Need a Quick Supper? Make Crispy Pesto Tilapia in Your Air Fryer
Preparations for this easy, great tasting tilapia main dish take about five minutes, and I can cook the fish in about 12 minutes in my air fryer. The fish is crispy on the top and moist and full of flavor beneath the coating. The key ingredient is prepared pesto, which flavors the fish, keeps it moist, and helps the Panko coating adhere. A sprinkle of Parmesan on top provides additional nutty, salty flavor. If you want to dress up the fish after cooking it, you can sprinkle on a little chopped or torn fresh basil. To ease the cleanup, I line the basket of my air fryer with two layers of aluminum foil. The foil makes lifting the tilapia from the basket simple, and the foil can be discarded after serving the fish. All your air fryer basket should need is a quick rinse, and you're cleanup is done! Enjoy!
Air Fryer Crispy Pesto Tilapia -- Serves 2
12-16 ounces of tilapia fillets
2 tablespoons of prepared pesto
2 tablespoons of seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese
A little chopped or torn fresh basil (optional)
Tear off two sheets of aluminum foil a little larger than your air fryer basket. Place one sheet in the basket and press it into the basket and about three-quarters of the way up the sides. Place the other sheet crosswise over the first sheet and press it into the basket and three-quarters of the way up the sides, to make a double layer and to enable you to easily lift out the cooked fish. Spritz the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Pat the fish dry with paper towels and cut each filet in half along the dark seem that runs up the middle. Lay the fish on the prepared aluminum foil, placing the larger pieces on the sides and the thin pieces in the middle (you can overlap the thin pieces a little to help all the pieces cook evenly). Spread the pesto over the top of the fish, covering the top of the fish completely with a thin layer of the pesto. Sprinkle the Panko evenly on top of the pesto. Spritz the Panko with a little non-stick cooking spray, put the basket in the air fryer, and air fry the fish at 360 degrees for 10-14 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork and the Panko is nicely browned. Carefully lift the fish from the air fryer basket, using the aluminum foil as a sling. Sprinkle the shredded Parmesan on top of the cooked fish. If you'd like, sprinkle on some chopped or torn basil. Let the fish cool a few minutes before eating it.