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Air Fryer Salmon Recipe

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Air Fryer Salmon

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to cook salmon, an air fryer is the perfect tool for you. It takes only 10 minutes to make tender, flaky salmon with a crispy crust, using simple ingredients you probably already have at home.

With an air fryer, you can achieve a delicious meal without the fuss of traditional cooking methods. Whether you prefer a sweet glaze with brown sugar and honey, or a zesty lemon Dijon marinade, there’s a recipe to suit every palate. Imagine enjoying restaurant-quality salmon right from your kitchen with little effort.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

To make delicious air fryer salmon, you’ll need the following ingredients.

  • Salmon Fillets: Fresh or frozen, about 4-6 ounces each.
  • Olive Oil: Helps keep the salmon moist.
  • Lemon Juice or Zest: Adds a bright, fresh flavor.

Spices and Seasonings

  • Paprika: For a bit of smokiness.
  • Garlic Powder: Enhances the savory taste.
  • Salt and Pepper: Basic but essential.
  • Dried Thyme or Rosemary: Adds earthy notes.

Possible Substitutes

You can customize the recipe with these substitutions:

  • Olive Oil: Use melted butter or coconut oil.
  • Lemon Zest: Swap for orange zest for a sweeter touch.
  • Paprika: Replace with smoked paprika for a deeper flavor.
  • Soy Sauce: Use coconut aminos for a gluten-free option.
  • Honey: Any other sweetener like maple syrup or brown sugar will work.

Optional Add-Ons

  • Sesame Seeds: Add crunch.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Gives a tangy kick.

Feel free to mix and match these ingredients to suit your taste preferences. Enjoy your delicious air fryer salmon!


  1. Preheat the Air Fryer: Set the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) and let it heat up for 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. Prepare the Salmon: Check the salmon fillets for any pin bones and remove them. Pat the fillets dry with a paper towel.

  3. Season the Salmon:

    • Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of the salmon.
    • Sprinkle with salt and pepper, or your favorite seasoning mix. Options include paprika, garlic powder, or a mix of brown sugar, chili powder, and Italian seasoning.

  4. Spray the Basket: Lightly spray the inside of the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray or brush it with a little oil.

  5. Arrange the Salmon: Place the salmon fillets in the basket, skin side down. Leave space between the fillets for even cooking.

  6. Cook the Salmon: Set the timer for 8 to 10 minutes. Cook until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). The flesh should be opaque and easily flake with a fork.

  7. Check for Doneness: Use a fork to check if the salmon flakes easily. If it needs a little more time, cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.

  8. Serve: Carefully remove the salmon from the air fryer, let it rest for a couple of minutes, then serve with your choice of sides. Enjoy your perfectly cooked air fryer salmon!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Tips for Perfect Air Fryer Salmon

  • Preheat the Air Fryer: Always preheat your air fryer to 400°F. This ensures even cooking.
  • Season Generously: Use a mix of spices like garlic powder, paprika, or Italian seasoning. This adds flavor to your salmon.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Basket: Place the salmon in a single layer. This helps it cook evenly.

Tricks for Best Results

  • Use Parchment Paper: This prevents the salmon from sticking to the basket.
  • Check for Doneness: Salmon should flake easily with a fork. If it’s still translucent, give it a couple more minutes.
  • Brush with Oil or Butter: This keeps the salmon moist and adds a nice crisp to the skin.

Storing Leftovers

  • Refrigerate Properly: Store leftover salmon in an airtight container. It will stay fresh for 2-3 days in the fridge.
  • Freeze for Later: If you’re not eating it soon, freeze your salmon. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and foil. It will keep for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat Gently: To reheat, use the air fryer at 350°F for a few minutes. This keeps it from drying out.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Air fryer salmon is versatile, and you can tweak the recipes to match your taste. Here are a few simple variations to try.

Flavor Variations:

  • Spicy: Mix chili powder and cayenne pepper with garlic powder for a kick.
  • Sweet: Add brown sugar or maple syrup to your spice rub for a sweet glaze.
  • Citrus: Use lemon juice and zest to give a refreshing zing.
  • Herbaceous: Combine Italian seasoning or fresh herbs like dill and parsley with olive oil.

Serving Suggestions:

  • With Vegetables: Pair air fryer salmon with roasted asparagus, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts. You can even cook them together in the air fryer.
  • On a Salad: Flake the salmon over mixed greens, add cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a vinaigrette.
  • With Grains: Serve the salmon over a bed of quinoa, rice, or farro for a complete meal.
  • In Tacos: Use the salmon as the main filling in fish tacos with avocado, cabbage slaw, and lime crema.


  • Timing: Remember, cooking time can vary based on the thickness of the salmon and your air fryer model.
  • Preheat: Always preheat your air fryer for even cooking.
  • Skin Side Down: Place the salmon skin-side down to keep it moist.

Feel free to experiment with these ideas and make your air fryer salmon truly your own!

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.