Once you learn to cook cod in an air fryer, you will never cook it any other way! It is easy, delicious, and dinner will be on the table in less than 20 minutes!
Although there are several varieties of fish that you can cook using this method, this recipe is designed specifically for cod, or any other mild, white fish.
This would include pollock, flounder and even halibut. The only difference in the cooking method would be the actual cook time. Thicker fish filets will take longer to cook, but the process is the same.
Air Fryer Cod Recipe
1. Cod Filets
It is best to purchase fresh, wild caught fish whenever possible. You can often find cod filets in the butcher case at most grocery stores. If you can’t find fresh filets, look in the freezer section for frozen cod. But keep in mind, the fish will need to be thawed out completely before air frying them.
The lemon will serve two purposes here. First, it will be used to pre-season the fish before the actual dry seasoning is added. Second, it will be cut into wedges and served along with the cooked cod for squeezing the juice on top. It really brightens up the flavor and makes the cod even more delicious!
3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The oil will help prevent the fish from sticking to the basket of the air fryer. However, it also serves as the binder to allow the seasonings to adhere to the exterior surface of the fish.
Although you could use any salt that you have on hand, I recommend using Kosher salt. It is the preferred salt for seasoning prior to cooking or baking. However, if you want to add a little extra salt after the cod comes out of the air fryer, I suggest that you use Sea Salt. It adds great flavor and texture to the fish after it has been cooked.
5. Black Pepper
Fresh ground black pepper is always best to use as it provides the maximum amount of flavor to your dish. I like to use a medium coarse grinder so that it adds not only flavor, but also additional texture as well. However, that is simply my preference. Therefore, use whatever type of black pepper that you prefer or have on hand.
6. Smoked Paprika
This is one of my favorite spices to use in seasonings and dry rubs. In addition to using it to make Smoked Chicken Wings, Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, and Brisket, I use it as the star seasoning in my Air Fryer Salmon recipe. The sweet and smoky spice adds a unique flavor that makes the food taste like it has been on the barbecue for hours.
Although you could use Hungarian or sweet paprika as a substitute, I highly recommend purchasing smoked paprika. It is a staple spice in my kitchen that I use quite often.
Before you put your cod in the air fryer, it is important to preheat the air fryer first. Although not all brands require preheating, you will want to heat up the air fryer for this recipe.
Because this type of fish is relatively delicate, heating up the air fryer prior to cooking will help it hold together and cook more evenly.
Next, spray the air fryer basket with non-stick spray to help prevent sticking. Alternatively, you could use parchment paper that is designed for air fryers.
While the air fryer preheats, it is time to prepare and season the filets. Start by patting each piece of fish dry with a paper towel and set aside.
Then cut a lemon in half and juice just one of the halves, reserving the other half for garnish. Pour or brush the lemon juice over each side of the filets and set aside.
Now it is time to make the seasoning. Do this by combining the salt, pepper, and smoked paprika in a small bowl and mix well and set aside.
Right before you are ready to cook the cod, drizzle the oil on one side of the cod and sprinkle it with the seasoning mix. *If your cod has the skin still intact, season this side first.
Place the seasoned side of the cod filets in the air fryer basket and then coat the other side with oil. Then sprinkle the remaining seasoning on the top surface of each filet.
Air fry the fish for 6-10 minutes or until cooked through. The fish will flake easily with a fork when done.
*The amount of cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish and the air fryer brand.
- Use fresh, wild-caught cod whenever possible. If using frozen filets make sure they are completely thawed before putting them in the air fryer.
- Before adding the seasoning be sure to pat the fish dry on both sides.
- Substitute unsalted melted butter for the oil if you like more of a buttery taste.
- Because cod is a mild, white fish, it will take on the taste of the seasoning. Therefore, use high quality seasonings.
- Be sure to preheat the air fryer, even if your brand doesn’t require it before cooking.
- Place fillets in a single layer with space between each filet so that the air can flow freely. Depending on the size of the air fryer basket, you may have to cook the cod in batches.
- It is best to brush or spray with basket with a high heat oil such as olive oil or avocado oil to help prevent sticking.
- If you use parchment paper, be sure to use the variety meant for air fryer baskets. This specific parchment paper has holes scattered throughout the bottom so that the air circulate and cook the fish as intended.
- The cook time will depend on the thickness of the filets and the brand of the air fryer. Be sure to begin checking for doneness at the 6 minute mark, especially if you are cooking thin filets.
- The cod is ready when it easily flakes with a fork or when the internal temperature reaches 145°F/63°C.
- Use lemon wedges as garnish and drizzle a little lemon juice on top right before eating.
What To Serve With Cod
Although you can serve Air Fryer Cod with just about any side dish, here are some of our favorite recipes that pair well with this delicious fish:
- Air Fryer Baby Potatoes
- Garlic Butter Smashed Potatoes
- Easy Caprese Salad
- Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
- Keto Cauliflower Casserole
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Instant Pot Garlic Green Beans
- Cucumber, Onion & Tomato Salad
- Oven Roasted Honey Glazed Carrots
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- 4 cod filets
- 1 lemon, halved and divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Preheat Air Fryer to 360°F (180°C). Spray the basket with non-stick spray or line with air fryer designed parchment paper.
- Pat fish fillets dry with a paper towel. Juice 1/2 of the lemon and evenly spread on both sides of the cod filet. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.
- Drizzle the olive oil on one side of the cod and sprinkle with the seasoning mix. *If your cod has the skin, season this side first.
- Place the seasoned side of the filets in the air fryer basket and then coat the other side with oil and then sprinkle the remaining seasoning on top.
- Air fry fish for 6-10 minutes or until cooked through. The amount of cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish and the air fryer brand. The fish will flake easily with a fork when done.
Recipe provided by Make Your Meals
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 406mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 41g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.