Just because you’re trying to eat healthily doesn’t mean you have to give up on good food.
With this air fryer salmon recipe, you can have it all.
Flaky, buttery, tender, juicy, and so darn delicious, you won’t even feel like it’s healthy. All the antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids are just a bonus.
The Best Air Fryer Salmon
Baked, roasted, smoked, grilled, steamed, and pan-fried, I’ve cooked salmon a lot of ways.
And I can honestly say that the best method is the air fryer.
The air fryer can ‘fry’ food with little to no oil. It’s simple and easy, and the results are restaurant-quality.
The salmon turns out so succulent, you can’t believe it’s good for you. Try it for yourself, and I guarantee it will become your new favorite thing!
A few flavor enhancers are all you need to make this air fryer salmon recipe mouthwatering.
Here’s the list of ingredients:
- Salmon Fillets – Pick pieces that are bright in color and have no spots or discoloration.
- Butter, Melted – For extra flavor and for keeping the salmon moist.
- Garlic Powder – For that added punch of flavor.
- Paprika – It gives the cooked salmon a beautiful shade of brown.
- Salt and Pepper – To taste.
- Cooking Oil – To prevent the skins from sticking to the foil. Stick to olive, avocado, or canola oil.
- Lemon slices – It’s optional, but you won’t believe how a splash of fresh lemon juice can transform the dish from great to phenomenal.
- Fresh Dill or Parsley, for garnish – Let’s fancy it up, shall we?
How to Cook Salmon in the Air Fryer
The great thing about this air fryer salmon recipe is that it only takes 10 minutes. And yet, it yields such a stunning dish.
Just follow these basic steps:
1. Brush the salmon with butter. This keeps it moist and helps the seasoning stick.
2. Season the salmon. Rub the spice blend all over the fillets for maximum flavor.
3. Air fry the salmon. Line the air fryer basket with aluminum foil for easy clean up then bake until flaky.
4. Garnish and serve. Add lemon slices and fresh parsley or dill. Enjoy!
Tips for the Best Salmon
All air fryers are different. So figuring out how to cook salmon to perfection may take some practice.
But don’t worry, these tips will help!
- Pat dry for the best texture. Removing excess moisture helps the salmon crisp on the outside.
- Match the fillet sizes. If you use some big and some small, they won’t cook evenly.
- Do not overcrowd the basket! The fish should fit without touching each other (or the edge of the basket).
- Avoid overcooking. Check for doneness around the 9-minute mark. Stick a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the salmon to make sure it’s cooked through.
- Plate immediately. If you leave it in the basket, it will continue to cook.
- Season generously. Don’t be shy! Rub the seasonings all over the salmon fillets for maximum flavor.
Looking to mix things up a bit? You can do just that!
There are tons of ways to doctor air fryer salmon. Here are some scrumptious variations to try:
Blackened seasoning. Give it a sprinkle of blackened seasoning for a punch of flavor. It also adds an extra crispy layer.
Teriyaki glaze. Make a glaze with teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, and sesame oil. For a Hawaiian flair, add canned pineapple slices.
Honey garlic. Sweet and aromatic, a sticky honey garlic glaze would be phenomenal. Just use honey, garlic cloves, soy sauce, and lemon juice.
Salmon patties. Turn your salmon into a juicy patty instead! Just mince the salmon and mix it with flour, chives, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and salt.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Salmon
You can easily turn this recipe into a well-balanced salmon dinner. From simple vegetable sides to festive dishes, there are plenty of pairings for any occasion.
Here are some ideas:
- Garlic bread. A thick slice of warm, homemade garlic bread would be delish.
- Garden salad. Keep air fryer dinners simple and fresh with a garden salad. A copycat Olive Garden Salad is one of my staples. But pick your favorite.
- Couscous salad. I love a colorful couscous salad with salmon. It takes care of the carbs and the veggies in one. Plus, you can dress it for the occasion.
- Oven-roasted asparagus. Salmon and asparagus go together like peas and carrots. It’s an easy and tasty pairing that’s effortless.
- Air fryer potato wedges. Make it an air fryer dinner with these potato wedges. Crispy, tender, and perfectly salty, these spuds are addicting!
How to Store
I love leftover salmon in a salad or sandwich. It also freezes well, so you can save it for a busy weeknight.
Just pick how you want to store it, then follow these basic steps:
To Store: Transfer the cooled salmon to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
To Freeze: Let the salmon cool completely. Place it in an airtight container, label, and freeze. Frozen salmon will keep for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Reheat salmon in the air fryer at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until warm.
You can also wrap the salmon in foil and reheat at 275 degrees Fahrenheit until warm.
For the microwave, reheat it at 30 second intervals until warm.
For more tips, see my reheating salmon guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? I’ve got answers! Here are some of the most common things I get asked about cooking salmon:
Will Frozen Salmon Work?
Why, yes! You can pop frozen salmon fillets right in the basket. Use the same recipe, but air fry for an additional 2 minutes.
Test for doneness using a meat thermometer – 145 degrees Fahrenheit is the golden number.
How to Thaw Frozen Salmon
The best way to thaw salmon is in the refrigerator overnight.
For a quicker method, place the salmon in a sealed bag and a bowl of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until thawed.
Should I Leave the Skin On?
I recommend leaving the skins on. It helps the salmon cook better.
If you don’t like the skins, simply peel it off before eating. Once cooked, the salmon skins come off super easy.
More Easy Air Fyer Recipes
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?