Air Fryer Catfish (Gluten Free)

gluten free air fryer catfish on a plate with dipping sauce and lemon wedge

Air Fryer Catfish (Gluten Free)

You’ve got to try this air fryer catfish! Fried catfish is a staple of Southern cuisine, but it can be difficult to find restaurants that offer this delicacy in a gluten free version.

Luckily, you don’t have to scour the internet or drive around aimlessly trying to find a gluten free restaurant in order to enjoy catfish. You just need an air fryer and some and a few delicious ingredients!

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In this post, I will show you how easy it is to cook gluten-free catfish with your air fryer at home! I will take you through the steps one by one so there’s no confusion about what needs to be done to make this deliciously easy dish!

You’re going to love this catfish recipe. It’s a fast and easy way to make a delicous gluten free meal at home. This simple recipe has a crispy outer coating paired up with juicy and tender catfish.

Is your mouth watering yet? Just wait until you try to first bite!

gluten free air fryer catfish on plate with dipping sauce

What is Great About Catfish?

It’s no surprise why cooking up catfish is extremely popular. seasoned catfish makes a tasty dish full of delicious flavors.

Once you realize how fast and simple it can be to use your air fryer to cook up catfish, you just might never want to cook it any other way.

The biggest thing to keep in mind when it comes to cooking fish in the air fryer is that you need to give it space to cook.

You’ll find that a lot of recipes don’t talk about flipping the catfish or other types of fish, but some do.

As long as you have enough room for the airflow to go around the catfish fillet, you should end up with a perfectly crisp-cooked piece of fish.

Can You Cook Raw Catfish in an Air Fryer?

Yes, you can! You can actually cook all kinds of raw meat in an air fryer. It is perfectly safe as long as you cook it completely and allow it to reach the proper internal temperature.

One great way to enjoy catfish without worrying about gluten is by making air fryer catfish fillets without breading.

The easiest way to make these unbreaded air fryer catfish fillets is to just pop them right into your air fryer.

To prepare your fish for the air fryer, you will need to first rinse the raw fish and pat it dry with a paper towel.

Next, coat both sides of the fillet with your favorite gluten free seasonings.

You’ll want to make certain that they’re clean and clear of skin and also pat them dry before adding them to the air fryer basket.

If you are trying to cook up wet fish, the end result is going to be some limp, soggy fish. And no one wants that.

Then just air fry until the fish is flaky. This usually only takes a few minutes so it is great to have for dinner on busy nights.

What Kind of Oil Should I Use?

You may not have thought about needing oil for an air fryer, but it does help to crisp things up even more.

However, cooking with oil in the air fryer is completely optional! As the name suggested, air frying uses air to fry foods so there is no need for oil.

If you do decide to use oil, there are so many different types that would work great, especially for fish. You could use canola, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and more.

Some people even like to mix their oils, especially when they’re using something more flavorful such as avocado oil.

If you aren’t sure what type of oils to use, ask your local fishmonger! They can help make the decision easier by suggesting something that is good for frying and will add a delicious flavor profile to your air fryer catfish fillets.

What Kinds of Seasonings Should I Use?

There are so many different types of seasonings on the market today that it would be difficult to go through them all in one post.

However, I have some recommendations if you’re looking for some seasoning blends that do not contain gluten or wheat-containing ingredients. The following seasonings are perfect for catfish:

Is Air Fryer Catfish Keto?

Air fryer catfish is a delicious dish that will help make you feel satisfied and full without breaking any of your keto diet guidelines as long as you skip the breading.

It can also be low carb with the breading if you bread the fish lightly or substitute the gluten free flour for almond or coconut flour.

You can also air fry catfish nuggets with no breading or air fryer catfish strips rather than the fillets if you wish. These are especially great for the kiddos!

Kids just can’t say no to anything “nugget,” so you’ll love having this easy nugget option as a fast and easy dinner idea. Much healthier than fast food nuggets too!

The great thing about this recipe is that it contains plenty of healthy fats from the eggs used as well as Omega-rich fatty acids from the fish itself.

Blackened Catfish in The Air Fryer

Another great way to stick to your low-carb diet while still being able to enjoy catfish is by making blackened catfish rather than breaded catfish.

You’ll also cut a lot of calories and carbs by making this dish, especially when you make it in the air fryer!

Are Air Fryers Good for Fish?

Air fryers are very good for fish! The way that the air fryer cooks fish is that it cooks it perfectly evenly all around.

This means that you’re not going to have to worry about any overcooked or undercooked parts of your fish when you cook it in the air fryer.

I also think that the air fryer makes for such an easy clean-up option as well. When you can just wipe out the air fryer basket quickly and easily, it gets rid of that fish smell and grease!

This is why you should use your air fryer anytime you want to whip up some quick fish filets.

You can cook any fish quickly and spend just a few moments of time on clean-up.

Is an Air Fryer Good for Gluten Free Cooking?

An air fryer is a powerful oven that utilizes hot air to cook your food. It has the ability to extract moisture from foods, which seals in flavor and cooks faster than an average indoor oven or stovetop.

Gluten-free cooking can be challenging without access to standard cooking tools, but with an air fryer, you don’t have to worry!

It is also a great way to enjoy all of your favorite fried foods without guilt as they are air-fried to a crisp rather than deep-fried in oil with traditional frying methods.

If you are really craving catfish and a few people to feed, you can even easily use a large air fryer for a whole catfish recipe!

cooked gluten free air fryer catfish

What do You Soak Catfish in Before Frying?

One of the most popular ways to prepare catfish before frying is by soaking it in buttermilk. This helps tenderize and flavor the fish, while also adding a tangy taste that pairs nicely with fried foods.

Another common way to soak catfish is in milk or eggs for about an hour. Some people choose to soak theirs in nut milk because they are allergic to dairy products.

You can even use soy milk! Like all other types of meat, you should not take any shortcuts when preparing your food. Soaking techniques result in tastier dishes every time.

You can easily cook your fish right after soaking but most people like to add a bit more flavor by coating their air fryer catfish with bread crumbs.

The air fryer catfish recipe in the post uses gluten free panko bread crumbs and they are absolutely delicious and add a mouthwatering crisp!

Safety Precautions When Cooking Gluten Free

There are some safety precautions that need to be taken when cooking gluten free dishes for your family. This is especially true for those with celiac disease or a gluten or wheat allergy in their family.

When cooking gluten free recipes like these, be aware that there are still certain risks associated with them due to cross-contamination during preparation and cooking.

So just be very careful to read labels and avoid contamination with wheat-containing products in your kitchen!

How Long do You Air Fry Fish Fillets?

Air fryers are such a fun and convenient way to cook food. However, they can also be really tricky if you don’t know how long the fish fillets need to cook in there!

Here are some of my tried-and-true tips for cooking catfish with an air fryer:

Tip #01: You should adjust your expectations when it comes to estimating the length of time that is needed for something to cook in an air fryer.

Air frying doesn’t rely on radiant heat as ovens do, so most things will take less time than expected.

For example, instead of imagining that a full bag (or tray) of french fries will take 20 minutes or more to finish cooking, think about what would be a more realistic estimate for cooking time. It is usually much less than you think!

Tip #02: You can always cook your fish fillets in batches to make sure that they don’t overcook and turn dry or rubbery.

You’ll want about four minutes per side of the air fryer, depending on how thick the catfish is cut; if you’re looking at thinner cuts, then it might take closer to five minutes per side (or just flip them halfway through).

This will help ensure even cooking and will make sure that you don’t have any over-cooked ends or under-cooked middles this way!

Can I Cook Battered Fish in an Air Fryer?

You bet! This is why fish is such a popular food item to cook up in the air fryer. You can easily cook up battered fish or even “naked” fish fillets, too.

The recipes for cooking fish are so simple and easy to do that you might as well try both! 

Just make sure you are using gluten free ingredients to batter your fish

Also, If you’re lucky enough to have any battered fish remaining for leftovers, you’re going to want to reheat the leftovers the same way.

Just simply pop them in the air fryer the next time you’re ready to eat it and bring it back to that original crispy texture and taste. 

gluten free catfish cooked via air fryer

What is The Best Recipe for Fried Fish?

This all just depends on what you like. If you’re not looking for a breaded recipe, just add your favorite fish seasoning to your favorite fillet and cook it in the air fryer.

If you’re a fan of crunch, you can make up a mixture using gluten free panko, bread crumbs, parmesan, and more. 

The thing about cooking up catfish in the air fryer is that you get the final say on how you want it to taste. The more that you can alter and play with the seasonings, the more fun flavors that you’re going to find. 

This is what makes it so fun to cook up catfish in the air fryer. The end result of every recipe will be perfection in every bite.

With that being said, I of course think that the absolutely BEST gluten free air fryer catfish recipe is the one I have created for you below.

I would love for you to try it and let me know what you think!

What do You Need for Easy Air Fryer Catfish?

You will be surprised how easy this catfish recipe is to prepare for your air fryer! This entire meal actually only requires five main ingredients and some yummy spices!

I suggest getting all your ingredients ready ahead of time to make the process of cooking these delicious air fryer catfish filets as easy as possible.

You also can preheat your air fryer (if your appliance has this option) if you wish but it is definitely not required.

ingredients for gluten free air fryer catfish


Grab These Suggested Gadgets for This Recipe:

ingredients that have been prepped to make gluten free air fryer catfish


First, stir the seasonings and breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Second, whisk the eggs in a separate mixing bowl.

breading and seasonings ready for making air fryer catfish

Next, in a third bowl, add the flour.

After that, use a paper towel to pat the fish dry.

gluten free air fryer catfish filets sitting in a pan of egg wash

Following that, dredge each fillet in the flour and then the egg and shake off any excess.

Then you will want to coat each fillet with breadcrumbs.

gluten free air fryer catfish filets getting coated in a breading mixture

Next, spray the fish and the air fryer basket with cooking oil spray of choice (we like olive oil).

Finally, place the fish in the air fryer basket as evenly as possible. You may need to cook your fish in batches, especially if you have a smaller air fryer.

gluten free air fryer catfish that has been dredged in egg wash, being breaded

Lastly, cook the fish in your air fryer for 8-10 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit.

Be sure to flip your fish to the other side about halfway through cooking time and coat with some additional oil spray.

breaded gluten free air fryer catfish filets placed in air fryer

Serve with tartar sauce and lemon wedges and enjoy!

What Should You Serve with Easy Air Fryer Catfish?

Everybody loves catfish. It’s a staple for so many dinners in the south that it feels like an old friend to most people who live there.

Even though this dish is traditionally prepared in the south, it can be enjoyed anywhere all around the globe!

Everyone has their favorite way of cooking up their catfish, but I believe air frying to be the absolute best!

This recipe is my absolute favorite because not only does it taste great, but it also keeps all the grease from splattering everywhere. Hello, easy clean-up up after dinner!

For a super delicious side to pair with this catfish recipe, I highly suggest my Gluten Free Air Fryer Cajun Diced Potatoes.

These cajun seasoned potatoes are also super simple to make as you are still using the air fryer to complete your meal. They also pair perfectly with catfish as they are spiced with cajun seasoning!

Some Other Great Sides That Pair Well With Catfish Are:

  • Corn on the cob
  • Green beans with bacon
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Collard greens
  • Fried okra
  • Baked beans

If you were looking for a great way to cook catfish in your air fryer, I really hope this post helped give you some answers!

I have compiled all of my best tips and tricks on how to prepare gluten free fish fillets so that they will taste delicious.

If you are craving a good fish filet, you don’t have to go out to eat when it comes time for dinner. Just whip up this recipe at home with ingredients you may already have in your pantry or refrigerator!

Your family will love this easy recipe, especially when paired with some delicious sides like rice pilaf, roasted broccoli, or sautéed green beans. Plus, it couldn’t be any easier to make with an air fryer!

Try this super easy and incredibly flavorful air-fried catfish tonight. You won’t regret it!

gluten free air fryer catfish on a plate with garnishes

Air Fryer Catfish (Gluten Free)

Craving crispy fried fish for dinner but don't want to deal with grease? Check out this super easy Gluten Free Air Fryer Catfish recipe!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Cajun
Keyword: Air Fryer, easy, gluten free
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 180kcal


  • Air Fryer


  • 8 Catfish Fillets
  • Cooking Oil Spray
  • 2 Beaten Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour we prefer King Arthur
  • 2 Cups Gluten-Free Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
  • Optional: Lemon Wedges and Tartar Sauce


  • First, stir the seasonings and breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl and set it aside.
  • Second, whisk the eggs in a separate mixing bowl.
  • Next, in a third bowl, add the flour.
  • After that, use a paper towel to pat the fish dry.
  • Following that, dredge each fillet in the flour and then the egg and shake off any excess.
  • Then you will want to coat each fillet with the breadcrumbs.
  • Next, spray the fish and the air fryer basket with cooking oil spray of choice (we like olive oil).
  • Finally, place the fish in the air fryer basket as evenly as possible. You may need to cook your fish in batches, especially if you have a smaller air fryer.
  • Lastly, cook the fish in your air fryer for 8-10 minutes at 390*F. Be sure to flip your fish to the other side about halfway through cooking time and coat with some additional oil spray.
  • Serve with tartar sauce and lemon wedges and enjoy!


Eating a dairy-free diet? You’re in luck! This recipe contains no dairy ingredients!

If you enjoyed this recipe, check out these other similar recipes:


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Air Fryer Catfish (Gluten Free)

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