Coconut-Crusted Air Fried Tilapia

Coconut-Crusted Air Fried Tilapia

Sandy Spice
3 minute read

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Transport your taste buds to a tropical paradise with our Coconut-Crusted Air Fried Tilapia recipe. This delightful dish combines the tender flakiness of tilapia with the crispy sweetness of shredded coconut, creating a culinary experience that's both exotic and comforting. Paired with a refreshing mango salsa, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen.


  • 4 tilapia fillets

  • 1 cup shredded coconut

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Cooking spray

  • Mango salsa, for serving


1. Preheat Your Air Fryer:

Before you begin preparing your Coconut-Crusted Air Fried Tilapia, preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C). This ensures that the fryer is hot and ready to cook your fish to crispy perfection.

2. Prepare the Coating:

In a shallow bowl, combine the shredded coconut, breadcrumbs, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. This mixture will form the deliciously crispy crust that will coat your tilapia fillets.

3. Coat the Tilapia:

Pat the tilapia fillets dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. This step is crucial for ensuring that the coconut coating adheres properly to the fish. Once dry, dredge each fillet in the coconut mixture, pressing gently to coat both sides evenly.

4. Air Fry the Tilapia:

Lightly coat the air fryer basket with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Arrange the coated tilapia fillets in a single layer in the basket, making sure they are not overlapping. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook the fillets in batches.

5. Cook Until Crispy:

Carefully place the basket in the preheated air fryer and cook the tilapia fillets for 8-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time. Keep an eye on the fillets as they cook to ensure they reach a golden brown crispiness on both sides.

6. Prepare the Mango Salsa:

While the tilapia is cooking, take the opportunity to prepare the mango salsa. Combine diced mango, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. This vibrant salsa will add a burst of flavor and freshness to your dish.

7. Serve and Enjoy:

Once the tilapia fillets are cooked to perfection, transfer them to a serving platter. Serve them hot, accompanied by a generous spoonful of mango salsa on top or on the side for dipping.

Tips for Success for the Perfect Coconut-Crusted Air Fried Tilapia:

  • Ensure your air fryer is preheated before cooking to achieve optimal results.

  • If you prefer a spicier dish, consider adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or chili powder to the coconut mixture for an extra kick.

  • Don't overcrowd the air fryer basket, as this can prevent proper air circulation and result in uneven cooking. Cook the tilapia fillets in batches if necessary.

  • For added flavor and texture, you can toast the shredded coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat before using it in the coating mixture.

  • Feel free to customize the mango salsa with additional ingredients such as diced bell peppers, pineapple, or avocado to suit your taste preferences.

With these tips and tricks in mind, you're well-equipped to create a restaurant-quality Coconut-Crusted Air Fried Tilapia dish in the comfort of your own kitchen. Enjoy the crispy, coconut-coated fillets paired with the vibrant flavors of mango salsa for a taste of tropical paradise with every bite.

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