Air fryer salmon bites are a tasty treat that's ready in a flash. These little seasoned morsels of salmon perfection are not only a favorite in my household but they are also an absolute breeze to make. Salmon bites are perfect for sharing and can be served as an appetizer or main dish.
Salmon is a frequent visitor to my family's dinner table, and it's all for a good reason. It's not just incredibly delicious, but it's also packed with those heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that we all need. Plus, it's a versatile fish that pairs well with a variety of seasonings.
My Air Fryer Salmon Bites are a hit with my family because they're a tantalizing blend of flaky, succulent salmon with just the right amount of seasoning – a little spicy kick from the Cajun seasoning or a milder touch with salmon seasoning – perfect for all taste preferences.
What makes the whole process even better is the air fryer's ability to crisp up the salmon bites to perfection with hust a touch of olive oil to keep things moist. The result? Golden, crispy, and juicy salmon bites that will have you hooked from the very first bite. This delicious recipe is packed with healthy fats and cooks in minutes so I am all about serving it as often as I can.
- Salmon – Use fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillets. Remove the salmon skin with a sharp knife if it is still attached. You can also substitute with other types of fish like trout or cod if you prefer a different flavor. Frozen salmon should be that completely and patted dry with paper towels.
- Olive Oil – Use any light, neutral-flavored oil to add a touch of moisture and help the seasoning adhere to the salmon. If you're looking to reduce the fat content, you can use a cooking spray like non-stick olive oil spray or even omit the oil altogether if your air fryer has a non-stick coating.
- Salmon seasoning (or Cajun seasoning) – The choice of seasoning is up to your preference. Salmon seasoning (I use Trader Joe's brand) typically includes a blend of herbs and spices that complement the fish's natural flavor. Cajun seasoning adds a bit of heat and a more pronounced kick. If you don't have either on hand, you can create your own seasoning mix using ingredients like paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for some heat.
- Garnishes - This is completely optional but I like my delicious salmon bites to look pretty so I sprinkle them with fresh herbs or chopped green onions.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Cut the salmon in 1 to 2 inch cubes with a sharp knife and removing skin. Add the bite-sized pieces to a large bowl then coat with olive oil and seasoning. Mix well.
2. Place the salmon pieces in the air fryer in a single layer and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Shake or turn halfway until the seasoned salmon bites are cooked through and the outsides are browned.
4. Remove the cooked salmon from the air fryer and serve with lemon and your favorite dipping sauces.
Hint: Don't overcrowd the air fryer and turn the salmon halfway through cooking to get a crispy crust all over.
- Swap the Fish – Instead of using salmon, try halibut, snapper, mahi-mahi, tuna or your favorite fish.
- Lemon Herb Salmon Bites – Instead of the Cajun or salmon seasoning, use a mixture of fresh or dried herbs like dill, thyme, and rosemary. Add a drizzle of fresh lemon juice and lemon zest for a refreshing, citrusy flavor.
- Sweet and Spicy Glazed Salmon Bites – Combine honey, soy sauce, and a dash of sriracha to create a sweet and spicy glaze. Brush the glaze over the salmon bites before air frying.
- Pesto Parmesan Salmon Bites: Coat the salmon pieces with basil pesto and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese before air frying. Serve with a side of pesto for dipping.
- Teriyaki Salmon Bites – Marinate the salmon bites in teriyaki sauce for an hour before cooking. Air fry the marinated salmon and serve with a drizzle of extra teriyaki sauce.
If you have leftover salmon bites, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. I like my fish fresh so I really don't like storing more than a day or so.
To freeze, place the salmon bites in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze them for about 1-2 hours. This will prevent them from sticking together. Once partially frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe, airtight container or freezer bags and use within 1 month.
Reheat salmon bites in the air fryer or oven at 350°F for a few minutes until they're heated through. If frozen, you can air fry them directly from frozen. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F and cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping them once during cooking. Keep an eye on them, as the cooking time may vary depending on your specific air fryer.
Top Air Frying Tips
- Pat the Salmon Dry – Before seasoning and air frying, make sure to pat the salmon pieces dry with a paper towel. This helps the seasoning adhere better and ensures the salmon gets crispy in the air fryer.
- Cut Evenly Sized Pieces – Try to cut the salmon into evenly sized pieces. This ensures that they cook uniformly, and you won't end up with some pieces overcooked and others undercooked.
- Preheat the Air Fryer – Preheating your air fryer for a few minutes before cooking is essential for even cooking and better crisping of the salmon. Check your air fryer's manual for recommended preheating times.
- Avoid Overcrowding – Don't overcrowd the air fryer basket. Leave some space between the salmon cubes so that hot air can circulate around them. If you're making a large batch, you may need to cook in multiple batches.
- Use Cooking Spray – If you're concerned about sticking, lightly spray the air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray before adding the salmon. This helps prevent the salmon from sticking to the basket.
- Check for Doneness – Salmon cooks quickly in the air fryer, so be vigilant and check for doneness. The internal temperature should reach 145°F when checked with a digital meat thermometer.
- Serve Fresh – Salmon is best when it's freshly cooked and still hot. Serve your Air Fryer Salmon Bites immediately for the crispiest texture and best flavor.
To cook without an air fryer, place salmon cubes coated with oil and seasoning on a large prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes in a 400 degrees F preheated oven or until salmon is cooked through.
Yes, you can use frozen salmon. Just make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator before preparing the recipe. Cooking frozen raw salmon in the air fryer can result in uneven cooking.
The little salmon bites will turn golden brown and the internal temperature of the salmon should reach 145 degrees F to ensure it's cooked through. You can use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
Another reason I love salmon is that it is so incredibly versatile. Most commonly, you can serve these salmon nuggets as is, with a dipping sauce and a few sides such as white rice, green beans or other green vegetables for a complete meal.
If you want to get creative, you can add salmon to a variety of dishes. For delicious tacos replace the shrimp in my Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Cabbage Slaw or add them to wraps, pasta, rice bowls and even pizza.
Another fun way to serve air fryer salmon is to use it as a salad topper to recipes like my Classic House Salad Recipe or my Avocado Tomato Arugula Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette. The possibilities are endless.
Here are a few sides that pair well with air fryer salmon bites if you need a little inspiration:
Homemade Sauces to Serve with Salmon Bites
Air fryer salmon bites are crispy little fish nuggets and are the perfect size for dipping. You can use any of your favorite store bought dipping sauces and here are a few of my hoemmade favorites:
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Air Fryer Salmon Bites
- air fryer
- 1 pound skinless salmon, cut in 1 to 2 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- TBS salmon seasoning (or Cajun seasoning)
- Cut the salmon in 1 to 2 inch cubes with a sharp knife and removing skin. Add to a large bowl then coat with olive oil and seasoning. Mix well.
- Place the salmon pieces in the air fryer and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, shaking or turning halfway until the salmon is cooked through and the outside is browned.
- Remove from air fryer and serve with lemon and your favorite dipping sauces.
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