Upgrade your weeknight dinner with this easy air fryer salmon recipe! It is quick to prepare, cooks in just minutes, and is so delicious you’ll never cook salmon any other way!
Why you’ll love this recipe
This recipe is healthy, delicious, and quick to prepare, making it a perfect weeknight dinner option. Cooking salmon in the air fryer is a quick and convenient way to cook it, and even better, the prep for this recipe is easy too!
Simply season your salmon fillets with your favorite spices, pop them in the air fryer for a few minutes, and you’re done!
Scroll down for the printable card for this air fryer salmon recipe, or read on for all the details!
Fresh salmon fillets
The recipe below calls for salmon fillets, but you can also use salmon steaks. The difference between a salmon fillet and a salmon steak is the way they are cut:
- Salmon fillets are rectangular fillets cut from the side of the fish, which often have the bones removed.
- Salmon steaks (also known as salmon cutlets) are cut directly through the fish, and include bones.
You can use whichever you prefer for this recipe, though note that salmon steaks tend to be thicker than salmon fillets so the cook times may be a little longer than in the recipe below.
This recipe uses simple salt and black pepper for seasoning. However there are many many options for seasoning salmon that you can use. Try:
- A simple spice mix of smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and salt
- Press a tablespoon of dukkha on top of the salmon fillets before placing in the air fryer
- Glaze with teriyaki sauce before air frying
- Lemon pepper seasoning
Oil is optional, however, a little cooking oil helps to crisp up the skin of the fish. I usually use light olive oil, but you can substitute any cooking oil with a high smoke point. Try avocado oil or vegetable oil.
Alternatively, you can use an olive oil spray for a lighter version.
When choosing an olive oil spray for your air fryer, look for the type that spritzes rather than an aerosol. The propellant in aerosol oil sprays can damage the non-stick coating of your air fryer.
How to cook salmon in the air fryer
This recipe is very simple to make, there are just a few key steps to getting it just right:
- Prepare the salmon. Preheat air fryer to 390°F/ 195°C. Pat salmon dry, and remove any remaining pin bones. Season with salt and pepper. Optional step: brush or spritz a little cooking oil onto the salmon skin if you want to get it extra crispy.
- Air fry salmon. Place salmon fillets in the air fryer basket, skin side down. Air fry at 390°F/ 195°C for 8-12 minutes until cooked through.
- Rest salmon. Once the salmon has finished air frying, remove it from the air fryer, place it on a plate and cover with aluminum foil for 5-10 minutes before serving. Just like with meat, it is important to rest salmon after cooking to allow the juices to reabsorb and keep it juicy.
It is important to rest salmon following cooking so that the juices can reabsorb, keeping it succulent and juicy.
How long to cook salmon in the air fryer
The exact cooking time for air frying salmon depends on a few factors, including the thickness of the piece of salmon you have used, and how powerful your air fryer is.
It is important to be careful not to over-cook salmon, as it can end up dry and unappetizing.
For this reason it is best to air fry it for a shorter time than you think you need, then test the temperature, and air fry for additional 1-2 minute intervals as needed until it is just cooked through.
Use an instant read thermometer to measure the temperature in the center of the thickest part of the fillet for an accurate temperature reading.
For a simple dinner, serve air fried salmon with a side of steamed vegetables or salad and a freshly cut lemon wedge on the side.
Alternatively, try making some fresh dill mayo: Finely chop ½ tablespoon of fresh dill leaves, and mix with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise.
Some great side dishes that go with salmon are:
- Air fryer roasted potatoes – part cook them before air frying the salmon, then finish them off in the air fryer while the salmon is resting
- Air fryer broccolini
- Instant Pot mashed potato
- Instant Pot coconut rice
- Microwave green beans
- Microwave broccoli
Storing and reheating
Store any leftover salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and use within 3 days.
To reheat salmon, air fry at 320°F/ 160°C for around 10-12 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F/ 63°C.
Air Fryer Salmon (fillets or steaks)
- 2 salmon fillets or steaks approx 6oz/ 170g each
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- Optional – drizzle of light olive oil
- Preheat air fryer to 390°F/ 195°C.
- Pat salmon fillets dry, remove any remaining pin bones.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Optional step: lightly brush the salmon skin with olive oil.
- Place salmon in the air fryer basket, and air fry at 390°F/ 195°C for 8-12 minutes [Note 1], until 145°F/ 63°C in the center of the thickest part.
- Remove salmon from the air fryer to a plate, cover with aluminum foil and rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Cook times depend on thickness of salmon fillets or steak, and how powerful you air fryer is. Check internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer.
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.