Frozen Salmon in Air Fryer

We’ve all had days where you come home from work, only to realize that you forgot to take something out of the freezer to cook for dinner. Thawing food in a microwave is rarely a good option.   Microwaved food frequently dries out or is chewy. Having to order takeout last minute is expensive, and is nowhere near as healthy for your family as a home cooked meal.  So, what how quickly can you whip up that frozen salmon in air fryer.

lemon zest

Sticking to a diet is challenging. Fast food and takeout options are almost certainly a no-go for those watching their weight using methods like the keto diet, or another diet of choice. Rather than spending the money ordering takeout and disrupting your progress, why not try a recipe for salmon that does not require you to thaw the fillets in advance?


Follow along as we discuss the benefits of salmon, its usefulness for the keto diet, and give you the perfect frozen salmon recipe you can cook in your air fryer at home.


Benefits of Salmon

Salmon is considered to be one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.  Salmon is loaded with essential nutrients including a high amount of added fat or carbohydrates. In particular, salmon is a great source of selenium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. The benefits of salmon include its abundance of omega-3 fatty acids.  These fatty acids are a healthy fat that is needed for heart health.  Additionally, inclusion of fatty acids decrease inflammation throughout the body.


The nutrition figures of salmon vary somewhat between the different varieties available to most consumers. Wild-caught salmon, on average, tends to be higher in protein than farm raised salmon. On the other hand, farm raised salmon will generally contain more healthy fats and will be higher in calories – but not by much. A 3.5oz fillet of wild caught salmon will have on average around 182 calories. In comparison, there are 206 calories in farm raised salmon fillets.


Whichever option is available in the local supermarket, both farm raised and wild caught salmon are both very healthy meal choices. Not to mention, salmon is tasty and a highly versatile food that is a staple in a wide array of dishes!

Salmon and Keto Dieting

Fish in general are very keto-friendly meal options. They tend to be nearly carbohydrate-free while packing in many of the essential vitamins needed for a balanced diet. Salmon is often the best choice for keto dieters.  A 3.5oz serving of Atlantic salmon packs in 21 grams of protein, 4.4 grams of fat, and zero carbs. This makes salmon and keto go hand in hand.

Cooking Salmon in an Air Fryer

Many people would never guess that the air fryer is a perfect way to cook salmon, but it actually produces some of the most flavorful and tender salmon you can make. It is also one of the quickest ways to cook salmon at home, often taking as little as 10-15 minutes to complete. This makes air fryer salmon a quick and easy meal choice for any day of the week, especially since you don’t have to thaw your salmon fillets in advance. Just take them directly out of the freezer and use them in your recipe.

An added benefit to cooking your salmon in an air fryer is how little cleanup it takes afterwards. Air frying salmon tends to lock in all of its natural juices, meaning that few escape to make a mess of your cooking space. Trapping the juices in is what keeps the flavor and tenderness of the fish.

salmon air fryer

The Best Air Fryer Salmon Recipe

If you are ready to try your hand at cooking salmon in an air fryer, choose a recipe that packs a lot of flavor. The recipe below is for Sweet and Tangy Glazed Salmon using the air fryer, and is a quick and simple meal your family is sure to love. This salmon pairs well with other healthy dinner options, such as your favorite salad, steamed vegetables, or on top of a bed of keto-friendly pasta.

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)

  • 4 (6-ounce) frozen salmon fillets
  • 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 390F for at least five minutes. While it is heating up, begin prepping your other ingredients.
  2. Add the frozen salmon fillets to the air fryer basket. Space out the fillets evenly.
  3. Cook the fillets in the heated air fryer for 7-8 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, maple syrup (or honey), garlic, salt, and pepper. This will be the glaze for the salmon.
  5. After 7-8 minutes of cooking has happened, flip the salmon with a spatula. Brush the glaze on top of the salmon.
  6. Air fry for an additional 7-9 minutes.
  7. Before serving, brush the salmon fillets with any of the remaining glaze.

Helpful Tips

Follow these tips to ensure maximum flavor in your air fryer salmon.

  • Avoid overcooking the salmon. Salmon is one variety of fish safe to consume at a medium-rare to medium doneness. When the fillet turns white, remove it immediately from the air fryer. Leaving it in longer will dry out the fish.
  • Try to choose fillets that are the same thickness. If you cook both thick and thin fillets at the same time, the thinner fillets run the risk of being overcooked by the time the thicker ones reach completion. Aim for fillets that are fairly uniform in consistency to ensure that they all come out equally well cooked.
  • Leave the skin on your salmon. The skin forms a natural barrier that keeps moisture trapped inside the fillet and will crisp up as the salmon cooks. The skin is completely edible, so you can choose to eat it or remove it after the salmon is taken out of the air fryer.
  • If you are worried about the glaze sticking to the air fryer, you can add a small amount of foil to the bottom of the air fryer basket. Air fryers work by circulating hot air from the bottom of the fryer, so if you choose to do this be sure to use only a very small amount and don’t cover the food. However, this step is not necessary as air fryers are designed to be nonstick and easy to clean – even when dealing with sticky glazes!

Final Thoughts

Cooking salmon at home does not have to be a long and stressful process, especially with recipes like these that allow you to cook your fillets from frozen. Feel free to get creative and see what other fun ideas you can come up with to cook salmon in an air fryer for your next meal!


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