Tender, flaky salmon ready in 20 minutes? You bet! This easy air fryer salmon recipe makes perfectly cooked salmon smothered with an irresistible honey garlic sauce. Just add a squeeze of lemon!
Flaky Air Fryer Salmon in 20 Minutes
I love using my air fryer and salmon is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to make. It is ridiculously easy to cook tender, flavorful fish with just the right amount of crispiness on top. Salmon is an ideal fish for air frying too, because the flesh is firm and holds its shape well while cooking.
If your family is a fan of seafood dinners, then you have to try this recipe. It comes together in 20 minutes, making it a great choice for busy weeknights or weekends when you just don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen.
Is Salmon Healthy?
Yes, salmon is a healthy source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It also has a high amount of vitamin B, potassium and selenium – all good for you ingredients that have been shown to support good health. Wild caught salmon is the best choice but you can also used farmed salmon. Wild salmon has fewer calories per fillet and less contaminants than farmed salmon.
What You’ll Need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this salmon recipe. Here’s a quick rundown. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card below for specific amounts.
For the Salmon:
- Salmon filets – I prefer to use wild caught salmon. You can just ask your butcher where the salmon came from and they should be able to tell you. Leave the skin on because it will help the salmon hold its shape in the air fryer.
- Salt & pepper
- Avocado oil – You’ll use this to gently brush the salmon before frying. It gives the salmon a deliciously crisp exterior.
For the Honey Garlic Sauce:
- Garlic cloves – Minced
- Dijon mustard – This kind of mustard is more tangy and a bit spicier than regular yellow mustard.
- Honey – Any kind of honey works.
- Rosemary – Use fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- Thyme – Also best to use fresh. Remove the leaves from the stem by pinching it between your fingernails and running them down the length of the branch.
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon – Add a slice of lemon on top for garnish and extra flavor.
Can I Use Frozen Salmon?
Yes you can use frozen salmon. The easiest way to do this is to thaw the salmon overnight, but you can also use the frozen salmon without thawing.
To use frozen salmon that has not been thawed, preheat your air fryer to 360F then lay the salmon on a piece of aluminum foil and place it in the air fryer for about 6-7 minutes until it has thawed. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe, raising the temperature to 400F and cooking for an additional 7-8 minutes.
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How to Cook Salmon in the Air Fryer
Are you ready to make an incredible salmon dinner? Here’s how to do it:
- Make the honey garlic sauce. In a small bowl combine the garlic, mustard, honey, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir together until combined and set aside.
- Heat air fryer to 400°F. Preheat for 2-3 minutes.
- Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel. Then brush avocado oil on flesh side of salmon, season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the salmon. Using tongs, gently place salmon skin side down in air fryer basket and air fry for 7-8 minutes (depending on the thickness of your salmon)
- Add the sauce. Open the air fryer, brush salmon with honey garlic sauce and place a slice of lemon on top of each salmon. Close air fryer and air fry an additional 2 minutes depending on the thickness of your salmon. Check for the desired doneness with a fork, it should flake easily.
- Remove from the air fryer and serve.
Tips for Success
- Can I use a different kind of oil? Yes, but you need to make sure it has a high smoke point. I would recommend sunflower or peanut oil as alternatives to avocado oil. Canola oil could also be used in a pinch.
- How do I know when it’s done? The easiest way to tell if your salmon has finished cooking is to use an instant read thermometer. Salmon is cooked at 145 degrees F.
- No thermometer? If you don’t have an instant read thermometer the best way to check for salmon doneness is by color. When salmon is cooked it has a pink color as shown in the photos here. Raw salmon is reddish vs. cooked salmon, which is light pink.
Wondering what goes with salmon? Here are a few suggestions:
- Asparagus – This roasted asparagus recipe goes wonderfully with air fryer salmon.
- Broccoli – How about a side of broccoli? I recommend this roasted broccoli recipe with parmesan lemon butter sauce.
- Salad – Add your salmon to a salad or serve a salad on the side. How about this broccolini salad? It’s a superfood so why not pair it with salmon, which is another superfood! Talk about a powered up meal. Other great ideas include this orzo pasta salad or this farro salad.
How to Store and Reheat Extras
Let your salmon cool, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to eat it I recommend reheating leftovers in a non-stick skillet on the stovetop until the salmon has warmed through.Print
Tender, flaky salmon ready in 10 minutes? You bet! This easy air fryer salmon recipe makes perfectly cooked salmon smothered with an irresistible honey garlic sauce. Just add a squeeze of lemon!
For the Salmon:
- 4 salmon filets (4–6 oz.)
- salt & pepper to season
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
Honey Garlic Sauce:
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to season
- 1 lemon, sliced
- To a small bowl add, garlic, mustard, honey, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir together until combined and set aside.
- Heat air fryer to 400°F. Preheat for 2-3 minutes.
- Pat salmon dry with a paper towel.
- Evenly brush avocado oil on flesh side of salmon, season with salt and pepper.
- Using tongs, gently place 2 salmon filets skin side down in air fryer basket and air fry for 7-8 minutes (depending on the thickness of your salmon)
- Open the air fryer, brush salmon with honey garlic sauce and place a slice of lemon on top of each salmon. Close air fryer and air fry an additional 2 minutes depending on the thickness of your salmon. Check for the desired doneness with a fork, it should flake easily.
- Remove salmon filets from air fryer and repeat with the other two filets. Serve.
** If you are making this for a family. Place cooked salmon filets in the oven to keep warm while making the other two filets.
- Serving Size: 1 salmon filet
- Calories: 305
- Sugar: 9 g
- Sodium: 254 mg
- Fat: 11 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 11 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 40 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
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