Air Fried Salmon

My obsession with my air fryer continues. In this week’s saga, I’m sharing how to air fry salmon. It’s SO good! So quick! And it’s cooked well, but not dry.

This is a new favorite at our house for sure. It’s been added to the rotation of air fried wings, broiled steak, and homemade cashew chicken. Ha.

I have air fried both fresh salmon as well as frozen. I must admit that I prefer unfrozen, but as I only grocery shop once a week or less during this season of my life, having lots of dinner options I can pull from our freezer makes a lot of sense. So, we do both just depending what we have on hand.

To air fry frozen salmon, all you have to do is thaw it first. Otherwise, it’s no different than air frying fresh, unfrozen salmon.

How to thaw frozen salmon:

You can thaw frozen salmon a couple of ways, but what I usually do is (if it’s packaged inside a sealed bag, the filet itself) I will put it in a bowl with very warm water in our sink. This typically takes anywhere from 5-8 minutes depending on the size of filet.

I season the salmon before air frying with whatever I’m in the mood for, or whatever I think will go with the rest of the meal I’m making. This can be things like: garlic powder or salt, seasoning salt, Italian seasoning, cayenne, pepper, or a seasoning mix I have.

Do you leave the skin on before air frying? Yes, I do. I leave the skin on for the entire process. I remove the skin before eating (so I even leave the skin on when serving).

Do you have to flip salmon when air frying? No, I don’t. I cook the salmon skin side down (so the skin is touching the air fryer or parchment paper) and I don’t flip it while it cooks.

How do you keep salmon from sticking to your air fryer?

Two methods for this. First, you can lightly brush the air fryer bottom grate with oil before adding the salmon and cooking.

The other option is to use parchment paper. Yes, you can use parchment paper in your air fryer. I will add parchment so it fits under the salmon, but not bunch it together or have lots of loose paper on the sides of the air fryer (see photo below).

The parchment paper will curl up some as it cooks, so that’s why you don’t want an excess amount, but you also want enough that it fits under the entire piece of fish you are cooking.

You can see (or print) the recipe card below for all the details, but I air fry salmon at 390°F for 8 minutes. I find this cooks the fish well, but doesn’t dry it out.

This can vary some depending on the size or thickness of the salmon you are cooking, but somewhere between 7-9 minutes will likely work well.

You can serve this alongside a salad, risotto, pasta salad, broccoli slaw, or steamed rice.

Squeeze a little lemon juice over the top of this air fried salmon and enjoy! xo. Emma

Looking for more meal ideas? Check out My Favorite Things to Make in My Air Fryer.

5 from 1 vote

Air Fried Salmon

how to easily air fry salmon

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer, salmon
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Author Emma Chapman


  • 6 ounce salmon filet
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, optional
  • lemon wedge for serving


  1. If your salmon is frozen, thaw first.

  2. Prep your air fryer by either brushing the bottom rack with a little oil OR adding parchment paper.

  3. Brush the top of the salmon with oil and season well.

  4. Add to the air fryer and cook at 390°F for 8 minutes.

Recipe Notes

-You do not need to remove the skin before cooking. Air fry the salmon with the skin side down, on the bottom.

-You do not need to flip the salmon while cooking.

-For seasoning you can use any combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, garlic salt, seasoning salt, Italian seasoning, cayenne, or a seasoning mix. 

-You can cook multiple salmon filets in the air fryer at the same time, but you do not want them to be overlapping or touching as they can stick together. 

-Serve with a fresh lemon wedge to squeeze over the top before eating. 

  • This is so helpful!!!! I love the air fryer series, please keep them coming! I had never thought to air fry fish but I’m absolutely trying it.

  • I am so glad it’s not just me. I bought an air fryer for myself as my Black Friday present and I want to use it every day. Shrimp, chicken, steaks, potatoes, sweet potatoes. . . it’s all so good and easy! I can’t believe I waited so long to try it. Please bring on the air fryer recipes, Emma! I will happily and fully support this journey.

  • Talk about timely! I’m cooking salmon tonight for dinner (it’s been air-thawing all day) and was planning to pull out my air fryer for its accompaniments – little did I know that I could use the air fryer for the salmon itself. Thanks very much for this tip!

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