These air fryer salmon bites are coated in a sweet and spicy sauce and cooked in the air fryer (for 8 minutes!) until the outside is crispy and the inside is tender and flaky. This recipe is great for a quick lunch or dinner and easily served with your favorite healthy sides.
Air Fryer Salmon Bites with Hot Honey Sauce
Think tender little air fryer salmon nuggets cooked to crispy perfection and coated in a sweet and spicy sauce. This recipe is just your lunch needs because it takes less than 10 minutes (yes 10!) to make and is easy to customize with your favorite healthy side dishes. I love to air fry some veggies in another basket or roast them, to have a healthy, low-carb meal ready in no time.
This air fryer salmon bites recipe satisfies the taste buds thanks to the sweet and spicy seasonings, will keep you full thanks to all the healthy fats and gives you time back to enjoy with family and friends.
Cooking salmon in the air fryer is one of my favorite ways to prepare it because it's fast and creates a perfect crust. You can even make air fryer salmon from frozen when you forget to defrost it.
You'll Love these Air Fryer Salmon Bites
- A healthy and quick meal thanks to protein-packed salmon that takes only a few minutes to make (like our honey garlic salmon rice bowl).
- Salmon bites are a versatile protein that you can serve with your favorite sides (we love coconut rice and air fryer asparagus).
- Air fryers are convenient and easy to use (and clean).
- The high temp and circulating hot air in an air fryer create a crispy texture on the outside of the fish.
- You can customize the seasonings and marinades to suit your taste and dietary restrictions.
- The whole family will love this, even your toddler. It's not spicy enough to deter kiddos!
Love air frying? Try these air fryer bacon-wrapped chicken breasts or air fryer orange chicken for a few more easy, healthy dinners.
Key Salmon Bite Ingredients + Possible Substitutions
Here are the simple ingredients for these crispy salmon bites. Skip down to the printable recipe card below for the full recipe and exact measurements.
- Salmon: we used a whole, 1-pound, side of salmon from the grocery store, but you can also use salmon filets. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon is always my first choice of salmon (from Sitka Salmon Shares), however, any salmon available to you is perfectly fine and will be delicious in this recipe. I usually buy frozen salmon filets rather than the salmon at the counter, which is usually previously frozen.
- Olive oil and garlic: to coat the salmon in more fat and give it flavor.
- Seasonings: paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Swap all of these for a couple of teaspoons of cajun seasoning if you prefer (it will be spicier).
- Hot honey: this is my secret ingredient to give the recipe a little kick and sweetness. It's not overly spicy for those whole like mild recipes, however, regular honey or brown sugar are great options.
- Apple cider vinegar: use this, lemon juice, or lime juice, to add a little acid to the sauce at the end.
- Soy sauce: a classic ingredient in sauces and marinades! We like to use coconut aminos as a gluten-free and soy-free option.
- Toppings: green onion, cilantro, avocado,
How to Remove Skin from Salmon
Typically I recommend leaving the salmon skin on, like in this blackened salmon, because it prevents overcooking and gets nice and crispy. But removing the skin makes it much easier to cut the salmon cubes as well as remove the skin from each individual piece later. Each side of the salmon pieces will still be crispy! Here's an easy way to do it:
- Place the salmon fillet skin-side down on a cutting board. Hold the tail end of the fillet with one hand and use a sharp knife to make a shallow cut between the skin and the flesh, at a slight angle, close to the skin.
- Using a back-and-forth sawing motion, carefully run the knife along the length of the fillet, keeping the blade as close to the skin as possible. Once you have cut through the flesh, use your fingers to gently lift the skin away from the fillet, starting at the tail end.
How to Make Air Fryer Salmon Bites
This is an overview with step-by-step photos, to make crispy air fryer salmon bites. Full printable instructions are in the recipe card below. You can also view the video tutorial below to watch instead of reading.
Let the salmon sit out at room temperature for 20 minutes if you have time then pat the salmon dry with paper towels to help remove moisture and make them extra crispy. Use the instructions above to remove the skin from the salmon, if you haven't already, then cut the salmon into 1-inch cubes.
Place the salmon chunks in a medium bowl then add the seasonings to a separate small bowl and mix them together. Drizzle the salmon with olive oil, coconut aminos (or soy sauce), and hot honey and toss to coat. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture on top and toss again until the seasoning is coating all of the salmon.
Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray then transfer the seasoned salmon bites to the basket in an even layer. Air fryer at 400°F for 6-8 minutes, shaking halfway through, or until the internal temperature reaches 135-145°F. I like to stop cooking my salmon when it reaches 135°F to allow for 10 degrees of carryover cooking.
While they're cooking, quickly mix together coconut aminos, hot honey, and apple cider vinegar in a small mixing bowl. Serve the tender salmon bites with coconut rice and roasted veggies (or another side option from below). Drizzle the sauce over the salmon bites and sprinkle with green onions. You could also add a little mayo to it and use it as a dipping sauce.
- Cut the salmon into even bite-sized pieces so they cook evenly.
- Cook the salmon bites in a single layer in the air fryer basket, to ensure even cooking.
- Air fry at a high temp to create a crispy crust on the outside.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature for the best results.
- Shake the air fryer basket halfway through cooking, to ensure the salmon bites cook evenly.
- Preheat the air fryer (similar to the oven) for even cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
The cooking time for salmon in an air fryer can vary depending on the thickness of the fillet, however, it generally takes 6-8 minutes for salmon bites. A ¾-inch salmon filet will take 8-10 minutes and a 1-inch salmon filet will take about 10-12 minutes to cook. It's always important to check the internal temperature of the fish with a meat thermometer to cook it perfectly because the size of the salmon and the type of air fryer can vary.
Air fryer salmon at a higher temperature, 400-425°F. This high temperature helps to create a crispy crust on the outside of the fish while cooking it through on the inside.
I recommend cooking salmon with the skin-side down because the skin will help to protect the flesh of the fish while it cooks, gets the skin extra crispy, and keeps the fish moist.
Can I Make Salmon Bites in the Oven?
You can easily make this recipe in the oven if you don't have an air fryer. The process is similar, but the cooking time and temperature vary slightly. Follow the same instructions to cut and season the salmon. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the seasoned salmon bites it and bake at 425°F for 8-10 minutes, or until it reaches 145°F (or just lower to allow for carryover cooking)
What to Serve with Air Fryer Salmon Bites
Make this a healthy meal by adding some of our favorite simple sides.
- Salad: A simple green salad, like our brussels sprout salad, grilled peach salad, or grilled zucchini salad are great ways to balance out the rich flavor of the salmon bites.
- Vegetables: Roasted or sautéed vegetables such as air fryer asparagus, garlic roasted mini peppers, or air fryer zucchini chips. We also love to throw stir-fry vegetables in the air fryer for 15 ish minutes.
- Potatoes: crispy air fryer smashed potatoes, air fryer baked potatoes, or crispy roasted pesto potatoes are a classic side dishes to serve with salmon bites.
- Rice: Simple coconut rice is a rich and savory side to go with veggies.
- Dip: You can also serve the salmon bites with a dip! Take the sauce ingredients and add a little mayo to give it a thicker consistency.
Storage and Reheating
- To store: Place the cooked and cooled salmon bites in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To reheat: preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Place the salmon bites in the air fryer basket and reheat for about 5 minutes or until heated through.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Crispy air fryer smashed potatoes
- Air fryer butternut squash
- Air fryer zucchini chips
- 10 Minute air fryer asparagus
Air Fryer Salmon Bites with Hot Honey Sauce
- 1 lb salmon
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon EACH: garlic powder and onion powder
- 3 tablespoons hot honey* we used Mike’s hot honey, divided
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or coconut aminos divided
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Toppings: green onions, sesame seeds, avocado
- Air Fryer
- Preheat the air fryer at 400°F for 5 minutes.
- Pat the salmon dry with paper towels and remove the skin from the salmon. Lay the salmon down on the cutting board and slide your knife back and forth between the skin and the flesh to remove the skin. Cut the salmon into 1-inch cubes.
- Add the salmon chunks to a medium bowl and drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle them with the garlic, paprika, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder and toss to coat until each salmon bite is covered in seasoning.
- Mix the coconut aminos (or soy sauce) and hot honey in a small bowl and pour half of it over the salmon bites and toss again. Add the vinegar to the remaining sauce and set aside to top the salmon when it's done.
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray then transfer the seasoned salmon bites to the basket in an even layer. Air fryer at 400°F for 6-8 minutes, shaking halfway through, or until the internal temperature reaches 135-145°F. I like to stop cooking my salmon when it reaches 135°F to allow for 10 degrees of carryover cooking.
- Drizzle the sauce over the salmon bites and sprinkle with green onions. You could also add a little mayo to the sauce and use it as a dipping sauce.
Delicious! I made this tonight and there were no leftovers! My boys (8 and 5) both loved it! It does have a little heat to it, but we like a little spice. I followed the recipe and used soy sauce. I left the skin on some pieces as I had trouble removing it from the salmon, but it didn’t seem to make a difference. I made jasmine rice and baked some broccoli, roughly diced red peppers and onions, and sliced carrots as a basic “stir fry” on the side. I’m adding this recipe to our monthly meal plan!
Molly Thompson says
Love this Lauren! All of those veggies are making me drool. So glad you liked the heat and your boys liked it too.
CARRIE DETWILER says
My husband and I both loved this. I will be making this again and again. Thanks for the great recipe!
Step 4 says to add the liquids, then in step 6 it says to mix them together. I'm confused ... what amounts do we drizzle over the top if the measurements are for post-cooking glaze. This looks delicious and I want to try it, but I'm not making sense matching the ingredients to the instructions. Also, it says "divided" but nowhere in the recipe does it say how much to use in any step, so that leaves much open to interpretation. Clarification would be greatly appreciated as I am making hot honey just for this recipe. Thank you!
Molly Thompson says
Hey David! Thanks for the comment, that was a little confusing. I reworded the instructions to make it more clear. Thanks!