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.
The air fryer is really, really good for cooking fish! Check out my recipes for air fryer fish and chips or air fryer tilapia for more recipes!
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
Air Fryer Salmon
- 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.1 pound salmon
- 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.1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 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.
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Nutrition facts are estimates.
1 thought on “Quick and Easy Air Fryer Salmon”
I am enjoying your blog. I wanted to tell you that my aunt also lived in Kirkville! She worked for the Carrier Company which, at the time, was a huge employer. If she were still alive she would be over 100. Kirkville was very rural when we visited in the 50s and early 60s. I’m from northern NJ but currently live on the Jersey Shore. Keep up the good work. I believe like you do…. healthyish in a hurry. The less clean up the better. LOL. I’m exploring more ways to use my instant pot and air fryer.