This Air Fryer Salmon recipe cooks in 10 minutes and has a delicious flaky and tender interior, beautiful golden exterior, and the perfect spice blend. Pair it with steamed vegetables for a fast, healthy dinner!
For about 6 months, I went through a phase where I had salmon for dinner every single Friday night. I paired it with garlicky broccoli and either quinoa or rice.
It was a healthy meal, but I actually craved it because of how delicious it is! With melt-in-your-mouth tender, flaky, and flavorful salmon you can’t go wrong. Especially with the right spices!
I’m not saying that your family will want to trade in pizza Fridays for salmon Fridays (hey, a girl can dream, right?!), but I think they’ll enjoy this meal so much they’ll ask for it regularly.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Flaky, tender, and moist texture. No dry, overcooked salmon here!
- The spice mix gives the fish the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and savory flavors. And you probably have all the spices in your pantry already!
- Dinner is done in 10 minutes flat. While the salmon cooks, you have just enough time to steam some broccoli or asparagus, or throw together a side salad.
The Best Air Fryer Salmon Recipe
If you’re trying to get more salmon into your diet, you’re in the right place! This delicious recipe is so easy to make it’ll go into your regular rotation.
Salmon Spice Mix:
- Light brown sugar (or keto brown sugar for the keto version)
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Smoked paprika
- Cayenne pepper
- 6-ounce salmon fillets (with or without skin is fine)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Minced fresh parsley, for garnish
- Fresh lemon wedges, for serving
- Add all ingredients for the spice mix to a shallow bowl.
- Mix to combine.
- Brush the oil on the top and sides of the salmon fillets.
- Flip the salmon over and brush the oil on the bottom of the salmon fillets. (You can use salmon fillets with the skin on or off for this recipe.)
- Dip the top and sides (not the bottom) of each salmon fillet in the spice mix until they are well-coated.
- You should have exactly enough of the spice mix for both fillets.
- Place the salmon fillets in the basket of an air fryer so they aren’t touching.
- Air fry at 400F for 8 minutes, or until the salmon is fully cooked.
How to Make Salmon in the Oven
No worries if you don’t have an air fryer, you can also make this recipe in the oven!
To cook salmon in the oven, preheat the oven to 400F. Use the same ingredients and steps to prep the salmon as given in this recipe. Place the salmon on a baking tray and roast until cooked, about 10 minutes for 6-ounce fillets.
- The skin situation. Fish fillets with the skin on or off will work for this recipe. However, for the most flavor I like to use skin-on salmon fillets.
- Brown sugar. For the low carb and keto version, either omit the brown sugar or use keto brown sugar.
- The spice blend. If you don’t feel like making your own spice mix, this salmon rub on Amazon is a great substitute.
- No need to flip the fish. This recipe couldn’t be easier to make. Just pop it in the air fryer and let it do its thing, there’s no need to flip the salmon!
Air Fryer Salmon FAQs
What Temperature Should I Set My Air Fryer for Salmon?
Set your air fryer to 400F for this recipe.
How Long Does it Take to Cook Salmon in the Air Fryer?
It takes 8 minutes to cook 6-ounce fillets in the air fryer at 400F.
Do You Have to Flip Salmon in the Air Fryer?
No! One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s hands-off. There’s no need to flip the salmon.
How Do You Know When Salmon is Cooked?
Salmon is cooked when it’s opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
You can also use a food thermometer to test salmon for doneness. According to the FDA, salmon should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145F in the thickest part. However, if you’re looking for a more medium-cooked salmon that retains some of its moisture, people generally aim for an internal temperature of 125 to 135F.
What to Serve with Salmon
- Italian Broccoli (Spicy Garlic Broccoli)
- Warm Pasta Salad with Caramelized Leek, Bacon, and Goat Cheese
- Chinese Garlic Green Beans
- Pesto Summer Squash Sauté
- Roasted Potato Asparagus Salad
- Broccoli Salad
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Air Fryer Salmon Recipe
Salmon Spice Mix:
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar lightly packed (see Note)
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 6 ounce salmon fillets with or without skin is fine
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley for garnish
- 2 fresh lemon wedges for serving
For the Salmon Spice Mix:
- Mix together all ingredients in a shallow bowl.
To Prep the Salmon:
- Brush the oil on all sides of the salmon.
- Dip the top and sides (not the bottom) of each salmon fillet in the spice mix until they are well-coated. (You should have just enough of the spice mix.)
To Air Fry the Salmon:
- Preheat an air fryer to 400F.
- Place the salmon fillets in the basket of an air fryer so they aren’t touching. Air fry at 400F for 8 minutes, or until the salmon is fully cooked.
- Transfer the salmon to a serving platter and sprinkle the parsley on top.
- Serve with the fresh lemon wedges to squeeze on top.
- Net Carbs: 4g per serving (1 salmon fillet)
- Brown Sugar: To reduce the carbs, either omit the brown sugar or use keto brown sugar. Without brown sugar, this dish has 2g net carbs per salmon fillet.
- Store-Bought Salmon Spice Mix: If you don’t feel like making your own spice blend, this salmon rub on Amazon is a great substitute. (Use about 1 1/2 teaspoons of it on each salmon fillet.)
- How to Tell if Salmon is Cooked: Salmon is cooked when it’s opaque and flakes easily with a fork. You can also use a food thermometer to test salmon for doneness. According to the FDA, salmon should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145F in the thickest part. However, if you’re looking for a more medium-cooked salmon that retains some of its moisture, people generally aim for an internal temperature of 125 to 135F.
- To Cook Salmon in the Oven: Preheat the oven to 400F. Use the same steps to prep the salmon as given in this recipe. Place the salmon on a baking tray and roast until cooked, about 10 minutes for 6-ounce fillets.
I’ve been fussy about eating fish my entire life. My girlfriend made this for me and I’m hooked. Kudos to the Chef!
Faith, thank you so much! This recipe is so easy!