Air Fryer Fresh-Caught Crappie

When spring is in the air, fried crappie is what all of the fishermen around here are talking about. This year I left the deep-fryer in the cabinet and used my air fryer for a healthier alternative. Serve with malt vinegar, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, hot pepper sauce, or the condiments of your choice.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
8 mins
Additional Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
48 mins
4 servings


  • 1 pound fresh crappie fillets

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (such as LAWRY'S®)

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (Optional)

  • cooking spray


  1. Place crappie fillets in a bowl. Add salt and water to cover. Cover and let sit to draw out all the blood, about 30 minutes. Rinse fillets thoroughly to remove salt. Pat dry with paper towels.

  2. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) according to manufacturer's instructions.

  3. Add cornmeal, flour, seasoned salt, paprika, pepper, and cayenne to a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Seal and shake until evenly combined. Drop 2 fillets into the bag, seal, and shake to coat. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining fillets.

  4. Spray the tops of the fillets with nonstick cooking spray. Place a layer of fillets in the air fryer basket, sprayed-side down, making sure none are overlapping. Spray the tops with cooking spray. Cook for 4 minutes. Carefully flip and spray any chalky spots. Cook until crispy, about 4 minutes more. Repeat with remaining fillets.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of brining ingredients. The actual amount of brine consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

200 Calories
2g Fat
20g Carbs
24g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 200
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 102mg 34%
Sodium 3789mg 165%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 101mg 8%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 364mg 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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