If you like salmon, you will love learning how to cook air fryer salmon! This lemon garlic paprika salmon requires just 5 ingredients, and can be made in 30 minutes. Absolutely delicious!
Living in the Pacific Northwest, we are lucky to have fresh salmon regularly. We love cooking it at home, and since we use our air fryer at least once a day, of course we also love to cook salmon in the air fryer!
If you've never made air fryer salmon, you will LOVE it! This is a simple recipe, and I've got lots of helpful step-by-step air frying tips to help you make the most delicious salmon.
Why cook salmon in the air fryer?
Like many other air fryer recipes, cooking salmon in the air fryer is faster, easier, and hands-off compared to other cooking methods.
- This is a 5-ingredient recipe (not counting staples you already have, like olive oil, salt, and pepper).
- The salmon cooks in less than 10 minutes!
- You can use fresh or frozen salmon.
- Salmon cooks evenly in the air fryer, ensuring delicious, flavorful salmon in every bite.
Kitchen tools and equipment
For this recipe, you just need a few basic kitchen tools:
Air fryer - I air fry this salmon in my Ninja Foodi Deluxe XL multicooker, or in my Instant Pot Vortex air fryer. You can use any basket style or tray-style air fryer that you have.
Parchment paper - You'll need to cut out a sheet of parchment paper to fit your air fryer basket or trays. This helps keep the flavor in the salmon and keeps the salmon from sticking to your air fryer.
5-ingredient salmon recipe
Salmon - You'll need four salmon fillets that are between 4 and 6 ounces each. You can also make this with three salmon fillets if that's all you have. But if you make this with more than four salmon fillets, be sure to increase the amount of the seasonings to cover all of the fillets. You will also likely need to cook your salmon in batches.
Make sure you slice the salmon into similar-sized fillets. This helps them cook evenly in the air fryer.
Olive oil - Use a flavorful extra virgin olive oil to coat the salmon.
Lemon juice - Use fresh lemon juice if you can. Otherwise, store-bought lemon juice works!
Paprika - Ground paprika adds a subtle rich flavor to the salmon. You can lower the amount to ¼ teaspoon or omit it entirely if you prefer, but if you love paprika like we do, I highly suggest trying the amount in the recipe. Also try my air fryer paprika chicken and creamy paprika pasta recipes if you love this spice!
Garlic powder - You could use fresh, minced garlic, but then you run the risk of ending up with burnt garlic on your salmon. Using garlic powder adds that zingy flavor we all love without the worry of burning the garlic.
Dill - Seafood and dill go hand in hand. Chop some fresh dill or use dried dill.
Salt & Pepper - Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper before air frying. Season with more salt and pepper if you find it needs it after it's done cooking.
How to cook salmon in the air fryer
In a small to medium bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, dill, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Rub the olive oil and then the lemon juice evenly over each salmon fillet.
Evenly season the salmon fillets with the seasoning mix.
Line your air fryer basket or trays with parchment paper. Place the salmon fillets onto the parchment paper.
Air fry at 400°F for 6 minutes.
At 6 minutes, check for doneness. If needed, continue air frying for 1 to 2 more minutes, until the salmon reaches your preferred doneness level.
Serve immediately, with a side of tartar sauce and lemon wedges.
Air Frying Salmon FAQs
Use a meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the salmon fillet to check for doneness.
The USDA recommends cooking salmon to 145°F for well done salmon. However, if you are using high quality salmon from a trusted source, most food experts agree that you can cook it to medium rare or medium.
Salmon is cooked when the temperature reaches:
Medium: 130° to 135°F
Well Done: 140°F
Allow the salmon to rest for a few minutes before serving. The salmon will continue to cook slightly during this rest period, usually bringing the final cook temperature to about 5°F more than the initial thermometer reading.
Yes! Salmon with the skin tends to be more flavorful, since the skin helps hold all of those delicious flavors and juices in the salmon - plus the crispy salmon skin is amazingly flavorful on its on. But you can make this same recipe with salmon without the skin.
This salmon is best eaten right after it is air fried. However, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. I do not recommend freezing leftover cooked salmon.
Ready to take your air fryer salmon to the next level? Try this Air Fryer Teriyaki Salmon recipe. It's SO delicious and easy!!
What to serve with salmon
Serve salmon fillets with a side of tartar sauce and lemon wedges.
This seafood dish is also delicious with any of these side dishes:
Best wine pairings for salmon
The richness of this salmon makes it a nice companion for both red wine and white wine.
If you feel like red wine: go for a fruit-forward Pinot Noir.
If you feel like drinking a white wine: pair it with an unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnay.
More seafood recipes to try
- Pan-Seared Salmon with Almond Basil Pesto
- Tuna with Capers and White Wine Pasta
- Air Fryer Lobster Tails
- New Orleans-style BBQ Shrimp and Scallops
- Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut
Air Fryer Salmon
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. In a small to medium bowl, whisk together the garlic powder, dill, paprika, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Rub each fillet with olive oil, then lemon juice. Then sprinkle the seasoning mix evenly over each fillet.
- Line the air fryer basket or trays with parchment paper. Place the fillets, skin side down, onto the air fryer basket or trays.
- Air fry at 400°F for 6 to 9 minutes, just until the salmon reaches your desired level of cooking (see temp guideline in NOTES below)
- Medium-Rare: 125°F
- Medium: 130°F
- Well Done: 140°F
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.