Lemony, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth salmon is next-level delicious. This Air Fryer Lemon Butter Salmon recipe is so good! 😋 Fry it, to believe it!
You probably already know that salmon can be made into a delicious and flavorful meal, but did you know that you can quickly make mouth-watering salmon in your air fryer?
This air fryer lemon butter salmon combines the tangy taste of lemon with the richness of butter, making it even tastier and more sophisticated.
The good news is that it only takes 15 minutes to make.
You simply need to prepare the lemon butter and spread it on the fish before and during cooking. The result? A beautiful and juicy dinner packed with flavor in every bite.
Lemon Salmon Air Fryer Recipe 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’s what you’ll need to make the air fryer lemon salmon that knocks it out of the park:
- Salmon filets
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon (for zest, juice and slices)
📣 You can find the exact measurements and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card down below.
Depending on the flavors you’re looking for, you could always add some chopped fresh herbs to the lemon butter! Try adding some chopped fresh thyme, parsley, chives or tarragon for an added layer of flavor.
You could also swap the lemon with lime.
Garlic lime butter salmon with some chopped fresh cilantro would pair really well with a side of rice and beans! Delish!!
ASMR Recipe Video: Air Fried Lemon Garlic Butter 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 Lemon Butter Salmon in the Air Fryer?
Cooking lemon butter salmon in the air fryer is a straightforward process. The whole recipe takes less than 15 minutes to make, so it’s perfect for any night of the week!
1. Preheat the 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 for 5 minutes.
For juicy and flaky buttered salmon, it’s important to cook it for the shortest amount of time possible. Please do not skip this step.
2. Prepare lemon garlic butter sauce.
In a small bowl, combine the melted and cooled butter, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Bonus points if you use a tiny whisk 😉 Set aside.
3. Season the salmon filets.
Pat the filets of salmon totally dry, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.
4. Brush salmon filets with lemon butter sauce.
Brush both filets with the prepared lemon butter, reserving about half to brush on while cooking.
5. Air fry salmon for 10-12 minutes, adding more butter and lemons halfway through.
When the air fryer is preheated, add the salmon filets and air fry for about 6 minutes before adding the remaining lemon butter and 1 lemon slice to each filet.
Continue to air fry until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (for fully-cooked salmon), about 10-12 minutes.
💡Pro Tip: I personally like my salmon to be medium-rare, so I remove it from the air fryer when it reaches 125°F, for a softer final texture. It all comes down to personal preference!
I used a 6-quart air fryer 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 flaky and juicy air fried lemon butter salmon!
When the salmon has reached the desired internal temperature, (145°F for fully-cooked) remove from the air fryer and enjoy!
This air fryer lemon salmon recipe would go really well with some steamed broccoli!
Double the lemon butter recipe and toss it with some warm, steamed broccoli! Add a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley and you’ve got an awesome dinner that looks and tastes gourmet!
Other options for good sides include mashed potatoes, rice (of any variety), green beans (link to other recipe), asparagus, or salad!
Another fun idea is to flake up the cooked lemon butter salmon and put on a warm baguette with lots of arugula and a squeeze of mayonnaise. Who doesn’t love a sandwich??
Freezing & Storage
Freezing: Freezing cooked salmon is not our top recommendation with this recipe, though it is not impossible to do.
Once the salmon has cooled completely, remove and discard the lemon slices before adding the filets to freezer-safe zip-top bags. Frozen cooked salmon can last up to a month in the freezer. 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: For this recipe, it would probably be best to discard the lemon slices and use new lemon slices on the salmon during reheating, to prevent them from turning to mush.
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.
Air Fryer Lemon Butter Salmon FAQs
How to air fry lemon butter salmon?
To air fry lemon butter salmon, first prepare the lemon butter garlic sauce. Then season the salmon fillets with paprika, salt, and pepper. Next, preheat your air fryer to 400°F (204°C) and cook the seasoned salmon fillets for 10-12 minutes, while basting with the lemon butter sauce. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (62°C).
How many calories are there in one salmon filet?
There are approximately 300 kilocalories in every serving of cooked lemon butter salmon.
Flaky & Juicy Air Fryer Lemon Butter Salmon
- 2 salmon filets 1-inch thick, fresh salmon
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 2 slices lemon
- 1/16 teaspoon salt to taste
- 1/16 teaspoon pepper to taste
Lemon Butter Sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (204°C).
- Prepare garlic lemon butter sauce: combine butter, crushed garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice.
- Pat dry salmon, rub with paprika, salt and pepper.
- Place parchment paper in the preheated air fryer and add salmon. Then brush the salmon filets with lemon butter sauce.
- Cook the (1-inch) salmon filets for 10-12 mins 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 need to flip.
- Brush the salmon with the remaining lemon garlic sauce during the last half of air frying, and add lemon slices on top.
- Serve with your favorite side of greens and carbs. Enjoy your flaky and juicy air fryer lemon butter 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 lemon butter salmon 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.
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