Easy Fried Fish Fillets

fried fish

Spruce Eats  

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yields: 4 fillets

This tasty fried fish recipe is made with a basic combination of flour and seasonings, but don't be fooled by the simplicity of this dish—the fillets fry up crispy and delicious. Haddock and cod are two excellent choices for fried fish, but tilapia, pollock, or another mild white fish should work fine. Be careful not to overcook the thin fillets or burn the crispy coating.

For frying, you will want to use a high heat oil, such as canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, or grapeseed oil. Healthier oils like avocado oil will also work as long as the smoke point is 400 F or higher. Avoid using olive oil or butter, since they will burn at the high temperatures required for frying. Don't skip the flour coating, since it provides a delicious crispy texture and protects the fish from soaking up too much oil. It also keeps the fillet in one piece and adds flavor.

If you want to change up the spices, try a few dashes of Old Bay, Cajun, or Creole seasoning. Mrs. Dash is a good option if you're watching your salt intake. Serve the fried fish with a classic tartar sauce or a tasty Louisiana rémoulade.


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  • 2 cups neutral oil for deep frying (such as canola or vegetable, more if needed)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 pound fish fillets (such as haddock, tilapia, or cod)
  • Optional: lemon wedges, tartar sauce, or homemade rémoulade sauce (for serving)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients set out for making the fried fish fillets
    The Spruce 
  2. Pour 1 inch of oil into a skillet and heat over medium-high heat to 375 F.

    Oil heating in a skillet
     The Spruce
  3. Combine the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or deep plate and mix together.

    Seasoning and flour in a shallow bowl, ready for dredging the fish
    The Spruce
  4. Pat the fish fillets dry lightly with a paper towel. Dip a fish fillet or two into the flour mixture. Make sure they are completely coated on all sides and gently shake off any excess. Repeat with the remaining fillets.

    Dredged fish fillets in the flour and seasoning mix
    The Spruce
  5. Working in batches, fry the fish in the hot oil for about 6 minutes on each side, or until golden brown, crispy, and cooked through. Remove and set on a cooling rack to let drain or on a platter lined with newspaper or paper towel.

    Frying the fish fillets in oil
    The Spruce
  6. Serve hot with lemon wedges, tartar sauce, or homemade rémoulade sauce. Enjoy.

    Fried fish fillets draining on newspaper along with lemon wedges, tartar sauce, and ketchup
    The Spruce


  • A variety of fish are good for frying. Try boneless white fish fillets like haddock, cod, and tilapia.
  • Since fish happens to be a more tender protein, make sure to keep an eye on the skillet when frying these fillets. If frying in batches, add more oil as needed and bring up to temperature before adding fillets.