube video

Nutrition Information per Serving

Calories: 561kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 42g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.04g, Cholesterol: 138mg, Sodium: 1470mg, Potassium: 635mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 422IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 157mg, Iron: 5mg

Easy Air Fried Fish Recipes for Sandwiches

We have more air fried fish recipes that you can use in sandwiches. They’re quick and easy options from using prepared frozen cooked fish fillets to using homemade fish.

holding air fryer fish sandwich

Can you use frozen fish?

Sure frozen fish fillets works great. Just make sure to thaw it all the way through before coating and air frying. It’s important to make sure it’s not frozen in the center because you’ll have a soggy and still-raw piece of fish that was supposed to be crispy.

Is it possible to freeze leftover crispy fish?

Freezing leftover fish is definitely easy. Just store them in airtight plastic bags and containers. But make sure to eat it within 2-3 months. Freezing fish for too long will lose its texture and flavor. When food is frozen for too long it can get freezer burn. And freezer burned fish doesn’t taste good at all.