Air frying is an excellent way to cook salmon, and gives you a delicious fish that is just a little crispy outside but tender on the inside. This quick and easy air fryer salmon recipe results in perfectly cooked salmon that tastes amazing!
Like many air fryer dinners this is one you can make when you are looking for a low effort, fast meal. And air fryer salmon is healthy too and is cooked without any added fat.
Salmon is delicious – unless it is overcooked, then it is dry an unappetizing. And since it is expensive you don’t want to mess it up! The hot circulating air of the air fryer cooks the salmon while keeping it tender.
Why You Will Love Air Fryer Salmon
- You can have dinner on the table in about 15 minutes! It doesn’t get much quicker than that.
- You don’t have to marinade the salmon, take the skin off, baste it, or even flip it over. This is the ultimate fuss free recipe.
- I use a simple seasoning, but you can change it up and use your favorite fish seasoning like Cajun or lemon pepper.
How to Make Air Fryer Salmon
Put the salmon on a cutting board, skin side down if it has skin. Trim it or cut it into pieces if needed so that it will fit in your air fryer basket.
Mix the paprika, salt and pepper together and sprinkle it on top of the salmon fillets. There is no need to add any oil.
For this recipe using parchment paper in the air fryer makes cleanup extra easy. You can buy parchment paper that is sized for popular air fryers and comes with holes. The holes are necessary so that the air can still blow around.
So put some parchment paper in the bottom of the air fryer and transfer the salmon fillets, still skin side down, to the air fryer basket. My 5.8 quart air fryer will fit 2 large fillets, which is over 1 pound of salmon.
2. Air Fry
Set the air fryer to 400 degrees F and cook the salmon for 8 minutes. There is no need to flip the salmon over.
Salmon is done when it turns a pinkish opaque color and flakes easily with a fork. If it isn’t quite done after 8 minutes put it back in the air fryer and cook it for another minute or two.
You can also test the temperature with an instant read thermometer. The FDA recommends cooking salmon to 145 degrees F.
How to Serve
The salmon should be a little bit crisp on the edges and tender and flaky inside. I serve it with the skin on, because the salmon meat will come right off the skin with a fork.
Serve the salmon with a quick and easy vegetable like snap peas or a green salad and some lemon slices on the side. If I want to add a starch to the meal I will use instant rice to make this a super fast dinner.
If you have room in the air fryer you can add a vegetable with a similar cooking time right in the basket. Asparagus works well because it is easy to fit alongside the salmon and cooks in about the same time.
How to Store
Store leftover salmon in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. I don’t think salmon reheats very well, so I usually eat leftovers cold, like in a salad, or add it to a quick cooking dish like fried rice.
It is easy to change up the recipe by changing the spice mixture. Some other tasty seasonings for salmon are:
- Cajun seasoning
- Lemon pepper
- Old Bay
- Chili powder
- Everything bagel seasoning
- Seasoned salt
You can cook frozen salmon fillets in an air fryer. Preheat the air fryer at 400 degrees F and cook the salmon for 12-15 minutes.
However while I usually just thaw the salmon if it is frozen. It takes only about 30 minutes to thaw in cold water and I prefer the texture if it is thawed first.
I prefer to cook wild salmon instead of farmed salmon. Wild salmon is more nutritious than farmed salmon and as long as it is sustainably fished it has a low impact on the environment.
But it is more expensive, which is a factor. Both types of salmon are healthy to eat and this recipe will work with both wild and farmed salmon with no modifications.
Find More Air Fryer Seafood Recipes
- 1 pound salmon, cut into 2-4 portions
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- If necessary trim the salmon into pieces that will fit in your air fryer basket. There is no need to remove the skin.
- Put the salmon skin side down on a cutting board. Mix the paprika, salt and pepper and sprinkle it over the top of the fish.
- Put a sheet of parchment paper (with holes) in the bottom of the air fryer. You can make this without parchment paper, but it simplifies cleanup and keeps the salmon skin from sticking to the basket.
- Transfer the salmon fillets to the air fryer basket, skin side down. Cook at 400 degrees F for 8 minutes. There is no need to flip the salmon during the cooking time.
- Check the salmon by testing it with a fork. If it is pinkish opaque colored and flakes easily it is done. Alternately, you can use an instant read thermometer. The salmon is done at 145 degrees F.
- If it isn't done air fry it at 400 F for another 1-2 minutes until it is done.
Cooking time will vary based on your air fryer and the thickness of the salmon. I used salmon just under an inch thick and cooked it in my 5.8 quart Corsori air fryer.
Change up the seasoning for different flavors. Other seasoning ideas include Cajun seasoning, lemon pepper, seasoned salt or Old Bay.
If you are cooking frozen fillets increase the cooking time to 12-15 minutes. I would suggest using an instant read thermometer for frozen fillets instead of relying on the fork test. I prefer to thaw the salmon before cooking it.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 314Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 445mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 34g
Nutrition facts are estimates.