Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Salmon

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Melt in the mouth Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Salmon is juicy, tender and full of flavor.  Salmon is so good, especially when it’s cooked right, and the Air Fryer makes it perfect every time. It’s an easy hands off way to make a scrumptious meal.

Serve this amazing salmon with veggie and starch of choice. You can try some Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Lemon Honey Asparagus or a fresh Panzanella Salad.

Tender, juicy Brown Sugar Garlic Salmon

The Best Air Fryer Salmon

Moist and flakey inside, crispy seasoned outside. Baking the salmon in the Air Fryer takes the guess work out of cooking salmon. Sometimes it can be intimidating to cook seafood but it’s so easy. This will turn a weekend meal to a weeknight stable. It’s so quick too! 20 min or so and dinners done!

The combination of brown sugar and garlic is amazing. The sweet and savory duet is a match made in heaven. You are going to love the intense flavor of this recipe.

Easy Salmon Ingredients

  • Salmon: This can be made with fresh or previously frozen salmon
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste
  • Brown Sugar: Provides a richness and will crust nicely
  • Chili Powder: Brings the heat to the sweet
  • Paprika: Adds color and flavor
  • Italian Seasoning: The perfect seasoning for the sugar and heat
  • Garlic Powder: A nice punch of flavor

How to Cook Salmon in the Air Fryer

  1. Rub: Salt and pepper the salmon to taste. In a small bowl mix the brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Rub into the Salmon.
  2. Bake: Place in the Air Fryer skin side down. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 min. If you are adding asparagus add it after the first 5 min.

Seasoning, air fryer brown sugar and garlic salmon.

Why Air Frying Salmon Works

Air frying is just the best way to cook for so many reasons.

  • Circulating: The way the air fryer cooks the salmon allows the air to circulate cooking the outside to crispy perfection. While the inside is juicy and flakey like it should be.
  • Salmon: Because salmon is a firm fish it won’t fall apart in the fryer.
  • Fast: It’s no secret anymore that cooking with an air fryer is faster and easier to clean up.
  • Heat: Using the air fryer won’t heat up your kitchen and frees up the oven for something else. You are going to love it!

Tips for Air Frying Salmon

It’s super easy and will be even better when you follow these tips.

  • Choosing your Salmon: Both fresh and frozen salmon works for this recipe. Thaw the frozen salmon before cooking. Salmon should be clean brightly colored and free from soft spots or discolorations.
  • Dry: To help the seasonings stick to the salmon pat it dry with paper towels. Also press the seasonings into the salmon so it stays on the salmon.
  • Done: Check the salmon early to make sure you don’t over cook it. You do not want to over cook salmon. Using a meat thermometer check the thickest part of the salmon. The internal temp should be 145 degrees F. Remove from the air fryer immediately, it will continue to cook if left in the basket.
  • No thermometer: If you don’t have a meat thermometer you can tell when Salmon is done by the color. When salmon is cooked it turns from a translucent reddish to an opaque pink. Raw salmon is translucent and reddish. When it’s cooked, it turns opaque pink.

Juicy, tender brown sugar garlic air fryer salmon.

More Succulent Salmon Recipes to Try

Salmon is so yummy and you can do so much with it.

Air Fryer Salmon

5 from 27 votes
Melt in the mouth Brown Sugar Garlic Air Fryer Salmon is juicy, tender and full of flavor.  Salmon is so good, especially when it's cooked right, and the Air Fryer makes it perfect every time.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 4 People


  • 1 pound salmon
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Salt and pepper the salmon. In a small bowl add the brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Rub on the salmon.
  • In the basket of your air fryer add the salmon skin side down. Turn the air fryer to 400 degrees and cook for 10 minutes. If adding asparagus add to the basket after 5 minutes.



Serves: 4

Calories190kcal (10%)Carbohydrates7g (2%)Protein23g (46%)Fat7g (11%)Saturated Fat1g (5%)Cholesterol62mg (21%)Sodium61mg (3%)Potassium574mg (16%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar6g (7%)Vitamin A317IU (6%)Calcium27mg (3%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer salmon
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. 5 stars
    I loved this perfect amount of sweet and heat! Incredibly delicious and will definitely make it again great blend ! Thank you

    1. I have an air fryer from Sur La Table. There are several great air fryers through amazon or any local department store. I hope that you are able to find the air fryer that is best for your family. I am in love with mine and use it daily!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe was super delicious, healthy quick and easy. We loved it! I also used the same exact seasonings for 2 large sweet potatoes/yams. I put all the seasonings in a bowl, added 2 sweet potatoes (cubed/skin on) drizzled with a little Olive Oil and Air Fried at 400° for 18 minutes total (shake basket once after about 8 minutes). Air Fry in 2 batches. Easy Breezy : )

  3. 5 stars
    Alyssa, this salmon recipe is awesome! I am new to air fryer cooking and when I saw this recipe in your email I decided to give it a try. The salmon had a wonderful flavor and was moist and juicy. Thank you for teaching this old Nana some new recipes.

  4. 5 stars
    This was AMAZING! WOW! definitely give it a try whoever you are lol. My wife and I absolutely loved it. Great! Great! Great!

  5. 5 stars
    OMG Alyssa this is so simple a Caveman could do it – if he had an Air Fryer. I cook Pacific Salmon 2-3 times per week: air fryer, grilled, pan fried, even sous-vide. And one thing I know for a fact is that 145°F salmon is way overcooked, by any critical standard – FDA be damned.

    The sweet spot for fully cooked, flaky, moist, melt in your mouth salmon is 125-130°. It’s also completely safe and pasteurized so long as you hold it at that temperature for 5-10 minutes. My secret to even temperature perfectly cooked salmon is to bring it to 125° maximum in the air fryer, turn the heat off, and let it sit inside for 5 minutes more, – or less!

  6. 5 stars
    This was so good! Traditionally, I marinate salmon and cook it on the BBQ, but I ran out of time and decided to give this a try instead. It’s a great combination of sweet with a hint of heat, that even the picky eater loved! Thank you for the recipe, Alyssa … this will be my new go to!

  7. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. Easy and delicious ❤️
    One of my favorite things I’ve made in my air fryer so far. Comes out perfect every time.

  8. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious! I cut down the chili powder a bit but other than that, I followed the recipe as written. I served it on a bed of quinoa and sautéed spinach.

  9. I just made this salmon recipe.I have a new air fryer and am trying new ideas.This salmon was absolutely fantastic.It was moist and had a great crust.I would give this recipe five stars

  10. 5 stars
    I I just purchased a new air fryer.I tried this salmon recipe.It was super moist and had a delicious crust on top.I would give this an A+

  11. 5 stars
    I just made this for dinner tonight. It was fantastic. I don’t know why I never thought to see brown sugar on my salmon but wow, did it ever taste so good with the mix of spices. I only had dark brown sugar and I think that even elevated it because of the increased molasses. I will keep this space mix on my regular rotation!

  12. 5 stars
    This was the best salmon recipe I have had in a long time. It came out perfectly and the flavor was out of this world! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  13. 5 stars
    I’m new to the world of air frying. So far I’ve only made french fries, onion rings and cheese sticks. The fresh fries I made from fresh potatoes, not frozen! And they were spectacular, both my husband and I said they were the best french fries we’ve ever had.
    I have a beautiful1 pound piece of wild caught salmon. I’m going to try this recipe in just a few minutes along with french fries and a salad. I’ll follow your recipe to a tee! I’m sure it’s going to be amazing!

  14. I’m a empty nester and need to know how to cut this recipe down to a single a serving. The recipe looks quite easy and sounds delicious.

  15. 5 stars
    This was by far one of the best salmon dishes I have ever had! The thing I did different is spray the air fryer basket and the top of the salmon with avocado oil. Everything else in the recipe was followed exactly as written.

  16. I would have never tried using brown sugar on my thank you Alyssa for this AMAZING idea 😍 I even used my new air fryer i found on ! They have the cutest retro, mid-century modern-style kitchen stuff! I’ve found loving what I’m cooking with makes my food taste better? haha anyway, thanks again! I’ll definitely be making this often.

  17. 5 stars
    This is now my favorite recipe for salmon. I have prepared it this way several times now and have shared my delicious results with friends. I have also shared your recipe. It is the best salmon I have ever tasted–bar none! thank you.

  18. 5 stars
    This was absolutely divine. Thank you for THE perfect blend of spices. (Seeing them used on sweet potatoes is an extra bonus!)

    So delicious. I will absolutely be making this again and again.

  19. 5 stars
    This was so good I cooked it with a lemon wedge on top of the fish added flavor also. I had to leave it in about 14 minutes to make sure the temp was correct. I lined the air fryer with parchment paper to help make less of mess. My first time making salmon in the air fryer.

  20. This was the best air fryer salmon I have ever made!!! Wow!! Thanks for the recipe! For mine, I used Truvia brown sure and really pilled the seasoning onto two fillets of salmon. It was amazing!!

  21. This recipe sounds great! Does you air fryer smell like fish and does it affect other food that you may prepare later?

    1. I haven’t had an issue with smells and altering other recipes in my air fryer. We use it daily and love it! The brown sugar smells so good while it is cooking too!

  22. 5 stars
    I am not the hugest fan of salmon but have trying to incorporate it into my diet for the health benefits. I’ve tried cooking it in many ways but nothing that I’ve LOVED. I received an air fryer for my birthday last month so decided to give this a whirl in a desperate attempt to love salmon. Holy. Cow. The first time I’ve been able to achieve crispy salmon skin. Delicious. The spicy rub was so good and complimented the salmon perfectly and the salmon was just perfectly cooked through. Thank you for this recipe! It’s going to be my go to now.

  23. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight, but I forgot to add the garlic powder (duh!!!). It was still delicious, but I can’t wait to try it again and do it correctly! I served the salmon over a Ceasar salad….SO GOOD!!!

  24. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight, but I forgot to add the garlic powder (duh!!!). It was still delicious, but I can’t wait to try it again and do it correctly! I served the salmon over a Ceasar salad….SO GOOD!!!

  25. 5 stars
    I have never made or eaten salmon…I thought I would try making this in my new air fryer for my Dave. It was the first thing I had made in a air fryer, and first time making salmon and this recipe was absolutely amazing. So easy, quick and yummy.

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