Air Fryer Salmon

5 from 1 vote
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This tender, juicy, and flaky air fryer salmon recipe is the perfect weeknight meal. The fish is cooked to perfection in the air fryer, seasoned with spicy Dijon mustard, and takes less than 15 minutes to make. 

Close up of a salmon fillet on a plate with a salad.

 

Salmon is one of my favorite proteins to cook with. Not only is it lean, full of protein, and absolutely delicious, but salmon cooks up really quickly. This air fryer salmon recipe is one of my favorite ways to cook this fish because it packs so much flavor into the salmon in just 13 minutes. 

The secret to any good salmon recipe is to make sure the fish is still moist, and cooking salmon in the air fryer is a good way to do that. The texture of this air fryer salmon is flaky, tender, and never dry. And it has a perfect kick of spice and tanginess from a Dijon mustard rub. The next time you need a weekday seafood recipe, give this one a try. 

Overhead view of a plate with a salmon fillet, a green salad, and a fork.

Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Salmon Recipe

There’s so much to love about this comforting and perfectly cooked salmon recipe. I make it all the time, and I know you’ll love it just as much as I do. Here’s why.

  • Quick and easy. This is one of the most simple seafood recipes I’ve ever made. All you have to do is season the fish with a few ingredients, place it in the air fryer, and cook it. That’s it! The entire recipe takes less than 15 minutes and has zero hassle.
  • It’s mess-free. One of my favorite things about cooking in the air fryer is that it’s usually mess-free. There’s no grease splatter like when you pan-fry fish, and you don’t have to dirty a large baking sheet by putting the salmon in the oven. This easy air fryer salmon recipe will leave your kitchen nearly as clean as when you started.
  • So moist. An air fryer is the secret to making juicy salmon every time. You can say goodbye to making dry, overcooked salmon with this easy recipe. 
  • Goes with everything. This is a go-to weeknight recipe for me because it’s quick, easy, and full of protein. But just as important is the fact that you can serve this fish with pretty much anything. It goes great with any type of side dish, or you can serve it on pasta, rice, beans, salad, or anything else. The opportunities are endless! 
All the ingredients needed to make air fryer salmon: a plate with two salmon fillets, a bowl with garlic powder and paprika, a bottle of Dijon mustard, a bottle of olive oil, and salt and pepper grinders.

What You’ll Need

You only need a few ingredients to make this tender and fresh air fryer salmon recipe. Head to the recipe card at the end of the page if you want to see the exact amounts of each ingredient. 

  • Salmon – I used 6-ounce fillets for this recipe, but you can use any size, you’ll just have to adjust the cooking time. I like to use salmon fillets with the skin on, but skinless will work fine too. You can also use frozen salmon, just let it thaw before cooking.
  • Dijon mustard – You can use whole-grain mustard if you don’t have any Dijon.
  • Olive oil – Any type of oil will work, but the flavor of olive oil goes really well with salmon.
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper – Always use freshly cracked pepper. 

How to Choose Salmon at the Store

Buying salmon at the store can be a little bit daunting. When in doubt, the best thing to do is go to a grocery store that has a butcher or fishmonger and ask them for their recommendations. If your grocery store doesn’t have that, look for salmon that has a lot of moisture. You can usually tell just by looking at the fish if it’s moist and juicy or starting to dry out. Avoid salmon if it has discolored spots, or if the skin is starting to curl. 

How to Make Salmon in the Air Fryer

This flaky salmon with mustard is so easy to make in the air fryer. It only takes 13 minutes! Here’s how to do it.

  • Preheat. Turn your air fryer on to 400F. 
  • Make the rub. Put the mustard, oil, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl, and mix to combine.
  • Dry. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel. 
  • Season. Brush the mustard mixture over the top of the salmon fillets. 
  • Cook. Put the salmon in the air fryer with the skin side down, then cook until the fish has an internal temperature of 145F. This should take 8 minutes, but it might take a little longer depending on the thickness of your salmon. 
  • Serve. Remove the fish from the air fryer and serve immediately. 

Tips & Variations

Even though this is a fool-proof recipe, there are a few tricks you can use to make the best salmon in the air fryer. Here are a few of my favorite tips, and some variations to try.

  • Really dry the fish. When drying the salmon with a paper towel, make sure to do a really thorough job. If the fish isn’t completely dry, the seasoning won’t adhere to it very well and will fall off as it cooks. Making sure the fish dries also ensures that the texture is smooth and buttery, instead of wet or greasy. 
  • Don’t crowd. Make sure that there’s space between each salmon fillet in the air fryer basket. If the fillets are touching, the heat in the air fryer won’t be able to circulate properly, and the fish will cook unevenly and start to steam. If you have more salmon than fits in the air fryer basket without touching, just cook the fish in batches. 
  • Make it spicy. Salmon works really well with spice. You can add heat to this recipe by putting some cayenne pepper or crushed chili flakes in the mustard spice rub. 
  • Add herbs. If you want to add some fresh flavors to your fish, you can add some herbs to the seasoning rub. Just add your favorite fresh or dried herbs to the mustard, and the air fryer salmon will take on all kinds of new flavors.
  • Serve with lemon. Salmon always goes well with fresh lemon. I recommend squeezing some lemon wedges over these fillets as soon as they come out of the air fryer. 
  • Cook in the oven. If you don’t have an air fryer, don’t worry! You can cook these salmon fillets in the oven instead. Preheat the oven to 425F, then cook the fish for about 10 minutes. Check the internal temperature to make sure it’s 145F. 
Close up of a fork cutting through a salmon fillet on a plate with a salad.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Salmon

I often serve this air fryer salmon on top of a bed of rice or pasta, and I always serve it with a side of vegetables. The rich and juicy fish goes so well with the freshness of raw or cooked veggies. Here are a few sides I like to serve with this recipe.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

Leftover air fryer salmon should be stored in an airtight container or bag in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can reheat the fish in a 350F air fryer for 5 minutes. The salmon can also be stored in the freezer for 4 months if kept in an airtight container. Thaw the fish entirely before reheating. 

A salmon fillet on a plate with a salad.

More Air Fryer Recipes To Try

I use my air fryer so often. It’s such an easy, quick, and mess-free way to get tons of flavor. Here are some more of my favorite air fryer recipes for you to make.

Close up of a salmon fillet on a plate with a salad.
5 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Salmon

By Erin
This quick and easy air fryer salmon recipe is the perfect weeknight meal. It's tender, juicy, and covered in a rich mustard rub.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 13 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 4 6- oz salmon fillets
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 400F.
  • Mix the mustard, oil, paprika, and garlic powder together in a bowl, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel.
  • Brush the seasoned mustard mixture over the top of the salmon fillets.
  • Place the salmon, skin side down, in the air fryer basket. Make sure that they're not crowded.
  • Cook for 8 minutes, then check the doneness. The salmon should have an internal temperature of 145F. You may need to cook it for another minute or 2 depending no the thickness of the fish.
  • Once the salmon is cooked through, remove from the air fryer and serve while hot.

Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days, or in the freezer for 4 months.
  • Reheat the salmon in a 350F air fryer for 5 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 280mg

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

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 387
Keyword: air fryer salmon, air fryer salmon recipe, salmon in air fryer
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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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5 Comments

  1. Tried the air fryer salmon, and it turned out perfect! Love how quick and easy it is to make salmon in the air fryer!