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Air Fryer Salmon is a heartbreaker. Utterly tender and flaky inside, with a blush of crispness on top, it is so darn delicious it will make it basically impossible for you to ever order salmon in a restaurant again.

Air fryer salmon on a plate with salad

Why You’ll Love Air Fryer Salmon

  • Restaurant Worthy. With the air fryer, you can cook a seriously tasty piece of fish that is hands-down better than 97% of the salmon I’ve ordered out. Call your mom, text a pic to that foodie friend, and post to social media. It’s worth bragging about!
  • Fast. Air fryer salmon is ready in 10 minutes. It’s the perfect fast, nutritious dinner for a busy weeknight. It’s foolproof!
  • Use Any Seasoning or Marinade. Add it to your fish, then follow the time and temperature in this recipe to air fryer your salmon. The marinade I used for this recipe is very loosely based on the absolute favorite, back-pocket 5-Ingredient Maple Dijon Salmon from my cookbook. It’s a lovely blend of sweet and savory.
  • Make the Most of Your Air Fryer. A firm believer that you don’t need to arm yourself with an array of fancy gadgets to cook a fantastic meal, I generally loathe purchasing new kitchen appliances. Salmon in the air fryer is so good, it alone makes your purchase worthwhile! (FYI, this is the model I eventually bought).

If you don’t have an air fryer but want to cook salmon, try my top-rated Instant Pot Salmon, Baked Salmon, or Broiled Salmon, along with these healthy salmon recipes.

If you DO have an air fryer, then I share your obsession. Be sure to check out my full collection of air fryer recipes. (Air Fryer French Fries, Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts, and Air Fryer Chicken Breasts are on our menu almost weekly.)

Two salmon fillets in an air fryer

How to Cook Salmon in the Air Fryer

The Ingredients

  • Salmon. I prefer to cook this salmon with skin on, as the fillet holds together more easily, and I find skin-on salmon yields more moist and flaky results than salmon with the skin removed. For the best taste, seek out fresh salmon that is sustainably sourced. A delicious protein, salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (which are heart healthy), B vitamins, potassium, and is naturally gluten-free and low carb.
  • Brown Sugar or Honey. Brown sugar or honey gives the salmon the perfect amount of sweetness and helps it caramelize.
  • Dijon Mustard. Tangy, zippy, and pairs wonderfully with the brown sugar/honey and soy sauce.
  • Soy Sauce. A salty umami bomb that coats the salmon in scrumptious flavor.

Dietary Note

For a gluten free salmon, be sure to use a gluten free soy sauce or tamari.

  • Ginger. While optional, adding a pinch to make salmon with ginger gives the sauce a subtle, lively touch and, as this Soy Ginger Salmon shows, it’s a stellar combo with the soy sauce.
  • Garlic. A seafood flavor BFF (Garlic Salmon with Lemon Butter agrees).

The Directions

  1. Dry the salmon, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Sauce being drizzled over salmon
  1. Stir the glaze together. Spread the mixture over the salmon.
Two pieces of fish on foil
  1. Add the salmon filets skin-side down to an air fryer basket lined with aluminum foil for easy clean up (you can coat with cooking spray for extra insurance if you like).
Two pieces of fish on foil
  1. Air fry the salmon at 400 degrees F for 6 to 11 minutes cooking time. ENJOY!

TIP!

The best way to know when salmon is done is to use an instant read thermometer like this one.

  • Per the FDA, salmon should be cooked to internal temperature of 145 degrees F in the thickest part of the salmon.
  • To make sure your air fry salmon isn’t dry, remove it around 135 degrees F, then cover it and let it rest. The carryover cooking will bring it to temperature, and your salmon will be moist and flaky.
Easy air fryer salmon on a plate

What to Serve with Air Fryer Salmon

Salad and air fryer salmon on a plate

Seasoning Suggestions

  • Garlic Lemon. Replace the Dijon mustard and soy sauce in this recipe with 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, increase the garlic powder to 1 1/2 teaspoons, and add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Arrange lemon slices on top of the salmon while cooking.
  • Honey Garlic. Use 2 tablespoons honey, 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and omit the soy sauce and ginger. Season the cooked salmon with an extra pinch of salt.
  • Teriyaki. Brush the salmon with your favorite teriyaki sauce prior to cooking (see this Teriyaki Salmon for inspiration).
  • Dry Rub. Remove all liquids and add your favorite seasonings for the dry rub, such as smoked paprika, oregano, basil, and garlic powder. Or try this special Salmon Seasoning combination of mine!
  • Salmon Marinade. This salmon marinade uses soy sauce for salt and umami, honey or pure maple syrup for sweetness (salmon loves sweet!), and Dijon mustard for balance and zip.
  • Spicy Salmon. Season the salmon with your favorite Cajun seasoning, or try the seasoning from this Spicy Salmon recipe or this Buffalo Salmon.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate salmon in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the fridge.
  • To Reheat. Gently reheat leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat until just warmed through.

Leftover Ideas

Flaked leftover cooked salmon can be used in many ways!

Honey garlic air fryer salmon on a plate

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Keep the Skin On. To help the fish hold together, I recommend to air fry salmon with the skin on—take the skin off salmon after cooking. I typically serve the salmon with the skin on, then let guests peel away their skin (the cooked salmon will flake off easily with a fork).
  • Don’t Wrap the Fish. It is not necessary to wrap salmon in foil in the air fryer—in fact, it will make it harder for it to crisp.
  • Line the Basket if You Like. Lining your air fryer basket with aluminum foil or parchment paper then coating it with nonstick spray is a good insurance policy to keep the fish from sticking. It also makes for easy clean up.
  • Don’t Flip the Salmon. Thanks to the power of the heating element and constant heat circulation, unlike stovetop recipes like Pan-Seared Salmon, it is not necessary to flip salmon in the air fryer.
  • Try it with Frozen. You can cook frozen salmon in the air fryer! To make this recipe with frozen salmon, preheat your air fryer to 360 degrees F. Lay the salmon on aluminum foil in the air fryer and cook for about 7 minutes or until thawed. Drizzle the soy/mustard mixture over the top of the filets as directed, then cook for another 6 to 11 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillets.
  • Make Air Fryer Salmon Bites. Use skinless salmon and cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss the cubes with the salmon. Line your air fryer with foil and air fry at 400°F for 5 to 7 minutes (no need to flip). Don’t overcrowd the basket — if needed cooked the salmon in batches.

Salmon might just be the best dinner to make in the air fryer.

It’s quick, healthy, and completely foolproof. It will make meal time a breeze!

Air Fryer Salmon

4.82 from 338 votes
This quick air fryer salmon recipe makes perfectly crisp, moist fillets. Pair with vegetables or potatoes for an easy, healthy meal!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 18 minutes

Servings: 2 servings

Ingredients
  


Instructions
 

  • With paper towels, pat the salmon dry. Sprinkle lightly on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • For easy cleanup, line the air fryer basket with aluminum foil. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F according to the manufacturer’s instructions (for my air fryer, that is 3 minutes).
  • In a small bowl or larger liquid measuring cup, mix together the brown sugar, Dijon, oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, and ginger (if using). Spoon all over the top of the salmon.
  • Slide out the air fryer basket and set it on a heatproof surface. Place the fillets in the basket so that they are not touching.
  • Cook the salmon in the air fryer for 6 to 11 minutes, depending upon their thickness and your model (fillets around 1 inch will need 8 to 9 minutes). Do not overcook or the salmon will be dry. Salmon is done when it registers 145 degrees F on an instant read thermometer (I remove mine a few degrees early, let it rest, then the carryover cooking finishes the job). Check it a few times towards the end to make sure it doesn’t overcook.
  • Transfer to a serving plate. Enjoy hot, with a sprinkle of additional salt and pepper as desired.

Video

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate salmon in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently reheat leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat until just warmed through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 2)Calories: 313kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 34gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 94mgPotassium: 861mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 73IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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220 Comments

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  1. Delicious marinade – big crowd pleaser! I added a little fresh garlic and part brown sugar part honey. Super easy and tasty.5 stars

  2. Better flip it. The recipe shows foil under the fish which prevents the air from circulating around the food to cook it. Defeats the purpose of using an air fryer.

    1. Hi Char, I haven’t tried it myself but looking it up online it says wild salmon cooks faster. I would start checking the temperature at around 6 minutes. If you end up using it, I’d love to know how it goes!

  3. Great recipe Erin! It came out perfect, the only thing different I did was cook it at 375 in the air fryer and may have taken a few minutes longer. The flavor was amazing and the Salmon was so moist. Thanks so much!5 stars

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