Air Fryer Fish Sticks

Air Fryer Fish Sticks - Food & Nutrition Magazine - Stone Soup
Photo by Summer Yule

Can you air fry fish sticks? Absolutely! Making fish sticks in an air fryer is easier than you might think. This air fryer fish sticks recipe cooks in under 15 minutes, perfect for a fast weeknight dinner. Try these homemade fish sticks in the air fryer.

When you think of “kid food,” what comes to mind? I think of things like mac-n-cheese, pizza, chicken nuggets and fish sticks. Fish sticks are a bit unusual among seafood options because kids love them (usually)!

Most of us are not getting enough seafood in our diets (according to the current recommendations). If breading fish and serving it with a dip helps to increase your seafood intake, I am all for it.

Since I’ve been all about air fryer recipes lately, it got me thinking: Would my favorite breaded fish fillets work as crispy fish sticks? And second, could I put the fish sticks in the air fryer instead of heating up the house with the oven?

I’m happy to report that the answer to both of these questions turned out to be a resounding yes. In my very honest opinion, these are the best frozen fish sticks for air frying around.

I hope your family falls in love with them, too.Air Fryer Fish Sticks -

Air Fryer Fish Sticks


  • 1 pound cod fillets (approximately 3 fillets)
  • ¼ cup coarse-ground cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • ⅓ cup 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • cooking oil spray (non-aerosol)
  • lemon wedges (optional)


Mist an air fryer tray with the cooking spray.

Cut cod fillets into 12 even pieces. I started with 3 fillets and cut them width-wise into 4 pieces each. (Note: if you cut your fish differently than I did, you may need more or less breading).

Mix the cornmeal, spelt flour, Parmesan, basil, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Put the milk in a separate bowl.

Bread your fish sticks by dipping them first in the milk and then in the cornmeal breading mixture. Place the breaded fish sticks in a single layer on the air fryer tray. You should have just enough breading to completely cover the fish sticks.

Drizzle the melted butter over the fish sticks.

Air fryer directions: Put the tray with the fish sticks on the top rack in your air fryer oven. Air fry for 7 minutes at 400°F. Then carefully flip the fish sticks, put the baking tray back on the top rack, and air fry for an additional 7 minutes at 400°F. (No air fryer? Use the oven directions below instead!)

Alternate oven directions: Put the fish sticks on a metal cookie sheet misted with cooking spray. Broil for 5 to 8 minutes in the oven.

Cooking note:

  • To make a tartar sauce or dipping, combine 6 tablespoons of mayonnaise with 3 tablespoons of finely chopped pickles.
  • However you cook your fish, use a meat thermometer to check that it reached a minimum safe internal temperature of 145°F. Extend the cooking time if it’s not at a safe temperature.
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Summer Yule
Summer Yule, MS, RDN, is a media dietitian who calls the Hartford, Connecticut area home. She is the owner of the, a recipe resource for those who want to meet their health goals without giving up delicious foods. Follow the fun on Twitter and Pinterest!