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cooking frozen salmon in air fryer

cooking frozen salmon in air fryer

cooking frozen salmon in air fryer

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cooking frozen salmon in air fryer

You might think of frozen fish as a bit of a downgrade from fresh-caught  salmon , but there’s no reason to fear the freezer! It’s one of the best tools we have in the kitchen, and fish is just one of the many things that are made even better by freezing.

You may not know this, but the “fresh” fish you buy at the supermarket has usually been previously frozen anyway, so you need to eat it pretty quickly.

Buying frozen salmon is more convenient, since freezing halts bacterial growthth and helps ensure your fish doesn’t spoil quickly. You can keep salmon in your freezer for up to six months before it starts to lose its quality. It’s there and ready to cook whenever you’re ready to eat!

Freezing also preserves nutrients, including protein, fat and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A and D. So if you’re wondering if frozen salmon is healthy, the answer is a resounding yes! It’s even considered a superfood!

This is a really easy salmon dish, that is prepared with a few key ingredients and produces a great sauce for your salmon.


  • 2 (6-ounce) frozen salmon fillets
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
cooking frozen salmon in air fryer
cooking frozen salmon in air fryer


1. Start by preheating the air fryer to 390 degrees F, for 5 minutes.

2. Add the frozen salmon to the air fryer basket.

3. Set the timer for 7 minutes.

4. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the mustard, maple syrup, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.

5. When the time is up, flip the salmon with a spatula, and then brush the sauce on top of the salmon, air fry for another 7-9.

6. Right before serving, brush with more of the sauce.

How to Make Fresh Salmon in the Air Fryer?

Step 1: Cut piece of salmon into even fielts if not already cut.

Step 2: Add marinade ingredients to a small bowl.

Step 3: Whisk marinade until combined.

Step 4: Brush marinade onto salmon fielts covering all sides (except the skin).

Step 5: Cook in preheated air fryer at 390 degrees F for 7-8 minutes, or until salmon reaches internal temperature of 145 degrees F.

How to Make Frozen Salmon in the Air Fryer?

Ideally you would defrost the salmon before cooking (and cook according to the fresh salmon instructions above). But in case you don’t have the time or you forget, here’s how to cook it in the air fryer from frozen.

Step 1: Cook frozen salmon in the air fryer at 390 degrees F for 7 minutes to defrost.

Step 2: Brush defrosted salmon with the marinade. Cook for another 7-9 minutes, or until salmon reaches internal temperature of 145 degrees F.

cooking frozen salmon in air fryer
cooking frozen salmon in air fryer

cooking frozen salmon in air fryer recipe

Delicious, perfectly cooked salmon from frozen to your plate in around 20 minutes! We’ve done all the work for you and have the best time and temperature for air frying frozen salmon.


  • 2 frozen salmon fillets(6 oz)
  •  Diced chives(optional topping)

For the easy glaze:

  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried ginger



  • For easy cleanup, spray the air fryer basket with oil or line it with parchment paper.
  • Preheat air fryer to 400° Fahrenheit. Even if it doesn’t have a preheat function, preheat it for a few minutes.
  • Place the frozen salmon (skin side up) to cook for 10 minutes.
  • While the salmon is cooking, make the glaze by adding all of the sauce ingredients to a bowl and mixing well.
  • Flip the salmon after 10 minutes and cook for another 8-12 minutes.
  • In the last 3-5 minutes of cooking. Quickly pull the salmon out and brush it with the glaze on the top side. Return salmon to the air fryer to cook until finished.
  • Remove and serve.

How to Cook Frozen Salmon in an Air Fryer

This simple dish is perfect for anyone looking for a quick, easy, and tasty shot of healthy protein. Cooked in an air fryer, it’s easy to get that moist, flaky texture that makes salmon so delicious. Plus, it’s cheap – now let’s dive into how to make this fast and delicious entree!


  • 1 lb Salmon Fish Frozen
  • 1/8 Tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt and Black Pepper to taste


  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes.
  • Combine all the seasonings except the oil.
  • Brush the oil over both sides of the fish and rub on the seasoning.
  • Place the fish on the air fryer basket and air fry for 10 minutes. If the fish comes with skin, turn to the skin side and air fry for another 5 to 6 minutes. For skinless salmon, cook for 3 to 5 more minutes.
cooking frozen salmon in air fryer
cooking frozen salmon in air fryer


This is going to depend on how thick your fillets are. For me, 15 minutes always seems to be the right amount of time. However, make sure to start checking on your fish around the 12-minute mark if the fillets are thin. If they’re thick, it could take as long as 18 minutes.


Nope! The beauty of this recipe is that the fish can go straight from your freezer to the olive oil and seasoning mixture to the air fryer. From there, it will cook to crispy-on-the-outside, flaky-on-the-inside perfection in 20 minutes or less!

How does air-fried salmon taste?

Air-fried salmon tastes better than regular fried salmon because it is less greasy.

On the other hand, a bit of olive oil will infuse it with more flavors. I prefer to air fry salmon when I have sticky rice as a side dish.

It adds a bit of smooth texture to the air-fried salmon, making it much tastier. Our brain likes a variety of textures when it tastes food, and this is one way to provide it.

You can also drizzle some honey on top of the air-fried salmon before serving it. This will give it a nice sweetness which goes well with the salmon’s flavors.

Why Air Fryer Frozen Salmon Works?

Air fryer frozen salmon works because:

  • it’s simple and healthy, with little preparation.
  • it’s a great option when you forget to defrost dinner.
  • you can use a frozen already seasoned or marinated salmon to make it extra easy.
  • or use plain frozen salmon and season it with your favorite glaze, sauce, or dry rub.


Just like cooking meat, I like to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the cooked salmon.

According to the FDA, cooked fish should reach an internal temperature of 145ºF in the thickest part of the fish, or the flesh should look opaque and easily flake with a fork.

Similar to cooking meat, you can pull the salmon out a few degrees below that (I usually aim for 140ºF-ish) and let it rest briefly before serving. The salmon should continue cooking while it’s resting, getting up to that safe temperature, and then you won’t risk overcooking it and having it dry out.

Should I add oil to frozen salmon when using my air fryer?

No additional oil besides the light greasing of the air fryer basket is needed. The salmon is not deep-fried as it is “fried” in dry circulating hot air.

Can I add aluminum foil to my air fryer?

This depends on the type of air fryer you have and where you’re putting the foil. I like to put the foil UNDER the basket to catch any excess oil or grease that comes off the salmon. This eliminates the need to clean the entire air fryer and you’ll just use the basket. If the foil is in a position where it can become loose, it may get sucked into the heating element when the air circulates so be sure it’s weighed down properly.

Can You Air Fry Salmon With Skin?

Yes, you sure can and we have done this a lot when we have bought our air fryer salmon frozen from Aldi.

They sell delicious packs of 2 salmon fillets with their skin in the fresh fish section. I will then save them in the freezer for when I want to cook them and then cook the salmon from frozen.

How Long To Cook Frozen Salmon In Ninja Air Fryer?

When you want to cook salmon in the air fryer made by Ninja Foodi, the cooking time is approximately 7 minutes for a cooking temperature of 390 degrees F. If you increase the cooking temperature, it will cook faster.

Another factor determining the cooking time is the size and thickness of the salmon meat. Thin frozen salmon fillets will need less time to cook than the frozen salmon burger patties.

The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees F. The cooked salmon will have bright-red opaque meat, while the raw salmon is more translucent.


There’s always the debate between fresh and frozen salmon. Honestly, they’re both great options!

  • Fresh salmon: From my experience, I’ve found that salmon (and other types of seafood) are best bought from a local fishmonger. But I know not everyone has access to a local fish shop. If that’s the case with you, don’t fret, frozen salmon is also great!
  • Frozen salmon: If you’re unsure about the fish “on ice” at the market, frozen salmon is the next best thing. Frozen salmon is typically flash frozen on the boat right after they’ve been caught, which helps to preserve their freshness.
cooking frozen salmon in air fryer
cooking frozen salmon in air fryer

Expert Tips from a Dietitian

This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). Frozen salmon is about as healthy as fresh, making this a nice, easy way to get more seafood in. If you want to lighten up this meal because you have a weight loss goal, here are some options:

  1. Make it lower fat: Skip the lemon cream sauce (knocks off about 125 calories).
  1. Make it low carb: Serve the meal with non-starchy vegetables, and no grains or starchy vegetables.

There are about 150-200 calories per ¼ cup of dry rice, quinoa, etc. (That’s around ¾ cup cooked.) The lower carb option may be the one that ends up being lower calorie, depending on the sides you use. The “right” approach depends on your health goals and the dietary patten you find more satisfying.

People love to debate about whether low-fat or low-carb options are better for weight loss. The truth is, it all comes down to what is sustainable for the individual. If a person cannot stick to a certain way of eating, that approach is not better for them.

The lower-fat option is considered the “heart-healthy” option by mainstream health organizations. Skipping the cream sauce brings the saturated fat in this dish down while keeping the whole grains retains more fiber.

If you find fiber-rich foods more satiating than added fats, the low-fat option may be the way to go. It’s also the best option if you’re actively trying to decrease your saturated fat intake.

Salmon is a fatty fish, so cutting the cream sauce makes this dish lower-fat but not no fat. As I’ve talked about previously on this site, some fat is essential in the diet. The goal should never be zero fat, no matter your preferred way of eating.


This frozen salmon in the air fryer recipe is so easy to switch up ingredients to suit specific tastes. Try some of the following ideas:

  • Spicy – Use diced jalapeno peppers or cayenne pepper for a bit of a spicy salmon.
  • Honey – Brush honey and garlic on the salmon after it is cooked for honey garlic salmon in the air fryer
  • Teriyaki – Brush teriyaki sauce on the salmon after it is cooked



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