Simple Air Fryer Salmon Recipes for Quick & Easy Dinners
How to Cook Salmon in Air Fryer with Skin On – 3 Tasty Ways!
Simplify your dinnertime hustle with these air fryer salmon recipes that all need just a few minutes to cook! I'll show you how to cook salmon in an air fryer with 3 easy flavor varieties: a zesty lemon pepper paprika salmon, a parmesan crusted filet, and a savory honey soy ginger salmon.
We all want our homemade dinners to be easier and tastier, and the air fryer is here to help on both fronts. I love using the air fryer because I don’t have to fuss with the oven or the stove, it can cook protein and veggies quickly, and the result is always delicious!
Salmon is a protein that can be prepped in so many different ways and it cooks quickly in general. But, it can also be fairly delicate and not everyone is comfortable with cooking it. Luckily, these air fryer salmon recipes make the process simple and stress-free. And, the filets turn out so yummy, even those who aren't huge fans of salmon can enjoy! (Seriously, this has proven true with several salmon-resisters in my life after they tried these recipes.)
Plus, salmon is one of the most nutrient-dense foods we can eat. In particular, it's one of the best sources of the anti-inflammatory omega-3s that we all need. These air fryer salmon recipes can help make salmon a regular in your meal rotation! I'll walk you through how to cook salmon in the air fryer with 3 fun flavor options. Plus, my cooking tips for best results.
AIR FRYER SALMON 3 Ways
Basics & Tips for Air Fryer Salmon Recipes
As mentioned, I’ll be sharing three specific air fryer salmon recipes below with step-by-step instructions. But, feel free to get creative with the ingredients and make them your own! In general, for best results with cooking these recipes, here are some things to keep in mind:
Farmed vs Wild Caught Salmon
For all of these recipes, I’ve used wild caught salmon as that’s my preferred variety to cook with at home. But, you can also cook farm raised salmon in the air fryer as well! If you prefer farm raised or that’s just what you can find, it’ll work just as well in these recipes.
In my Wild Caught Salmon vs Farm Raised blog, I talk about the differences between the two—in nutritional composition, environmental impact, price, and even cooking time. Wild caught salmon tends to have a higher content of omega-3s and essential minerals. Sustainability is a unique issue for both varieties of salmon. Farm raised tends to be cheaper, and so on.
I definitely recommend checking out that post if you’d like to learn all of the details. But, what you need to know for the purposes of these air fryer salmon recipes is this:
- Wild caught salmon filets tend to be thinner, leaner, cook faster, and can dry out quickly. So, they likely needs less time to cook, and will do better at a lower temperature.
- Farm raised salmon filets tend to be thicker, fattier, cook more slowly, and aren’t as prone to over-cooking. So, these may need more time to cook, and will likely do just fine at a higher temperature.
Cooking Temperature & Time
So, note the cooking differences between wild caught and farm raised salmon filets. Because of this, it’s helpful to adjust the cooking temperature and time for these air fryer salmon recipes accordingly.
Generally, you can think of cooking salmon filets as similar to cooking steak. Most people have a preference as to how rare or how well-done it’s cooked. A rarer filet tends to be softer, juicier, and more tender. A more well-done filet tends to be a bit firmer and chewier. Personally, I prefer to cook my salmon in the air fryer until it’s medium-rare or medium.
All of this being said, here are my recommendations based on wild caught salmon filets.
- For a well-done air fryer salmon filet: Cook at a higher temperature (390°F or 200°C) for less time—like 7-8 minutes.
- For a more tender, less done salmon filet: Cook at a lower temperature (350°F or 180°C) for a bit longer—like 15-20 minutes.
Now, for filets that are farm-raised or thicker/larger, you may need to cook a bit longer to get your desired doneness. Thankfully, you can check the doneness as you go! Simply open the drawer of the air fryer and test your filet with a fork.
Flavorings, Spreads & Marinades
Of course, the crucial element with all of these air fryer salmon recipes is the flavor. I’m sharing recipes for cooking salmon in the air fryer 3 ways: with a spice rub, a creamy spread, and a marinade. But, you can think of my ideas as just base recipes. Go ahead and change the specific seasonings and flavors to make them your own!
Spice rubs and dry rubs:
First, I recommend brushing each filet with a bit of a high smoke point oil. (Like avocado oil or light olive oil.) Then, add your desired seasonings or spice rub. If you want some flavor inspiration, check out my DIY spice rubs eBook!
A creamy spread with mayo, yogurt, or even hummus can be a simple, flavorful addition on top of your salmon filet. Plus, it'll also help to seal in moisture as it cooks! Be sure to spread a decent layer on top, and sprinkle on any additional toppings or seasonings you like.
I think it’s best to combine your marinade ingredients first in a separate measuring cup or jar. Then, pour the marinade into a sealable plastic bag, or a flat dish with a lid. Finally, add the salmon filets so the flesh side is coated. I prefer a bag so I can make sure the filets are well-coated, and I turn them once or twice as they marinate. Marinate in the fridge for no more than 20-30 minutes. (Longer than this, and the acid will start to cook the fish!)
How to Cook Salmon in Air Fryer with Skin On
Once you’ve chosen your desired flavorings, start by preheating your air fryer to the appropriate temperature. Remember, the exact cooking temperature and time can vary for these air fryer salmon recipes depending on the specific type of salmon you use and how thick the filet is.
If you’re unsure, start with the lower temperature and longer cook time. That way, you can gauge what works for you and how you like your salmon! Thankfully, the air fryer makes it easy to check on the doneness of your filets as you go.
While the machine preheats, prepare your salmon filets with the flavorings. Brush on the oil and seasonings, coat with a creamy spread, or allow to marinate in the fridge. Use whichever method and flavors appeal to you! Of course, my air fryer salmon recipes are below for step-by-step guidance and inspiration.
Once coated, pop the filet(s) into the preheated air fryer to cook! At a higher temperature, start with 7-8 minutes. At a lower temperature, try 15-20 minutes. If you’re new to cooking salmon in an air fryer, don’t be afraid to open the air fryer drawer a minute early to check the doneness with a fork! Then, simply close and cook another minute or more as needed.
Finally, when cooked to your liking, remove the filets from the air fryer and rest 2 minutes before serving! With roasted veggies, over your favorite grain, on a salad—serve with whichever accompaniments you enjoy.
Salmon Air Fryer Recipes – 3 Easy Flavor Ideas
I hope these air fryer salmon recipes can give you some flavor inspiration and cooking guidance. Then, once you get the hang of it, start switching things up on your own!
For the most basic filet, I’ve got a lemon pepper paprika salmon—which can easily be adjusted using any spice rub you like. Then, I’ve got a fancier (but equally easy) parmesan crusted filet after that, which is my personal favorite. And finally, a marinated honey soy ginger salmon filet that’s bursting with umami flavor.
They can all be whipped up quickly and easily in the air fryer on a weeknight. And, they’ve made me look forward to fitting more salmon into my meals. Leave a comment at the bottom of the post to let me know how cooking salmon in the air fryer goes for you and what your favorite flavors are!
Lemon Pepper & Paprika Air Fryer Salmon
For a simple spice rub option, try this lemon pepper paprika air fryer salmon recipe! Brush on some oil, Add a squeeze of lemon juice, and sprinkle on your favorite seasonings. Then, top with lemon slices before cooking for an added zing of bright citrus flavor!
I’ve kept things simple with just paprika, salt and pepper. But, you can use any combination of seasonings that you enjoy. If you’re a fan of pre-made spice rubs, use your favorite. Or, try one of my DIY spice rub options that you can make at home!
Then, serve up your air fryer salmon filet with your favorite accompaniments to make it a meal. For this dinner, I went with some roasted asparagus spears, plus some lemon wedges on the side. It’d be just as delicious with your choice of roasted veggies, or served over grains!Print
Parmesan Crusted Air Fryer Salmon Recipe
Get extra creamy and cheesy with this parmesan crusted air fryer salmon recipe! I’ve gotta say, I love all of these recipes, but this is my favorite of the bunch. It’s perfectly flavorful, herby, and juicy on the inside!
Thanks to that mayo-based spread on top, this filet retains its moisture and flakes beautifully with a fork. Personally, I like to use my homemade avocado oil mayo, but any mayo will do. I just keep my homemade mayo stored in my fridge, and throwing this recipe together is always quick and easy! Once the spread is lathered on top, simply pop your filet(s) into the air fryer to work its magic.
The Italian seasoning adds a deliciously herbaceous flavor that I love. So, I like to pair this air fryer salmon with some earthy cooked quinoa with steamed veggies mixed in! Again, any accompaniments you like are welcome here—roasted veggies, rice, or even polenta if you’re feeling fancy.Print
Honey Soy Ginger Air Fryer Salmon Recipe
Take your taste buds to the next level with this honey soy ginger air fryer salmon recipe! Salmon pairs beautifully with the savory, umami flavors in soy sauce and sesame oil. And, it’s all kicked up a notch with a hint of sriracha and some sweet honey. This Asian-inspired delight combines so many of my favorite flavors into one dinner.
Though this recipe is just as quick to cook, it does take a few extra minutes of forethought because it involves a marinade. So, it’s best to mix together the marinade ingredients, then give the filet(s) around 20-30 minutes to soak up the flavors. Trust me, it’s worth it! (Note: Don't marinate for longer than 30 minutes, otherwise the acid will start to cook the fish.)
The result is a scrumptious, juicy salmon filet that I think is just begging to be served over rice! Also, I like to pair it with some roasted broccolini, but you can try it with any veggies you like. Whatever you choose, I recommend using a similar flavor profile on your veggies to make this meal complete!Print