Air Fryer Salmon Bites


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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.

Air fryer salmon bites on a plate with a fork
Photo: Gayle McLeod

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!

Ingredients for air fryer salmon bites

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.

Mixing salmon cubes with salt and pepper in a bowl

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.

Mixing salmon cubes in sauce in a bowl

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.

Putting salmon cubes in air fryer

Common Questions

Can I put frozen salmon in my air fryer?

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.

Is an air fryer liner really needed for this recipe?

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.

What temperature should salmon be cooked at?

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.

Air fryer salmon bite in air fryer basket

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!
Air fryer salmon bites with broccoli rice

Storage Tips

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

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!

A white plate of air fryer salmon bites

Air Fryer Salmon Bites (Lemon Garlic Butter)

5 from 8 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


These salmon bites, coated in lemony garlic butter, are the quick and easy salmon dinner you didn't know you needed. Top them on salads, bowls, or veggies for endless meal variety throughout the week!



  • 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.
    Salmon cubes mixed with salt and pepper
  • Add the sauce. To the same mixing bowl, add the butter, lemon juice, and garlic. Toss to combine.
    Mixing salmon cubes with a 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). 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.
    Air frying salmon bites
  • 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!
    A plate of air fryer salmon bites

Lisa’s Tips

  • If you’d like to make this a Whole30 recipe, just swap the butter with ghee or olive oil. Super easy! 


Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 409mg | Potassium: 573mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 309IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Air Fryer Salmon, Air Fryer Salmon Bites, Salmon Bites
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Absolutely love these salmon bites. The recipe is so quick and easy, and they turn out perfect every time. Can’t go wrong with that lemon garlic butter combo!!5 stars

  2. OMG this was delicious! Your right about the liner, it is crucial. I didn’t have lemon or garlic cloves so I used lemon juice from the bottle and minced garlic from the tube. Because I can’t leave well enough alone I was thinking a tablespoon or 2 of white wine might be good. I’m gonna add that next time. Thank you for the wonderfully easy recipe.5 stars

    1. What the heck? This was sooo good AND easy peasy! Made them tonight, and my salmon bites turned out perfect! I paired them with garlicky green beans and brown rice. You did it again, Lisa! Your recipes have never let me down, and I’ve tried plenty of them!5 stars

  3. Delicious recipe! Put over a caesar salad. Not sure if it’s just my air fryer but had to cook for about 20 minutes to get fully cooked and crispy.5 stars

  4. Hi Lisa, I LOVE your recipes and you are my go to for all of my meal prep needs. Could I bake this Salmon bites instead of air frying? If so what temp and time do you recommend?

    1. I haven’t tested baked salmon bites yet. But I would think to bake them at around 400°F for about 10 to 12 minutes.

  5. Absolutely superb! Will be trying this as I have tried some of your other air fryer recipes and they worked out a treat!

    I am using the airfryer for about 90% of my cooking now for the boss (better-half) and there are no complaints!

    So thank you.

    Also will try your cauliflower and broccoli rice recipes. It looks great in the photo!

    Thanks again for taking the time to share and hi from Barcelona!5 stars

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying all of my air fryer recipes! There’s really so much you can do with it. :) And hello to you in Barcelona!

  6. This recipe looks amazing but I’m wondering, do you think it will work the same in my Breville toaster oven on the air fryer setting?

    1. I haven’t tested this with an oven air fryer. But I think it should be fine! You might have to tweak the temperature and timing though as each air fryer cooks a bit differently.

  7. This one is definitely a keeper. So delicious, simple and fast to prepare. I am getting to like my air fryer now. Thank you so much!5 stars

    1. I’m happy you loved the recipe, Suzanna! And I’ve got more air fryer recipes coming… so stay tuned!

    1. Hi Crystal – this recipe is specific for the air fryer, but check out all of the other delicious salmon recipes I have on my website. :)

  8. This looks delicious and I’d like to try this out. However, I do not own an air fryer. Can I bake the salmon in the oven?

    1. Yes, you can! However, I haven’t tested this recipe yet as a baked version so will have to do that first. For now, you can use the same ingredients but look up a baked salmon bite recipe for exact temperature and timings. Alternatively, you can try referencing my baked salmon recipe and see how that goes.

  9. This is a brilliant recipe! Super easy to prepare and very flavorful. A perfect, quick protein addition to any salad. Love it!5 stars

  10. apolgoies if this question was addressed and I missed it…
    Can these be made in a toaster oven with the airfryer setting?
    I hope so because they look amazing!!

    1. Hi Heather – I haven’t tried that, but it sounds like it would work to me! Let us know how it turns out.