Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Mild white codfish is one of my favorite fish to use in my homemade gluten free fish sticks recipe. Make them in the air fryer in 20 minutes, or bake them in the oven. Kids and grownups will all love these air fryer fish sticks!
When our kids were young, they used to love fish sticks. They are fun to eat, and you can dip them into many yummy dips. When we went gluten free, I sort of forgot about them. Our kids used to call these fish fingers. I guess they do look like gluten free fish fingers in a way :-).
I was reminded to try them when I was shopping in the grocery store, and I saw how expensive pre-made gluten free fish sticks are! You can make these from scratch for so much less money!
For this recipe, I used a new coating...pork rinds. I haven't had pork rinds since I was a kid. They seem to be all the rage right now, and I knew I wanted to give them a try. Many companies make them, or you can buy pork rinds and grind them yourself! (Using pork rinds also makes this recipe keto for those who follow that diet.)
If you love using your air fryer, you will want to check out all of my easy Gluten Free Air Fryer Recipes!
Why you need to try these:
These delicious Ninja Foodi fish sticks are so good, partly because of the super yummy crispy coating. There is something about the taste of pork rinds with this mild cod that make them incredible.
Both kids wanted seconds, and that speaks wonders, as one of my kids is really picky! Make these yummy air fryer fish sticks in about 20 minutes from start to finish!
If you are trying to decide on what air fryer to get, I have a great list of the best air fryers for gluten free. I include a great pros and cons list for each model.
These are my favorite! I use this recipe with tilapia loins from Costco and they are absolutely delicious! the 1st time I made them I went around telling everyone about them. Soo good!"Tracy R.
- Pork rinds - They now sell these as bread crumbs, and they are gluten free. You can also buy a bag of pork rinds and crush them in your food processor. Feel free to use my gluten free panko recipe if you don't like pork rinds.
- White fish - I primarily use cod for my fish sticks because it is very mild yet holds together really well when you cut it. Tilapia is also great.
- Milk - You can also use non-dairy milk.
- Cooking oil spray - If you are air frying these, you will want a light oil (NOT olive oil) to spray over the fish sticks, so they crisp up.
If you are looking for another popular air fryer recipe, give my Gluten Free Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe a try!
Recipe step-by-step directions:
Ready to make these? Gather your ingredients. Cooking fish sticks in the air fryer is so easy! Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 375º F. I used this Ninja Foodi Air Fryer, and it worked well.
Step 1: Take your cod and slice it into sticks.
HINT: If your fish is wet, pat it down with paper towels. This will help the breading stick better.
Step 2: Add an egg and some milk to a bowl and whisk. Add the fish and turn them around in the mixture to coat all sides.
Step 3: Put the fish into the pork rind panko. Make sure it is coated all around.
Step 5: Spray a light oil in the warm air fryer basket. This will help prevent them from sticking. Do not use olive oil. Place the fish sticks in the air fryer basket, then spray the tops of the fish sticks with the oil.
Step 6: Cook the fish sticks at 375º F for 12 minutes. If your fish sticks are thick, you may need to cook them for a couple of minutes more.
I also think getting your kids in the kitchen so they learn how to cook can be very empowering. Here are some delicious Gluten Free Recipes for Kids to get you all started!
If you don't have an air fryer or prefer to bake them, follow all of the directions. Instead of putting them in an air fryer basket, put them onto a parchment paper-lined
Bake at 375º F for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy. Baking time may vary depending on how thickly you cut the fish sticks.
Dipping these fish sticks is all the rage! If you love crispy food that can be dipped, try these Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets too!
Dip them in:
- My Curry Dipping Sauce
- Ranch dressing
- This is a little out there, but my Gooey White Queso Cheese Dip is also really tasty with these gluten free fish sticks!
Tips and Recipe FAQ:
Yes! You can easily use a gluten free panko. Add ⅓ cup panko, ¼ cup grated parmesan, and ½ teaspoon garlic powder to a bowl and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste and use this instead of pork rinds.
I love to use a mild white fish to make my fish sticks. Cod and tilapia are my favorites because they hold together well.
Store-bought fish sticks tend to be fried in oil and have higher calories. Homemade fish sticks are not bad for you! These fish sticks are air-fried so they have all of the crispy fried flavors, without the fat and calories of fried.
You can easily make this dairy-free by using non-dairy milk. Be sure to use unsweetened non-dairy milk.
These fish sticks will keep up to 3 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.
The air fryer is perfect for cooking pre-made frozen foods. Air fryer frozen fish sticks cook in as little as 8 minutes.
More gluten free air fryer recipes:
- Gluten Free Air Fryer Cod
- Fluffy Gluten Free Dinner Rolls (Yes, you can make them in your air fryer!)
- Air Fryer Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes
- Easy Honey Garlic Air Fryer Salmon
Air Fryer Gluten Free Fish Sticks
- 1 cup pork rinds * see note
- 12 ounces cod filets * see note
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon light oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Take your cod and slice it into sticks with a sharp knife.
- HINT: If your fish is wet, pat it down with paper towels. This will help the breading stick better.
- Add the egg and milk to a bowl and whisk. Add the fish and turn them around in the mixture to coat all sides.
- Put the fish into the pork rind panko. Make sure it is coated all around.
- Spray a light oil in the warm air fryer basket. This will help prevent them from sticking. Do not use olive oil. Place the fish sticks in the air fryer basket, then spray the tops of the fish sticks with the oil.
- Cook the fish sticks at 375º F for 10-12 minutes. If your fish sticks are thick, you may need to cook them a couple of minutes more.
- See notes for baking instructions.
- You can use cod, tilapia, or another mild white fish. Salmon also works, but it may not hold its shape as well as the cod.
- There are pork rind crumbs in stores in the bread crumb area, usually in the spice section of your grocery store. You can also buy pork rinds and grind them in a food processor, which is cheaper.
- Dip them in ketchup, ranch dressing, or any of your favorite dips.
- These air fryer gluten free fish sticks will keep up to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them in a freezer-style zip bag. Freeze them flat until they are frozen. Thaw in the oven or air fryer.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn't test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
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