(Last Updated On: November 17, 2022)
Cooking fish sticks in the air fryer is so easy! And when the fish sticks, or fish fingers as some people call them, are ready, they are crispy, crunchy, and so delicious. It only takes these air fryer fish sticks about 10 minutes of cooking time until an easy dinner is ready! Making these fish sticks in the air fryer is a great way to get them crispy without deep frying. The hot air in the air fryer works wonders for the crispiness.
🐟 Key Ingredients
- 8 Fish sticks (frozen)
- Dipping sauce (optional)
👩🍳 How to Make Air Fryer Frozen Fish Sticks (Step-by-Step Instructions with Detailed Photos)
Step 1. Preheat the Air Fryer
If your air fryer needs to be preheated, set it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2. Put the Fish Sticks in the Air Fryer Basket
Place 8 frozen fish sticks in a single layer on the air fryer basket or tray. You can cook more or fewer fish sticks depending on the size of your air fryer basket, but do not overlap. You will need to do a second or third batch if your air fryer does not have enough space for single layers. We used Mrs. Paul’s Crunchy Breaded Fish Sticks sold in the frozen foods section of the grocery store, and they have a great-tasting fish flavor, but you can use any of your favorite fish stick brands.
We put parchment paper down first over the basket. The parchment paper has holes in it and is so nice to work with. The holes not only let the air flow through to the fish sticks, but the holes are very important as this is needed for the air fryer to cook properly. So please do not use parchment paper without holes. They make pre-made parchment paper sheets for all different shapes and sizes of air fryers… so you need to find the best one to fit yours.
This parchment paper is also nonstick so there is no need to spray oil or brush the basket with cooking spray or oil. When done, just throw the pre-cut parchment paper away. However, if you don’t have parchment paper, brush some oil or cooking spray on the air basket first, then lay the fish sticks over the top of the basket.
Step 3. Cook for 10 Minutes
Put the basket into the air fryer and cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes, then flip them over and cook for another 5 minutes. Total – 10 minutes. You can add a couple more minutes if you like your fish sticks crispier or if your air fryer has fewer watts than ours. The best way to get the right cooking time for your air fryer is to simply watch them as they cook if you have a glass window to see through. If you can’t see them as they are cooking, then check at 10 minutes and keep checking every minute until they reach your desired crispiness. If you do not cook them long enough, you will end up with soggy fish sticks. So, make sure you cook them for at least 10 minutes.
We did not season the fish sticks before or after cooking and they tasted fantastic. If you prefer, you could add some seasoning to the fish sticks halfway through the cooking process. Some ideas for seasoning are Old Bay seasoning, paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. You can even add a squeeze of lemon juice over your fish sticks after they are done cooking.
Note: Not all air fryers are the same. Time and temperature may have to be adjusted. It is best to read your manual.
Cook frozen? Yes, the fish sticks are put into the air fryer right out of the freezer while they are still frozen, and within 10 to 12 minutes, they are done and ready to eat. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. We love tartar sauce and or ketchup with ours. Enjoy!
You can make crispy fish sticks in the air fryer by cooking them for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you want them even crispier, you can test one at 11 or 12 minutes. For the best results, watch them as they are cooking until you see them turn golden brown. Be sure to keep a close watch so they don’t burn up!
Fish sticks are made out of white fish that is covered in a breaded batter. They are a processed food commonly found in the frozen food section of grocery stores. The white fish used is typically cod, pollock, or shark. Delicious fish sticks are a kid-friendly meal and cooking them in the air fryer takes less time than cooking them in the traditional oven.
The most popular fish stick brands we have found are Van De Kamp, Gorton’s, Trident, Great Value, and Mrs. Paul’s.
🔷 Placing parchment paper in the air fryer basket before adding whatever food you are going to cook is a Godsend. Parchment paper is nonstick so there is no need for cooking spray or oil. It’s also easy to clean up, just pick the parchment paper out of the air fryer basket and toss it in the trash can. Just make sure to buy the parchment paper with holes in it so the air can flow through to still be able to cook the food and let the air fryer unit work properly.
🔶 Air fryers are great for reheating leftover foods. The food comes out crispy, not soggy.
🔷 Keep your air fryer in a space of its own giving it plenty of room for adequate airflow in and around it. They say about 5 inches all around it.
🔶 Always clean up the basket and surrounding area inside of the air fryer after cooking each batch of food.
🔷 Don’t cram food or overlap, put food in a single layer.
🔶 Use heat-resistant tongs when flipping food items over in the basket. The food is HOT, you don’t want to burn yourself.
🔷 The fan inside the air fryer can blow lightweight foods around such as the top slice of bread on a sandwich. To solve that problem, you can use a wooden toothpick inserted into the bread to hold it down.
💡 Final Thoughts for this Air Fryer Fish Stick Recipe
If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands to make dinner, this fish sticks recipe is simple, quick to fix, and tastes fantastic. It is an easy meal for busy weeknights and is done in just minutes. You can make French fries, mac and cheese, or tuna salad as a side dish, then serve a lettuce salad and some veggies to make a wonderful meal for your family. They taste great dipped in ketchup, some homemade tartar sauce, or your favorite sauce!
🥰 More Quick and Easy Air Fryer Recipes Your Whole Family Will Love
Air frying is easy with these simple and delicious recipes:
- Air Fryer Potato Wedges – Potatoes that are cut into wedges and air fried for 25 to 30 minutes. Made with olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, table salt (or sea salt), and ground black pepper – Yum!
- Frozen Tater Tots in Air Fryer – Crispy, delicious, and seasoned with Johnny’s seasoning salt for extra flavor.
- Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets – Great for busy weeknights when you are looking to save a bunch of time!
- Bacon in the Air Fryer (Crispy) – A simple and fast way to make bacon for breakfast. It’s crispy and with no messy grease splattering all over the kitchen stove. Only 15 minutes of cooking time, and so tasty!
Air Fryer Fish Sticks (Frozen)
- 8 Fish sticks (from your favorite brand)
- Dipping sauce (optional)
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the parchment paper (with holes in it) or brush or spray oil on the air fryer basket.
- Put the fish sticks in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Cook for 5 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, then flip the fish sticks over and cook for another 5 minutes for a total of 10 minutes of cooking time. Add 1-2 more minutes for crispier results.
- When nice and crispy brown, remove the fish sticks from the air fryer basket and serve.
- You can add more fish sticks if your air fryer can hold more than 8, or you can add fewer fish sticks if your air fryer has a smaller basket.
- You can add a couple of minutes to the cooking time if you want extra crispy fish sticks.
- Crispy fish sticks are great when dipped in ketchup, tartar sauce, or any of your favorite dipping sauces.
A wife, a mother to a son and a daughter, and a grandmother to three granddaughters. Flo loves sharing recipes passed down from her own mother, her mother-in-law, and her grandmother as well as new recipes created with her daughter, Tamara Ray.
More by Flo ➜