This air fryer salmon is fresh fish fillets topped with a homemade spice rub, then cooked to golden brown perfection. A quick and easy dinner option that is on the table in just 15 minutes!
When I need dinner in a hurry, I turn to super fast recipes like this air fryer salmon. It takes just minutes to prep, and produces perfect results each and every time.
Can you cook fish in an air fryer?
Yes, you can cook fish in an air fryer. I recommend fish fillets such as tilapia, salmon, halibut or swordfish. The most important aspect of cooking fish in an air fryer is to watch the time carefully to make sure it does not overcook.
How do you make air fryer salmon?
Start by mixing brown sugar with spices to make a sweet and savory rub. Coat the salmon fillets in the rub on all sides, then place the fish skin side down in the air fryer. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Sprinkle with fresh parsley, then serve with lemon wedges.
Tips for the perfect dish
- Choose salmon fillets that are similar in size and shape so that they cook through at the same rate.
- I go for fresh wild salmon whenever possible. If you’re using frozen salmon, make sure you thaw it completely and pat dry before proceeding with the recipe.
- It only takes a few minutes to mix up the spice blend. If you’re in a hurry, you can use your favorite store bought BBQ rub or spice mix. I often make a double batch of the spices so that I have some on hand for next time.
- You can add some vegetables to the air fryer to cook along with the salmon. Some great choices include brussels sprouts, carrots, asparagus and broccoli. If you’re using asparagus or broccoli you’ll want to add them halfway through the cook time.
- Serve your salmon over rice or mashed potatoes, with vegetables on the side. If you’re watching your carbs, you can also use cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.
Air fryer salmon flavor variations
While this dish is great as-is, you can add other ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.
- Garlic and Herbs: Use half the amount of brown sugar and spices, and mix the spice blend with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Coat the salmon with the oil and spice mixture then air fry.
- Salsa: Top your finished salmon with a spoonful of pico de gallo, pineapple or mango salsa, or salsa verde.
- Teriyaki: Season the salmon with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Spoon 2 tablespoons of prepared teriyaki sauce over the salmon, then cook.
- Cajun: Add 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning to the spice mix, then follow the recipe as directed.
I make this salmon almost every week because it’s just so good and versatile! I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as mine does.
More salmon recipes to try
Air Fryer Salmon Video
Air Fryer Salmon
- 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/4 pounds salmon fillets similar sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- lemon wedges for garnish optional
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
- Place the brown sugar, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and mustard powder in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
- Brush the olive oil over all the sides of the salmon fillets, then rub the spice mixture into the salmon.
- Place the fillets in a single layer in the air fryer. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes or until salmon is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Sprinkle with parsley, then serve, with lemon wedges if desired.