Salmon is a flavorful and nutritious fish that can be cooked in many different ways. One of the fastest and healthiest ways to cook salmon is to chop it into bite-sized pieces and air fry. Using only salmon, olive oil, and blackened or Cajun seasoning, you can easily make these delicious Air Fryer Salmon Bites.
To add more flavor, check out the creamy avocado dipping sauce recipe in this post. It pairs perfectly with the air fryer salmon bites.
Why This Works
- Healthy dose of protein and omega-3 fat from salmon
- Make it in 15 minutes
- Use pre-mixed blackened or Cajun seasoning blend for convenience
- 3 ingredients for salmon bites
- 6 ingredients for avocado dipping sauce (including salt and pepper)
- Eat with a variety of other foods like rice, quinoa, tortillas, and salad
- Filling and flavorful
Health Benefits of Salmon
Nutrient-dense, salmon makes a great ingredient to include in your diet. Salmon offers the following potential health benefits . You get these same benefits from eating canned salmon, as well.
- Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants: Studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants in salmon can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health.
- High in protein: Salmon provides a high amount of protein, an essential macronutrient for building and repairing tissues and muscles.
- Contains vitamins and minerals: Salmon supplies a good source of B vitamins and vitamin D. It also provides important minerals such as selenium, potassium, and phosphorus.
- May help reduce the risk of heart disease: The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon may help lower triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels. These effects can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Potential boost in brain function: The beneficial compounds in salmon may also help improve brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
- May help maintain healthy vision: Salmon contains the antioxidant astaxanthin as well as vitamin A, both of which promote eye health.
- Could support bone health: Providing around 66% of the daily value for vitamin D, salmon could also help support bone health. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in calcium absorption.
- Olive oil
- Blackened or Cajun seasoning blend
- Optional: lemon
Use either blackened, Cajun, or your own seasoning blend for this recipe.
Although both Cajun and blackened seasoning share some common ingredients, they’re not exactly the same.
While there isn’t a standardized definition for either seasoning blend, the primary difference is typically their spiciness level. Cajun seasoning is known for its relatively higher level of heat compared to blackened seasoning. 
Nonetheless, both seasoning blends create a bold and spicy flavor profile that elevates the taste of the salmon.
Additionally, the convenience of using a pre-made blend of seasonings also saves time in the kitchen. Rather than measuring out individual spices and herbs, you can simply use a pre-made blend.
How to make your own blackened or Cajun seasoning blend
If you happen to have the individual seasonings on hand, you can create your own blackened or Cajun seasoning blend. In addition, you can customize the flavor to your liking.
Combine all the ingredients listed below and store the seasoning in a jar or airtight container.
Cajun or blackened seasoning blend recipe
- 2 tablespoons paprika (smoked or sweet)
- 2 tablespoons paprika (smoked or sweet)
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
Special Equipment Used
Use an air fryer to quickly make these salmon bites. However, if you don’t have an air fryer, you can cook the salmon bites in the oven. See the Frequently Asked Questions for oven cooking.
Use a blender or food processor to make the avocado sauce. If you don’t have these appliances, chop the cilantro and mix the ingredients by hand using a fork to mash up the avocado. You’ll have a chunky avocado dip.
Steps to Make Air Fryer Salmon Bites
1. Chop the salmon
Firstly, remove the salmon skin if you’d like. I prefer to keep the skin on since it’s edible and saves time. Additionally, the skin is rich in omega-3s .
Chop the salmon into bite-sized pieces, about one and a half inches. Try to keep the bites uniform in size for even cooking.
3. Toss salmon in oil and seasoning
Place the salmon bites in a bowl and toss them with the olive oil and seasoning blend. Coat all the salmon bites well.
3. Cook salmon bites in air fryer
Coat the air fryer basket with oil or spray it with a non-stick spray and preheat for a couple of minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook the salmon bites in the air fryer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 to 5 minutes.
Depending on the size of the salmon bites and your air fryer, your salmon bites may take longer to cook, especially if you skip pre-heating. Check on them at the 4 to 5-minute mark.
Lastly, take the salmon bites out of the air fryer when they’re done cooking and enjoy them with rice, quinoa, or a salad bowl. Add a squeeze of lemon if you’d like.
You can also combine this easy avocado coleslaw recipe with the air fryer salmon bites in tortillas to make salmon tacos.
Alternatively, you can combine the avocado dipping sauce (recipe in the next section) with some plain coleslaw to make tacos.
Ingredients for Avocado Dipping Sauce
Although you could certainly use your own preferred sauce to complement air fryer salmon bites, this easy-to-make avocado dipping sauce is perfect with salmon.
Not only does it complement the flavors of the salmon well, but it also requires minimal ingredients and effort to prepare. Additionally, any remaining sauce can be used for other foods like dip-friendly veggies, salad bowls, and tacos.
- Ripe avocado
- Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Lime or lemon
Steps to Make Avocado Dipping Sauce
Use a knife to slice the avocado lengthwise around the seed with a sharp knife, cutting until the knife meets the seed. Twist the two halves in opposite directions to separate them. Use a spoon to scoop out the avocado seed and discard it.
Then scoop out the avocado halves from their skins and place them in a food processor or blender. Add all the other ingredients and blend until well combined.
Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
If you want to thin out your avocado sauce recipe, the best way would be to add some liquid to it.
One common option is to add a small amount of water, a tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
Alternatively, you could also add a small amount of olive oil, lime juice, or lemon juice to the mixture until it reaches your desired consistency.
Blend or mix the sauce well after adding any additional liquid to ensure that it’s well incorporated. Then taste the sauce again and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Enjoy this sauce with the air fryer salmon bites, on toast, or as a dip for crackers, tortilla chips, and veggies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Salmon bites may stick to the air fryer basket if they’re not prepared properly.
To prevent this from happening, lightly coat the basket with cooking spray or brush it with a small amount of oil before adding the salmon.
Additionally, avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket as this can cause the salmon bites to stick together and make it difficult to remove.
Not preheating the air fryer basket can also cause salmon to stick to the air fryer.
The salmon bites can cook in the oven, but it will take longer.
Preheat your oven for a couple of minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spray a cooking pan or baking sheet with nonstick spray or coat with oil.
Place the salmon bites on the pan or baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes. Cooking times can vary with ovens so check on the salmon bites at the 10-minute mark.
To achieve golden brown char marks on your salmon, you may want to consider broiling it in the oven for the last 1 to 2 minutes of the cooking time.
There are many other seasonings that you can use in your air fryer salmon bites recipe, depending on your personal preference. Here are a few ideas:
– Lemon pepper seasoning
– Garlic and herb seasoning
– Smoked paprika
– Italian seasoning blend
– Curry powder
– Dill and lemon seasoning
– Chili powder and cumin
– Herb de Provence seasoning blend
– Old Bay seasoning
Feel free to experiment with different seasoning blends to find the flavor that you like best.
Air Fryer Salmon Bites 3 Ingredients + Avocado Dipping Sauce
- air fryer
- measuring cups and spoons
- 1 cutting board
- 1 chef knife
- 1 medium to large bowl
- 1 spoon
- blender or food processor
Ingredients for air fryer salmon bites
- 1 pound salmon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 to 3 teaspoons blackened or Cajun seasoning blend
- Optional: lemon wedges
Ingredients for avocado dipping sauce
- 1 ripe avocado
- 2 handfuls fresh cilantro
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- juice of 1 large lime or lemon
- ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper or to taste
Instructions for air fryer salmon bites
- Remove the salmon skin if you prefer. Cut the salmon into bite-sized pieces, about 1½-inch in size.
- Add the salmon bites to a bowl and use a spoon to toss with the olive oil and seasoning blend, making sure to coat all the salmon pieces thoroughly.
- Apply a coat of oil or non-stick spray to the air fryer basket, then preheat it for a couple of minutes at 375°℉. Cook the salmon bites for 4 to 5 minutes. Depending on your air fryer and if you skipped preheating, you may need to cook the salmon bites longer. Check on them in 4 to 5 minutes.
- Once the salmon bites are ready, remove them from the air fryer and serve with rice, quinoa, or a salad bowl. Add a squeeze of lemon juice if desired. Serve with avocado dipping sauce or other condiments. Store leftover salmon bites in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Instructions for avocado dipping sauce
- Use a knife to cut the avocado lengthwise around the seed, ensuring the knife meets the seed. Separate the two avocado halves by twisting them in opposite directions and use a spoon to scoop the seed out and dispose of it.
- Use the spoon to scoop out the avocado halves, separate them from their skins, and put them and the other ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until everything is thoroughly combined.
- Taste the sauce and make any necessary adjustments to the seasoning to suit your preferences.
- To thin out the avocado sauce, add a small amount of water or olive oil, or lime/lemon juice to the mixture. Blend well and adjust the seasoning as needed. Use as a dip or sauce for salmon bites, toast, crackers, or veggies. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Tried this recipe? What variations or adaptations did you make? Share in the comments.