How to Make Cod Fish Tacos in Air Fryer for a 20 Minute Dinner
For a crispy, flavorful, refreshing weeknight dinner, try this easy air fryer fish tacos recipe! The fish filets turn out deliciously crisp after air frying, and they pair perfectly with the crunchy slaw and creamy tartar sauce. And, it’s a quick dinner you can whip up in under 30 minutes! Whether you love fish tacos or haven’t tried them yet, these cod fish tacos are a must try.
There are all sorts of ways to cook fish for tacos, but fried is definitely one of the tastiest options. Thankfully, if you don’t want to deal with deep frying, these air fryer fish tacos seriously do turn out surprisingly and satisfyingly crispy. Yes, they’re not the same as deep-fried—but they’re much easier to make and a solid option for a quick weeknight dinner!
Paired with the refreshing slaw of cabbage and shredded lettuce, plus some buttery sliced avocado, these crispy cod fish tacos are sure to be a crowd favorite. Plus, I love all of the colors in this meal. Not only is it more appealing to eat, but all of those colors also mean more whole-food nutrients and antioxidants!
Old Bay or seasoning of choice, as desired (lemon pepper, paprika, a mix, etc.)
Small soft flour tortillas
Shredded purple cabbage
I’ve only made these air fryer fish tacos using cod filets, but other white fish options could work as well. If cod or black cod isn’t available, try using mahi mahi, sea bass or striped bass, grouper, haddock, or pollack. Though tilapia is a common choice for fish tacos, these filets tend to be smaller than cod filets and so the cooking method may need to be adjusted.
All-purpose flour is the most reliable option for the base of the coating, and I haven’t personally tried using alternatives. You’re welcome to experiment with other options like whole wheat flour, oat flour, or even almond and coconut flour—just know the texture may turn out different! Or, try experimenting with the low-carb coating from my keto air fryer chicken tenders recipe.
Unfortunately, I’m unaware of a suitable alternative for the egg in this recipe. It’s essential to get the coating to stick to the filets, and it’s the key to getting these cod fish tacos truly crispy! You’re welcome to try a vegan egg substitute, though I can’t speak to how it might turn out.
Personally, panko breadcrumbs are my go-to for any kind of coating or air fryer recipe. They result in the crispiest, most satisfying texture! But, again, if you’re willing to experiment, you could try alternatives like quick-cooking oats, crushed corn flakes, or even crushed pork rinds.
Butcher Box Cod Filets
When I made these air fryer fish tacos, I used wild-caught cod filets from Butcher Box! All of their meat is humanely raised, free of antibiotics and added hormones, and it’s conveniently delivered frozen right to my door. Plus, I love that I can adjust my delivery frequency as often as I need! This takes so much of the stress out of grocery shopping for me, and I can feel good about the meat that I’m eating.
Like I said, these air fryer fish tacos are super simple and quick to make. Once you’ve air fried the cod—which takes about 10 minutes—you just assemble your tacos into your chosen tortillas! But, if you’re new to using the air fryer or just a bit unsure about it, here are a few basic tips for cooking cod fish tacos in the air fryer:
Remove fish filets from the fridge and pat dry on both sides. The less moisture they retain, the more they’ll crisp up while cooking!
Season your filets generously with salt and pepper on both sidesbefore coating them. And, yes, still add seasoning into your breading mixture. Since we’re cooking these air fryer fish tacos without oil, adding a bit more seasoning will add more flavor to compensate for the lack of fat.
If your filets have the skin on them, just leave it on! Of course, you’re welcome to remove the skin if that’s your preference. But, honestly, you’ll hardly notice it once they’ve been cooked, and it’s filled with loads of nutrients!
Preheat your air fryer as needed, then spray the basket with cooking spray before adding your fish. Every air fryer is a bit different, so read your machine’s instructions to be sure you know how it functions best. And, yes, most air fryers don’t require any oil or cooking spray at all, but I like to spray mine down just to be safe and make sure the fish doesn’t stick.
If desired, flip your fish halfway through the cook time, but I personally don’t worry about it! Some recipes do benefit from flipping halfway through, but these air fryer fish tacos turned out perfectly and I didn’t flip them at all.
How to make cod fish tacos in the air fryer with crunchy slaw, avocado, and tartar sauce.
Prep Time:10-15 minutes
Cook Time:10-13 minutes
Total Time:20-28 minutes
Air Fryer Cod
1lb cod filets, cut into 4 pieces salt & pepper, to taste ¼ cup all-purpose flour 1 egg, beaten ⅔ cup panko breadcrumbs ¾ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper ¾ tsp Old Bay or seasoning of choice, as desired (lemon pepper, paprika, a mix, etc.)
8 small soft flour tortillas ½ cup shredded purple cabbage ½ cup shredded lettuce 1 avocado, sliced ¼ cup tartar sauce 1-2 lemons, sliced into wedges
Cut fish filets as needed and pat dry on both sides. Once dry, season to taste with salt and pepper to taste.
Set up dredging station with 3 shallow dishes/bowls. Fill one dish with flour, another dish with whisked egg, and final dish with panko, salt, pepper, and any additional seasonings.
Coat each fish filet in flour, then egg, and then panko, pressing to coat well.