air fryer salmon pieces on a platter

air fryer salmon {with coffee rub}, keto + gluten-free

Salmon is frequently a go-to dinner in our house and I’ve found that air fryer salmon is extra easy and delicious! This air fried salmon is prepped with a flavorful coffee rub that bring an earthy, smoky and bold flavor to the fish, but feel free to use your favorite seasoning instead.

piece of air fryer salmon with coffee rub

Salmon always feel extra elegant, but it’s in fact super low-maintenance. Cooking salmon in the air fryer is even more low-effort, and with only minutes of cook time, it’s extra speedy. Perfect for busy nights when you need a healthy, low-carb dinner in a pinch!

air fried salmon, an easy keto dinner idea

When we lived in Alaska, we kept our freezer packed with wild-caught salmon. My husband loves fishing and every salmon season, we’d end up with our perfect little bounty of wild-caught salmon. Now that we live in the “Lower 48,” I understand how spoiled we were when it came to fresh fish. 😉

Salmon is a wonderful source of protein and healthy fats, plus it’s incredibly easy to make. This is why I’m always up for a good salmon recipe, and this air fryer salmon is becoming a new favorite.

Air fried salmon is:

  • LCHF (low-carb high fat), keto-friendly, and gluten-free
  • ready in under 10 minutes!
  • kid-friendly (consider adjusting spiciness)
  • easy to adapt- you can always use this air fryer salmon recipe with your favorite seasoning and skip the coffee rub!
salad with air fryer salmon on the side

ingredients for air fryer salmon

Have I mentioned this is SO EASY?! 😉 The coffee rub recipe is originally from Food 52, which I’ve adapted slightly to make sugar-free.

Here’s the full ingredient list:

  • salmon fillet, cut into individual fillets (about 4 ounces each, skin on)
  • extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • finely ground coffee
  • monk fruit sweetener (I like Lakanto “Golden”)
  • ground cumin
  • chipotle or chili powder
  • ground coriander
  • smoked paprika (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lime wedges and chopped parsley or cilantro (for serving)

A note about salmon: It’s simple to find wild-caught salmon at most grocery stores’ seafood counter. Even though wild-caught is a little more expensive than farmed salmon, the taste and nutritional profile are so much greater. It’s worth spending a little extra, if you can. (For a possibly more affordable route, see if you can get frozen wild-caught salmon).

how to make salmon in air fryer

Here’s the air fryer salmon recipe that you’ll be using on repeat!

Like I mention above, it you don’t care for a coffee rub, you can skip that and choose your go-to salmon seasoning instead! Garlic, lemon pepper, or simple salt and pepper always work well, especially with a squeeze of fresh lemon on top.

  1. Prep the salmon. Rinse and dry the large salmon fillet, then cut it across into 5-6 individual fillets, about at least 2 inches wide (the quantity will depend on the size of your salmon). Pat the fillets dry with paper towels, then place each on a cutting board or plate, skin-side down. Drizzle the oil over the salmon and use your hands to rub it across the top of each piece.
  2. Make the rub. In a small dish, combine the coffee and monk fruit sweetener with all of the spices. Sprinkle a generous amount of the coffee rub over each salmon fillet, then rub it evenly onto the fish.
  3. Air fry the salmon. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. When ready, place the salmon into the air fryer basket (on top of parchment paper or aluminum foil for even easier cleanup). Air fry the salmon for 5-7 minutes, depending on how you like your salmon cooked. I prefer about 5 minutes for more of a medium-rare to medium salmon.
  4. Let it rest. Allow the salmon to rest in the air fryer basket for about a 2-3 minutes after cooking, or transfer the pieces to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Serve warm, preferably with a sprinkle of chopped parsley or cilantro and lime wedges.

tips for preparing the perfect air fryer salmon

There’s nothing worse than dry salmon, so here are few tips to ensuring you get the perfect air fryer salmon every time:

  • Cut the salmon pieces as evenly as possible to allow them to cook evenly in the air fryer. Some pieces will naturally be thinner- you can always remove them earlier and continue cooking the thicker pieces of salmon.
  • Undercook, just a tad. Even after you turn off the air fryer, the residual heat will continue cooking the salmon. Dry salmon is usually due to it cooking too long.
  • For crispier salmon skin, cook the salmon fillets on an air fryer rack.
air fryer salmon on a platter with garnish

This air fryer salmon recipe is one of my favorite ways to use my air fryer! The salmon turns out flaky and tender, but still moist and extra flavorful. Perfect salmon in all its glory.

If you try it out and love it too, let me know! You can drop a comment below or tag @stemandspoon on Instagram. Enjoy!

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air fryer salmon pieces on a platter

air fryer salmon {with coffee rub!}, keto + gluten-free

Yield: 5-6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes

This air fryer salmon is seasoned with a bold and smoky coffee rub for an extra delicious and easy low-carb meal! Prepare this air fried salmon with the coffee rub or swap in your favorite seasoning instead. Keto, gf, dairy-free.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 individual salmon fillets, skin on (about 2-inches wide or 4 oz. each)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons finely ground coffee
  • 1 teaspoon granulated monk fruit sweetener (I like Lakanto "Golden")
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder or chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped parsley, cilantro, and lime wedges for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the salmon fillets skin side down on a cutting board or plate. Pat them dry with paper towels. Drizzle the oil over the salmon and use your hands to rub it across the top of each piece (alternatively, brush the oil on).
  2. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F.
  3. While it's preheating, make the coffee rub (or season the salmon with your favorite seasoning). In a small dish, stir together the coffee and monk fruit sweetener with all of the spices, salt and pepper. Sprinkle a generous amount of the seasoning mix over each of the salmon fillets, then rub it evenly onto the top of each piece.
  4. Place the salmon fillets into the air fryer basket (on top of parchment paper or aluminum foil for even easier cleanup). Air fry the salmon for 5-8 minutes, depending on how you like your salmon cooked. I prefer about 5 minutes for more of a medium-rare to medium salmon.
  5. Allow the salmon to rest in the air fryer basket for 2-3 minutes after cooking (or transfer the pieces to a plate and cover with aluminum foil). The residual heat will continue to cook the salmon, which is why I always opt for removing the salmon from the air fryer when it is slightly underdone.
  6. Serve warm, preferably with a sprinkle of chopped parsley or cilantro and lime wedges.

Notes

For air fried salmon with a crispy skin, cook the salmon fillets on an air fryer rack.

Cut the salmon pieces as evenly as possible to allow for even cooking. Some pieces will naturally be thinner. You can remove them from the air fryer about 1 minute earlier than the thicker pieces.

The air fryer time will really vary depending on the size of your salmon fillets. Check them after 5 minutes and remove them when they are almost to the temperature you prefer. The residual heat will do the rest.

Coffee rub recipe adapted from Food 52.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 516Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 332mgCarbohydrates: 2gNet Carbohydrates: 1gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 50g

This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.

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