Fried Buffalo Tilapia with Spaghetti & Cheesy Garlic Bread

Nov 3, 2023
A plate of fried buffalo tilapia with spaghetti and a side of cheesy garlic breadThis one-dish meal combines crispy fried tilapia with spaghetti tossed in a tangy buffalo sauce and topped with melted cheese. Serve with a side of warm, buttery garlic bread for the ultimate comfort food dinner.

Fried Buffalo Tilapia with Spaghetti & Cheesy Garlic Bread

Air Fryer Tilapia

Who doesn’t love fish and chips?! But dunking fish in a boiling pit of oil at home can make for a messy time. Instead, we can use an air fryer and get a wonderfully crisp piece of air-fried fish and it is just as delicious! Plus, tilapia in the air fryer is healthier so you can spend those extra calorie points on an extra pale ale, or two! Tilapia is a delicate piece of fish and lends itself well to the air fryer. Keep reading below to find the easy seven-step recipe for making air fryer tilapia so you can finally have an easy and mess-free way to make fish and chips at home!

What is tilapia?

Tilapia is actually a very broad term and refers to many species of chichlid fish. They are mainly freshwater fish. Tilapia has a mild flavor making it a great canvas for you to decorate with lots of flavor.

Tilapia is the fourth most common seafood consumed in the United States. You can always find a ton of it at Costco and it is always very cheap.

This tilapia fries super quick and comes out crispy in the air fryer. The parmesan crust with lemon zest is fresh and light and adds a delicious crunch! Pair these with some air fryer chips for fish and chips night!


4 fillets of Tilapia
1/2 cup flour
4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 eggs


Coat the Tilapia fillets:

Set up 3 shallow dishes (I used pie dishes). Place the flour in one dish. Crack the egg into another and whisk the eggs really well. In the third dish, combine the cheese, paprika, lemon zest, salt and pepper and combine.
Pat the tilapia fillets dry then dip each fillet into the flour and coat both sides. Dip them into the egg wash and transfer them to the cheese mixture to coat both sides of each fillet.

Cook the Tilapia:

Place a small piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the air fryer basket then place 1 to 2 fillets in the basket. See notes.
Cook for 4 to 5 minutes at 400°F until the cheese melts and the crust is golden brown. (see notes)


Do not crowd the fish into the air fryer basket or they will end up steaming and get a soggy crust. If you have a small air fryer you may only be able to fit one at a time.
Make sure to use parchment paper in the air fryer basket. The cheese coating tends to stick to the bottom of the basket even if you use non-stick spray. Parchment paper will make this recipe painless. Cut the parchment paper to fit the bottom of the basket. If it is too large, it can be burned by the heating element in the air fryer.
Tilapia fillets cook quickly because they are thin and you will not need to flip them. If you use a different fish for this recipe make sure they 1/2 inch thick or thinner. If you use thicker fillets you will need to flip them and cook them for another 4 to 5 minutes.
If you use frozen fish fillets make sure they are completely thawed before you cook them.


Cheesy Garlic Bread

Print Friendly, PDF & Email