This salmon in air fryer is crispy, flavorful and so easy to make. It’s gluten free, paleo friendly and can be made from frozen! It’s ready in under 20 minutes and perfect for a quick weeknight meal.
I’m air fryer obsessed. Especially salmon in air fryer. It’s so easy to make, crispy and ready to eat in basically 15 minutes.
You can mix up the spices each time so you have a different flavor profile, but this simple blend is so packed with flavor and never gets old!
There is an option to make it from fresh or frozen, so don’t worry if you forget to defrost your salmon. I also find that cooking salmon in the air fryer doesn’t stink up the house as much as in the oven or stove top!
There is definitely some smell, but it’s a more controlled environment, so it seems to contain it a bit more. Serve this air fryer salmon with my instant pot jasmine rice and sauteed asparagus or broccoli or a simple side salad.
Salmon. Duh! I used wild caught salmon like I do in my honey sriracha salmon bowls, but whatever you have access to is fine. You want two filets that are about 4-6 ounces each.
You can use fresh or frozen salmon in air fryer, just read the instructions and follow based on what you have.
Olive oil. Either olive oil or melted butter will work. This will help the spices stick to the salmon and add some more flavor.
Brown sugar. Don’t sleep on the sugar! This is definitely a savory recipe, but the brown sugar pairs so well with the paprika and other spices.
You can sub for coconut sugar if you want a refined sugar free option.
Spices. A simple mix of garlic, paprika, salt and lemon pepper seasoning. You can add in some dried herbs like parsley, chives or basil.
How to make salmon in the air fryer
Brush the tops of the salmon with the olive oil. Spray your air fryer basket with oil. You can line with parchment paper or even use aluminum foil, but parchment paper is usually your best bet since foil can stick to the salmon a bit.
In a small dish, mix together the spices and salt.
Rub the spices evenly onto the tops of both pieces of salmon. Press into the tops.
Air fry, skin side down for 8-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon and how well done you like it.
When making salmon in the air fryer, flipping is not usually necessary. Because the air fryer helps it cook from all directions, it will cook very evenly without the need to flip.
Serve with fresh lemon juice, jasmine rice and sauteed asparagus or veggie of choice like my air fryer brussels sprouts!
Leave the skin on. It will keep the salmon more moist while it is cooking and provide a layer between the flesh and air fryer basket.
This skin is perfectly edible and gets very crispy in the air fryer, so you can choose to eat it or not, it’s totally up to you.
Do not Overcook. This is actually a very common mistake for everyone cooking salmon. Once the salmon fillet starts to turn white, remove it from the air fryer because it is cooked.
The best way to cook salmon is medium-rare to a medium is a perfect way, since it will not be dried out, in the middle.
Frequently asked questions
Can I cook salmon from frozen?
Yes! To make frozen salmon in the air fryer, you will want to preheat your air fryer to 380, then cook the salmon, skin side down, for 5 minutes. We’ll consider this the “thawing” step.
Next, brush the top of the salmon with the oil, then rub in the spices. Continue cooking for 8-12 minutes, or until your desired level of doneness has been reached.
How long do you need to cook salmon for?
It will depend on how thick your salmon filets were. Wild caught salmon is often thinner than farm raised, so pay attention to thickness.
Anywhere between 8-12 minutes is generally ok, depending on how well done you like it.
The salmon should be cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit according to the FDA standards. However, this will yield very well done salmon, almost dry.
Does it keep well?
Once prepared, this air fryer salmon will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Let it cool completely at room temperature, then transfer to a sealed container and store in the fridge. Reheat on the stove until warm through the center, or even serve cold!
More air fryer recipes!
Air Fryer Salmon
by: claire cary
- 2 4-6 ounce salmon filets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
- Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray your air fryer basket with oil.
- Brush the tops of the salmon with the olive oil.
- In a small dish, mix together the spices and salt.
- Rub the spices evenly onto the tops of both pieces of salmon. Press into the tops.
- Air fry, skin side down for 8-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon and how well done you like it.
- Serve with fresh lemon juice, jasmine rice and sauteed asparagus or veggie of choice!