Can you cook frozen salmon in an air fryer? The answer is a resounding yes! You don’t need to thaw frozen salmon before air frying, and I’m here to show you how to make mouthwatering air fryer frozen salmon fillets with a delectable lemon cream sauce. This recipe is perfect for those following low carb, keto, or gluten-free diets, with only 2.2 grams of net carbs per serving. Whether you prefer fresh or frozen salmon, I’ve got you covered. So let’s dive in and discover the wonders of air frying frozen salmon!
Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of this air fryer frozen salmon recipe has 432 calories, 2.2 grams of net carbs, and 38.5 grams of protein. These nutritional values include the salmon and the lemon cream sauce.
What makes salmon cooked in the air fryer so special? Let me share with you a few reasons why I absolutely love this air fryer seafood recipe:
- Heart-healthy Omega-3 fats: Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and are beneficial for heart and brain health.
- High-quality protein: Salmon is an excellent source of high-quality protein, making it a great choice for seafood lovers.
- Special diet-friendly: This air-fried salmon recipe is perfect for those following gluten-free, low carb, keto, pescatarian, or WW diets. You can easily customize the side dishes to suit your dietary needs.
- Energy-saving: Air frying frozen salmon is a quick and efficient way to enjoy seafood without heating up the house, especially during the summer.
- Foolproof cooking: Unlike the oven, air fryers automatically shut off after the set cooking time, ensuring your fish doesn’t overcook.
- Convenient: No need to remember to thaw your salmon in advance. This recipe is a time-saving and convenient dinner option.
- Bursting with flavor: Salmon is a rich and flavorful fish, and the cream sauce takes it to the next level.
To make these delicious frozen salmon fillets in an air fryer, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 12 ounces of frozen salmon (2 skin-on fillets)
- Cooking oil spray
- Olive oil
Don’t worry about the bones; we’ll be using boneless salmon fillets for this recipe. Thin fillets work best to ensure even cooking and prevent drying out.
Lemon Cream Sauce for Fish
With this recipe, I’m also sharing a delightful lemon cream sauce that pairs perfectly with the salmon. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Heavy cream
- Sour cream
- Lemon zest
- Fresh lemon juice
- Finely chopped fresh dill
- Salt and pepper
For the best flavor, I recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice. Meyer lemons add an extra citrusy kick if you can find them.
To make air fryer frozen salmon, you’ll need the following equipment:
- Meat thermometer
- Silicone pastry brush
- Air fryer
A small air fryer basket should be sufficient to cook two salmon fillets. If you have a different brand of air fryer, the cooking times may vary slightly, so keep a close eye on the food as you try this recipe for the first time!
How to Make Frozen Salmon in Air Fryer
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of how to cook frozen salmon in an air fryer! Follow these simple steps:
- Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees Fahrenheit (199C) for 5 minutes.
- Spray a hot air fryer tray with cooking oil and place the salmon skin side down.
- Use a silicone pastry brush to brush the tops of the salmon with half of the olive oil.
- Put the tray with the salmon on the top rack of the air fryer.
- Air fry the salmon for a total of 14-16 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit (199C), flipping the salmon halfway through cooking and brushing with more oil.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure the salmon reaches a safe internal temperature of 145F (63C).
While the salmon cooks, you can prepare the lemon cream sauce by whisking together the heavy cream, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan. Heat it gently until smooth, then remove it from the heat, whisk in the fresh dill, and drizzle it over the cooked salmon.
Cooking Time and Temperature
Wondering about the ideal cooking time and temperature for frozen salmon in the air fryer? Follow these guidelines:
- Air fry frozen salmon in a preheated air fryer for a total of 14-16 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit (199C).
- Flip the salmon halfway through cooking (after 8 minutes) and brush with more oil.
- Always check the internal temperature of your salmon using a meat thermometer. It should reach 145F (63C) to ensure safe consumption.
Remember, thinner salmon fillets work best for this recipe. Thicker pieces take longer to cook and may dry out around the edges before reaching the desired internal temperature.
If you prefer cooking salmon in the oven, here’s what you need to do:
- Preheat your oven to 400F (200C).
- Place fresh salmon fillets on a metal baking pan and cook for approximately 10 minutes.
- Check the salmon’s internal temperature using a meat thermometer. When it reaches 145F (63C), it’s ready to enjoy.
Feel free to adjust the cooking time as needed, depending on the thickness of your salmon fillets.
Wondering how long cooked salmon will last? According to the USDA, cooked salmon can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. For optimal freshness, try to consume it within 48 hours.
If you have leftovers, don’t worry! You can incorporate them into various dishes. Simply reheat the salmon in the microwave or on the stovetop and use it to make flavorful fish tacos, top a salad, or create a delicious salmon rice bowl.
What’s the perfect accompaniment to air fryer frozen salmon? I recommend serving it with roasted Brussels sprouts and a cooked grain, such as farro, quinoa, or rice. Here are some additional side dish ideas:
- Air Fryer Frozen Sweet Potato Fries
- Kale Apple Slaw
- Air Fryer Jicama Fries
- Garden Salad
- Riced Cauliflower
Feel free to customize your side dishes based on your preferences and dietary needs.
Seasoning and Sauces
If the lemon cream sauce isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry! There are plenty of other seasonings and sauces you can use with salmon. Here are a few tasty options:
- Garlic butter
- Sugar-free teriyaki sauce
- Honey mustard sauce
- Everything But the Bagel seasoning
- Old Bay seasoning
- Cajun spice
Choose the flavor that suits your taste buds and dietary preferences. These options are all lower in saturated fat compared to cream-based sauces.
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
As a registered dietitian, I want to share some expert tips to tailor this recipe to your specific needs:
- This recipe falls into the level 2 category, suitable for transitioning or weight maintenance.
- If you’re aiming for weight loss, you can make a few adjustments:
- Make it lower in fat: Skip the lemon cream sauce to reduce the calorie content by approximately 125 calories.
- Make it low carb: Serve the meal with non-starchy vegetables and omit grains or starchy vegetables.
- Fiber-rich foods tend to be more satiating than added fats. However, the right approach depends on your health goals and personal satisfaction with the dietary pattern you choose.
- Salmon is a fatty fish, so even without the cream sauce, it provides essential fats that are important for your overall well-being.
If you enjoyed this frozen salmon recipe and want more air fryer ideas, check out these other frozen seafood recipes:
- Frozen Fish in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Tilapia (Frozen or Fresh)
- Frozen Shrimp in Air Fryer
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Before diving into any recipe, it’s essential to consider your personal medical needs and preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician to determine the best dietary pattern for you.
The nutritional information provided is an estimate and may vary depending on the specific brands and ingredients you use. Calorie information on food labels can be inaccurate, so don’t fret too much about the numbers.
For more information on how different recipe levels can help with weight management, check out my post on overnight oats with no sugar. Now let’s get cooking!
This recipe has been updated to include air fryer directions, new photos, a recipe video, and more nutrition information. Enjoy!
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