Flaky & Juicy Air Fryer Lemon Butter Salmon Recipe

Fryit.co is reader-funded. When we link to a product, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more about our editorial process and affiliate disclaimer.

Lemony, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth salmon is next-level delicious. This Air Fryer Lemon Butter Salmon recipe is so good!

Air fryer lemon butter salmon served with lemon slices on top and roasted asparagus on the side

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.

Air fryer lemon butter salmon recipe bite shot, served with lemon slices on top and roasted asparagus

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

Ingredients for buttered lemon salmon air fryer recipe

You can find the exact measurements of the recipe ingredients and customize the serving size in the recipe card after the detailed step-by-step instructions section.

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 
  • Paprika 
  • Lemon (for zest, juice and slices)
  • Garlic 
  • Butter 

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!!

Recipe Video

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!

Step 1: Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC).

Preating Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer to 400°F (204°C).

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.

Step 2: Prepare lemon garlic butter sauce.

Mixing lemon garlic butter sauce in a ramekin bowl.

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.

Step 3: Season the salmon filets.

Rubbing salmon filets with paprika, salt and pepper.

Pat the filets of salmon totally dry, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.

Step 4: Brush salmon filets with lemon butter sauce.

Initial brushing salmon filets with lemon butter sauce

Brush both filets with the prepared lemon butter, reserving about half to brush on while cooking.

Step 5: Air fry salmon for 10-12 minutes, adding more butter and lemons halfway through.

Brushing salmon filets with lemon butter sauce halfway through cooking

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.

Step 6: Serve and enjoy your flaky and juicy air fried lemon butter salmon!

Air fried lemon salmon served with lemon slices and roasted asparagus

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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).

There are approximately 300 kilocalories in every serving of cooked lemon butter salmon.

prep time3 minutes
cooking time10 minutes
total cooking time13 minutes

Flaky & Juicy Air Fryer Lemon Butter Salmon

courseMain Course
cuisineAmerican
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!
Air fryer lemon butter salmon served with lemon slices on top and roasted asparagus on the side
5 from 2 votes
number of servings2

This ingredients checklist is interactive; you can use it as your grocery list.

Ingredients
 

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (204°C).
    Preating Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer to 400°F (204°C).
  • Prepare garlic lemon butter sauce: combine butter, crushed garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice.
    Mixing lemon garlic butter sauce in a ramekin bowl.
  • Pat dry salmon, rub with paprika, salt and pepper.
    Rubbing salmon filets 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.
    Initial brushing 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.
    Brushing salmon filets with lemon butter sauce halfway through cooking
  • Brush the salmon with the remaining lemon garlic sauce during the last half of air frying, and add lemon slices on top.
    Cooking lemon butter salmon in air fryer
  • Serve with your favorite side of greens and carbs. Enjoy your flaky and juicy air fryer lemon butter salmon!
    Air fried lemon salmon served with lemon slices and roasted asparagus

Recipe Video

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 193mg | Potassium: 866mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 369IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords: air fryer recipes, lemon butter salmon in air fryer, salmon recipes

Share or save this recipe for later:

Have you tried making the air fryer lemon salmon recipe?

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!

Are you on Instagram? Share your photo and tag us at @fryitco. We can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

Or you can also subscribe to our Youtube Channel. We’re constantly uploading easy and tasty air fryer recipe videos, ASMR style.

You can also find us on Facebook & Tiktok 🙂. See you there!

Thank you for your support!

Web Story

Leave a note

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.