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Panko Crusted Cajun Mahi Mahi

This air fryer panko crusted cajun mahi mahi is coated with a cajun panko crust that creates a perfect golden-brown crunch with just the right amount of spice.

Mahi Mahi is a hearty fish that is perfect for serving baked, fried, grilled, or broiled and pairs well with bold flavors. It’s great for tacos, holds up well in soups or stews, or served on its own with pasta, rice, or veggies.

Panko Crusted Cajun Mahi Mahi

Why You’ll Love Air Fryer Panko Crusted Cajun Mahi Mahi

Short Cook Time – Breaded mahi mahi filets cook quickly in the air fryer and are ready in just 10 minutes.

Minimal Ingredients – Just a few simple ingredients and you’ll have a flavorful piece of fish with the perfect amount of crunch and spice.

Healthy – Yes it’s made with a bit of mayo and breadcrumbs, but mahi itself is low in calories, high in protein, and packs a heart-healthy punch.

Easy Prep & Cleanup – Other than mixing the panko and seasonings in a bowl, there’s not much more to it. Dump the leftover crumbs and the bowl goes right into the dishwasher, and the air fryer basket is easy to wipe out when cooking is complete.

Panko Crusted Mahi Ingredients Notes

  • Mahi: We keep the individually vacuum sealed mahi portions from Costco in the freezer. I pull a piece out an hour or two early to make a quick and easy meal. Fresh mahi should have a firm flesh and mild scent, not fishy or mushy at all.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: You can use store-bought or make your own panko breadcrumbs in advance. Make sure they are unseasoned so you can create your own flavor profiles by mixing in your own spices.
  • Cajun Seasoning: You can use store-bought cajun seasoning, but you can also make your own blackening seasoning to control the level of spice you are adding.
  • Parmesan Cheese: This is totally optional if you’d prefer it without cheese, but it adds a bit of flavor and helps create a nice golden crust.
  • Mayonnaise: Mayo is just a vessel to get the crust to stick to the fish, but it also helps the fish retain moisture. If you prefer another method, you can use an egg wash, milk, or yogurt. Keep in mind that the milk or egg wash will make the breadcrumbs slightly soggy.
Panko Crusted Cajun Mahi Mahi

You’ll find the complete ingredients list with amounts in the recipe card below!

How To Make Air Fryer Panko Crusted Cajun Mahi Mahi

Making Air Fryer Mahi Mahi is easy and takes only about 5 minutes. To make this dish:

  1. Prep the breading: Add Panko breadcrumbs, cajun seasoning, parmesan cheese, garlic salt, and pepper to a bowl and mix until well combined.
  2. Crust the fish: Coat the mahi with mayonnaise, place mahi in the bowl, and coat the filet well with panko mixture.
  3. Air Fry: Put the fish in the air fryer, cooking for 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Serve: Plate your fish, top with a lemon wedge, and serve with your favorite side.
Panko Crusted Cajun Mahi Mahi

Variations, Substitutions, & Cooking Tips

Add a bit of oil or water to the bottom of the air fryer – This helps to recue or eliminate the smoking of the air fryer during the cooking process.

Line the air fryer with foil – For even easier cleanup, you can line the bottom of the basket with foil.

No need to preheat – Unless you have a really thick piece of fish, the 10 minutes of cook time should be fine without preheating the air fryer. As always, check to ensure that your fish is cooked all the way through.

Swap the fish – You can use another firm white fish like halibut or cod.

Modify your seasoning – This recipe has a mild spice, if you prefer more or less spice, you can change the amount of cajun seasoning you add to the breadcrumbs. You can also opt for another seasoning like old bay or leave the spice out entirely. It’s up to you!

What To Serve With Air Fryer Cajun Mahi Mahi

It’s easy to build a meal around this cajun mahi. Grilled or roasted vegetables are a great option. We served ours with a lemon-dill rice, but plain steamed rice or pilaf also pair well with it. Pasta and potatoes are also great match-ups with mahi. Baked potatoes or roasted potatoes are easy to prep and are healthy choices. If you’re going with pasta, try a creamy fettuccine or an angel hair tossed with lemon and capers.

Storage & Reheating

This recipe only makes one or two portions, but if you make extra and have leftovers, store your mahi in an air tight container in the fridge for up to two days. We don’t recommend freezing.

The panko breading may lose it’s crispy texture during refrigeration, so the best way to reheat it is just like cooking it in the first time – in the air fryer. However, you could also heat it in a pan on the stove top with a splash of oil, or bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Panko Crusted Cajun Mahi Mahi

Air Fryer Panko Crusted Cajun Mahi Mahi

Yield: 1 Serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This air fryer panko crusted cajun mahi mahi is coated with a cajun panko crust that creates a perfect golden-brown crunch with just the right amount of spice.


  • 1 6-oz Mahi Mahi filet
  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons Cajun Seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper


  1. In a bowl, add Panko breadcrumbs, Cajun seasoning, parmesan cheese, garlic salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined.
  2. Pat mahi filet dry with a paper towel and coat the top with mayonnaise.
  3. Put mayo coated side of mahi face down into Panko mixture and press to coat generously.
  4. While it is face down, coat the exposed side with mayo.
  5. Flip the mahi and press into panko mixture to coat. Use fingers to dust the breadcrumb mixture onto any bare spots and sides.
  6. Place Mahi in Air Fryer Basket at 375 degrees (400 works as well but will brown faster).
  7. Cook mahi in air fryer for 5 minutes. Flip the filet and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from air fryer and serve.


The seasoned panko breadcrumbs mix will make enough to coat at least two pieces of fish.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 885Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 181mgSodium: 12618mgCarbohydrates: 88gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 60g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Heidi Deal
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