Make dinner time easy with this air fryer salmon recipe! Sweet and savory, it’s made with just a handful of staple ingredients and cooks in minutes for an elevated protein source that pairs wonderfully with all your favorite appetizers and sides.
With recipes like my air fried teriyaki salmon bites rice bowl and this salmon stir fry, it’s pretty obvious I’m a huge fan of salmon. In fact, I do my best to incorporate it into my family’s meals once or twice a week. However, I don’t always have the time (or energy) to whip up anything elaborate.
Luckily, that’s where salmon in the air fryer comes in to save the day! With minimal prep time and a cook time of just a few minutes, the air fryer does all the heavy lifting. All I have to do is add a few seasonings, and dinner is ready to serve.
Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or making a meal for one, this recipe never disappoints! Mix and match your favorite sides or any leftovers you have on hand, and you’ll be in and out of the kitchen in a pinch.
- Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Salmon Recipe
- Crispy Air Fryer Salmon Ingredients & Notes
- Wild-caught salmon vs farm raised
- Step-by-Step Instructions
- How to Cook Frozen Salmon in Air Fryer
- Do I Need to Preheat my Air Fryer?
- Expert Tips
- Which air fryer is best?
- Can I make this air fryer salmon ahead of time?
- How to Store
- What to serve with air fryer salmon
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Check out more The Fit Peach recipe:
Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Salmon Recipe
- High protein
- Gluten free, nut free, and dairy free
- Sweet and savory
- Made with less than ten ingredients
- Pairs well with a variety of sides
Crispy Air Fryer Salmon Ingredients & Notes
- Salmon filets - Use fresh or frozen salmon for this air fryer salmon recipe. Just make sure to thaw it first!
- Seasonings - Sea salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper combine to add a savory flavor with just a hint of warm spice to the fish.
- Honey - This is a natural sweetener that balances out the savory flavors of the spices, helping it cling to them cling to the fish. Feel free to use agave, if preferred.
Wild-caught salmon vs farm raised
Salmon is one of the many fishes that are best to buy wild-caught instead of farm-raised. This is because wild-caught salmon has more omega-3 and an overall better flavor. You can usually find wild-caught salmon at the seafood counter at your local grocery store or in the freezer section. If buying it frozen, be sure to let it thaw before cooking it.
Salmon in the air fryer is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make! All you have to do is season the fish, place it in the air fryer, and your meal will be ready to serve.
Step 1: Prepare the salmon. Use clean paper towels to pat the salmon filets dry, and place them on a plate.
Step 2: Season the fish. Whisk the seasonings together in a small bowl, and sprinkle them over the salmon.
Then, drizzle the honey over each filet, and use your fingers or the back of a spoon to massage it into each piece.
Step 3: Air fry the salmon. Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil spray, or line it with a sheet of aluminum foil. Place the seasoned salmon filets in the basket skin side down, and cook until they’re opaque and flakey.
After the timer has gone off, leave the air fryer door closed, and allow the salmon to rest for a couple of minutes to crisp up on both sides. Then, check for doneness, and enjoy warm or continue to cook as needed until it can easily be flaked with a fork.
How to Cook Frozen Salmon in Air Fryer
Although fresh salmon is best for this recipe, you can also use frozen salmon filets. Simply place the frozen salmon filet with no seasonings in the bottom of an air fryer basket and cook at 400 F for 4 minutes. This will defrost the salmon and remove the chill.
Open the air fryer basket and sprinkle the seasonings over top of the salmon and gently brush the honey. Cook the salmon again at 400 F for 5 - 6 minutes until it's cooked all the way through.
Do I Need to Preheat my Air Fryer?
No, we actually use the reverse preheat in this recipe. Instead of having the salmon immediately go into a hot basket, keep the basket at room temperature and allow the salmon to cook as it heats up. This is how the air fryer works. It heats up very quickly and pushes air down and around the items in the basket.
Then once the timer goes off, allow the salmon to continue to cook that last little bit as the air fryer cools down. This results in a flaky salmon with a crispy outer layer.
- Sprinkle some cayenne pepper into the seasoning mix for added heat.
- Add 1 tablespoon coconut aminos on top of the salmon filets for a teriyaki spin.
- Add 1 teaspoon turmeric to the seasoning for a subtle curry flavor.
- Swap the seasonings with pesto, and spread it over top of the salmon before air frying it.
- Use filets that are similar in size so they will cook for the same amount of time.
- There is no need to remove the skins from the salmon. This will actually make it harder to remove the filets from the air fryer basket once they’re cooked.
- Don’t open the door to the air fryer once the timer goes off. The salmon will crisp up even more in the air fryer as it cools down.
Which air fryer is best?
I use this air fryer which I absolutely love. It’s a “family size” meaning it can hold a lot in the basket which I like. I have also heard great things about this COSORI one and this Cuisinart one that also functions as a toaster
Can I make this air fryer salmon ahead of time?
If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, I recommend seasoning the salmon as directed and storing the filets in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.
The salmon can marinate for up to 2 days. So, you can also season it, and store it in the fridge overnight. Then, cook it the next day as directed.
How to Store
Store leftover air fried salmon in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, heat the salmon in the air fryer for 1 minute at 300 F or microwave it in 10-second increments until warmed through.
What to serve with air fryer salmon
- Baked brussel sprouts
- Gluten free muffins
- Pesto couscous
- Healthy potato salad
- Cauliflower mashed potatoes
- Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini
Frequently Asked Questions
Salmon is best and easiest to cook with the skin on. First, it is actually pretty difficult to remove the skin when the salmon is raw. It usually takes a sharp knife and gloves. Instead, air fry salmon with the skin on, and remove it once the salmon is cooked.
Not when cooking it in the air fryer! When you cook salmon in the cast iron skillet, it needs to be flipped so the top half can cook through. But with an air fryer, the salmon is heated all around the filet meaning it’s cooked throughout.
Use a fork, and press the prongs into the top of the salmon. If the fork easily goes through, the salmon is cooked. If you feel some resistance, it needs to cook for a few more minutes. You can also use a kitchen thermometer to make sure the salmon is at or above 140 F.
For more easy seafood recipes, check out my:
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Check out more The Fit Peach recipe:
Air Fryer Honey Garlic Salmon
- 1 Air Fryer
- 2 salmon filets - 6 oz
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ tablespoon honey - or agave
- Cooking spray or aluminum foil
- Pat the salmon filets dry with a paper towel and place on a plate.2 salmon filets
- In a separate small bowl, mix together the sea salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. Sprinkle the seasonings over the salmon filets.½ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon paprika, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Drizzle the honey over each salmon filet evenly and use your fingers or the back of a spoon to massage into the salmon.½ tablespoon honey
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray or line with a sheet of aluminum foil for easy clean up. Place the salmon filets in the basket, skin side down, and cook for 6 -7 minutes at 400 F. If your filets are on the thicker side, I recommend doing 7 - 8 minutes.Cooking spray or aluminum foil
- DON’T OPEN THE DOOR. Keep the door to the air fryer shut for another 2 minutes after the timer goes off. The salmon will further crispen up on the sides. Open the basket and check that the salmon is done with a fork. Cook for another minute or so if needed and enjoy!