Don’t wait to try air fryer salmon! Lightly crisp on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, you love this easy cooking method. Perfect salmon in just 10 minutes. 

Overhead view of salmon and asparagus on a plate with a fork also pictured. A second plate is partially visible.

My favorite restaurant serves the best salmon, never overdone or dry, always with just the right amount of crustiness on the outside, and piping hot. Cooking salmon like that can be tricky. I often wondered how they achieve that perfect balance every time. What’s the secret? 

My aha! moment came when I used my air fryer to make salmon for the first time. Using an air fryer to cook salmon is the best idea ever. With a delicious glazed, almost caramelized crust, yet perfectly tender and super juicy on the inside, this recipe is a definite winner!

Every method for cooking salmon has advantages. Often I bake salmon. My toaster oven does a great job and lemon salmon with dill is one of my husband’s favorite meals. I make sheet pan walnut crusted salmon with Brussels sprouts and shallots often because it’s a one pan meal. Grilled salmon in foil is so easy, there’s no dishes to wash, and you don’t have to turn your oven on. Or you can grill salmon, no foil, for a smokier flavor! Next week, I’ll be posting a recipe for slow roasted salmon that yields the most tender, almost creamy salmon ever. 

BUT if you have an air fryer (and if you don’t, strongly consider buying one!), give air fryer salmon a try. In an air fryer, the hot air circulates rapidly around the food, giving it a nice crispy exterior without any added fat. Plus, it only takes 8-10 minutes.

Interested? Keep reading for more really delicious air fryer recipes. I just know you’ll be very pleased with how your salmon turns out. 

Overhead view of two salmon fillets in an air fryer basket.

About this air fryer salmon:

Air fryer salmon is super easy to make. Get your air fryer preheating, and stir up a simple honey mustard glaze.

With only a few ingredients (honey, grainy mustard, olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper), this glaze has loads of flavor and caramelizes as the salmon bakes. 

Place the salmon fillets on the rack, sides not touching, and brush on the glaze.

Air fry for 8 to 10 minutes.

That’s it! Can you believe how easy that is? And you’ll love how it turns out every time!

Serve air fryer salmon with stovetop scalloped potatoes or Instant Pot risotto. It would be perfect with asparagus panzanella salad or bruschetta orzo salad. Try cooked salmon right on a salad or eat it on a bun with lettuce and tomato, or a dollop of creamy coleslaw.

Oh yum, now I’m thinking this salmon would make a great fish taco, with mango slaw. I know what I’m making for dinner tonight!

Salmon and asparagus on a grey-toned plate with a fork also pictured. A second plate is partially visible.

What temperature should salmon be cooked?

The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145°F and that’s what we usually aim for, or a tad bit less. However, there are differing opinions. Some cooks consider 145°F way overdone. They say 120°F is better, with a five to ten minute rest before serving. Experiment and choose whichever temperature you feel comfortable with.

Don’t have an instant read thermometer? Insert the tip of a sharp knife into the thickest part of the salmon. If the flesh looks mostly opaque and flakes easily, it’s done. Perfectly done salmon should be very slightly translucent in the center and easily separates from the skin.

The main point? Try not to overcook salmon because perfectly done salmon is so much better. It’s like the difference between a medium rare steak and a well-done steak. If you’ve tried both, you know what I’m talking about.

Overhead view of two salmon fillets in an air fryer basket.

Thawing frozen salmon:

Frozen salmon fillets are so handy to have in your freezer but you may be wondering about the best way to thaw them. 

  1. Thaw overnight in fridge (easiest and best way).
  2. Submerge frozen salmon (in resealable bag) in cold water for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Or don’t thaw it at all. Put the frozen fillets in your air fryer basket and proceed with the recipe. You’ll probably need to double the cooking time, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

Cooked salmon fillet on a grey-toned plate with cooked asparagus spears. The salmon is being flaked with a fork.

How to make this salmon your own:

  • Brush on any glaze you like. I use this Asian inspired soy sauce and brown sugar marinade recipe often when I grill or roast salmon. It’s so good!
  • Try cooking vegetables with the salmon in the air fryer. 

Salmon and asparagus on a grey-toned plate with a fork also pictured. A second plate is partially visible.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Leftover salmon should be wrapped well and stored in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat gently in the microwave or pop it back in the air fryer for a few minutes to reheat. It’s great cold, too. 

More air fryer recipes:

I’m finding that the more I use my air fryer, the more I like it! Try:

 

Cooked salmon fillet on a grey-toned plate with cooked asparagus spears. The salmon is being flaked with a fork.

Air Fryer Salmon - easy and delicious!

Yield: Serves 3
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Don't wait to try air fryer salmon! Lightly crisp on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, you love this easy cooking method. Perfect salmon in just 10 minutes. 

Ingredients

  • 2 or 3 salmon fillets (6 oz.), rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (whole grain or Dijon)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine honey, mustard, olive oil, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  2. Preheat air fryer to 400ºF. Lightly spray basket with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil spray. Place salmon fillets in basket, sides not touching, brush with honey mustard mixture, and air fry for 8-10 minutes or until done (I like an internal temperature of 145ºF for salmon, but cook it how you like it!). 
  3. Depending on the size of your air fryer and how many salmon fillets you’re cooking, you may have to air fry them in batches.

Notes

  • Don't use too much oil when you spray your basket or it will get quite smoky.
  • Leftover salmon should be wrapped well and stored in the fridge for up to three days.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1 filet
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 508Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 372mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 51g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict: I’ve made this so many times since the first time I made it! It’s become my go-to way to cook salmon. It’s great if I just want to cook up some for myself for lunch, too. 
Husband’s take: Ben is very impressed by this salmon every time I make it!
Changes I would make: None are necessary, but have fun with seasonings!
Difficulty: Very easy.