This southern-style Air Fryer Cajun Salmon recipe is flaky and juicy with a mild spicy kick. 🍀 Bonus: It’s ready in minutes. Fry it, to believe it!
Salmon is not only a really delicious option when you want a fish dinner, but it’s also a very healthy option, rich in protein and low in saturated fat!
The flaky nature of the fish is immensely satisfying, and cooking it in the air fryer adds a crisp, golden brown exterior that complements the salmon’s fattiness, making an all-around, really good piece of fish.
In the Air Fryer Cajun Salmon Recipe, we rub the fish filets with a southern-inspired, slightly spicy seasoning blend that goes really well with the buttery texture of the fish.
We add a little butter to the tops of the filets, making it a little more decadent and also super-rich in flavor.
Air fryer Cajun Salmon Ingredients
For the best results, use fresh, 1-inch-thick skin-on salmon filets. While salmon steaks are also good, they tend to have some hidden pin bones, making them more difficult to eat. You could also use frozen salmon filets, defrosted in the refrigerator overnight.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this easy Cajun salmon air fryer recipe!
- Salmon filets
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Dried thyme
- Dried oregano
- Salt and pepper
📣 You can find the exact measurements and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card down below.
It may look like a lot of ingredients, but the list is mainly spices, all of which you’ll likely already have! Probably the only thing you’ll have to buy is the salmon!
You could always buy the Cajun seasoning mix, too, making this recipe that much faster.
As a general rule, use whatever is available in your pantry.
🍏 Healthy Tip: If you’re looking to keep this meal on the healthier-side, simply omit the butter and instead, rub each salmon filet with one teaspoon of olive oil when applying the seasoning.
ASMR Recipe Video: Air Fried Cajun Salmon
Don’t have time to read? We made this short recipe video just for you. 😉
*You can find the exact amount of ingredients and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card below.
How to Cook Cajun Salmon in the Air Fryer?
Making Cajun salmon (or salmon of any kind) in the air fryer is super easy and quick! From start to finish, this recipe takes less than 20 minutes.
Serve with a steamed veggie or rice and you’ve got a super simple, satisfying and speedy dinner!
1. Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC).
If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 400ºF (204ºC) and then let it cook without food for 5 minutes.
The longer you cook your fish, the drier it becomes. Please do not skip preheating your air fryer.
2. Prepare cajun seasoning.
In a small bowl, combine the seasoning blend ingredients: paprika, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, dried oregano, cayenne and dried thyme.
Or you could also use a store-bought cajun mix.
3. Rub the salmon with cajun seasoning.
Rub both filets with a decent amount of the seasoning, being sure to coat the fish on all sides.
4. Place the salmon in the preheated air fryer.
When the air fryer is preheated, add an air fryer liner (if using) and the salmon filets. Top each filet with pieces of butter.
5. Air fry the salmon filets for 10-12 minutes.
Air fry the salmon until the internal temperature reaches 140°F (the salmon will continue to cook once removed from the air fryer), about 10-12 minutes. No need to flip the filets while cooking.
💡Pro Tip: You don’t have to eat salmon at 145°F! Salmon is safe to eat at lower temperatures, and has an even more buttery and moist texture. I prefer to remove my salmon from the air fryer when it reaches 125°F. Salmon is sooooo good when it’s medium-rare!
📝 Note: I used a 6-quart Instant Pot Vortex Plus to test this recipe. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings you are making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.
6. Serve and enjoy your air fried Cajun salmon filets!
When the salmon reaches the desired temperature (145°F for fully-cooked), remove the filets from the air fryer. Serve immediately and enjoy!
To make the Cajun seasoning pop even more, have a lime nearby and squeeze a little juice on the salmon before enjoying!
You’ll be wowed by how much of a difference a little acid can make.
🤩 Fun serving suggestion: Double the seasoning blend and toss some halved baby potatoes with the excess seasoning and some olive oil.
Air fry the potatoes before cooking salmon and keep warm while the salmon cooks (or oven-roast them while air frying), and you’ll have a dinner popping with Cajun flavor!
This salmon would also be really good served with some steamed broccoli or roasted asparagus. Basically any vegetable side will go well!
Freezing & Storage
Freezing: Freezing cooked salmon can be tricky but it is not impossible. Once the salmon has cooled completely, add filets to freezer-safe zip-top bags and freeze for up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Fridge: Cooled salmon, stored in an airtight container or zip-top bags, can last in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheating: The fastest way to reheat salmon without drying it out is in the microwave on 50% power for 1-2 minutes.
Alternatively, you could put the cooked salmon filets back into an air fryer at 325°F and cook for 4-5 minutes or until heated-through, watching the salmon carefully so as to not dry it out.
The Best Air Fryer
If you’ve ever questioned the reliability of your current air fryer, it’s time to meet the Instant Vortex Air Fryer – your new kitchen sidekick! Picture effortless cooking, thanks to its 6 automatic functions. PLUS, it’s dishwasher safe, making cleaning a snap. 🤩 Don’t wait, upgrade your air fryer today!
Cajun Salmon Air Fryer Recipe FAQs
How to air fry cajun salmon?
To air fry Cajun salmon, first, you need to preheat your cooking equipment to 400°F (204°C). Then, rub your salmon fillets generously with Cajun seasoning. Next, line your air fryer with parchment paper, and cook your salmon for 10-12 minutes. That’s it, no need to flip. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish.
Easy Air Fryer Cajun Salmon
- 2 salmon filets 1-inch thick, fresh salmon
- 1/2 stick butter sliced into 4 cubes
- ¾ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (204°C).
- Prepare cajun seasoning by combining all these spices: paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, ground black pepper, and salt. Or you could also use a ready-made one.
- Pat dry, then rub the salmon filets with cajun seasoning. Gently massage them to ensure the flavor is fully incorporated.
- Add parchment paper to the preheated air fryer, grease with butter if desired. Add the seasoned salmon filets, and place the cubed butters on top.
- Air fry the (1-inch thick) salmon filets for 10-12 minutes until slightly golden and the internal temperature reaches 145°F (62°C). If you're using a thinner salmon, reduce the cooking time by 2-4 minutes. No flipping required.
- Serve with your favorite side of carbs and veggies. Enjoy your flaky and juicy air fryer cajun salmon!
- If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 400°F (204°C) and then let it cook for 5 minutes without food.
- For a flaky and juicy salmon, do not skip preheating your air fryer. The longer you cook your salmon, the more it’s going to dry out.
- Please note that we used 1-inch thick salmon in this recipe. Cooking time may vary depending on the quality and thickness of your fish. For a 1-inch salmon filet, it will take about 10-12 minutes. Reduce cooking time by 2-4 for thinner ones.
- The FDA recommends that all fish and seafood reach an internal temperature of 145°F (62°C). We highly recommend using a meat thermometer.
- Use an air fryer liner to catch any sauce and for easy cleanup.
- Grease the parchment paper to prevent the fish from sticking (not guaranteed).
- I used a 6-quart Instant Pot Vortex Plus to test the air fryer cajun salmon. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings you are making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.
Share or save this recipe for later:
Have you tried making the Cajun air fryer salmon?
Leave us a note, and give this recipe a star rating. Good or bad, we appreciate your opinion. Let’s improve this air fryer recipe as a community!
Or you can also subscribe to our Youtube Channel. We’re constantly uploading easy and tasty air fryer recipe videos, ASMR style.
Thank you for your support!