This flakey and tender air fryer cod recipe is perfect for making cod without breading. When you need dinner on the table fast, you can have this healthy and tasty fish recipe ready in 15 minutes or less.
Breaded and fried air fryer fish is delicious, like in my recipe for air fryer haddock or air fryer catfish. But these recipes do take a little bit of time and work to coat the filets in breadcrumbs. This air fryer cod recipe is the answer when you want a simple, no-effort fish dinner!
Just put the cod fillets in the air fryer basket, sprinkle on some seasoning, and dinner will be ready in no time! This is the perfect meal for a busy weeknight dinner, during Lent, or any time of year.
Even though there is no breading, the cod is still a little bit crispy on the outside with tender, juicy fish inside. Cooking seafood in the air fryer results in a tender, delicate, fresh flavor for a light and delicious fish dinner.
For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below
Cod – At some grocery stores, you can buy either cod loin or cod filet. These are both cod but cut from different parts of the fish. I always purchase a cod filet because it is less expensive. You can substitute any white fish for the cod in this recipe, such as haddock, sole, or flounder. If you have frozen fish check out my directions here.
Lemon juice – Fresh lemon juice is always better. Since I serve this with lemon wedges, I have a lemon on hand anyway, so it is little effort to juice half of it. But use bottled juice if you prefer.
The remaining ingredients are the pantry staples of garlic, olive oil, paprika, salt, and black pepper.
How to Make Air Fryer Cod
Cut the cod fillets into pieces that will fit inside the air fryer. Pat the piece of fish dry with a paper towel. If the fish fillet has skin on it, that is fine. Mince the garlic and juice the lemon if you are using fresh lemon juice.
It is easier to season the cod if you put it in the air fryer basket first. I like to use parchment paper in the air fryer when I make fish because it is delicate. In addition, the skin will stick to the bottom, so cleanup is easier with parchment paper.
You can buy parchment paper made to fit in the basket with perforated holes so that the air can still circulate. Using it will make your after-dinner cleanup effortless.
Put the fish in the air fryer with the skin side down. Make sure to keep it in a single layer. Drizzle the oil and lemon juice on top of the fish. Then sprinkle the paprika, salt, pepper, and minced garlic over the top.
Set the air fryer at 370 degrees F and cook the cod for 8-10 minutes. It doesn’t need to be flipped over. Cod, like all fish, doesn’t taste nearly as good if it is overcooked. So check it after cooking for 8 minutes to determine if it is done.
Use an instant-read thermometer to check that the internal temperature is 145 degrees F, or just make sure the fish flakes easily with your fork. If not, cook it for another 2-3 minutes and check it again.
Serve the cod topped with a lemon slice and sprinkle it with fresh herbs for a classic fish dinner. I love to serve this simple, healthy dinner with easy sides, such as a fruit salad, asparagus, or microwave rice. Coleslaw or chickpea salad are make-ahead foods that go great with fish.
Another great serving option is to make a quick garlic aioli sauce, serve this on tortillas and call it fish tacos or make a taco bowl with rice.
How to Store
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. To reheat it, put it back in the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 3-4 minutes.
Yes, you can cook cod that is still frozen by essentially using the air fryer to thaw it. Take the frozen fish, rinse it with cold water, and put it in the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 4 minutes. Then you can cook the fish as if it was fresh.
Fillets thawed this way won’t be as tasty as fresh fish, but if you need to eat and the fish is frozen, it will work! You should make sure you check the internal temperature with a thermometer before serving since the size of fillets will vary.
The internal temperature should be 145 degrees F.
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Air Fryer Cod Recipe
- 1 1/2 pounds cod fillets or another white fish such as haddock, flounder, or sole
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- lemon slices
- fresh parsley
- Take the cod out of the package and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut it into pieces that fit in the air fryer basket.
- Mince the garlic and juice the lemon if using a fresh lemon.
- Using parchment paper in the air fryer will make cleanup easier. Put a piece in the bottom and put the piece of cod on top, with the skin side down.
- Drizzle the fresh lemon juice and olive oil on top of the filets. Sprinkle on the paprika, salt, black pepper, and minced garlic.
- Air fry the fish at 370 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, cooking until the fish is just done. Check that the internal temperature has reached 145 degrees F or that the cod flakes easily with a fork.
- Serve with lemon slices and sprinkled with fresh herbs.
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Nutrition facts are estimates.