Air Fryer Salmon with Lemon Butter Sauce

This Air Fryer Salmon recipe is quick, easy, and loaded with flavor. With a little help from the air fryer, you can create a healthy meal in under 15 minutes. Serve with a quick lemon garlic herb butter sauce for maximum flavor.

We are crazy about salmon around here. From Baked Teriyaki Salmon Lettuce Wraps to Salmon Patties and Grilled Salmon Salad we have salmon on the menu almost every week!

Air Fryer Salmon on a grey plate with white rice and a white air fryer in the background.

Air Fryer Salmon Ingredients

Like baking, the air fryer does a great job of bringing out the natural buttery flavor of the salmon. So, when cooking salmon in the air fryer I like to season it as simply as possible. For this recipe, you will need:

  • Two 4 ounce salmon fillets
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Italian seasoning
  • Optional: Fresh herbs and extra lemon slices for serving

How to Cook Salmon in the Air Fryer

Cooking temperatures and times can vary greatly for each air fryer, but generally speaking, I find that salmon cooks best at high heat and lower cooking times. This allows the salmon to stay moist in the center. I recommend seasoning your salmon fillets with salt and pepper and cooking them at 400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your fillet. Cook the fish directly in the air fryer basket, after spraying with a light coating of cooking spray.

Two salmon filets being cooked in an air fryer.

How Do I Know When Salmon is Done?

When it comes to salmon, you can skip the meat thermometer and use a fork! When salmon is done, the color will be opaque and pink and flake easily when a fork is placed in the thickest part of the fillet. If you prefer to be precise, the temperature should be at least 145 degrees throughout.

Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce

While your salmon is cooking, you can start to prepare the sauce. This sauce can be made on the stovetop or the microwave. Simply melt the butter and add the lemon juice, garlic and Italian seasoning. When your salmon is done cooking, spoon the sauce over the filets.

Serving Suggestions

I love this dish served with white rice, fresh herbs, and extra lemon slices. I often spoon some of the extra lemon garlic butter sauce over the rice. Some other side dishes that would go great with this meal are Oven Roasted Asparagus, Cilantro Lime Rice, Keto Brussel Sprouts, or Garden Salad.

Lemon Garlic Herb Butter being spooned on to air fryer salmon

Benefits to Cooking Salmon in the Air Fryer

The air fryer cooks food with the circulation of hot air but keeps it elevated allowing access fat to drain off. This makes the air fryer one of the healthiest ways to cook salmon! It also eliminates the time it takes to preheat the oven or the grill.  This entire dish takes less than 15 minutes to make.

Storage

I love making a double batch of this recipe for meal prepping. This dish reheats very nicely. If stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator this meal should last up to 3 days.

Air fryer salmon with a fork in it with rice and herbs surrounding it on the plate.

Do I leave the skin on for cooking?

Yes! While you can certainly prepare salmon in the air fryer with or without the skin, I find that the skin helps keep the fish moist and prevents it from drying out. When your fish is done cooking, it will easily pull away from the skin so you can enjoy it. If you really prefer to remove the skin before cooking, you can but just make sure you apply cooking spray to the basket and take extra caution when removing the fish.

Variations

I really enjoy the simple flavors of this dish, but if you are looking for a change there are several things you can try! If you are a lemon lover, try adding slices of lemon on top of your fish in the air fryer. They will turn a lovely golden brown and impart a stronger lemon flavor into the fish. If you want to make this healthy dish even healthier, you can swap out the butter for olive oil. If you like your salmon spicy, you can add some smoky flavors to the herbed butter. Try a dash of paprika and a pinch of cayenne.

Overhead image of air fryer salmon next to a bed of white rice and garnished with fresh herbs

More salmon recipes to try:

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Two pieces of cooked salmon in an air fryer tray

Air Fryer Salmon

A quick and easy air fryer salmon recipe with a lemon garlic herb butter sauce.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 2 filets
Calories 210kcal

Equipment

  • Air Fryer

Ingredients
  

Salmon

  • 8 ounces Salmon Fillets cut into 2, 4-ounce fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Sauce

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
  • Place skin side down in the air fryer basket and cook at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.
  • While the salmon is cooking, melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the garlic, lemon juice and Italian seasonings. Cook for one minute and remove from heat.
  • When the salmon is finished cooking, removed from the air fryer and spoon lemon garlic herb butter over the salmon.
  • Serve immediately with extra butter sauce, fresh lemons and herbs.

Notes

For more lemon flavor, add lemon slices on top of the salmon as they cook. 
I prefer to leave the skin on to keep the fish extra moist, but you can remove it prior to cooking if you wish. 
I love making a double batch of this recipe for meal prepping. If stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator this meal should last up to 3 days. Reheat at 50% power in the microwave for a short time, or enjoy cold.

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 785mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 710IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg
Keyword air fryer salmon, salmon

 

 

 

Karen

Karen is the creator of Fresh Coast Eats where she shares delicious and easy recipes inspired by the four seasons and the beautiful Great Lakes. Karen is also a certified sommelier and loves to incorporate wine into her recipes as well as suggest perfect pairings.

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