Air Fryer Frozen Fish Sticks

Crispy air fryer fish sticks is so easy to make using your favorite store-bought frozen brand.  It is a family favorite in our house whether it is for an appetizer, snack, lunch, or dinner.  There is no better way to cook up some crispy frozen fish sticks than by air frying it.  You will never want to bake them in the oven again since cooking them in the air fryer makes them crispier.  One bite and you will hear the crunch and be so happy. Plus fish sticks cook faster when air fried. 

Cooking frozen fish with a breading or coating in the air fryer is quick and easy. No additional oil is needed which makes it healthier with less fat than deep frying would have. For the best crispy crunchy coating on fish simply buy a bag, get them in the air fryer basket or tray, and in a few minutes you have something tasty.  Enjoy air-fried fish sticks with the best dips like homemade ranch, hot honey, and more.

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Air Fryer Frozen Fish Sticks plated ready to eat with ketchup

Fish Sticks vs Fish Nuggets 

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between fish sticks and nuggets?  Well to put it simply, the shape and size.  The main difference between the two is how the breaded whitefish pieces are shaped.  Nuggets tend to be square in shape or round.  The other are narrow long rectaguls, similar to a stick shape, hence the name. 

They are often also called fish fingers in England.  Since sticks and fingers are about the same size and shape, both can be air fried with the same temperature and minutes that this recipe shows. Ever wondered what exactly is in fish sticks?  Generally speaking, they are made with mellow flakey whitefish. Find out more about FISH STICKS & FINGERS. 


All you need for this recipe is the frozen breaded fish sticks. Many other items you cook in an air fryer may need a spray of avocado oil when air fryer but not this.   However, these do not. This is because in the ingredients that make up the coating there is also some sort of oil, typically vegetable oil.  Therefore, they will get crispy and golden without any added oil. 

Air Fryer Frozen Fish Sticks ingredients


This recipe works to air fry your favorite brand. So whether you have any ready-made fish sticks such as Gorton’s, Wal-Mart, Trader Joe’s, Van de Kamps, or Trident all cook great in the air fryer. 

Add the frozen pieces to your air fryer basket or tray.  Make sure they are in a single layer.  It is also best to not overcrowd the basket or tray when air frying.   If you can spread them out, that is my recommendation so that the hot air can circle all sides of the breaded fish pieces to cook evenly. This way they don’t stick and there are no soggy or undercooked edges. 

frozen fish sticks on the air fryer tray ready to cook


I find it best to put the food in and then set it; therefore, the food can be inside while preheating.  There is no need to worry about watching it preheat to make sure you get it in immediately as the time starts ticking down.  This way you set it and forget it – let the air fryer do the cooking. 

Once they are in the air fryer, be ready to cook.   Set it to air fry at 400°.  Then set it for 10 minutes.  I find that if they are spaced out enough there is no need to shake or flip the fish sticks while air frying.  They should evenly brown on both sides. 

Fish Sticks removing them from the air fryer oven


They will be done when they are flakey hot on the inside and crispy brown on the outside. They will also not be soft or sag when you try and pick them up with tongs. This is how they will be after 10 minutes. They should be light brown with some dark brown edges. For extra crispy fish sticks, set the air fryer timer for 13 minutes.  

Once the timer is complete, carefully remove the tray or basket from the air fryer with an oven mitt. Using tongs, plate them for eating.  Serve fish sticks with ketchup, tartar sauce, lemon juice, or your favorite dipping sauce.  For tasty sauces & dip ideas, check out my recipe recommendations below. 

ready to eat Fish Sticks closeup plated with ketchup and parsley


These great recipes go well as a side dish for lunch or dinner. Try one or more of these ideas the next time you air fry some fish.  For two great dips to serve with fish sticks try HOT HONEY or HOMEMADE RANCH WITHOUT MAYO.  

Air Fryer Frozen Crinkle French Fries
For an easy foolproof method for cooking frozen crinkle-cut french fries in the air fryer, try this recipe. They will be hot, crispy, and yummy with just the right amount of time to cook in the air fryer. Plus delicious dips and seasonings to add for the best air fryer french fries.
Check out this recipe
Air Fryer Frozen Crinkle French Fries recipe card plate with ketchup ready to eat
Deep-Fried Sweet Potato Fries
Homemade deep-fried sweet potato fries are a quick and easy family favorite recipe. This fantastic method to deep fry & season them makes the best appetizer or side dish.
Check out this recipe
Deep Fried Sweet Potato Fries featured overhead of plate of fries and dipping sauce
Asian Avocado Peanut Coleslaw
If you want an easy peanutty coleslaw recipe, this Asian avocado peanut coleslaw is the best. This chopped slaw recipe is bursting with fresh vegetables that are dressed in a homemade Asian-inspired dressing that is salty, sweet, and spicy. This slaw is vegan and gluten-free and sure to be one that everyone loves.
Check out this recipe
Asian Avocado Peanut Coleslaw featured closeup bowl and parsley but no serving utensils recipe card
Homemade Pickles with Leftover Pickle Juice
Homemade pickles are so easy to make when you reuse pickle juice for this recipe. In 24 hours quick refrigerator pickles are crisp and ready.  
Check out this recipe
Homemade Pickles with Leftover Pickle Juice featured


fish sticks stacked on a plate with a small bowl of ketchup

overhead image of fish sticks stacked high on a plate


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Air Fryer Frozen Fish Sticks recipe card plated fish sticks with a small bowl of ketchup

Air Fryer Frozen Fish Sticks

There is no better way to cook frozen fish sticks than the air fryer. The best hot & crispy fish sticks are ready in minutes.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • air fryer


  • 24 frozen fish sticks


  • Add frozen fish sticks to your air fryer basket or tray. 
    Depending on the size of your air fryer basket or tray, add only as many as will fit without overcrowding.  Be sure to leave some space between each piece and that they are in a single layer.  
  • There is no need to preheat. Once the fish is in the air fryer, set it to cook. 
    Set to air fryer at 400°.  Next set the timer for 10 minutes.  For extra crispy, set it for 13 minutes. 
  • When they are done cooking, carefully remove them from the oven and plate.  Serve with ketchup or your favorite dip. 
  • Enjoy!


Nutritional Information will vary depending on the brand and size of fish sticks used. 
Keyword air fry, appetizer, crispy, crunchy, dairy-free, easy, kid-friendly, main course, seafood, snack


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