Air Fryer Frozen Salmon

(1 vote)
5 minutes
July 19, 2023
Carole JonesJump to Recipe

Ready for the ultimate recipe for quick and flavorful seafood: air fryer frozen salmon. Say goodbye to the lengthy thawing of the frozen salmon filets. Join us as we unlock the secrets of creating restaurant-quality frozen salmon infused with your favorite seasonings, then cooked to perfection inside your air fryer in just a few minutes. Experience succulent salmon like never before, all thanks to the air fryer’s convenience and efficiency. Let’s dive in and savor the delectable results that await.

Air Fryer Frozen Salmon

Why I Love This Recipe

Ever since getting my first air fryer in 2022, I’ve had so much fun creating so many new air fryer recipes that are ready in minutes. Especially since we now live in Arizona, any time I can cook without turning on the stove or oven, that is a double bonus. In the peak summer heat, I’ll even stick my air fryer outside on the patio while it cooks 🙂

I’ve recently been prescribed an anti-inflammatory diet to deal with a recent diagnosis and increasing my intake of omega-3 fatty acids is one of the major requirements. Since I’m fairly picky when it comes to fish, I knew salmon would be my go-to protein to meet that requirement. And, I needed it to be quick so no remembering to thaw the salmon first! After a few trials, this recipe for air fryer frozen salmon was perfected and it will be on continual repeat in our menu.

Air Fryer Frozen Salmon Ingredients & Tools

  • Frozen salmon filets, with or without skin
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh garlic
  • Dijon mustard
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Pastry brush
  • Air fryer
Air Fryer Frozen Salmon

How to Make Air Fryer Frozen Salmon

If you have frozen salmon in your freezer, there is no need to thaw it before cooking it!

Time needed: 15 minutes

How to Make Air Fryer Frozen Salmon

  1. Select the type of frozen salmon you want to use

    This recipe will work for any type of frozen salmon so pick the one that you love, or that fits your budget the best. It can be either with or without the skin. I find that Costco and Sam’s Club have great prices on frozen salmon filets.

  2. Preheat your air fryer

    It is tempting to skip this step, but it is very important since you cook the salmon from frozen instead of thawing it first. The first few minutes inside the hot air fryer actually start to thaw the fish so you can then add the seasoning and it can absorb into the flesh.

  3. Season after the first few minutes

    If you try to season the frozen filets, the mixture will just slide off. Instead, put the frozen filets in the air fryer for just a few minutes to allow the outer layers to thaw, then add the seasoning.

  4. Do not flip the salmon filets

    Usually in an air fryer recipe, you flip the food halfway through the cooking time. However, salmon is very delicate and will break into pieces if you try to flip it halfway through. Only one side of your filet will get caramelized but it’s still delicious!

Air Fryer Frozen Salmon

Recipe FAQ’s

Can you cook salmon frozen in an air fryer?

Yes, you can cook frozen salmon in an air fryer without thawing it first. In fact, cooking fish from a frozen state actually creates a moist and tender interior and keeps you from overcooking it. The temperature and length of time needed will vary from air fryer to air fryer. However, I suggest trying 400 degrees for 7 – 10 minutes.

How long do you cook frozen fish in an air fryer?

The length of time needed to cook frozen fish in an air fryer is dependent on both the thickness of your fish as well as the power level of your air fryer. Unfortunately, air fryer cooking requires some trial and error. For most air fryers, 10 minutes should cook a fish filet to a perfect doneness. But, start checking for doneness at 7 minutes.

Can I use this same recipe on thawed salmon filets?

If you have already thawed your salmon filets, you can still use this recipe with a slight modification. Skip step 1 entirely since your salmon is already thawed. Instead, brush on the seasoning mixture and place it into your air fryer preheated to 400 degrees. Reduce the cooking time by 3 – 5 minutes. The exact time will depend on the power of your air fryer.

My air fryer frozen salmon was still uncooked inside. What did I do wrong?

If your finished air fryer frozen salmon is still cold and undercooked on the inside, it really wasn’t finished. 🙂 Every air fryer has a different power level, so next time add 3 – 5 more minutes to the cooking time and you should be good to go.

Air Fryer Frozen Salmon

Air Fryer Frozen Salmon Recipe Variations

One of the beauties of being a home cook is that you can customize and change recipes according to your family’s likes and dislikes. Feel free to try out any of these recipe variations for this air fryer frozen salmon.

  • Add some spice – Add 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce to the seasoning mixture for a little kick to your finished salmon. Sriracha, Tampico, Tapatio, or Franks would all be delicious.
  • Add some sweetness – Adding a tablespoon of brown sugar to the seasoning mixture will not only add sweetness but increase the amount of caramelization on the outside of the salmon.
  • Add some freshness – Chop up some fresh Italian parsley, cilantro, chives, or thyme and add it to the seasoning mixture for some herbaceous notes.

Want More Air Fryer Recipes?

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Air Fryer Frozen Salmon

Air Fryer Frozen Salmon

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5 from 1 review

Ready in just a few minutes and perfectly tender every time!

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x



2 frozen filets of salmon (with or without skin)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 360 degrees. Place the frozen salmon filets into the basket of the air fryer and cook for 5 minutes to allow the fish to begin to thaw.
  2. Mix together the oil, lemon, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Use a pastry brush and spread all the seasoning mixture over the top of both filets.
  4. Return to the air fryer and cook at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes. Until the flesh is opaque in the center and flakes easily.
  • Author: Carole Jones
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 filet
  • Calories: 164
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 540 mg
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 5 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 19 g
  • Cholesterol: 45 mg

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Carole Jones

Carole Jones is an Arizona-based cookbook author & food blogger. She's authored The 30 Minute Cooking From Frozen Cookbook and the self-published Take 5: Chicken e-cookbook. For the past 15 years, Carole has shared her culinary adventures cooking and baking for her six brutally honest children here on My Kitchen Escapades. Hot, crusty bread is Carole's love language, but her two adorable grandchildren are a close second. Yes, second. Don't judge.


Lori Smith
10 months ago

We loved Carole’s air fryer salmon recipe! It was so nice not to have to take the time to thaw the salmon, a real time saver. The sauce was delicious, complimenting (not overpowering) the salmone. Give it a try and enjoy!

Carole Jones
10 months ago

Thanks Lori for the kind review!

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