When most people think of fish sticks, their minds probably go to that box of untouched, flavorless, freezer burnt fish sticks that are shoved in the back of the freezer. Turn this childhood classic into a meal that you actually want to eat. By using fresh cod fillets breaded in whole wheat flour, panko bread crumbs and flavorful spices, we created perfectly healthy fish sticks that rival anything you can find frozen. Plus, we’re cooking them up in the air fryer to cut down on unhealthy oils, extra calories and unnecessary steps, making them the ultimate healthy meal prep idea!
We keep things simple and easy by only using seven ingredients for our air fryer fish sticks. Once you pick up the cod fillets for this diet-friendly recipe, you probably already have everything else you need on hand. The required items include whole wheat flour, eggs, panko bread crumbs, black pepper, oregano and garlic powder. That’s it… it’s that simple! Gather your ingredients and preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees while you prep the main components.
Slice up your cod fillets into strips that are one-inch wide and two to four inches long. Take out three bowls and create an assembly line. Fill one bowl with a mixture of flour, garlic powder and black pepper. Fill the second bowl with beaten eggs. Finally, fill the last bowl with panko bread crumbs and oregano. Dip each cod strip into the flour, then the eggs and lastly into the bread crumb mixture. Make sure all sides are well coated in the breading before placing them into a greased air fryer basket. Be careful not to overcrowd the fish sticks and split them up into more than one batch if needed. Spray the tops of the fish sticks with nonstick spray and air fry for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time.
While this air fryer fish stick recipe is cooking to perfection, it’s time to make a classic tartar sauce that you can use to dip. We serve up these hot and crispy Air Fryer Fish Sticks with a lightened up healthy tartar sauce that’s creamy, tangy and full of flavor. Simply whisk together nonfat plain Greek yogurt with finely chopped dill pickles, onions, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, light mayonnaise and black pepper. Mix well and refrigerate the sauce for at least one hour before digging in.
The Leaf Pro Tip: You can add some variety to this light and healthy recipe by using different spices and herbs. Make spicy Air Fryer Fish Sticks by adding a dash of cayenne pepper or chili powder for some heat. You could even sprinkle them into your tartar sauce! Other delicious and low calorie spices that you can add include ground cumin, ginger, turmeric, smoked paprika, onion powder and more. Spices are Free Foods on the Nutrisystem program, so spice up your life and enjoy as much as you’d like! Click here to learn more about unlimited Free Foods. >
This recipe makes four servings of Air Fryer Fish Sticks and Tartar Sauce. One serving contains 273 calories and counts as one SmartCarb, one Extra and one and a half PowerFuels on the Nutrisystem meal plan. If you do not want the tartar sauce, you can simply eliminate the Extra. The fish sticks without any tartar sauce contain 236 calories alone. Click here to quickly log this recipe into your NuMi journal. >
If you’re new to Nutrisystem and need a little refresher on PowerFuels and SmartCarbs, we can help with that too! Our For Customers section is packed with important Nutrisystem information to help you be successful on your weight loss journey. Find our comprehensive Grocery Guide, shopping tips, portion control videos and Flex meal help to stay on track and on plan. Learn more about the many great resources here on The Leaf Weight Loss Blog! >
Add an air fryer to your healthy kitchen today to prepare endless diet-friendly meals, snacks, appetizers and desserts. They can even help you lose weight! You can save yourself some calories, avoid unnecessary oils, enjoy some delicious food and have a blast exploring all of the healthy air fryer recipes here on The Leaf. From savory and salty to sweet and decadent, we have plenty of air fryer ideas to fill up your weight loss menu. Check out some of our favorite and most popular air fryer recipes below:
Savory Meals & Snacks
- Air Fried Mozzarella Sticks >
- Air Fryer Mini Baked Potatoes >
- Air Fryer Honey Garlic Drumsticks >
- Air Fryer Honey Mustard Chicken Bites >
- Air Fryer Southwestern Egg Rolls >
- Air Fryer French Fries >
- Air Fryer Pizza Rolls >
Sweet Treats & Desserts
- Air Fryer Stuffed Peaches >
- Air Fryer Chocolate Donut Holes >
- Cinnamon Sugar Air Fryer Grilled Pineapple >
- Healthy Air Fryer Peaches >
- Air Fryer Apple Chips >
Have you come up with your own healthy recipe that uses an air fryer? Please share it with us by submitting it through our Recipe Submission page! We created this space for Nutrisystem followers and members just like you who love to get creative in the kitchen. Your tasty air fryer recipe could be featured right here on The Leaf Weight Loss Blog and help others in the Nutrisystem community. Click here to learn more and share your recipe! >
While air fryers making healthy eating easier, nothing is as easy as getting perfectly portioned meals delivered right to your home. We think that a balance of both can help you be successful and lose the weight. Use our healthy air fryer recipes for your Flex meals and snacks, then enjoy Nutrisystem food for convenient grab-and-go options. From hot and hearty dinners like Roasted Turkey Medallions and Ravioli with Meat Sauce to sweet treats like our Ice Cream Sandwich and Chocolate Chip Cookies, there is an option for every palate on our vast and versatile menu. Click here to explore our a la carte store! >
Are you in need of a healthy meal delivery service? Nutrisystem delivers delicious food directly to your door! Learn more about our meal plans here. >
*Please note that all air fryers cook differently. Before trying any recipe, always refer to the manufacturer safety instructions provided with your specific air fryer.
Calories per Serving: 273
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 ½ PowerFuels and 1 Extra
- 1 lb. cod fillets
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. dill pickles, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. light mayonnaise
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- Fish Sticks
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
- Cut cod into strips that are 1-inch wide and 2-4 inches long.
- Take out three bowls and create an assembly line. Fill one bowl with a mixture of flour, garlic powder and black pepper. Fill the second bowl with beaten eggs. Fill the last bowl with panko bread crumbs and oregano.
- Dip each cod strip into the flour, then the eggs and lastly into the bread crumb mixture. Make sure all sides are well coated.
- Place cod strips into the greased air fryer basket. Do not overcrowd the fish sticks (it may take more than one batch). Spray the tops of the fish sticks with nonstick spray.
- Air fry for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time.
- Repeat with remaining fish sticks.
- *Please note that all air fryers cook differently. Before trying any recipe, always refer to the manufacturer safety instructions provided with your specific air fryer.
- Tartar Sauce
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.