Air Fryer Cookbook For Dummies
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To get you onboard the seafood ship, we’ve re-created some fan favorite traditional seafood fare you’d find while dining out. But all these recipes are a bit healthier because they’re air fried, not deep fried! You’d be surprised how much flavor is there when you have the right seasonings to really make these seafood dishes come to life.

Bottom line: Eat more seafood, and let this article be your guide!

Honey Pecan Shrimp

honey pecan shrimp

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


1/4 cup cornstarch

3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 egg whites

2/3 cup finely chopped pecans

1 pound raw, peeled, and deveined shrimp

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons mayonnaise


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper.
  2. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg whites until soft and foamy. (They don’t need to be whipped to peaks or even soft peaks, just frothy.)
  3. In a third bowl, mix together the pecans and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt.
  4. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Working in small batches, dip the shrimp into the cornstarch, then into the egg whites, and then into the pecans until all the shrimp are coated with pecans.
  5. Preheat the air fryer to 330 degrees.
  6. Place the coated shrimp inside the air fryer basket and spray with cooking spray. Cook for 5 minutes, toss the shrimp, and cook another 5 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, place the honey in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Whisk in the mayonnaise until smooth and creamy. Pour the honey sauce into a serving bowl. Add the cooked shrimp to the serving bowl while hot and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Shrimp are cooked when they’re pink and firm. Overcooking shrimp will result in a rubbery texture. If using a thermometer, check for 145 degrees.

Walnuts, pistachios, or sesame seeds can all be used in place of the pecans.

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


16 large scallops

8 bacon strips

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika


  1. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel. Slice each of the bacon strips in half. Wrap 1 bacon strip around 1 scallop and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining scallops. Season the scallops with pepper and paprika.
  2. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees.
  3. Place the bacon-wrapped scallops in the air fryer basket and cook for 4 minutes, shake the basket, cook another 3 minutes, shake the basket, and cook another 1 to 3 to minutes. When the bacon is crispy, the scallops should be cooked through and slightly firm, but not rubbery. Serve immediately.

Scallops should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

If your scallops are cooking much faster than the bacon, precook the bacon for 3 minutes at 400 degrees first; then wrap the scallops.

For a Mediterranean twist, wrap the scallops in prosciutto instead of bacon. For a plant-forward meal, wrap in roasted red bell peppers.

Pecan-Crusted Tilapia

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


1 pound skinless, boneless tilapia filets

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon minced fresh or dried rosemary

1 cup finely chopped pecans

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 lemon, cut into wedges


  1. Pat the tilapia filets dry with paper towels.
  2. Pour the melted butter over the filets and flip the filets to coat them completely.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the rosemary, pecans, salt, and paprika.
  4. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees.
  5. Place the tilapia filets into the air fryer basket and top with the pecan coating. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes. The fish should be firm to the touch and flake easily when fully cooked.
  6. Remove the fish from the air fryer. Top the fish with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Serve with steamed rice and cabbage slaw to complete the meal.

Any firm white fish can be used in place of tilapia.

Crab Cakes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 9 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


1 pound lump crab meat, checked for shells

1/3 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup finely chopped onions

1/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 eggs, whisked

3/4 cup mayonnaise, divided

1/4 cup sour cream

1 lemon, divided

1/4 cup sweet pickle relish

1 tablespoon prepared mustard


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the crab meat, breadcrumbs, onions, bell peppers, parsley, sea salt, eggs, and 1/4 cup of the mayonnaise.
  2. Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees.
  3. Form 8 patties with the crab cake mixture. Line the air fryer basket with parchment paper and place the crab cakes on the parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray. Cook for 4 minutes, turn over the crab cakes, spray with cooking spray, and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown and the edges are crispy. Cook in batches as needed.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, the sour cream, the juice from 1/2 of the lemon, the pickle relish, and the mustard.
  5. Place the cooked crab cakes on a serving platter and serve with the remaining 1/2 lemon cut into wedges and the dipping sauce.

When using a thermometer to test for doneness, the crab cakes should reach 155 degrees.

Crab meat can be slightly salty, so adjust the seasoning after cooking as needed.

Crab cakes can be made with a variety of flavors and fillers. If your preference is gluten-free, opt for crushed gluten-free crackers in place of the breadcrumbs.

Maple-Crusted Salmon

Prep time: 35 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

Yield: 2 servings


12 ounces salmon filets

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or brown mustard

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. Place the salmon in a shallow baking dish. Top with maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees.
  3. Remove the salmon from the marinade and discard the marinade.
  4. Place the chopped nuts on top of the salmon filets, and sprinkle salt on top of the nuts. Place the salmon, skin side down, in the air fryer basket. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until the fish flakes in the center.
  5. Remove the salmon and plate on a serving platter. Squeeze fresh lemon over the top of the salmon and top with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

If using a thermometer, the internal temperature of cooked salmon should read 145 degrees. Thicker pieces of salmon will take longer to cook; be sure to check for doneness.

Serve salmon with steamed broccoli and roasted potatoes.

When swapping out toppings, consider a fattier nut or seed to avoid burning. Sesame seeds are a great nut-free topping.

Beer-Breaded Halibut Fish Tacos

Prep time: 35 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


1 pound halibut, cut into 1-inch strips

1 cup light beer

1 jalapeño, minced and divided

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1-1/4 teaspoons sea salt, divided

2 cups shredded cabbage

1 lime, juiced and divided

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 egg, whisked

8 corn tortillas


  1. In a shallow baking dish, place the fish, the beer, 1 teaspoon of the minced jalapeño, the garlic, and the cumin. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.
  3. In large bowl, mix together the shredded cabbage, 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, the Greek yogurt, the mayonnaise, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.
  4. In a small bowl, make the pico de gallo by mixing together the tomatoes, cilantro, onion, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, the remaining jalapeño, and the remaining lime juice.
  5. Remove the fish from the refrigerator and discard the marinade. Dredge the fish in the whisked egg; then dredge the fish in the cornmeal flour mixture, until all pieces of fish have been breaded.
  6. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees.
  7. Place the fish in the air fryer basket and spray liberally with cooking spray. Cook for 6 minutes, flip and shake the fish, and cook another 4 minutes.
  8. While the fish is cooking, heat the tortillas in a heavy skillet for 1 to 2 minutes over high heat.
  9. To assemble the tacos, place the battered fish on the heated tortillas, and top with slaw and pico de gallo. Serve immediately.

Fresh corn tortillas will be more pliable and less stiff. You can use flour tortillas if you prefer.

If you don’t have cornmeal, you can use polenta or semolina flour instead.

Any firm white fish can replace halibut.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Meri Raffetto, RDN, founded Real Living Nutrition Services (, which pro- vides one of the only interactive online weight-loss and wellness programs.

Wendy Jo Peterson MS, RDN, enhances the nutrition of clients ranging from elite athletes to pediatric patients, and is currently a culinary instructor at Mesa College.

Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RDN, is a dietitian, culinary instructor, award-winning coauthor of Born to Eat, and a contributor to Taste of Home magazine.

Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, CPT, is a dietitian, personal trainer, nutrition professor, and media authority on TV and in print, sharing evidence-based facts.

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