Can You Microwave Fish Sticks? (Solved)

Categorized as Microwave
microwave fish sticks

You’re standing in front of the freezer, staring at the options. Fish sticks, mozzarella sticks, chicken nuggets… so many choices, but you’re feeling a fish stick kind of night. You know that oven is the traditional way to cook them, but it’s going to take too long. So you turn to the microwave, thinking it might be the quickest option.

But then you stop. You’ve heard that microwaving fish is a bad idea. Will your fish sticks turn out rubbery and dry?

Can You Microwave Fish Sticks?

The answer is yes! Microwaving fish sticks is a quick and easy way to cook or reheat them. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the fish sticks won’t get the same crispy coating as they would if you cooked them in the oven or air fryer.

When it comes to cooking fish sticks in the microwave, there are some pros. One of the main advantages is that microwave cooking can help reduce the amount of fat in fish sticks. That’s because you don’t need to use oil when cooking in the microwave.

Another pro is that microwave fish sticks are quick and easy to make. Simply pop them in the microwave and set the timer! And when you’re done, clean-up is a breeze since there’s no need to dirty pots and pans.

Of course, there are also some disadvantages to consider before cooking fish sticks in the microwave. One potential downside is that it’s easy to overcook them, leading to a dry and rubbery texture.

Another con is that microwaving doesn’t produce that same crispy coating that you get from pan-frying or oven-baking. If you’re craving a crunchy exterior, you’ll be disappointed with microwave fish sticks.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Fish Sticks in the Microwave?

Cooking time will vary depending on the wattage of your microwave, the number of fish sticks you’re cooking, and the brand of fish sticks. In general, it takes about 1 1/2 to 3 minutes to cook 3-4 fish sticks in 1000-watt microwaves.

Depending on the three factors mentioned above, your fish sticks could be done sooner or might need a little extra time. If you’re unsure, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and cook in short increments, checking after each round, until the fish sticks are heated through.

How to Cook Fish Sticks in the Microwave

Now that you know that it’s perfectly safe to cook fish sticks in the microwave, let’s go over the steps.

  1. Line a plate with parchment paper.
  2. Arrange the fish sticks on the plate, making sure they’re not touching.
  3. Place the plate in the microwave and microwave on high for 1 minute, flip the fish sticks over, and then cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  4. Check the fish sticks to see if they’re heated through.
  5. If not, continue cooking for another 30 seconds.
  6. Let the fish sticks sit for 1 or 2 minutes in the microwave before serving.

How to Get Crispy Fish Sticks in the Microwave

As I mentioned before, microwaving fish sticks won’t give you that same crispy coating as oven baking or air frying. However, there is a way to get a little bit of crispiness. All you need is a microwave crisper pan. These special pans have a special surface that allows the food to get crispy when heated in the microwave.

I use this Nordic Ware Microwave Crisper Pan and it works like a charm! To use a microwave crisper pan, simply preheat the pan in the microwave according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then, cook the fish sticks according to the instructions above. You’ll notice that they come out of the microwave with a crispy exterior.

Safety Tips for Microwaving Fish Sticks

Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when cooking fish sticks in the microwave:

Check the package instructions

While I’ve given you a general guide on how to cook fish sticks in the microwave, it’s always best to follow the directions on the package. This is because different brands of fish sticks will have slightly different cooking times and instructions. Following the package directions will help you ensure that your fish sticks are cooked properly.

Do use a microwave-safe dish

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people try to get away with using whatever plate or bowl they have on hand, regardless of whether or not it’s microwave-safe. This is unsafe and can lead to breakage and/or leaching of chemicals into your food. So, make sure to use a microwave-safe dish when cooking fish sticks in the microwave.

Don’t overload the plate

While you may be tempted to pile those fishies high, resist the urge! Overloading your plate will make it more difficult for the heat to penetrate through all of the food. For best results, spread your fish sticks out in a single layer on your plate. This will help them cook evenly and prevent any accidental cold spots where bacteria could potentially thrive.

Do thaw the frozen fish sticks before microwaving

If your fish sticks are frozen solid, nuking them in the microwave is going to do nothing but turn them into rubbery mush. To avoid this culinary catastrophe, make sure to thaw your frozen fish sticks before populating them in the microwave.

The best way to do this is to transfer them from the freezer to the fridge overnight before you plan on cooking them so that they have time to thaw out slowly and evenly. If you’re in a pinch, you can also thaw them out using the defrost setting on your microwave.

Don’t forget about food safety

Cooking your food properly is key to avoiding food poisoning, and that goes for microwaved foods as well! To ensure that your fish sticks are cooked through (and therefore safe to eat), make sure that the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit before digging in. An easy way to check this is by using a food thermometer—just stick it into different areas of the fish stick to get an accurate reading.

How to Store and Reheat Leftover Fish Sticks

If you have leftovers, the best way to store them is in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll be good to eat for up to four days. Be sure to line the container with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture—this will help keep your fish sticks from getting soggy. Use parchment paper in between each layer of fish sticks to prevent them from sticking together.

I don’t recommend freezing them as refreezing can often destroy the texture of the fish sticks. If you do choose to freeze them, flash freeze them for about two to three hours, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. They’ll be good for up to three months. Don’t forget to label and date the bag so you know when to use them.

When you’re ready to reheat, there are a few different methods you can use. The microwave is obviously the quickest way, but if you want to crisp them up again, your best bet is to reheat them in the oven or air fryer.

To reheat in the microwave, place the fish sticks on a microwave-safe plate and heat them in 15-second intervals until they’re heated through.

What to Serve with Fish Sticks

Fish sticks are a versatile dish that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, and they’re especially delicious when paired with the right side dish. The following are some of my favorite sides to serve with fish sticks:

1. Tartar Sauce‌ ‌-‌ ‌Tartar‌ ‌sauce‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌mayonnaise-based‌ ‌condiment‌ ‌that’s‌ ‌spiced‌ ‌up with chopped gherkins or onions. It’s the perfect dipping sauce for fish sticks, and it’s also delicious on burgers, sandwiches, and even salad!

2. Salsa and Guacamole – Add a little bit of spice to your meal with some salsa and guacamole! These flavorful side dishes are perfect for dipping fish sticks into, and they’ll also liven up any other boring sides you might be serving. Bonus points if you make your own salsa and guacamole from scratch.

3. French Fries – A classic side dish to pair with fish sticks is, of course, French fries! They’re salty, crispy, and delicious, and they make the perfect vessel for sopping up any extra tartar sauce or salsa that you might have.

4. Sweet Potato Fries – If you’re looking for a healthier option than French fries, try sweet potato fries instead. They have a similar taste and texture, but they’re packed with nutrients like vitamins A and C.

5. Fried Green Tomatoes – For something a little different, try serving fried green tomatoes with your fish sticks! This southern classic is a delicious way to change things up, and it pairs perfectly with tartar sauce or ranch dressing for dipping.


So, can you microwave fish sticks? The answer is a resounding yes! Not only are they an easy and quick way to cook your meal, but microwaving also helps reduce the amount of fat in them. You can even use a microwave crisper pan to help make them extra crispy. Just be sure to follow the tips above to ensure that your fish sticks are cooked properly and remain safe to eat.

And if you need some ideas for what to serve with your fish sticks, be sure to check out the list above. From classic sides like French fries and tartar sauce to southern favorites like fried green tomatoes, there’s something for everyone!

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!