Air fryer fish sticks are so convenient and easy! You end up with crispy, crunchy fish sticks that are flaky and tender on the inside. When you need a quick kid-friendly dinner, there’s nothing that’s more of a crowd-pleaser than air fryer frozen fish sticks.
I’ve come to believe that the air fryer is the best way to heat up frozen foods. It’s definitely healthier than deep frying and it’s faster than the oven. And food comes out crispier due to the hot circulating air in an enclosed space.
You can air fry all kinds of foods like frozen chicken wings, chicken nuggets, tater tots, and air fryer pizza rolls.
Fish sticks are white fish fillets cut into strips and coated with crispy breading. Breaded fish sticks are also referred to as fish fingers and they’re a great snack, especially for hungry kids.
Of course, homemade fish sticks are the best, but sometimes we need a little help and that’s where frozen fish sticks come in.
Most brands are made with real fish. There are a couple of types of fish commonly used. (Pollock is the most common type of fish, and sometimes cod).
You can make fish sticks as a kid-friendly afterschool snack, or for lunch or dinner. Crispy fish sticks can be made in the air fryer, from frozen, in less than 20 minutes.
Be sure to check out my post that has all the cooking times for the air fryer, organized by type of food, including frozen foods.
Air Fryer Frozen Foods
Here are some more easy Air Fryer Recipes you might enjoy:
– Pork chops
– Chicken 65 (Spicy Chicken Tenders)
Tips for Making Air Fryer Frozen Fish Sticks
- You can cook the fish sticks from frozen. There’s no need to thaw them.
- For best results, make sure the air fryer is preheated before putting the fish in.
- Every air fryer will vary. The first time you make this recipe, keep an eye on the fish. Check on it 2 minutes before the cook time is up and adjust the recipe as needed.
- All air fryers are different. Basket style ones cook faster than oven style. So please keep an eye on the fish to make sure it doesn’t overcook.
- Don’t overcrowd the fish. It’s best to place the fish sticks in a single layer in the air fryer without stacking them. This leaves enough space so the air can circulate. This way, they crisp evenly and you’ll get crunchy fish sticks.
- Shake the air fryer basket to flip the fish sticks halfway through the air frying process. You can also use tongs to turn the fish.
- The fish sticks will split if you cook them too long. So keep an eye on them at the 6-minute mark to make sure they don’t overcook.
- For easy cleanup, you can use perforated parchment paper sheets.
- A great way to serve air fryer fish fingers is with your favorite dipping sauce (We like ketchup or tartar sauce). You can also make fish tacos for an easy weeknight dinner! Check out my frozen fish fillets recipe to get some ideas for how to serve fish sticks in tacos.
There’s no need to spray oil. However, if you want them to be extra crispy, you can spray the fish sticks with olive oil, avocado oil, or vegetable oil spray. Don’t use canned aerosol sprays. Instead, use a spray bottle filled with your choice of oil.
Cook the fish for about 7-9 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, shaking the basket once at 4 minutes. Remove the fish sticks from the air fryer before they start to split.
I used Gorton’s but also I’ve used Van de Kamp. You can also use store brand fish sticks from your local grocery store. Just keep an eye on the fish and check on it a few minutes before the cooking time is up since each brand can vary slightly.
This recipe was tested using Cosori and Instant Pot Duo Crisp.
Air fry it for another 2 to 3 minutes, increasing the temp to 400 degrees F.
It’s best to eat the fish sticks when they’re first cooked. They could become dry if you reheat them. But if you end up with leftover fish sticks, store them in an airtight container and reheat fish sticks for 2 to 3 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Make Frozen Fish Sticks in Air Fryer
- Don’t thaw; keep the fish sticks frozen until ready to use.
- Preheat the air fryer.
- Place fish in the air fryer.
- Air fry the fish.
- Drain the fish sticks on paper towels.
- Serve crispy air fried fish sticks with your favorite sauce and tater tots or french fries.
Details in the recipe card below ⬇️
✅ MY FAVORITE AIR FRYER ACCESSORIES
EVO oil sprayer is great for spraying oil on food. This is the best I’ve tried.
Thermoworks Thermopop thermometer is accurate and good quality.
Perforated parchment sheets come in handy when making messy foods.
Air Fryer Frozen Fish Sticks
- Preheat the air fryer for 4 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- Add the frozen fish to the air fryer basket and make sure they're evenly spread out and in one layer.
- Close the air fryer and cook fish sticks for 7 to 9 minutes at 400 °F
- At the halfway mark, open the lid and shake the basket to turn the fish, or use a pair of tongs.
- They will start splitting when they're overcooking. Take the cooked fish sticks out before they get to that stage.
- * Gorton’s fish sticks were used in this air fryer recipe. Nutritional information is for Gorton’s fish sticks, without sauce.
- Every air fryer is different. Check on the fish 2 minutes before time is up.
- See the blog post for more detailed recipe tips.
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I am not a certified nutritionist. I provide my best estimate of nutritional information merely as a courtesy to my readers. If you depend on nutritional information for dietary or health reasons, I suggest using your favorite online nutrition calculator to confirm the nutritional value of this recipe based on the actual ingredients that you use.
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