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Learn how to cook salmon in the air fryer the easy way! This recipe takes just 10 minutes and the salmon comes out perfect every time. It 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!

air fryer salmon recipe served with broccoli

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.

Also, this recipe makes just two servings! It’s easy to scale up for family dinner, and it’s great for date night dinner for you and your sweetheart.

how to cook salmon in air fryer

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s the best air fryer salmon. 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! (However, if you’re pressed for time or don’t keep a variety of spices on hand, you can always use a good store-bought salmon spice mix.)
  • Dinner is done in 10 minutes flat. While the fish cooks, you have just enough time to steam broccoli, roast asparagus, or throw together a side salad, and slice up some crusty bread.
how to air fry salmon

The Best Air Fryer Salmon Recipe – Ingredients and Substitutions

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.

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

ingredients for air fryer salmon

Salmon Spice Mix Ingredients

  • Light brown sugar – Brown sugar adds a touch of sweetness to balance out the smoky and spicy flavors. You can use keto brown sugar for the keto version, or use coconut sugar for the paleo version.
  • Garlic powder – Garlic powder adds savoriness.
  • Salt – Salt elevates the flavor of everything else.
  • Black pepper – Black pepper adds a bit of piquancy here.
  • Smoked paprika – Smoked paprika adds smoky complexity that pairs beautifully with the flavor of salmon.
  • Cayenne pepper – Cayenne pepper adds a touch of spicy heat for balance. However, don’t worry if you don’t like hot foods because this seasoning blend has a balanced profile with sweet, savory, smoky, and spicy flavors.

Other Ingredients

  • 6-ounce salmon fillets – With or without skin is fine here.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – We use this to coat the fish before we rub on the spice blend.
  • Fresh parsley – Fresh parsley is an optional garnish.
  • Fresh lemon wedges – A little squeeze of fresh lemon juice brightens the flavor of fish, but this is optional.

How to Air Fry Salmon – Step by Step Photos

photo instructions for how to cook salmon in air fryer
  1. Add all ingredients for the spice mix to a shallow bowl. Mix to combine.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
hand holding spatula with cooked salmon filet

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.

front view of plated juicy flaky air fryer salmon

Tips

  • 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 of this recipe, either omit the brown sugar or use keto brown sugar. To make this paleo, use coconut 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!
best air fryer salmon recipe

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. Make sure your salmon is thawed (not frozen).

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.

overhead view of partially eaten flaky salmon

What to Serve with Salmon

perfect spiced salmon with broccoli

Let’s Connect

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Air Fryer Salmon Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Learn how to cook salmon in the air fryer the easy way! This recipe takes just 10 minutes and the salmon comes out perfect every time. It 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!

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Equipment

Ingredients
 

Salmon Spice Mix:

Other:

  • 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

Instructions
 

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.

To Serve:

  • Transfer the salmon to a serving platter and sprinkle the parsley on top.
  • Serve with the fresh lemon wedges to squeeze on top.

Notes

  • 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.
  • Paleo Version: Use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.
  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 658mg | Potassium: 886mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 253IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Air Fryer Salmon, Air Fryer Salmon Recipe, Best Air Fryer Salmon, How Long to Air Fry Salmon, How to Air Fry Salmon, How to Cook Salmon in the Air Fryer

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Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. Melissa Duey says:

    5 stars
    For someone who doesn’t like cooking, this is such a blessing to have in my arsenal. So easy, full of flavor, and healthy.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve been fussy about eating fish my entire life. My girlfriend made this for me and I’m hooked. Kudos to the Chef!

  3. 5 stars
    Faith, thank you so much! This recipe is so easy!

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