Air fryer salmon comes out so tender on the inside and perfectly crisped up on the outside. Plus, we’re serving our air fryer salmon recipe with our homemade salmon seasoning!
Delicious Air Fryer Salmon
Dinner in 15 minutes? Yes, please! This air fryer salmon is a quick-and-easy weeknight meal packed with omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
Air fried salmon comes our perfectly cooked every time — I mean flakey goodness on the inside and crisped-up skin on the outside.
Serve this delicious main with your favorite sides such as steamed broccoli, a baked potato, or air fryer Brussels sprouts.
Why you’ll love it!
The air fryer is definitely my new favorite way to cook up salmon and here’s why.
High-Protein — 48g protein per serving.
Quick-and-Easy — ready in less than. 15minutes.
Fool-Proof: the air fryer will cook your salmon perfectly and leaving it so flakey and delicious.
Our air fryer salmon recipe calls for about 1.5 lbs. salmon. You can buy them pre-portioned (like we do) or you can buy a large filet from your grocery store and slice them yourself.
We find that by cooking salmon portions, it cooks faster and more evenly than cooking an entire salmon filet.
Try Surrender Salmon!
Our all-time favorite salmon is Surrender Salmon. They catch wild-Alaskan salmon off of Bristol Bay in Alaska. The salmon is bright orange, so flakey and delicious, and truly the best.
Surrender Salmon is a family-run company based here in Minneapolis and they are good friends of ours! Support a local business if you can.
For this recipe, in particular, we’re using a homemade salmon seasoning (AKA dry rub). We love how crispy the outside gets with a salmon seasoning, but you can always use a salmon marinade as well.
What you need for our salmon seasoning:
- Garlic powder
- Brown sugar
- Mustard powder
- Black pepper
This all-purpose salmon seasoning is so delicious on any kind of salmon! Make a batch and store it in your pantry for later.
We’re using olive oil to make sure the salmon doesn’t stick to the air fryer basket, but you can also try nonstick cooking spray.
Top Tips for Salmon in Air Fryer
Remove moisture in the salmon: before seasoning your salmon portions, use a paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible. This will help the salmon crisp up on top.
Generously season: since you’re using homemade salmon seasoning, you can gauge how much salt is being used. Don’t worry about over-seasoning because of this.
Cook skin-side down: salmon does not need to be flipped in the air fryer. Therefore, make sure to cook it skin-side down.
Drizzle with olive oil: one of our secrets to perfect salmon in the air fryer is drizzling it with olive oil before cooking. It will make the outside crispy and blackened-like, so don’t skip it!
Don’t overcook: whatever you do, don’t overcook your salmon! Cook salmon in air fryer for 7-8 minutes or until the flesh turns a pale pink color on the inside.
Can you use frozen salmon in the air fryer?
Like our air fryer chicken wings tutorial, you can cook salmon from frozen in the air fryer. Essentially the way it works is that you first defrost the salmon in the air fryer and then cook it as directed.
- So, before beginning our recipe, place frozen salmon portions skin-side down on the air fryer basket.
- Cook at 400ºF for 7-9 minutes, or until defrosted.
- Then, follow our recipe as directed.
How long to cook salmon in air fryer?
So, if you’re wondering how long you should cook salmon in the air fryer, the answer is:
- From fresh: 7-8 minutes
- From frozen: 14-16 minutes
You do not have to flip salmon over in the air fryer because it circulates air to cook your food perfectly on both sides.
Cook your salmon in the air fryer at 400ºF for around 7-8 minutes.
You know when salmon is finished because it is a pale pink color, firm to touch, and flakey. You can also use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should read at least 125ºF.
The answer is yes, but do we recommend it? No. The reason why air fryers cook food so perfectly is because of circulation. If you line your air fryer with tin foil, you are blocking the airflow and things won’t cook properly.
You can essentially defrost your salmon in the air fryer and then cook it. So, yes!
Store leftover air fryer salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat: we recommend reheating in the microwave on high for 60 seconds or on the stovetop on medium for 2-3 minutes.
Leftover Salmon Ideas
Got leftover salmon? Here are some quick and easy ways to use it up!
- Salmon Patties
- Salmon and Egg Scramble
- Salmon Salad
- Fiesta Salmon Rice Bowl
- Salmon Stuffed Avocados
- Smoked Salmon Breakfast Frittats
Air Fryer Salmon
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1.5 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Air Fryer Salmon
- 1.5 lbs. salmon filet sliced into 4 salmon steaks
- 1 tablespoon salmon seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- First, combine all of the ingredients for the salmon seasoning. Mix to combine. Set aside. Note that you will have leftover salmon seasoning, so make sure to transfer the leftovers into a jar for later.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF. Spray the air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pat the salmon steaks with a paper towel to remove moisture and then sprinkle steaks with 1 tablespoon of salmon seasoning. Be sure each steak is coated in seasoning (don’t worry about getting any of the seasoning on the skin).
- Place the salmon skin-side down in the air fryer. Drizzle the salmon with the remaining olive oil. Be sure the salmon steaks are not overcrowded or touching (two batches may be needed depending on the size of the air fryer).
- Cook the salmon for 7-8 minutes at 400ºF.
- Use a fork to test to see if the salmon is done. If that salmon flakes apart easily, remove it from the air fryer. If the salmon is not done, cook it for 1-minute increments until it is done cooking.
- Let the salmon rest for 5 minutes and enjoy.
Tips & Notes
- Want to cook from frozen? Place frozen salmon portions skin-side down onto your air fryer basket. Cook at 400ºF for 7-9 minutes to defrost. Then, follow the recipe as directed.
- The salmon seasoning becomes a delicious thin crust on the outside of the salmon. It creates a blackened look so don’t be worried if it looks burnt.
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.
These recipes are a culinary adventure that always leaves me satisfied and eager to try more!
woohoo! loved it!
So yummy!! Easy and quick
Was looking for a new recipe for salmon that would be quick and easy and I definitely found it in this!! So so good we had it three times the first week. We drizzled a little honey over it before eating too – delicious! Highly recommend.
Wow, we’re blushing Rhea! Thanks so much for this review 😀
I’ve tried air fryer salmon multiple times, and this was one of the best recipes! The seasoning was phenomenal.
Made from frozen and was great. Seasoning is easy to make with stuff you have at home – just be sure to use plenty of it – its so good.