Crispy Air Fryer Salmon Belly Recipe

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Discover the incredible flavors of Air Fryer Salmon Belly with this simple and delicious recipe. Salmon bellies are often overlooked, but they are a tender and flavorful part of the fish that can be prepared quickly in an air fryer. Perfect for a nutritious and tasty meal, this recipe will show you how to achieve perfectly cooked salmon bellies every time.

air fryer salmon belly recipe

Why You’ll Love Air Fryer Salmon Belly

  • Quick and Easy Preparation: This recipe requires minimal ingredients and only 10 minutes of cooking time, making it perfect for busy weeknights or a quick meal.
  • Delicious Flavor: The salmon bellies are seasoned simply with salt, pepper, and lemon, allowing their natural flavor to shine. The result is a savory, tender, and juicy fish that’s hard to resist.
  • Nutritious: Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and essential vitamins. Cooking it in the air fryer ensures that you retain all the nutritional benefits without adding extra fat.
  • Versatile: You can easily customize the seasonings to suit your taste preferences. Whether you like it spicy, herby, or citrusy, this recipe is adaptable.
  • Perfectly Cooked Every Time: The air fryer cooks the salmon bellies evenly, ensuring a perfectly browned exterior and a moist, flaky interior. It’s foolproof and reliable.

easy air fryer salmon belly

Ingredients For Air Fryer Salmon Belly

  • Salmon Bellies: These are the star of the dish. They are tender and rich in flavor.
  • Salt: Enhances the natural taste of the salmon.
  • Black Pepper: Adds a mild heat and depth to the flavor.
  • Lemon: Fresh lemon juice provides a bright, zesty flavor that complements the richness of the salmon.

For the exact measurements of the ingredients, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this article.

crispy air fryer salmon belly

Kitchen Tools You Need To Make Air Fryer Salmon Belly

healthy air fryer salmon belly

How To Make Air Fryer Salmon Belly

  • Season the Salmon Bellies: Start by sprinkling salt and black pepper evenly over the salmon bellies. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over them for added flavor.
  • Toss to Coat: Mix the salmon bellies well in a bowl to ensure they are evenly coated with the seasonings.
  • Arrange in Air Fryer: Place the seasoned salmon bellies in a single layer in the air fryer basket to ensure even cooking.
  • Cook: Set the air fryer to 400°F and cook the salmon bellies for 10 minutes until they are nicely browned and fully cooked.
  • Check for Doneness: Use an instant-read thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the thickest part of the salmon bellies reaches 145°F.
  • Adjust Cooking Time if Needed: If the salmon bellies are not fully cooked, return them to the air fryer for an additional 3-5 minutes.

air fryer salmon belly fillets

Serving Suggestions

quick air fryer salmon belly

Tips For Success

  • Pat Dry the Salmon Bellies: Before seasoning, make sure to pat the salmon bellies dry with a paper towel. This helps the seasoning stick better and ensures a nice, crispy exterior.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Air Fryer: Arrange the salmon bellies in a single layer with space between each piece. This allows the hot air to circulate evenly, resulting in perfectly cooked salmon.
  • Preheat the Air Fryer (Optional): While it’s not necessary, preheating the air fryer for a few minutes can help achieve a more even cook.
  • Use Fresh Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice provides a brighter and more vibrant flavor compared to bottled lemon juice.
  • Check Temperature Early: Start checking the internal temperature a couple of minutes before the cooking time is up. This prevents overcooking and ensures the salmon remains juicy and tender.
  • Experiment with Seasonings: Feel free to customize the seasonings based on your preferences. Adding garlic powder, paprika, or dill can bring different flavor profiles to the dish.
  • Let It Rest: Allow the salmon bellies to rest for a couple of minutes after removing them from the air fryer. This helps the juices redistribute, making the fish even more flavorful.
  • Use an Instant-Read Thermometer: This tool is crucial for ensuring the salmon is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 145°F, avoiding both undercooking and overcooking. Click here to get it on Amazon.

best air fryer salmon belly

Variations And Substitutions

  • Different Seasonings: Try using different spice blends to change the flavor profile of the salmon bellies. For a spicy kick, add some cayenne pepper or chili flakes. For a more herbal flavor, use dried dill or thyme.
  • Marinade Option: Marinate the salmon bellies in a mixture of soy sauce, honey, and garlic for at least 30 minutes before air frying. This adds a deliciously sweet and savory flavor.
  • Citrus Alternatives: Substitute the lemon juice with lime or orange juice for a different citrus twist. Each will bring a unique flavor to the dish.
  • Garlic and Herb: Add minced garlic and dried herbs like parsley or oregano to the seasoning mix for a more aromatic and flavorful dish.
  • Smoked Paprika: For a smoky flavor, sprinkle some smoked paprika over the salmon bellies before cooking. It adds depth and a slight smokiness to the taste.
  • Gluten-Free: This recipe is naturally gluten-free, but ensure all your seasonings and additional ingredients are certified gluten-free to avoid any cross-contamination.
  • Paleo/Keto: This recipe fits well within Paleo and Keto diets. To enhance the fat content for Keto, drizzle a bit of melted butter or olive oil over the salmon before air frying.
  • Substitute Salmon: If you can’t find salmon bellies, this recipe works well with salmon fillets or other fatty fish like mackerel or trout.
  • Vegetarian Option: For a vegetarian twist, try using thick slices of tofu or tempeh instead of salmon. Season and cook them in the same way for a delicious meat-free meal.

keto air fryer salmon belly

Storage and Reheating

  • Storage: Store any leftover salmon bellies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep well for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: If you want to freeze the salmon bellies, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag. They can be frozen for up to 2 months.
  • Reheating in Air Fryer: To reheat, place the salmon bellies in the air fryer at 350°F for 3-5 minutes until heated through. This will help maintain their crispy texture.
  • Reheating in Oven: You can also reheat the salmon in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F, place the salmon bellies on a baking sheet, and heat for about 10 minutes or until warmed through.
  • Microwave: While not ideal for maintaining texture, you can reheat salmon bellies in the microwave. Place them on a microwave-safe plate and heat in 30-second intervals until warm.
  • Avoid Overheating: Be careful not to overheat the salmon, as it can become dry and lose its tenderness.

paleo air fryer salmon belly

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen salmon bellies for this recipe?

Yes, you can use frozen salmon bellies. For frozen, just add an extra 5 minutes to cooking time.

gluten-free air fryer salmon belly

What if I don’t have an air fryer?

If you don’t have an air fryer, you can bake the salmon bellies in a conventional oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F and bake for about 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.

air fryer salmon belly no breading

How do I know when the salmon bellies are fully cooked?

Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the salmon bellies. They are fully cooked when the thickest part reaches 145°F. The flesh should also flake easily with a fork.

Can I use other types of fish for this recipe?

Absolutely! This recipe works well with other fatty fish like mackerel, trout, or even regular salmon fillets. Adjust the cooking time based on the thickness of the fish.

Is it necessary to use fresh lemon juice?

While fresh lemon juice provides the best flavor, you can use bottled lemon juice if that’s what you have on hand. The citrus flavor enhances the overall taste of the salmon.

Can I add vegetables to the air fryer with the salmon bellies?

Yes, you can add vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, or bell peppers to the air fryer. Make sure to cut them into similar sizes for even cooking and arrange them in a single layer around the salmon bellies.

How can I make this recipe more kid-friendly?

To make the salmon bellies more appealing to kids, consider reducing the amount of black pepper or using a milder seasoning blend. You can also serve them with a dipping sauce like ranch or a honey mustard dip.

What are some good side dishes to serve with air fryer salmon bellies?

Air fryer salmon bellies pair well with a variety of side dishes such as roasted vegetables, steamed rice, quinoa, or a fresh green salad. They also make a great addition to tacos or sandwiches.

How do I prevent the salmon from sticking to the air fryer basket?

To prevent sticking, lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray before placing the salmon bellies inside. Additionally, make sure the salmon is dry and not overcrowded in the basket.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the salmon bellies ahead of time by seasoning them and storing them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook. Cooked salmon bellies can also be stored and reheated as needed.

See Other Exciting Salmon Recipes

Skillet-Cooked Salmon: Enjoy perfectly crispy and tender pan-fried salmon with a golden-brown crust and succulent, flaky interior.

Oven-Baked Sockeye Salmon: Indulge in the rich, vibrant flavors of baked sockeye salmon, cooked to perfection with a hint of lemon and herbs.

Foil-Wrapped Air Fryer Salmon: Savor the juicy and flavorful air fryer salmon cooked in foil, sealing in all the delicious seasonings and moisture.

Foil Packet Instant Pot Salmon: Experience the convenience and taste of Instant Pot salmon in foil, yielding moist and flavorful fillets with minimal effort.

Crispy Air Fryer Salmon Fillets: Delight in easy and delicious air fryer salmon fillets, cooked to perfection with a crispy exterior and tender inside.

Air Fryer Frozen Salmon Bites: Enjoy quick and nutritious air fryer frozen salmon power bites, perfect for a healthy snack or appetizer.

Everything Bagel Seasoned Baked Salmon: Relish the unique and savory taste of baked salmon with everything bagel seasoning, combining crunchy texture with rich flavors.

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Air Fryer Salmon Belly

Indulge in the deliciousness of salmon bellies cooked to perfection in the air fryer. This quick and easy recipe brings out the rich flavors and tenderness of the salmon, making it a delightful meal for any day. With minimal ingredients and effortless preparation, you'll have a tasty dish ready in just minutes.
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer salmon, easy salmon recipe, salmon belly
Cooking Method: Air Fryer
Diet: Gluten-Free, Keto / Low-Carb, Paleo
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 141kcal


  • 1 lb salmon belly
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lemon juiced

Recommended Kitchen Tools (click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe)


  • Season the Salmon Bellies: Sprinkle salt and black pepper evenly over the salmon bellies. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over them.
  • Toss to Coat: Mix the salmon bellies well to ensure they are evenly coated with the seasonings.
  • Arrange in Air Fryer: Place the salmon bellies in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
  • Cook: Set the air fryer to 400°F and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Check for Doneness: Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
  • Adjust Cooking Time if Needed: If not fully cooked, air fry for an additional 3-5 minutes or until done.


  • Use any seasonings you like for a different flavor profile.
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Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 1.18mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
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