How to Cook Walleye in Air Fryer | A Crispy, Flavorful Delight

how to cook walleye in air fryer

Walleye, known for its delicate taste and tender texture, becomes even more enticing when prepared in an air fryer. This innovative kitchen appliance transforms the fish into a crunchy delight without the mess and excess oil, enhancing its mild, sweet flavor profile.

In this guide, discover how to cook walleye in air fryer, from selecting the freshest fish to mastering the perfect seasoning. Learn the secrets to achieving a mouthwatering golden crust and tender interior, ensuring simplicity in every delicious bite.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe? 

You’ll love cooking walleye in the air fryer for these reasons:

  • Crispy Perfection: The air fryer creates a wonderfully crispy exterior while keeping the inside tender, giving you that satisfying crunch without excess oil.
  • Healthier Choice: Using minimal or no oil compared to traditional frying methods makes this recipe a healthier option without sacrificing flavor or texture.
  • Ease and Convenience: Air fryers are user-friendly and efficient, making the cooking process hassle-free. Plus, it is so easy to clean the air fryer.
  • Versatility: Whether you prefer your walleye breaded or seasoned, the air fryer accommodates various cooking styles, allowing you to experiment with different flavors.
  • Quick Cooking: Air frying generally takes less time than conventional methods, saving you time while delivering delicious results.

How Long To Cook Walleye In Air Fryer?

How Long To Cook Walleye In Air Fryer

The cooking time for walleye in an air fryer typically ranges from 10 to 15 minutes at around 360°F (182°C). However, the exact time can vary based on the thickness of the fillets and the specific model of your air fryer. It’s essential to check for doneness by testing the fish’s flakiness with a fork. If the fish easily flakes, it’s ready to be served.

How to Cook Walleye in Air Fryer

Cooking walleye in an air fryer isn’t just easy; it’s a crispy, flavorful delight. Follow these simple steps to prep and cook your walleye in an air fryer.

Thawing Fish

Thawing your walleye properly ensures better cooking and texture. For the best results, thaw the fillets overnight in the fridge. 

If you’re short on time, seal the fillets in a plastic bag and submerge them in cold water for 30 minutes to 1 hour, ensuring the water stays cold. Once thawed, pat the fillets dry with paper towels before seasoning or breading for an excellent outcome in your air fryer.


  • Air fryer
  • Tongs or spatula
  • Prep bowls
  • Paper towels


  • Fresh walleye fillets
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: Herbs, lemon juice, or spices for seasoning
  • Coating (flour, breadcrumbs, crushed nuts) – optional


Instructions to cook Walleye in air fryer

Step # 1: Preparation

  • Clean the walleye fillets thoroughly and pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Season the fillets with salt, pepper, and any preferred herbs or spices. Let them rest for a few minutes to absorb the flavors.
  • If desired, coat the fillets with flour, breadcrumbs, or crushed nuts for added texture.

Step # 2: Preheating the Air Fryer

Step # 3: Cooking

  • Place the seasoned and coated walleye fillets in the air fryer basket. Avoid overcrowding for even cooking.
  • Cook the fillets for approximately 10-15 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time for even crispiness.

Step # 4: Checking Doneness

  • Use a fork to test the fish. If it easily flakes, it’s done! If not, give it a bit more time.

Step # 5: Serving

  • Once cooked, remove the walleye from the air fryer and serve it hot. Enjoy the crispy exterior and tender, flavorful fish!

Tips for Perfectly Cooked Walleye

  1. Don’t Overcrowd: Give your walleye some space in the air fryer. Crowding can make it cook unevenly.
  2. Watch the Time: Keep an eye on the clock. Overcooking can make the fish dry. Follow the recommended time for a perfect bite.
  3. Test for Doneness: Use a fork to check if the fish flakes easily. If it does, it’s ready. If not, give it a bit more time.
  4. Stay Creative: Don’t be afraid to try different flavors and coatings. Experimenting can lead to delicious discoveries!
  5. Serve it Fresh: Walleye tastes best when it’s hot and crispy. Serve it straight from the air fryer for that perfect crunch.
Tips for Perfectly Cooked Walleye

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This recipe for cooking walleye in the air fryer offers a delightful combination of crispy texture, healthier cooking, convenience, versatility, and quick preparation, making it a standout choice for enjoying this freshwater favorite.

It’s easy and delicious! With these tips, you can cook a perfect meal without much fuss. With these simple techniques at your fingertips, achieving that perfect balance of crispy texture and delightful flavor is now within reach.

So, get creative! Try different seasonings and enjoy your crispy walleye. Have fun cooking and savor every bite!

FAQs – Cooking Walleye in an Air Fryer

How do I prevent the walleye from sticking to the air fryer basket?

To prevent sticking, it’s essential to pat the walleye fillets dry before placing them in the air fryer. Additionally, lightly coating the basket with oil or using parchment paper can help prevent sticking.

How can I ensure my walleye turns out crispy?

Achieving a crispy exterior involves proper drying of the fish before seasoning and cooking. Coating the fillets lightly with flour, breadcrumbs, or crushed nuts can also enhance crispiness. Additionally, avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket to allow proper air circulation.

Are air fryers good for fish?

Yes, air fryers are excellent for cooking fish. They provide a crispy exterior while maintaining the fish’s tenderness inside. Air fryers use hot air circulation, reducing the need for excessive oil, and resulting in healthier, tasty fish dishes.

What is the best oil to cook walleye in?

When cooking walleye or any fish in an air fryer, using oils with high smoke points like canola oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil is ideal. These oils can withstand high temperatures without burning or imparting unwanted flavors to the fish.