Easy & Quick: The Only Fish Sticks Recipe You Need
Family Favorites/ White Fish

Easy & Quick: The Only Fish Sticks Recipe You Need

You know the feeling, Seafoodies! 

What. To. Eat. For lunchtime. Snack time. Dinner time. Anytime. We’ve all had those moments when trying to come up with what to make feels like it requires a magic trick. In moments like these—we like to reach for a tried and true kitchen hero to save the day. Two words: air fryer!

If yours has been sitting idle, it’s time to dust it off and follow our recipe for crunchy air fryer fish sticks. You’ll have food on the table faster than you can say “abracadabra!” 

These fish sticks are the ultimate in crispy perfection, ready to be dipped into your favorite sauce and devoured. But they are also a healthier option, thanks to—you guessed it—the air fryer! With just a light mist of cooking spray, you can achieve a delightful crunch without the excessive oil needed for other cooking methods. Incorporating this 20-minute recipe into your weekly meal plan is a great way to save time during the school year, get an extra serving of seafood a week as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans [LINK HERE], and even keep your house cooler during warmer months—no hot oven required. 

We love using mild-flavored cod for this recipe, but any firm-fleshed white fish will work and pair perfectly with the marinade. Our secret step is to use kefir, a tangy fermented drink (kinda like those liquid yogurts your kids love), which not only adds flavor but helps the breading stick to the fish. Then, let the air fryer do its thing for about 5 minutes on each side, and voila! You’ve got yourself a batch of well-seasoned, family-approved fish sticks.

While these fish sticks are delicious with just a squeeze of lemon, they’re equally irresistible when paired with tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, ranch or even ketchup for dipping. Either way, adults and little seafoodies alike will gobble these up. So file this recipe under “family favorites” as a low-stress solution to salvage any mealtime madness and save your sanity!

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Crunchy Air Fryer Fish Sticks Recipe

Crunchy Air Fryer Fish Sticks

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • 1 pound cod or other white fish, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup plain kefir
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour (or yellow cornmeal to make gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Lemon slices, for garnish
  • Favorite tartar or other fish stick dipping sauce, if desired


  1. In a shallow dish, whisk egg and kefir. Add fish and let marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. While fish is marinating, spray air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray, and preheat basket in air fryer for about 4 minutes at 400 F.
  3. In another shallow bowl or pan, add flour or cornmeal, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Using a fork, lift a piece of fish out of marinade and press into flour or cornmeal mixture until well-coated. Continue with each piece of fish. Add to preheated air fryer basket in a single row (do not overlap; cook in batches if necessary). Lightly spray coated fish with cooking spray until coating is moist.
  5. Return basket to air fryer and cook fish for 5 minutes. Open basket, flip fish pieces and spray with cooking spray. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until cooked through and crisp. Serve with lemon slice and dipping sauce, if desired.


Recommended Utensils; Air fryer, whisk or fork, two shallow bowls or pans.

  • Author: Dish on Fish
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: White Fish

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