Make your favorite fish sandwich at home with these super crispy Air Fryer Cod Fish Sandwiches, loaded with melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and homemade tartar sauce!
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Ultimate Air Fryer Fish Sandwiches
I love a good fried fish sandwich, especially in the summer. No shade to burgers, but there’s nothing like sitting on a patio enjoying a flaky, crispy fish sandwich to get me feeling those summer vibes.
I never really wanted to make homemade fish sandwiches, mainly because standing over a blazing hot pot of oil isn’t my summer hobby of choice.
But then I started making crispy cod in the air fryer, and fish sandwiches were the logical next step.
These Air Fryer Cod Fish Sandwiches are a dream dinner, and have all my favorite fish sandwich elements:
- A crispy air fried fish fillet (obviously)
- Melty cheese- I’m an American cheese apologist and not ashamed of it. Nothing beats the melty, creamy richness of Cooper® Sharp.
- LTO- Lettuce, Tomato, and Red Onion add some crisp texture and color.
- Homemade tartar sauce- creamy, pickly, refreshing, it brings the whole thing together.
- Brioche bun- The subtle, pillowy sweetness of brioche is the PERFECT compliment to the crispy fish.
Today, I’ll walk you through the steps to make the BEST Air Fryer Cod Fish Sandwiches, so you can enjoy this delicious sandwich all summer long.
How to Air Fry Fish For Sandwiches
We’ll start by making the air fried cod fillets.
- Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees. Get three shallow bowls and fill the first with 1 cup of flour + 3/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, the second with 3 whisked eggs, and the third with 1 3/4 cups Panko breadcrumbs.
- Season the cod fillets with salt and pepper.
- Dip a fillet in the flour, coating all sides, then shake off any excess. Dip in the eggs, shaking off excess, then dip in the panko, coating all sides. Repeat with remaining fillets.
- Spray the fillets on both sides with olive oil spray then place in the air fryer.
- Fry for four minutes, flip, then fry an additional 3-4 minutes, add cheese slices during the last minute of frying time to melt.
To assemble the sandwiches:
Layer lettuce, cod fillets, tomato, and onion on a bun. Spread tartar sauce generously on the top bun and sandwich together. Enjoy!
Tips for Super Crispy Air Fried Cod
- Double dip– Dredging the cod with flour, egg, and panko once will give you crispy air fryer fish, but if you love the crunchy coating as much as I do, you’ll want to repeat the process–dipping the fish a second time makes these EXTRA crunchy!
- TIP: I use my right hand to dip the fish in the flour and egg, then I drop it into the panko. Then I use my clean left hand to scoop and press the panko on all sides. This keeps one hand relatively clean and prevents the wet ingredients from clumping together on your fingers.
- Use an olive or canola oil spray– Spraying a light coating of oil on the breaded fish will help it crisp up AND prevent sticking. However, avoid traditional cooking sprays as they have propellants, which can damage the coating in your air fryer.
- Don’t overcrowd– Air fryers work by circulating heat all around the food inside. Leave a little breathing room between each fish to ensure they get crispy on all sides.
Substitutions and Variations
- Best Fish for Fish Sandwiches– I’ve used cod here for it’s mild flavor and affordable price point, but any white fish will work, including tilapia, halibut, grouper, or bass. Look for thicker fillets, so the fish has time to crisp up on the outside before getting overcooked.
- Either white American or yellow American cheese works well here. I love using Cooper® Sharp American cheese for these sandwiches. It’s a top-tier deli cheese with a one-of-a-kind sharp flavor, making it a family favorite for over a century! It melts like a dream (try it in this One Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni or Creamy Mac and Cheese), makes the best Air Fryer Grilled Cheese, and is also wonderful cubed or shredded in salads, like this Doritos Taco Salad.
- Homemade vs. Store bought Tartar Sauce- We seem to be perpetually out of tartar sauce in our house, so I’ve learned to make my own with ingredients we usually have on hand. That said, feel free to use your favorite store bought sauce!
- Can you cook frozen fish in the air fryer? Yes! For a SUPER fast dinner, substitute the cod fillets with your favorite frozen breaded fish. Just pop them in the air fryer straight from the freezer and air fry at 390 degrees for 4-5 minutes a side. Melt cheese on the top during the last minute of cooking.
More Air Fryer Recipes You Might Enjoy
For the cod:
- 4 (4-6 oz.) cod fillets
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 cup flour
- ¾ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 3 eggs
- 1 ¾ cups panko bread crumbs
- Olive or canola oil spray
- 4 slices Cooper® Sharp White Pasteurized Process American Cheese
For the tartar sauce:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup finely chopped bread and butter pickles
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped dill pickles
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the sandwiches:
- 4 lettuce leaves
- 1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- Bread and butter pickles
- Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees. Get three shallow bowls and fill the first with the flour + Old Bay seasoning, the second with eggs (give them a quick whisk), and the third with panko breadcrumbs.
- Season the cod fillets with salt and pepper.
- Dip a fillet in the flour, coating all sides, then shake off any excess. Dip in the eggs, shaking off excess, then dip in the panko, coating all sides. For extra crispiness repeat each step, dipping back in the flour, eggs, and panko a final time. Repeat with remaining fillets.
- Spray the filets on both sides with olive oil spray then place in the air fryer. Fry for four minutes, flip, then fry an additional 3-4 minutes, adding Cooper® cheese slices during the last minute to melt.
- Meanwhile, make the tartar sauce: Whisk together all ingredients. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Layer a bottom bun with lettuce, cod fillets, tomato, and onion. Spread tartar sauce generously on the top bun and sandwich together. Enjoy!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 557