This Air Fryer Salmon is crispy on the outside, juicy in the middle, and coated in a sweet and spicy brown sugar chili rub. Quick, easy, and healthy weeknight dinner.
Even salmon haters are going to love this air fryer salmon recipe. Why? Because it’s not fishy tasting at all and coated in the most glorious sweet and spicy brown sugar rub. Don’t forget the honey mustard drizzle!
If you keep salmon stocked up in the freezer like I do, then this air fryer salmon recipe is perfect for those last minute “oops I forgot to plan dinner” dinners.
- Salmon Filets – fresh or frozen will work. If using frozen, you’ll need to thaw it first!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – helps the seasonings stick to the outside of the salmon and adds additional healthy fats.
- Brown Sugar, Chili Powder, Paprika, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt, and Cayenne Pepper – our perfectly sweet and spicy seasoning blend to coat the salmon.
How to make
This seafood entree is ready in just 16 minutes…quick dinners for the win!
- Place salmon onto a clean work surface and season all sides with salt. Drizzle with olive oil and rub that into the tops and sides.
- In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cayenne pepper.
- Spoon the spice mixture evenly on top of the salmon then gently rub it into the top and sides.
- Place the prepared salmon filets skin side down into a greased air fryer basket.
- Air fry for 10 minutes, remove and set aside, repeat with remaining filets, then serve and enjoy!
How do you know when salmon is done cooking?
You’ll know that the salmon is done cooking when you can easily flake it with a fork and it turns from red/raw looking to a more pinkish, opaque color.
You can also check that it’s done by using a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temp is at least 145ºF.
Can you cook frozen salmon in an air fryer?
Technically, yes, but I recommend using fresh or frozen then thawed salmon in this recipe for the best flavor and texture. It’s also harder to get the spice rub to stick to frozen salmon.
- Use salmon similar in size. Make sure the salmon filets you use are similar in size so they cook evenly.
- Preheat the air fryer. You want your air fryer to be at the right temperature.
- Don’t overcrowd the basket. Make sure you give each filet space for the air to circulate all the way around.
- Remove the salmon immediately. When the cook time is up, take the air fried salmon out right away. If you leave it in the basket it will continue to cook and you’ll end up with dry salmon.
What to serve with air fryer salmon
I love to serve my air fried salmon topped with honey mustard over a bed of brown rice, basmati rice, couscous, or quinoa.
Here are some other yummy dishes you can serve with this salmon!
How to store
Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for 4-5 months.
To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then bake or air fry to warm.
Air Fryer Salmon
Equipment for this recipe
- 4 (6 oz) filets salmon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more for sprinkling
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper omit if you don’t like spice
- Honey mustard dressing for serving
- Preheat air fryer to 375 degrees F.
- Place salmon filets onto a clean work surface and season all sides with salt.
- Drizzle with olive oil, then rub it into the tops and sides of the salmon.
- In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cayenne pepper.
- Spoon the spice mixture evenly on top of the salmon, then gently rub into the top and sides.
- Grease the air fryer basket with olive oil spray then place in two of the prepared salmon filets skin side down.
- Air fry for 10 minutes* or until the salmon is cooked to your liking.
- Remove, set aside, and repeat with remaining filets.
- Serve with honey mustard sauce and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.