Making this Air Fryer Sea Bass is a weekly regular in my house. It's a super quick, healthy meal that's ready in just a few minutes with minimal ingredients! The result is an extra juicy and flaky fillet cooked in 10 minutes. This recipe is for both fresh and frozen sea bass.
When I started air frying frozen fish, I never looked back! Other dishes I like to make in my air fryer are, air fryer teriyaki salmon (2-ingredients!), air fryer frozen shrimp, air fryer oysters, air fried crab rangoons, and air fried butternut squash.
Learning how to cook air fryer seafood recipes that are both scrumptious and speedy over the years, have made the dinner time rush so much easier, and so much healthier.
I absolutely love cooking sea bass in the air fryer now. It has quickly become one of my go-to sea bass fillets recipes since realizing how delicious and quick it was to make.
We often fish for our own dinner, like on this busy afternoon where fishing for surf perch was a little more important than making dinner ahead of time.
Table of Contents
Sea Bass Fillets
Sea bass (aka branzino) is a common Pacific coast fish, while not to be confused with Patagonian toothfish, a Chilean sea bass found in South America waters. Check out your local fish markets for it! Or turn to online distributors.
For this recipe, you can use fresh or frozen fillets.
Though, I like to use a frozen fillet to make it without the need to thaw. It's much quicker and easier, and leaves no room for the occasional "forgetting the fish in the fridge" situation. Also, leaving it in the freezer helps to prevent any bacteria growth.
If your fillets are thawed, you'll need to cook it for less time (which I also provide the recipe for).
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Use a good quality oil to coat the fillets prior to cooking. If you don't have olive oil on hand, another option is avocado oil. If you're substituting, make sure you choose a flavorless oil, or one you love the flavor of (i.e. infused oils).
Any of your go-to spices will do! If you'd rather try something new, go for what I did outlined below!
I love dried thyme in this recipe, however, other spices will do the trick if you're not a fan. Go for dried parsley, dried oregano, or Italian seasoning. They will provide a similar flavor profile.
If you don't have smoked paprika in your spice cabinet, you'll definitely need to grab it. I use it often to add a deep and smoky note to a lot of my dishes. Meat and Seafood alike! However, if you want to, you can substitute smoked paprika for regular paprika, but you will be sacrificing a little smoky flavor that really seals the deal!
Onion powder provides a burst of sharp flavor that takes this sea bass recipe from yum to excellent! Another great spice to use would be garlic powder. Both are one of my favorites to add to recipes that need just a little burst of flavor.
Any salt will do, I prefer to use sea salt. After all, I'm cooking a lot of fish, so "sea" salt, is only the natural choice :).
How to Cook Sea Bass
First, you'll need to get your air fryer ready! This is my favorite air fryer that I use almost daily. It also has a built-in thermometer that comes in so handy for cooking seafood!
Next, preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees F, and grease the bottom of the fryer basket.
How long to air fry sea bass
Coat the sea bass fillets in olive oil and spices on both sides.
Cook fresh sea bass for 5-6 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 140-145F. Watch closely the last minute or two to make sure you don't overcook.
Frozen sea bass in air fryer directions
Remove the fillets from the freezer and coat with oil and spices on both sides.
Cook until the fillet reaches an internal temperature of 140-145F. This typically takes 8-10 minutes. Stay close by and check the temperature as it's getting close to 8 minutes.
- Stay close to the sea bass in the air fryer the last minute or two to ensure it doesn't get overcooked.
- Use spices you love!
- All air fryers aren't created equal, so time may vary. I'm using the Ninja Foodi XL, which may be stronger than others out there (I sure love mine!).
- If you want to cook sea bass from frozen, do not pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Unlike a thawed fish fillet, a frozen one will make the paper towel stick to it. So, coat it with oil and spices and pop in the air fryer!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
It's quick, easy, and makes a delicious last minute meal when you have nothing thawing in the fridge. Life saver recipe, if you ask me!
Though you can cook sea bass in the oven, learning how to air fry sea bass will cut your cooking time significantly.
EASY - No thawing, no prepping needed! And even if your fish is thawed, this is the easiest and best recipe to use! Cooking frozen fish without thawing is totally acceptable. I have been at it for a while, with only great results (after trying multiple times to perfect the recipe) Per The kitchn, it's fine to do, and makes for an easier meal!
QUICK - From the freezer to the air fryer, then dinner table in just 10 minutes or less! Can't beat a sea bass air fryer recipe on a busy night.
DELICIOUS - It's juicy, flaky and absolutely delicious! Pair it with a few sides to create a wonderful dinner. I love pairing mine with roasted veggies, green salad, and white or brown rice. It's versatile enough to be paired with any sides you have on hand!
HEALTHY - For such a quick dinner, it's pretty healthy. Being Mediterranean, I embrace seafood and all the great omegas, and vitamins that it's packed with. All are so great for overall health. So having fish on hand, to easily to cook up on a busy day is the best way to not give into less healthy meals.
If you don't have an air fryer, or prefer not to use one, you can bake your fish instead. Here's how:
Preheat your oven to 375F. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until it's fully cooked and flakes easily.
Cook until the fish fillets register at 140-145F. The cooking process is much easier and faster in an air fryer than a traditional oven. Though both are great ways to cook fish where they come out juicy and flaky.
Sea bass is a common Pacific coast fish, while not to be confused with Patagonian toothfish, a Chilean sea bass found in South America waters.
Yes, you can use parchment paper to wrap the sea bass fillets before placing them in the air fryer. This can help prevent the fish from sticking to the basket and makes cleanup much easier.
What to Serve with This Recipe
- Appetizer: Air Fry Oysters to continue our delicious yet easy dinner air fryer seafood recipes! Other good appetizers are Hummus with pita bread, or pita chips.
- Side Dish: Try this Fried Feta and Strawberry Salad alongside! Or for something authentically Mediterranean, go for this Tabouli Salad. It's fresh, healthy, and goes amazingly well with seafood dishes. This salad has always been a staple in my Mediterranean home!
- Drink: Pair this recipe with this Spicy Mango Margarita! Or this Creamy Espresso Martini for a dessert drink that knocks it out of the park at every one of our gatherings!
More Fish Recipes
If you haven't tried this Bacon Wrapped Fish, you have to give it a shot next! My other go-to fish recipe for guests or my family, is this Rosemary Parmesan Crusted Fish. Both delicious and easy to whip together - and truly impresses for dinner!
My other favorite is this Bourbon and Brown Sugar glazed Salmon. How can you say no to that?
I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU! When you make this fish recipe, please RATE using the stars in the recipe card, and COMMENT at the end of the page how you enjoyed this dish.
BONUS: Share this recipe with others (there's an easy SHARE on FB button in the recipe card!).
Air Fryer Sea Bass
- Preheat the air fryer to 390°F.
- Rub the sea bass fillets with olive oil, coating them completely.
- Sprinkle the salt and spices on both sides.
- Place on greased air fryer basket.
Frozen Sea Bass
- Cook until the fillet reaches an internal temperature of 145F. Typically takes 8-10 minutes.
Fresh Sea Bass
- Cook for about 5-6 minutes. Until the internal temperature is 145°F.