Air Fryer Salmon Bites
Updated Sep 18, 2023
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These air fryer salmon bites, coated in lemony garlic butter, are the quick and easy salmon dinner you didn’t know you needed. Not only are they a cinch to cook in the air fryer (in under 10 minutes!), but they pair well with so many other meals throughout the week.
These air fryer salmon bites are slowly becoming my new favorite meal prep protein ingredient. Typically, I’ll make air fryer salmon or baked salmon, then flake it up to add to salads, bowls, or zucchini noodles (like in my meal prep cookbook). But for some reason, these bite-sized pieces add extra excitement to my meals – and no flaking is needed!
You’ve gotta love anything bite-sized — like garlic butter steak bites (coming soon) or burger bites. Not only are they easy to eat, but they’re also easy to store in their diminutive form. And with your air fryer, you can easily reheat them in a flash, making them virtually fresh as new for your next meal later in the week. It’s the beauty of air fryer recipes!
Salmon Bites Ingredients
- Salmon Filet: There are a few choices between King, Coho, or Sockeye salmon. But since we’re turning these into salmon bites, you don’t need to buy an expensive cut like king salmon. I’m using Sockeye salmon today. And yes, you can use frozen salmon as well. Just make sure to thaw it in the fridge overnight.
- Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce: The name pretty much says it all! Fresh garlic, lemon juice, and melted unsalted butter are the dreamiest flavor combo for salmon. But make sure to use fresh garlic and lemons instead of garlic powder or bottled lemon juice. It really does make a difference!
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How To Make Air Fryer Salmon Bites
Season the salmon. Add the salmon cubes to a mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss everything together. I typically eyeball my salt and black pepper, but I also have exact measurements in the recipe card to avoid adding too much salt.
Add the sauce. To the same mixing bowl, add the melted butter, fresh lemon juice, and garlic. Toss to combine until the salmon cubes are well coated in the sauce.
Air fry the salmon. Place a liner in the basket of the air fryer (this is key to prevent the sauce from falling through). Then add the salmon in a single layer along with the sauce to the lined basket and air fry at 400°F (200°C) for 5 to 7 minutes (there’s no need to shake halfway through). Also, try not to crowd the salmon. If needed, cook in two batches, so that air can flow around each piece.
There are ways to cook frozen salmon in the air fryer (which I’ll test soon!). But since we’re tossing the salmon bites in sauce, it’s best that your salmon is completely thawed before doing so.
Yes, as it prevents the lemon garlic butter sauce from falling through the raised platform inside the air fryer. And you don’t want to waste that sauce, as it’s amazing drizzle on top after cooking! These are the air fryer liners I use.
Salmon should be cooked to an internal temperature of 125 to 130°F for perfectly moist salmon. Anything above that, the salmon will start to dry out a little. While this recipe is pretty foolproof and I don’t think it’s necessary to use an instant-read thermometer, you can always check your salmon bites around the 5-minute mark to see if they’re done yet. It’s always best to slightly undercook the salmon and add more time than to accidentally overcook it.
What To Eat With Salmon Bites
The ideas are virtually endless. But however you serve the bites, don’t forget to drizzle the remaining garlic lemon butter on top!
- Top onto a salad: Start with a bowl of fresh salad greens, add any fresh-cut items such as cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes, and avocados, and top it with the salmon bites. You can reference my salmon avocado salad for this!
- Make a rice bowl: For an Asian flair, I love to serve these salmon bites in a rice bowl with diced avocado, a jammy boiled egg sliced in half, a drizzle of sesame oil and soy sauce (or teriyaki sauce), and a sprinkle of sesame seeds and green onion on top.
- Serve with sides: You can make a side of your favorite vegetable and pair it with the bites. In the photo below I quickly whipped up a mix of cauliflower rice and broccoli rice. But any white rice or sauteed spinach combination is great!
If stored correctly, salmon can be a great meal prep item for the week. And yes, you can even freeze it for later! Here’s a few ways to store these salmon bites.
- For storing: If you’ve got cooked pieces left over, they’ll keep for up to 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
- How to freeze: Make sure your salmon bites are completely cool before freezing. Then top them on parchment paper in a storage container to prevent them from sticking to the sides. Reheating salmon can be tricky since it’s already cooked. So the key here is to reheat the bites low and slow, either in the air fryer, microwave, or oven, to prevent them from drying out.
- Reheating salmon in the air fryer: Toss your salmon bites into the air fryer and cook at 400°F (200°C) for about 2 to 3 minutes. They should be heated through. But if not, add 1 to 2 more minutes.
More easy salmon recipes
- Dijon Baked Salmon: This Dijon herb spread is sensational and easy to make!
- Salmon Salad: A super fresh and unique way to enjoy flaked salmon.
- Salmon Patties: Turn baked salmon into tasty savory patties.
- Or enjoy these other delicious salmon recipes!
I hope you enjoy this air fryer salmon bites recipe as much as I do! If you make it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this recipe in the comment box below. Any review would be greatly appreciated!
Air Fryer Salmon Bites (Lemon Garlic Butter)
- 1 pound skinless salmon filet, cut into 1-inch cubes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Season the salmon. Add the salmon to a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Add the sauce. To the same mixing bowl, add the butter, lemon juice, and garlic. Toss to combine.
- Air fry the salmon. Place a liner in the basket of the air fryer (this is key to prevent the sauce from falling through). Add the salmon along with the sauce to the lined basket and air fry at 400°F (200°C) for 5 to 7 minutes. Pro tip: Try not to crowd the salmon. If needed, cook in two batches. And there's no need to shake halfway through.
- Serve them up. Serve the salmon bites with your favorite sides or top on a salad or macro bowl. And don't forget to drizzle the remaining garlic lemon butter on top!
- If you’d like to make this a Whole30 recipe, just swap the butter with ghee or olive oil. Super easy!
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