Air Fryer Salmon

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This air fryer salmon is the secret to getting a healthy dinner on the table in under 15 minutes. It’s extra moist with a gorgeous outer crust, and the spiced Dijon mustard topping makes it taste like a million bucks.

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

While I love my baked salmon or pan seared salmon (they’re classics for a reason), this air fryer salmon really hits the spot if you’re looking for the easiest salmon recipe possible. And honestly, it’s foolproof – you’ll cook up the most perfect salmon filet, ever. That means moist and succulent insides, with an outside crust that’s actually crispy (like my air fryer chicken wings).

The only nuance with cooking salmon in the air fryer is that you can only cook two salmon filets at a time (at least in my air fryer, yours may be different). Otherwise, it’s really a hands-off recipe once you add the seasoning on top (and by the way, those also don’t require any measuring or prepping, you can just eyeball it). So all in all, it’s an incredibly easy recipe that’s on repeat in my kitchen!

Ingredients for air fryer salmon.

Air Fryer Salmon Ingredients

If you’re a big fan of my Dijon baked salmon, you’ll go head over heels for this recipe. Each filet is lathered with Dijon mustard, and complemented with spices like paprika and garlic powder for a spiced touch. It’s not hot or spicy, just incredibly flavorful.

  • Salmon: Choose your favorite type of salmon – king, coho, or sockeye. You could also use steelhead trout! And keep reading for tips on fresh versus frozen salmon.
  • Dijon Mustard: The mustard keeps the top moist and adds that special oomph in flavor. You could also use stone ground mustard for added texture!
  • Spices: I’m using a blend of sweet paprika (though you could also use smoked paprika), garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

Fresh versus Frozen Salmon

There’s always the debate between fresh and frozen salmon. Honestly, they’re both great options!

  • Fresh salmon: From my experience, I’ve found that salmon (and other types of seafood) are best bought from a local fishmonger. But I know not everyone has access to a local fish shop. If that’s the case with you, don’t fret, frozen salmon is also great.
  • Frozen salmon: If you’re unsure about the fish “on ice” at the market, frozen salmon is the next best thing. Frozen salmon is typically flash frozen on the boat right after it’s been caught, which helps to preserve it’s freshness.
Patting salmon dry with a paper towel.

How To Cook Salmon In Air Fryer

The steps in this salmon recipe are pretty straightforward. But I did want to make a note about the spices. Although there’s measurements written out for each one, I’ve found that shaking them straight from the spice bottle had the best results for an evenly coated crust. Sprinkling with a measuring spoon more often created clumps on top – which you don’t want.

Prep the salmon. Set the air fryer to 400℉ (200℃), then pat your salmon filets dry with a paper towel. Don’t skip this step as this will help the seasoning to stick better!

Add the mustard. Evenly spread half a tablespoon of mustard onto each salmon filet. A brush or the back of a spoon is an easy way to schmear it into one thin layer.

Brushing Dijon mustard on salmon filet.

Add the seasonings. Sprinkle each spice onto the salmon filet. Just eyeball it to match the measurements in the recipe, but it doesn’t have to be exact. I normally start with salt and pepper, then coat generously with garlic powder and paprika. Finish with a quick spray of olive oil on top to keep the salmon filet moist.

Air fry. Add two salmon filets to the air fryer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until flaky with a fork. Then repeat with the remaining two salmon filets.

Adding seasoning to salmon filets.

Common Questions

Do you need to season both sides?

No, you just need to season the top side. And side note – I’m heavy handed on the seasonings. For me, the more flavor the better!

Do you remove the skin before cooking?

Nope, there’s no need to. Just lay the salmon in the air fryer skin side down. Once it cooks, it’s super easy to just peel off the skin if you’d like to do so before serving.

Does the size of the salmon filet matter?

Yes, the size and thickness of your salmon filet will impact cook time. And all air fryers cook a bit differently when it comes to temperature. So make sure to check on the salmon at around 8 minutes to prevent it from overcooking or burning on top. It’s always best to slightly undercook the salmon and add more time as needed, than to accidentally overcook it.

Do you need to preheat the air fryer?

No, the vast majority of my air fryer recipes don’t require any preheating (I find it’s often unnecessary).

Salmon in air fryer.

How To Store Leftover Salmon

If you store it 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 salmon.

  • For storing: If you’ve got a few filets leftover, they’ll keep for up to 3 days in the fridge in a sealed container.
  • How to freeze: Make sure your salmon is completely cool before freezing. Then top it on parchment paper in a storage container to prevent it from sticking to the sides. Reheating salmon can be tricky since it’s already cooked. So the key here is to reheat it low and slow, either in the air fryer, microwave or oven, to prevent it from drying out.

The Best Salmon Recipes

Are you a big salmon fanatic like I am? Well, I’ve got quite the list of salmon recipes for you to try.

I hope you enjoy this air fryer salmon recipe! It’s one of my personal favorite recipes when I want to get dinner on the table fast. If you give it a try, I’d love to hear what you think of it in a comment below! Your review helps others in the community.

A plate of air fryer salmon and leafy greens.

Air Fryer Salmon (in 15-Minutes!)

5 from 66 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

This air fryer salmon recipe is the secret to a moist and crispy filet that tastes like a million bucks – in under 15 minutes! Perfect for an easy and healthy weeknight dinner recipe for the family. Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!

Video

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Prep the salmon. Set the air fryer to 400℉ (200℃). Pat your salmon filets dry with a paper towel.
    Patting salmon with a paper towel.
  • Add the mustard. On each salmon filet, spread one teaspoon of mustard evenly in a thin layer.
    Adding mustard to salmon.
  • Add the seasonings. Sprinkle each of the individual spices straight onto the salmon filet. It doesn't have to be an exact measurement. I start with salt and pepper, then coat generously with garlic powder and paprika. Finish with a quick spray of olive oil on top to keep the salmon filet moist.
    Sprinkling seasoning to salmon filets.
  • Air fry. Add two salmon filets to the air fryer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until flaky with a fork. Then repeat with the remaining two salmon filets.
    Air frying salmon.

Nutrition

Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 866mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 320IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Air Fryer Recipes, Air Fryer Salmon
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted June 2022, but updated to include new photos and information for your benefit!

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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




133 Comments

  1. Just tried this recipe and it was delicious! I hate mustard, but the way it truly enhanced the flavor of the fish is incredible!5 stars

  2. Hi Lisa,
    I would love to make your salmon air fryer recipe but one of my guests does not like mustard of any kind. What else could I coat it with unless just the spices and oil would be ok? I love your recipes, & videos. You make everything sound yummy!!! Best for a happy, healthy 2024! Deena

  3. I’ve never even made salmon (I’ve only eaten it a few times) and am trying to increase omegas in my diet. This was fool-proof and delicious! I very much enjoyed it and it was so easy to make! Thank you for taking time to test and share recipes!5 stars

    1. Hi Christine – I’m glad your first salmon recipe was a success! Now you can incorporate more omegas all the time now :)

  4. One of the most easy salmon recipe, delicious Lisa we need more air fryer recipes please

    I am one of your big follower.5 stars

    1. Hi Olivia – I’m glad you love this air fryer salmon! I’ll definitely be making more air fryer recipes.

  5. Air fryer salmon was very tasty and moist! will be another go to dinner rotation. thank you Lisa. Eating welll and meal planning has been easier and faster than ever! Also had Air fryer broccoli also yummy.5 stars

  6. Made this for Sunday lunch, with rice, carrots & peas and broccoli. Grandkids wanted seconds! Very tasty and easy to do. Enjoyed this on a cold winter day. I cooked the salmon from frozen.5 stars

  7. Do you have to defrost the salmon before cooking, or do you just cook the frozen filets for longer? Thank you!

  8. My kind of meal prep! Took me just 16 minutes start to finish not including unpacking the individually wrapped salmon portions. Even managed to steam some veggies so everything was ready at the same time. Such a simple yet great tasting recipe. Thanks and Happy New Year!5 stars

  9. All summer my wife and I have been making your 5star, Pan Seared Salmon, with fresh tomatoes from our garden. Today we tried your Air Fryer Salmon with Dijon mustard and paprika and loved it. Simple, easy, quick and so tasty. Thank you again Lisa for a great recipe.5 stars

  10. I RAVE about this recipe!! I made this dish and it was amazing!! The salmon cooked perfectly!! I have never cooked with Dijon mustard before this recipe and now I can’t prepare salmon (or trout) without it! The flavor profile is truly amazing!!! I will only prepare salmon this way for a LONG time! Truly one of my favorite HEALTHY dishes! I SO want to share the picture I took of the meal with you!!!!! Thank you, Lisa!!5 stars

    1. Woot! So thrilled you loved the recipe, Felicia! Yes, Dijon mustard is really a delicious pairing with salmon. And this recipe is so darn quick-and-easy. Happy you loved it!

  11. Will make this tonight. I have a combo toaster oven, air fryer that bakes, toasts, grills and air fries. Do I need to adjust anything? It’s large enough to do 4 fillers at once.5 stars

  12. If you don’t have a air fryer will this recipe work in a oven? And if so what are the baking suggestion

  13. Outstanding! The finish and tase of the salmon was like a restaurant! Not to dry and perfectly cooked. Family’s new favorite!!5 stars

  14. This was truly excellent, thank you. One question: Do you have a trick for treating the skin so it doesn’t bake into the wire basket? That was a chore to clean up.5 stars

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! You could always add a piece of parchment paper or use one of the air fryer liners that I have linked on my Shop page. :)

  15. This is the BEST salmon I’ve ever made! So easy and delicious. I’ve been making it weekly for a month now! My husband and I never tire of it. We are changing the way we eat and losing weight in the process… this recipe has helped us on our journey. The added Dijon mustard is so tasty, too! Thank you, Lisa!!

    1. That’s wonderful to hear Laura! I’m glad this air fryer salmon recipe has done wonders for you two.

  16. Delicious and so easy! I am trying to incorporate salmon into our dinner rotation; have always been a little intimidated and my husband isn’t a big fan due to finding bones in every piece he’s ever had😁. I had purchased some flash frozen filets on the thinner side and air fried them tonight. The flavor was great and we will definitely be eating our salmon like this from now on. Thanks for an awesome post!5 stars

    1. This air fryer salmon is a great way to incorporate more salmon! Happy to hear you and your husband enjoyed this recipe.