This air fryer blackened salmon is fast, easy, and full of flavor. It comes together in less than 10 minutes, and we top it with an optional homemade corn and avocado salsa that balances perfectly with the spices in the blackening seasoning.
We love air fryer salmon because it always comes out perfectly cooked and takes less than ten minutes. This blackened air fryer salmon is one of our favorites. We make our own blackening seasoning out of spices we already have in our pantry, and top the salmon with a homemade corn avocado salsa that is so fast and easy and makes this salmon fresh and summery.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
For the salmon:
- Salmon- We love fresh wild-caught salmon, but use whatever you prefer. If you choose to use frozen salmon, make sure you fully defrost it before seasoning and cooking.
- Blackening seasoning spices- ground cayenne, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and cumin
- Other- olive oil or other cooking oil
For the optional corn avocado salsa:
- Canned or cooked corn- More often than not, we use canned corn because it's fast and easy. If you're making this in the summer and you have some really good sweet corn on hand, feel free to use that. You can also use cooked frozen corn.
- Bell pepper- We use red, orange, or yellow bell peppers. If you want something a tad spicy, you can use jalapeños instead.
- Red onion
- Lime juice
- Spices- Ground cayenne and salt
See recipe card for amounts.
How to Make Air Fryer Blackened Salmon: Step-by-Step
Step 1: Add ground cayenne, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and cumin to a small bowl and mix to combine.
Step 2: Pat your salmon dry with a paper towel. Then drizzle with olive oil and top generously with the seasoning mixture. Rub it in with your hands, then air fry at 400°F for 8-9 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and flaky.
Step 3: While the salmon is cooking, combine the corn, cilantro, bell pepper, red onion, avocado, lime juice, ground cayenne, and salt in a mixing bowl.
Step 4: Top the cooked salmon with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and the corn salsa and enjoy!
- Blackened salmon rice bowls: Add cooked rice (we love Trader Joe's frozen jasmine rice) to the bottom of a bowl, then add the salmon and the corn salsa. You could also add pickled red onions, chopped cilantro, or sliced avocado. For a grain free version try making "rice" bowls with our hearts of palm rice with cilantro and lime.
- Blackened salmon tacos: Heat corn or flour tortillas, then add salmon, corn salsa, cabbage, pickled red onions, and fresh lime juice.
- Blackened salmon with summer sides: Serve this with traditional summer BBQ sides like cole slaw, fresh fruit, grilled veggies, or potato salad. It's super summery and fresh, so it pairs well with everything.
Frequently asked questions
We line our air fryer basket with disposable paper liners, but it still gets a little bit dirty. You can also try silicone liners or aluminum foil (if your air fryer allows it). Just keep in mind that covering the bottom of your air fryer may affect the way your salmon cooks.
If your salmon isn't browning or doesn't seem done in the allotted cook time, then try cooking it longer or spacing your salmon out more in the basket. If you have a small air fryer basket, you may have to cook your salmon in batches. The salmon bites cook the best when they aren't crowded and touching each either.
Store the salmon in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, pop it in the air fryer at 400°F for 2-3 minutes. Store the corn avocado salsa in a separate air-tight container.