Air fryer salmon bites take only 15 minutes to prepare, offering a quick and delicious meal option. The blend of simple ingredients with fresh fish ensures a consistently fantastic result, ideal for a no-fuss weeknight dinner or a speedy, refreshing, healthy lunch.
This recipe is versatile, accommodating various types of salmon. However, the quality of ingredients plays a pivotal role in the final taste. Using premium salmon enriches the flavor substantially and makes a more satisfying meal. The distinct taste and texture of fresh salmon elevate this dish, making it memorable for both seasoned salmon lovers and those new to the world of this flavorful fish.
Aside from its taste, this recipe also offers nutritional benefits. Salmon is renowned for its high omega-3 fatty acid content, contributing to heart health and overall well-being. Incorporating it into your diet through an accessible and tasty recipe makes healthy eating a breeze.
What Type of Salmon is Best for This Recipe?
The availability of fresh, ocean-caught salmon varies depending on your location. However, procuring such salmon here in the Pacific Northwest is as straightforward as visiting the local grocery store. Unfortunately, this is not the case nationwide.
The contrast between farmed Atlantic salmon and the fresh, ocean-run Pacific salmon is stark. Many who have only tasted the former and concluded a dislike for salmon might find their opinion is much different when they try Pacific salmon varieties. We recommend exploring reputable mail-order sources for varieties like Coho or Chinook to gauge whether salmon stays on your list.
Air fryer salmon bites are a perfect blend of convenience and taste and fit into a well-balanced diet. Whether using locally sourced Pacific salmon or exploring other varieties, the result is a delightful, nutritious meal for any occasion.
Why You Will Love This Air Fryer Salmon Bites Recipe
- High-Protein: Our simple air fryer salmon bites can fit into your diet no matter your meal plan. These are packed full of protein and healthy fats. This recipe is low-carb and would be appropriate for a keto diet. If you aren’t counting your carbs, you can serve it with steamed rice, pasta, or something healthier like a salad with a light vinaigrette or a big pile of vegetables.
- Easy Prep: This recipe is lightning fast and SO easy to prep. With 5 minutes of slicing and only 12 minutes of cooking, you’ll be eating delicious, perfectly cooked bites of salmon.
- Bright, Fresh Flavors: The fresh salmon and lemon are the perfect combination, and the salt brings everything together. Butter in the mix adds a creamy, savory element. It is reminiscent of shrimp scampi but with tender bites of salmon instead of shrimp.
- Fresh Salmon: Cube it into bite-sized pieces for quick cooking and easy eating. The fresher, the better.
- Butter: Use salted butter and thank me later. You need the salt and flavor, and it complements the fish well.
- Lemon: A little citrus is incredible on salmon. Use fresh slices and set them on the bottom of the basket and on the top of the salmon, too.
- Sea Salt: I love good salt, so this dish uses quality sea salt or pink Himalayan salt.
- Lemon Pepper: A great lemon pepper is essential to your seasoning cabinet! We use it on fish, shrimp, and chicken, too.
Air Fryer: I’ve used a variety of different air fryer models. All of the common ones will work for this recipe.
Parchment Paper: Layer the bottom of the air fryer with foil. Trim the excess from the basket's top with kitchen shears or scissors.
Scissors: To trim the excess parchment paper from the top of the basket.
Line the air fryer basket with parchment paper. Trim the excess from the top of the basket carefully so it doesn’t impede the airflow.
Cut your salmon into bite-sized chunks with a sharp knife.
Season the salmon chunks thoroughly with the sea salt and lemon pepper on all sides of the fish.
Thinly slice your lemon so you have 8-10 slices. Line the bottom of the basket with 4-6 slices of the lemon.
Put the chunks of seasoned salmon on top of the lemon slices.
With a skewer or chopstick, poke some holes into the remaining lemon slices. Place them on top of the fish. (The holes will allow the butter to drip through the lemon onto the fish.)
Put the pats of butter on top of the lemon slices. As the air fryer heats, the butter will melt and go through the lemon to the fish.
Place the basket with the fish into the air fryer. Set the timer for 12 minutes at 390°F.
Remove when the timer goes off and serve hot.
You can skip the butter and drizzle with olive oil if dairy-free.
Use a salt substitute like potassium chloride (or your favorite salt alternative) for a low-sodium diet.
Do you like a little spice? Sprinkle on some red pepper flakes or a drizzle of sriracha tossed with the cubed salmon will add a lot of flavor. Another great option would be some hot chili oil drizzled on top.
This recipe works well for all types of fish, not just salmon. You can use this method and recipe with whitefish like cod, lingcod, rockfish, seabass, halibut, walleye, pollock, haddock, or other similar whitefish.
You can omit the lemon pepper if you don’t have any. Just use freshly ground black pepper instead. The lemon flavor will still come through via the lemon slices.
If you don’t have lemon, orange would also be a nice flavor with salmon.
Flavored salts make a great addition to this recipe! There are so many to choose from; experiment and see what happens! I love sriracha salt, or smoked salt would add another flavor that could be delicious.
To Store: Store in a covered container in the fridge for 2-3 days, maximum.
To Reheat: Reheat in a skillet with butter or oil, or put it back in the air fryer for a few minutes. The quality will not be as good in a reheat, but it is still worth saving if you make more than you can tackle in one sitting.
To Freeze: I do not recommend freezing this dish.
Want something with some carbs? Some funeral potatoes would be excellent served with this dish. Creamy and crunchy, all in one bite.
Air Fryer Salmon Bites FAQ
We cook these salmon bites for about 12 minutes. If you like your salmon a little more on the medium side of done, reduce the time to 8 minutes. How long your salmon needs to cook depends on how big you cut your chunks. The smaller the chunks, the less time it takes to cook overall.
I use parchment paper to prevent sticking, and the lemons on the bottom of the pan do a fantastic job, also adding flavor. Another trick I use is keeping some non-stick foil around for things prone to sticking.
Yes, salmon should be thawed before cooking for optimal results. Salmon thaws very quickly, even in the fridge or a bowl of cold water, so even if you forgot to take it out this morning, you can still have dinner on the table in a flash.
- What To Eat With Salmon
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Easy Canned Salmon Fritters
- Salmon Sandwich
- Traeger Smoked Salmon
Our easy lemon pepper air fryer salmon bites will be such a hit for all of the salmon lovers in your life! Use the freshest salmon you can get, and stay away from farmed salmon if possible. Your taste buds, the fish, and the environment will thank you.
Air Fryer Salmon Bites Recipe
- 12 Ounces salmon
- 1 lemon thinly sliced
- 1 Teaspoon lemon pepper
- ½ Teaspoon sea salt
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- Line the air fryer basket with parchment paper. Trim excess from over the top of the basket (if applicable).
- Cut your salmon into bite-sized chunks.
- Season with the sea salt and lemon pepper on all sides.
- Slice your lemon and line the bottom of the air fryer with 4-6 slices.
- Put the chunks of seasoned salmon on top.
- Poke some holes into the remaining lemon slices. Place on top of the fish.
- Put some pats of butter on top of the lemon slices. You want it to melt and work through the lemon slices and onto the fish.
- Place the basket into the air fryer and set it for 12 minutes at 390°F.
- Remove when the timer goes off and serve hot.
This article originally appeared on Pink When.
Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering their followers a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience.