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Air Fryer Lemon Garlic Salmon is a bright & fresh, flavorful, healthy main dish seafood recipe that takes only 10 minutes to cook in the air fryer! Easy and fast to make for a weeknight dinner.

A piece of cooked salmon with a fork flaking it in the front.

Lemon Garlic Salmon Air Fryer Recipe

Salmon is such a healthy and versatile protein option for dinnertime. Salmon can easily take on pretty much any flavor profile and it’s an easy protein to cook, even for beginners.

I used to never make seafood because of the smell. But now, I just can’t get enough of it because this lemon pepper salmon is so simple to make with easy prep time, easy clean-up, and it’s healthy.

With a simple dried seasoning rub and a coating of olive oil and fresh lemon juice, this salmon is bursting with bright and vibrant flavors. Let’s learn how to make lemon garlic salmon the easy way in an air fryer!

Salmon filets inside an air fryer basket.

Why We Love It

  • Easy Healthy Dinner – Lemon garlic salmon is an easy dinner idea that is quick to make, and uses
  • Simple Ingredients – Most of the ingredients called for are dried seasonings, which you probably have on hand, so all you need are fresh salmon filets and a lemon.
  • Easy Air Fryer Method – You’ll love the easy cooking method using the air fryer!

Ingredients Needed

  • Salmon Fillets – Each salmon filet should be about 6 ounces. You can get a larger piece of salmon and then cut it into 4 filets.
  • Olive Oil or Avocado Oil – You want to use an oil with a higher smoke point for this recipe. I like to use extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Garlic Powder
  • Kosher Salt – Kosher salt is the best salt to use because it elevates the flavors without tasting “salty”. Sea salt is another great option as well.
  • Freshly Ground Pepper – For the best flavor use freshly ground back pepper.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Italian Seasoning
Labeled ingredients

How To Make Air Fryer Lemon Garlic Salmon

If you’ve never made salmon in the air fryer before, it’s probably easier than you think! With only a 10 minute cook time, that is completely hands off for you, making salmon doesn’t get any easier than this air fryer recipe.

  1. REMOVE MOISTURE – Line a plate, or cutting board, with paper towel. Place the salmon filets, skin side down, and then place another layer of paper towel over top the salmon. Use your hands to firmly, but gently, press down on the salmon to remove and soak up any excess moisture.
  2. SEASON THE SALMON – Mix together the olive oil and lemon juice. Coat salmon generously with the olive oil mixture. Combine the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning in a small bowl. Rub the seasoning into the salmon.
  3. AIR FRY THE SALMON – Spray the insert of the air fryer with cooking spray. Place the salmon filets, skin side down, and cook at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Do not flip or rotate. Salmon is done when the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees F.
  4. SERVE – Serve with chopped parsley and/or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Process photos showing how to make this recipe inside an air fryer.
Process photos showing how to make this recipe inside an air fryer.
Process photos showing how to make this recipe inside an air fryer.
Process photos showing how to make this recipe inside an air fryer.
Process photos showing how to make this recipe inside an air fryer.

How Do I Know If Salmon Is Cooked?

You will know when your salmon is cooked through once it turns a light pink in color, firms up, and it’s easily flaked with a fork. The internal temperature of each salmon filet should also be cooked to 145 degrees F. It’s best to use a Food Thermometer to check for doneness.

How Long Does Cooked Salmon Last In The Fridge?

Once cooked and cooled to room temperature salmon can be stored in the fridge, in an air-tight container, for 3-4 days.

You can enjoy leftover lemon pepper salmon cold and top a salad with it or eat it as is. Or try reheating leftovers in the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 4-5 minutes to heat through.

Should I Cook Salmon With The Skin On or Off?

You can bake this lemon pepper salmon with the skin on or the skin off. Either way works and it’s whatever you prefer. I prefer to keep the skin on because it’s easy and it also locks in the moisture and keeps the fish flaky, moist, and flavorful.

Obviously, when you eat the salmon you will just eat the pink salmon flesh and not the skin. Leave the skin on the plate 😉 Or you can peel the skin off each salmon filet before serving it. My kids will eat salmon but only if they don’t see the skin on their plate, so I always peel off the skin before serving it.

A plate of cooked seafood garnished with lemon and parsley.

Expert Tips For Success

  • Thinner salmon will cook faster (in about 8 minutes) compared to thicker slices of salmon filet that will need to cook longer (about 10-12 minutes). The cook time really depends on how thick or thin the salmon filets are that you are using. You can easily pull out the air fryer and check for doneness if you’re not sure. Overcooked salmon is not as good so check it often if needed.
  • It’s best to cook these lemon garlic seasoned salmon filets with the skin on, skin side down in the air fryer basket, as this will help it retain all the moisture and lock in the flavor. When serving, you can easily peel off the skin or serve it with the skin on. I don’t recommend eating the skin!
  • No need to flip or rotate the salmon halfway during the cook time. Just leave it in there, skin side down, the entire time.
  • Make sure that the salmon filets are not touching each other. You want maximum air flow between the salmon so all sides get cooked evenly. Depending on the size of your air fryer you may have to cook in two batches.
Close up of cooked salmon.

What Should I Serve With Air Fryer Lemon Garlic Salmon Filets?

This salmon is yummy served over a bed of lettuce, loaded with all the fresh veggies like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, cabbage, etc. Top it off with your favorite salad dressing or vinaigrette and you have a healthy lunch or dinner option.

Server this lemon pepper salmon alongside some Parmesan Roasted Potatoes, Ranch Potatoes, or these Garlic Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

It’s also really good served alongside some roasted vegetables, roasted broccoli, or asparagus. Or try it with a side of Rice Pilaf.

Salmon on white serving platter.

More Air Fryer Recipes

More Seafood Recipes

A piece of cooked salmon with a fork flaking it in the front.
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Air Fryer Lemon Garlic Salmon


Author Jessica – Together as Family
Course Dinner, Main Course, Seafood
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Air Fryer Lemon Garlic Salmon is a bright & fresh, flavorful, healthy main dish seafood recipe that takes only 10 minutes to cook in the air fryer! Easy and fast to make for a weeknight dinner. 

Ingredients
  

  • 4 salmon filets (about 6 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil OR avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (freshly squeezed or bottled)
  • teaspoons kosher salt OR sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Instructions

  • Prep : Line a plate (or use a cutting board or clean counter top) with paper towel. Lay the salmon filets, skin-side down, and then lay paper towels over top the salmon flesh. Gently but firmly press on the salmon to soak up the excess moisture with the paper towel.
    4 salmon filets
  • Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl. Coat each salmon filet in the oil mixture.
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil OR avocado oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • In a separate small bowl, combine the kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Rub each salmon filet with the dried seasoning mix making sure to coat it well and use your fingers to press it into the salmon.
    1½ teaspoons kosher salt OR sea salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Spray the bottom of the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Place salmon filets, skin side down, into the basket.
    * Don't have the salmon filets touching or overlapping. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to do 2 batches.
  • Cook at 400℉ for 9-12 minutes. Do not flip or rotate the salmon during the cook time.
    * The salmon is done when the internal temperature reaches 145℉, the flesh is light pink, and the salmon is easily flaked with a fork.
    * If the salmon filets are thinner then they probably only need about 8-9 minutes cook time. For thicker or larger filets, closer to 10-12 minutes is normally good.
  • You can peel the skin off before serving or leave it on. Garnish each salmon filet with a fresh slice of lemon and/or chopped fresh parsley (if wanted).

Notes

Olive Oil : Regular olive oil can be used if you prefer that. I prefer the milder flavor of extra-virgin olive oil. I use the light tasting’ extra-virgin olive oil. 
Salmon Filets : I buy the larger salmon filet at Costco and then cut it into 4-5 smaller filets. You can also buy just the individual filets. If using frozen salmon, place it in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minute to thaw quickly before cooking it. You can also let it thaw overnight in the fridge. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 948mg | Potassium: 857mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 79IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 2mg

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