Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: Lightly crisp on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, air fryer salmon is ready in just 10 minutes. Cooking salmon in your air fryer is fast and easy, and the salmon turns out perfect every time!

How long it takes: 15 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: just your air fryer
Servings: 3

Air fryer salmon a plate with asparagus.
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Perfect Salmon in 15 Minutes!

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!

More Reasons To Love Air Fryer Salmon

Every method for cooking salmon has advantages. Often I bake salmon or grill salmon, with delicious results. BUT if you have an air fryer (and if you don’t, strongly consider buying one!), here’s why you should give air fryer salmon a try:

  • Crispy salmon without heavy frying. In an air fryer, the hot air circulates rapidly around the food, giving it a nice crispy exterior without any added fat. It only takes 8 to 10 minutes! (This method works well for steak, too; try air fryer steak bites.)
  • Easy clean-up. The air fryer makes clean-up a breeze! This means no fussing with dirty pans or greasy skillets.
  • Adaptable. I just know you’ll be very pleased with how your salmon turns out. And there are plenty of ways that you can make this recipe your own! There are endless possibilities for perfectly cooked salmon, seasoned and dressed to your liking. 
Two salmon fillets in an air fryer basket.

Ingredient Notes

You’ll find the printable recipe card near the end of the post with complete instructions, measurements, and nutrition information.

  • Salmon: The recipe is written for 3 fillets because that’s what fits in my air fryer but it’s easy to adjust. Either skin-on or skinless salmon is fine. The skin will separate easily from the flesh once the salmon is cooked. You can make this recipe using fresh or frozen salmon filets, see my tip below on how to thaw frozen salmon.
  • Honey: The sugar in honey caramelizes to make a nice crust on the salmon.
  • Whole Grain Mustard: You can choose your favorite mustard; Dijon is always a good choice.
  • Olive Oil: Just add a smidge so the salmon browns nicely.
  • Paprika, Salt & Pepper: Simple seasonings to add lots of flavor!

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 the fridge (easiest and best way).
  2. Submerge frozen salmon (in a resealable bag) in cold water for 30 to 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.

How To Make Salmon In the Air Fryer

Air fryer salmon is super easy to make. Get your air fryer preheating, and let’s get started.

  • Make the glaze. Stir up a simple honey mustard glaze. With only a few ingredients, this glaze has loads of flavor and caramelizes as the salmon bakes. 
  • Prepare the salmon. Place the salmon fillets on the rack, sides not touching, and brush on the glaze.
  • Cook. Set the air fryer to 380ºF to 400ºF. Air fry the salmon for 8 to 10 minutes, keeping in mind that thin fillets cook more quickly than thick fillets. Can you believe how easy that is? And you’ll love how it turns out every time!
Salmon and asparagus on a grey-toned plate with a fork also pictured. A second plate is partially visible.

Tips for Success

Follow these tips for perfectly cooked air fryer salmon!

  • 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.
  • Check the salmon for doneness. The easiest way to tell if your salmon is thoroughly cooked is to check its temperature at the thickest part of the filet. If the internal temperature is 145ºF, or close to it, your salmon is done!
  • 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 separate easily from the skin.

FAQs

Do you have to flip salmon in an air fryer?

No, there’s no need to flip the salmon because it cooks evenly on both sides. The air fryer blows air all around the salmon.

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

Serving Ideas

Serve air fryer salmon with stovetop scalloped potatoes or Instant Pot risotto. It goes perfectly 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! Air fryer salmon works perfectly for these salmon tacos, too.

Recipe Variations

This recipe is simple yet it packs tons of flavor AND leaves lots of room for customizing. Here are some variation ideas to try:

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

If you love the idea of easy dinners with only a few ingredients, be sure to take a look at my collection of 5 ingredient dinner recipes. Good eating doesn’t have to be complicated.

Storage & Reheating Tips

  • Fridge: Wrap any leftover salmon well and store it in the fridge for up to 3 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. 
  • Frozen: I don’t usually recommend freezing cooked salmon as it tends to change the texture (and not for the better!). If you absolutely must freeze your leftovers, make sure to wrap the salmon tightly in plastic wrap and seal it in an airtight freezer bag. Freeze salmon for up to 3 months, and defrost in the fridge before reheating.
Meal plan 54 graphic with text and photos of recipes included.

Free Meal Plan

Interested in a weekly meal plan that includes this recipe? Take a look at Meal Plan #54. You’ll find a wholesome recipe for each weekday plus a categorized grocery list. We add a new meal plan weekly.

More Air Fryer Recipes

Recipe

Air Fryer Salmon Recipe

4.51 from 55 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 3 servings
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. 
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Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Pat the salmon dry using paper towels.
    3 salmon fillets (6 oz. each)
  • In a small bowl, combine honey, mustard, olive oil, paprika, salt, and pepper.
    1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • Preheat air fryer to 400ºF. Place salmon fillets in basket, skin side down, sides not touching.
  • Brush fillets with honey mustard mixture, and air fry for 8 to 10 minutes or until done (I like an internal temperature of 145ºF for salmon but cook it how you like it!). 

Notes

  • Salmon notes: Both skin-on and skinless fillets work well. You can make as much or as little salmon as you need; the recipe is easily adjusted. Just make sure the salmon fits in a single layer in your air fryer, or do it in batches.
  • Storage: Wrap leftover salmon well and refrigerate for up to three days. Leftover salmon can be eaten cold or you can reheat it in your air fryer or microwave oven.
  • Variations: Feel free to vary the seasoning as you like. Pretty much any type of seasoning works well, including BBQ rubs. 

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1filet, Calories: 278kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 34g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 94mg, Sodium: 324mg, Potassium: 850mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 124IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.51 from 55 votes (52 ratings without comment)

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30 Comments

  1. Jenny Wilson says:

    Hi I haven’t made this as yet as I don’t have air fryer can this be done in oven what temp and how long please and thank you Jenny

  2. Gina says:

    5 stars
    I found this recipe the first time I ever cooked salmon and I have never used any other recipe. My family loves it and I don’t want to try any other recipe and be disappointed by the outcome. I also use this recipe on trout.
    Thank you for sharing :)

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I’m so glad you like it. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  3. Grace says:

    5 stars
    Make it all the time! One of my Family’s favorite meals.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So happy to hear it! I make this weekly too.

  4. Herman Parks says:

    I will try this. I have an air fryer, learning how to use it.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Let me know what you think!

  5. Dean says:

    5 stars
    One of the best salmon recipes I’ve tried-a new favorite. Quick, easy, and delicious! Perfect for a weeknight meal and a great for serving to company.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you liked it! It’s my favorite way to make it too!