Air Fryer Salmon


Author: Lisa Childs

Comments: 0

Category: Air Fryer Recipes

Published Date: September 23, 2021

Updated Date: January 12, 2023

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Air Fryer Salmon is tender, flaky, and basically foolproof. Cooking salmon in the air fryer is so easy and healthy! This fifteen minute recipe will definitely make it into your regular dinner rotation.

Air fried salmon topped with parsley on a white plate next to lemon wedges and parsley next to a teal cloth

AIR FRIED SALMON RECIPE

Salmon is one of those meals that’s so good, but at the same time, can be intimidating to cook if you’re not used to it! Salmon is my absolute favorite protein.

It’s loaded with nutrients, healthy fats, and supports brain and heart health

I usually season with kosher salt and pepper, then pan-fry salmon in a searing hot pan with butter. This air fryer salmon recipe is ten times easier, faster, and less messy!

That’s just one more reason to love my air fryer. Ever since I developed this air fryer salmon recipe, it’s been game over for dried out salmon!

This recipe never fails to impress because the air fryer takes any guesswork out of the process.

This salmon air fryer recipe is basic: fresh salmon, neutral oil, some light seasonings, and lemon to top. Once you’ve mastered it, make it your own! 

I’ve included my favorite variations below (teriyaki salmon and garlic butter salmon), but I’d love to hear what you come up with!

HOW LONG SHOULD YOU COOK SALMON IN AN AIR FRYER

Cooking salmon in an air fryer is not only easy, but also quick! It only takes about 9-11 minutes.

If you’re looking for more quick and easy air fryer recipes, try my Air Fryer Steak, Air Fryer Hamburgers, or Air Fryer Chicken Thighs!

Instant Pot Salmon

prepped raw salmon

If you’re looking for a healthy way to cook a soft, moist salmon filet, you’ll want the recipe for Instant Pot Salmon.

Making salmon in your pressure cooker is incredibly easy, healthy (no oil), and tender. Air fryer salmon will give you a crispier salmon filet.

FROZEN SALMON IN THE AIR FRYER

While this recipe is for a fresh salmon filet, you can use frozen salmon in your air fryer as well.

Since seasonings won’t stick to a frozen piece of salmon, you’ll have to brush or spray the salmon with some oil to help the seasoning stick. 

Another option is to let the salmon cook in the air fryer for about 3 minutes to let it thaw, then season it in the air fryer.  

Frozen salmon filets are almost always sold in thin, vacuum sealed bags where the fish is about a centimeter thick. That’s much thinner than a fresh filet, which is usually about an inch thick.

If your frozen salmon is less than an inch thick, you’ll be able to cook the salmon in the air fryer for the same amount of time as a thicker, fresh filet.

If you’re unsure, always use an instant-read cooking thermometer and cook salmon until it reaches an internal temperature of 145º F.

Frozen salmon is also great with a sauce. To cook frozen salmon in sauce like a teriyaki sauce (above), place the salmon in an oven safe dish or on a sheet of aluminum foil with the sides folded up, then cook for about 9-11 minutes.

Top view of air fried salmon topped with parsley on a white plate and teal cloth

TERIYAKI SALMON

Teriyaki salmon is a great way to spice up a classic!

To make teriyaki salmon in your air fryer, season your salmon with salt and pepper, then place it in an oven-safe dish that will fit into your air fryer. I like using a small cake pan. 

Pour 1-2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce onto each portion of salmon, then air fry as directed in the recipe.

Carefully remove the salmon from the air fryer with a spatula and baste with additional teriyaki sauce and add a sprinkle of sesame seeds before serving.

CAN YOU PUT ALUMINUM FOIL IN AN AIR FRYER FOR SALMON?

If you don’t have a pan that will fit in your air fryer, you can make a tray using heavy duty foil.

Take a double layer of foil, then fold up the sides as tightly as possible to make a small tray. 

GARLIC BUTTER SALMON

Garlic butter salmon is another favorite at my house. Follow the instructions for teriyaki salmon above, but instead of using teriyaki sauce, use your favorite garlic butter. 

You can use store-bought garlic butter, or you can mix up your own with a little butter, salt, pepper, italian seasoning, and fresh garlic or garlic powder.

Close up of air fried salmon topped with parsley on a white plate next to lemon wedges and parsley next to a teal cloth

AIR FRYER SALMON WITH SKIN

If you’d like to cook salmon with skin in the air fryer, always cook the salmon SKIN SIDE UP. 

Cooking skin-on salmon with the skin down will result in a soggy, unappetizing end result. There could also be a lot of sticking to the air fryer basket.

Air frying the salmon with the skin up will crisp up the skin beautifully, and taste great.

Make sure you spray or brush on a little bit of oil to the skin, and don’t forget to season with salt and pepper.

HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER SALMON

To make this (incredibly easy) recipe, start by preheating your air fryer to 400º F.

While that’s heating, brush each side of your salmon filets with oil, then sprinkle them with your preferred seasoning. 

I love using cajun seasoning or Redmond’s organic lemon pepper seasoning, but you can’t go wrong with just a little simple kosher salt and pepper.

If you don’t have a heatproof silicone basting brush (you need one!), you can spray the salmon with a sprayable oil.

I use olive oil in this oil mister

That’s all of the prep work needed!

Place each filet into the preheated air fryer basket and cook for about 9-11 minutes.

If you have a meat thermometer, you’ll want to reach 145º on the thickest part of the filet. 

Remove and serve with a squeeze of lemon.

DOES SALMON NEED TO BE FLIPPED IN AN AIR FRYER?

I typically flip most foods in the air fryer to get the absolute best results and even browning.

However, I do not flip my salmon in the air fryer.

Salmon is a very tender and delicate fish. It’s especially prone to breaking apart when it’s half cooked, so I let it cook on one side for the entirety of the cooking time in the air fryer.

So, no. Salmon does not need to be flipped in the air fryer.

Air fryer salmon and vegetables

Air fried salmon topped with parsley on a white plate next to a teal cloth and a bowl of green beans

Cook this salmon with fresh green beans or broccoli at the same time for a zero-hassle meal.

After 3 minutes of cooking the salmon, add some seasoned green beans or broccoli to the air fryer and cook for the rest of the cooking time.

I like to toss my veggies with a little oil, salt, and pepper before air frying.

If you haven’t already, you need to try my Air Fried Garlic Green Beans. They’re amazing!

Graphic of Air Fryer Garlic Green Beans with a close up picture of green beans smothered in garlic.

What to serve with salmon

Graphic of The Best Air Fryer Salmon with a picture of salmon on a plate garnished with lemon slices.

Air Fryer Salmon

Air Fryer Salmon is tender, flaky, and basically foolproof. Making salmon in the air fryer is so easy and healthy! This fifteen minute recipe will definitely make it into your regular dinner rotation.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Total Time: 14 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 227kcal
Author: Lisa Childs

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 fresh salmon filets 6.5 ounces each (1 inch at the thickest edge)
  • 1 teaspoon neutral-flavored oil olive oil, grapeseed oil, etc.
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper cajun seasoning, and/or salt and pepper
  • Lemon wedges for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat air fryer to 400ºF.
  • Brush or spray each salmon filet with oil on each side, then sprinkle with seasoning of your choice.
  • Place each filet in the air fryer basket and cook for 9-11 minutes or until the salmon filet registers 145ºF minimum in the thickest portion of the filet.
  • Remove the salmon from the air fryer to a plate and serve. Top with lemon.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1g | Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 2287mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g
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Hi! I'm Lisa!


I founded Tried, Tested, and True in 2019 to help moms like me develop confidence and joy in the kitchen.

Since then, I have taught millions of home cooks around the world through our tried and true recipes and Youtube tutorials.

In 2021, I wrote my first book called, “I Love My Instant Pot: Cooking for One”!

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