Take your weeknight dinner game up a notch, with a dish that’s healthy, vibrant, and utterly mouthwatering! This Cajun Air Fryer Salmon Recipe delivers perfectly cooked, spicy salmon fillets and a side of fresh zucchini, right in your air fryer.
A Savory, Low-Carb Air Fryer Salmon Recipe!
Everyone knows that salmon is a nutritional powerhouse, but sometimes we get stuck in a cooking rut. Let’s break free, shall we? This recipe for Cajun salmon takes advantage of everyone’s favorite appliance, the air fryer, to make a crispy, perfectly cooked meal that’s healthy and tasty. This one’s a serious game-changer!
That’s right, this simple air fryer recipe will have juicy salmon, covered in Cajun spices, on your table in minutes. It’s a weeknight meal that tastes like it came from your favorite restaurant. For a low-carb side that’s flavorful and fresh, zucchini is just the thing.
Why You’ll Love This Spicy Air Fryer Salmon Recipe
There’s a lot to love here, from the healthy fats in salmon to the irresistible, tongue-tingling flavor of Cajun seasoning. Here are just a few reasons you’ll crave this easy air fryer salmon recipe:
- Easy Prep: The use of the air fryer minimizes the need for oil, which makes prep easy and allows the natural flavors of the salmon and zucchini to shine.
- Perfect Texture: Flaky, meaty salmon meets the crisp-tender zucchini – and it’s as awesome as it sounds.
- Quick to Make: With just a handful of ingredients and a few simple steps, this is a weeknight-friendly meal, even for busy cooks.
- Healthy Ingredients: You’ll get a true nutritional boost from omega-3-rich salmon, essential vitamins in zucchini, and the wholesome goodness of avocado oil.
The Ingredients You’ll Need
So what’s in this salmon dish? You only need a few basic ingredients to make this bold, zesty main course. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Yellow Onion: Cut into large chunks. You could also use white or red onion if you like.
- Zucchini: Sliced into half-moons.
- Avocado Oil: Or another high-heat, neutral-flavored cooking oil of your choice.
- Salt and Black Pepper
- Salmon Filets: Skinless, cut into large even-sized cubes.
- Cajun Seasoning: You can use store-bought or homemade, whichever you like.
How to Make Cajun Air Fryer Salmon with Zucchini
The steps for making this air fryer salmon recipe are short and sweet. You almost don’t need them – it’s all super intuitive. Here’s how to make it:
- Season the Veggies. Start by preheating the air fryer to 400°F. Then combine the onion, zucchini, and half of the oil in a bowl, sprinkle in some salt and pepper, and transfer the mixture into the air fryer basket.
- Air-Fry the Veggies. Make sure the vegetables are in an even layer, and cook them for 6-7 minutes, giving the basket a shake halfway through.
- Season and Cook the Fish. Once the veggies are nicely cooked, set them aside. In the same bowl, toss the salmon with the remaining oil and Cajun seasoning. Place the seasoned salmon in the air fryer and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until it’s thoroughly cooked.
- Enjoy! Now it’s time to plate up! Divide the flavorful salmon and veggies onto plates, and serve hot.
Air Fryer Salmon Recipe FAQs
For this recipe, I like to use skinless salmon, but you could use skin-on salmon if you like. To get a crispy skin, you would want to cook it skin-side-down first, and then flip the pieces to cook skin-side-up. In general, you want to crisp up salmon skin, so always expose it to the heat during cooking, and rotate it as needed so it cooks evenly.
If you’ve ever made salmon in the air fryer before, you might have noticed some white stuff forming on the surface during the cooking process. But don’t worry – it’s just a natural protein called albumin. Drying the salmon before coating and cooking it can prevent the albumin from seeping out during the cooking process. Still, if you see this, it’s no problem! You can wipe it off with a paper towel if you like, or leave it as-is.
It takes just minutes to cook salmon in the air fryer. This air fryer salmon recipe cooks at 400°F for about six minutes, but if you’re not sure that the salmon is done, just use the “flake” test. Twist a fork gently in the thickest part of the salmon. If it flakes apart easily, it’s done. If it sticks stubbornly together, it needs another minute or two (or three). This will depend on how thick your salmon is, how cold it is, etc.
Tips for Success
These helpful tips will ensure that your cajun air fryer salmon turns out perfect. Keep them in mind, and enjoy every bite!
- Pat Dry: Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel before tossing them in the Cajun seasoning. This step removes excess moisture, helping the spices stick well and giving the salmon an irresistible, crispy finish.
- Even Slices: When cutting the zucchini, aim for even slices, to get that ideal tenderness and a slight crunch.
- Preheating: While some recipes don’t call for preheating the air fryer, I find that it gives consistent results. Plus, it takes such a short amount of time! Just a few minutes will do the trick.
- Frequent Checks: Keep an eye on the cooking process. Fish cooks quickly, and air fryers can vary, so check for doneness a little early to avoid overcooking.
What to Serve with this Cajun Air Fryer Salmon Recipe
To complement the Cajun spices here, I like to serve classic Southern side dishes. Need some recipes? These would be perfect:
- Cornbread: Everyone loves sunny, yellow cornbread, but this Sweet Potato Cornbread takes it over the top. The touch of healthy sweetness is perfect with this spicy air fryer salmon recipe.
- Potato Salad: Creamy, tangy Red White and Blue Potato Salad is easy to make with colorful fingerling potatoes, or any potatoes you like.
- Succotash: Spicy Corn Succotash is a summery side dish that goes with everything, especially zucchini and salmon!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
If you have leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days. Let the salmon and zucchini cool to room temperature (but don’t leave them out for more than one hour!) before refrigerating in airtight containers or food storage bags.
Reheat in the air fryer for just a minute or two, until heated through. Don’t overcook the dish or the salmon will be tough!
Will This Air Fryer Salmon Recipe Freeze Well?
To be honest, the textures will change a bit if you freeze and thaw the salmon and zucchini. However, it will still be totally safe to eat. Just cool the dish, and pack it into freezer-safe containers or bags. Mark with the date, freeze, and use within 1-2 months for the best quality. It’s best to thaw this in the fridge before reheating.
More Good-For-You Salmon Dinners
Cajun Air Fryer Salmon Recipe
- ½ yellow onion cut into large chunks
- 1 zucchini large, sliced into half moons
- 1 ½ teaspoon avocado oil
- Pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper
- 10 ounces salmon filet skinless, cut into large even size cubes
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
- In a bowl toss together the onion, zucchini, half of the oil, salt and pepper.
- Transfer into the air fryer basket. Arrange in an even layer and bake for 6-7 minutes. Shake basket halfway through.
- Remove and set aside.
- Place the salmon in the same bowl and toss with the remaining oil and Cajun seasoning. Transfer to the air fryer and bake for 5-6 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Divide the salmon and veggies and enjoy!