Food & Drink

Air Fryer Fish Sticks – Skinnytaste

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Once you make air fryer fish sticks from scratch, you’ll never deep fry them again! Perfect with homemade tartar sauce.

Fish Sticks in Air Fryer

Forget the frozen aisle – Make healthy fish sticks in the air fryer with cleaner, fresh ingredients that taste so much better than packaged ones. They’re delicious and taste even better with tartar sauce flavored with dill pickles, lemon juice, and dill. These homemade fish sticks in the air fryer are great for meal prep too. Double the batch, and have one for dinner and freeze the other for another night. If you don’t have an air fryer, make this baked fish stick recipe instead. More of my favorite air fryer fish recipes are this Air Fryer Salmon Sandwich, Air Fryer Salmon and Blackened Fish with Key Lime Tartar.

Air Fryer Fish Sticks

Fish Stick Ingredients

  • What type of fish is used for fish sticks? The best fish for fish sticks is a firm white fish, like cod, sea bass, or haddock. You’ll need 1 ½ pounds of skinless fillets. If using frozen fish, thaw it first.
  • Eggs: Beat two large eggs.
  • Dijon Mustard to flavor the fish
  • Lemon: Squeeze half of a lemon in the egg mixture.
  • Panko: Use seasoned panko breadcrumbs.
  • Seasoning: Salt and paprika for the eggs and Old Bay for the panko
  • Tartar Sauce Ingredients: Full-fat Greek yogurt, light mayonnaise, dill pickles, fresh dill, lemon juice, salt

How to Make Fish Sticks in the Air Fryer

  1. Cut the fish into 16 sticks, about four inches long and one inch wide.
  2. Tartar Sauce: Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate.
  3. Dredging Stations: Combine the eggs, Dijon, lemon juice, paprika, and salt in a medium bowl and the panko and Old Bay in another.
  4. Coat the Fish: Dip each fish stick in the egg mixture and then panko. Set aside and repeat with the remaining fish.
  5. How Long to Cook Fish Sticks in an Air Fryer: In batches, transfer the fish sticks to the air fryer basket and spray both sides with olive oil. Air fry at 400°F for eight minutes, turning halfway, until golden and crisp.

No Air Fryer? No Problem!

I also have this fish stick recipe with oven directions if you don’t have an air fryer.

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F, and spray a large sheet pan with oil.
  2. Place the breaded fish on the pan, spray the tops with oil, and bake for about 12 minutes.


  • Gluten-Free Fish Sticks: Substitute gluten-free panko.
  • Egg Allergy: Omit the eggs and coat the fish in the Dijon-lemon mixture before dipping them in panko.
  • Old Bay: If you don’t have Old Bay seasoning, add paprika, black pepper, cayenne, and salt to the panko.
  • Mustard: Swap Dijon for yellow mustard.
  • Herbs: Substitute dill with chives or parsley.
  • Tartar Sauce: If you don’t have time for homemade tartar sauce, buy your favorite brand at the supermarket. You could also serve them with this lemon-caper sauce, ketchup, or cocktail sauce.

What to Serve with Fish Sticks

Keep it kid-friendly and serve them with:

How to Freeze Fish Sticks

This healthy fish stick recipe is perfect for freezing to have on hand for easy dinners.

  1. Place the sheet pan with the uncooked, breaded fish sticks in the freezer for about two hours to flash freeze them.
  2. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container and squeeze out all the air. Freeze for up to six months.
  3. To eat, place the frozen fish sticks in the air fryer and cook at 400°F for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness, or until fully cooked.

If you want to freeze cooked fish sticks, follow the same process for freezing uncooked sticks. They’ll keep for up to 3 months, and you can reheat them in the air fryer until heated through. Once air fried, leftover sticks will last for 3 days in the fridge.

Fish Sticks

More Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 24 minutes

Total: 34 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 4 sticks plus sauce

  • Cut the fish into 16 sticks, about 4 x 1 inches.

  • Combine the ingredients for the tartar sauce in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to eat.

  • Combine eggs, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, paprika and salt  in a medium bowl.

  • In a second bowl combine the Panko crumbs with Old Bay seasoning.

  • Dip the fish into the egg mixture, then the panko. Set aside.

  • Transfer to the air fryer basket, in batches as needed and spray both sides with olive oil. Air fry 400F about 8 minutes, turning half way, until golden and crisp.

  • Serve hot with tartar sauce.

Last Step:

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  • Place the sheet pan with the uncooked breaded fish sticks in the freezer for about 2 hours to flash freeze them.
  • Once frozen, transfer them carefully in a freezer bag or container, squeezing out all the air.
  • Freeze up to 6 months.

Serving: 4 sticks plus sauce, Calories: 294 kcal, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Protein: 37 g, Fat: 7.5 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 170.5 mg, Sodium: 733 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2.5 g

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