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Fish sticks on a cutting board with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.
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Air Fryer Fish Sticks

These homemade Air Fryer Fish Sticks are crispy, golden brown and deliciously seasoned. Use either cod or salmon fillets to create this healthy, super family friendly meal. Alternate oven directions included!
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time16 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Low Calorie, Low Fat
Servings: 4
Calories: 337kcal


  • 1 ½ pounds cod or salmon fillets 4 fillets about 5 to 8 ounces each and 1-inch thick (see Notes below)
  • 1 teaspoon salt divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus additional, to taste
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • propellant free nonstick cooking spray like Chosen Avocado Oil Spray

For Serving


  • Pat the fillets dry with paper towels Cut them lengthwise into 1- x 4-inch strips (I cut my cod fillets from Costco into 3 strips each to get 12 strips total). Season the fish with ½ teaspoon salt and a little pepper, to taste.
  • In a shallow dish (I use glass pie dishes), mix together the flour, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. In a 2nd dish, beat the eggs. In a 3rd dish, combine the panko, Old Bay Seasoning, parsley, and garlic powder.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.
  • Coat each piece of fish with the seasoned flour, then coat it in the beaten eggs, and then coat it with the seasoned breadcrumbs. See the Notes section below for the dry hand-wet hand breading method.
  • Spritz the basket of the air fryer with propellant free nonstick spray. Coat the tops of the breaded fish with additional spray and place them in the preheated air fryer. Cook at 400 degrees for 8 minutes, flipping the fish halfway through the cooking time. The fish sticks should be crisped, golden brown and the internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees F when measured with an instant read thermometer. You can increase the cooking time, if needed.
  • To keep your first batch warm while cooking the rest, place them on a baking sheet and transfer them to a 200 degree F oven.
  • Serve with tartar sauce and lemon wedges on the side.

Alternate Conventional Oven Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet generously with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Place the breaded fish sticks on the prepared baking sheet and spray the tops with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and use tongs to flip the fish sticks (be sure to close the oven door - you want it to stay HOT in there). Spray the tops with additional nonstick cooking spray and return the fish sticks to the oven for an additional 4 to 6 minutes, or until crisped, golden, and the internal temperature is at least 145 degrees F.


Nutrition information provided is for Air Fryer Fish Sticks only and does not include condiments.
Cooking time is for two batches. Additional batches will increase the total time.
If you'd like to increase the amount of fish, this recipe makes enough breading to coat up to 2 pounds. If frozen, the fish must be fully thawed before beginning.
Propellant Free Nonstick Cooking Spray
Most manufacturers warn that cooking spray with propellants can damage the nonstick coating of an air fryer basket over time. Instead, use a propellant free nonstick cooking spray. I like Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Spray, which is readily available at most major grocery stores and online. You can also use an oil mister and refill it with your own cooking oil, if preferred. Just be sure to use an oil with a high smoke point like canola or avocado oil.
Dry Hand-Wet Hand Breading Technique
One hand is designated the "dry hand" and the other the "wet hand" which helps to keep your ingredients free from debris and your hands cleaner.
  • Starting with the dry hand, coat each piece of fish with the seasoned flour.
  • Using the same hand, set the flour coated fish down in the egg mixture. Switch to the wet hand to coat all sides of the fish in the beaten egg, allowing any excess to drip off and back into the dish.
  • Use the wet hand to move the piece of fish over to the seasoned bread crumbs. Switch back to the dry hand to coat it well with bread crumbs on all sides. Transfer the breaded fish stick to a sheet of parchment paper or foil and repeat with the remaining fish sticks. You will probably find that you need to stop and wash your hands once or twice during the process. But, it works like a charm as long as you remember which hand is which!


Serving: 3fishsticks | Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 196mg | Sodium: 886mg | Potassium: 823mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 268IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 3mg