Air Fryer Tilapia Tenders

Panko-breaded fish tenders with side salad

Many fish recipes call for frying in oil, and while this yields delicious results, cooking with oil isn’t always the healthiest choice. Luckily, there’s a way to enjoy that same crispy texture without traditional frying. Air fryers are having a moment in the spotlight, and for good reason. Similar to convection ovens, air fryers use a rapid circulation of hot air to cook food—creating similar results as deep frying, but with minimum to no oil.

Tilapia is one of the most popular types of fish used for cooking due to its affordability, sweet and mild taste, nutritional value and versatility in the kitchen. The recipe below combines the health benefits of Tilapia and air frying for an updated version of fish tenders—a go-to comfort food for children and adults alike. This version calls for staples like panko breadcrumbs and onion powder, and uses grated parmesan and chopped parsley to provide a unique, fresh touch.

Regal Springs Tilapia is a great choice because it doesn’t lose its tender texture or subtle sweetness when fried. Just like you would if you were cooking in an oven, be sure to preheat your air fryer for at least five minutes prior to cooking. To ensure the tenders are perfectly crispy, lay each one side-by-side in the basket rather than stacking, and make sure to flip them halfway through.

The best part? The air fryer cooks the Tilapia quickly, so you can enjoy these tenders in no time at all.

Air Fryer Tilapia Tenders

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 244 kcal


  • 1 lb Regal Springs Tilapia tenders thawed
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp onion powder


  1. Toss the tenders in olive oil, making sure to completely coat the fish.

  2. Combine the breadcrumbs, spices and parsley in a shallow dish.

  3. Place the oiled tenders in the shallow dish one at a time, pressing the Tilapia into the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure all sides are covered with the breadcrumbs.

  4. Set your air fryer to 390°F and place the tenders inside. Cook for 8–10 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 5–7 minutes.

  5. Let your tenders rest for 3–4 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Calories are per serving.

Eager to try this recipe at home? Consult our store locator to find your nearest Tilapia retailer.

Photo Credits: klaikungwon / Shutterstock Inc.