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How to Make Crispy Lemon Tilapia in Your Air Fryer

It's quick! It's easy! It's really good! I love tilapia, and this is one of my favorite recipes, not just because it's so simple and fast to make, but also because the fish comes out moist inside and crispy outside. Grated lemon zest and juice give the fish great flavor, and plain panko bread crumbs ensure that the taste of the lemon and fish shine. This is a reasonably economical fish dish, and the ingredients for it are generally available, so try it soon! I like to serve the fish with rice and a green vegetable that I steam in the microwave for a quick, low-fuss dinner. Enjoy!

How to Make Crispy Lemon Tilapia in Your Air Fryer
How to Make Crispy Lemon Tilapia in Your Air Fryer

Air Fryer Crispy Lemon Tilapia -- Serves 2


3/4 pound of tilapia fillets

1/3 cup of plain panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese

Grated zest of half a lemon (about 1/2 teaspoon)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon of lemon pepper or plain pepper

1/8 teaspoon of salt

Olive oil to spritz/drizzle


Line the bottom and two inches up the sides of your air fryer basket with a sheet of aluminum foil. The fit can and should be fairly loose, as the foil is primarily for lifting the fish out of the basket and for easy clean up. Spritz the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and cut the fillets in half, following the center, vertical line down the fish. Set the fish aside. In a cup or small bowl mix together well the panko, grated Parmesan, and lemon zest. Set the crumb mixture aside. On a plate, mix together well the tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Dip the fish in the olive oil mixture, coating it on both sides. Sprinkle one side of all the fillet pieces with half of the crumb mixture and then place the fish, crumb-side-down, in the air fryer basket. Place the thickest pieces on the outside of the basket and the thin pieces on the inside, overlapping the thin edges, so the fish cooks evenly. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs on top of the fish fillets, pressing the crumbs lightly into the oil mixture atop the fish. Spritz the tops of the crumb-coated fillets with a little olive oil spray or drizzle the fillets with a little olive oil, if you prefer. Put the fish-filled air fryer basket in the air fryer and air fry the fish at 360 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is golden brown and is cooked to your preference (I like my fish to flake with a fork, so usually cook it about 15 minutes). Lift the fish carefully out of the air fryer basket using the aluminum foil sling and let it sit for a few minutes before serving it.

How to Make Crispy Lemon Tilapia in Your Air Fryer
How to Make Crispy Lemon Tilapia in Your Air Fryer

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