Salmon with Chimichurri Sauce cooked in an air fryer makes a gourmet-style meal in less than 30 minutes! This easy Chimichurri Salmon recipe outlines how long to cook salmon in an air fryer and provides tips for success every time!
Chimichurri sauce, an intensely flavoured sauce made with fresh herbs, shallots and garlic, is one of my favourite sauces. I often slather it on chicken, as in this 30-Minute Chimichurri Chicken Dinner Salad, and I could eat this Grilled Chimichurri Shrimp every day of the week!
So why not serve a healthy chimichurri sauce to go with salmon?
Why this air fryer salmon recipe works
- You can use fresh or previously frozen salmon in this recipe.
- Air frying salmon takes all the guesswork out of cooking salmon. It's so quick, and it turns out moist and flaky in mere minutes.
- You'll love cooking salmon in an air fryer. An air fryer is like a mini convection oven. The heat circulates, leaving the outside of the salmon fillet slightly crispy while the inside is still juicy.
- Cooking chimichurri salmon in an air fryer means you'll have the easiest clean-up ever. Usually, all my Ninja air fryer ever needs is a quick soak and a wipe to clean it.
- Salmon is an ideal fish for air frying. Since it has firm flesh, it holds its shape in the air fryer.
salmon: Sockeye and Coho are my favourite species of wild salmon. If you have caught the salmon yourself, remember that you'll have to remove the pin bones first. These are the fish bone tweezers I use to remove the bones. (affiliate link)
This recipe is written for four servings. I used individual salmon fillets. If you're using a whole salmon or salmon steaks and you're wondering how much salmon to serve per person, check this article, What is a Serving Size of Salmon?
chimichurri sauce: you'll find complete instructions and amounts in the recipe card below. Chimichurri sauce is made with fresh herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro), shallots, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil and a little ground coriander and sea salt.
If you like more heat, add a pinch or two of dried chili flakes. This pungent Argentinian sauce (which is commonly served with beef) only takes 5 minutes to make in a food processor, (and it's SO delicious!)
Start by making the chimichurri sauce before cooking the salmon. You'll be surprised at just how quick and easy this intensely flavoured sauce is to make!
Add chopped shallots and garlic to a small bowl and toss with lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Set it aside while you set up your food processor.
Add basil, parsley and cilantro to the bowl of a food processor, then add the ground coriander and sea salt.
Process until finely chopped.
Next, add the chopped shallots and garlic along with the liquid from the bowl to the food processor and again, process until finely chopped.
With the machine running at low speed, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream until well incorporated. Be careful not to over-process and chop too finely. Chimichurri sauce should be slightly chunky. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Your chimichurri sauce is done!
Now pat the salmon dry with a paper towel, then coat both sides of the fillet with olive oil. Air fry at 390°F. for 6 - 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon.
Once cooked, brush chimichurri sauce over the hot fish. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing an extra burst of flavour!
Tips and Variations
Chimichurri is delicious on other proteins too. Try this 30-minute Chimichurri Chicken Dinner Salad or 10-minute Grilled Chimichurri Shrimp. It also adds amazing flavour to grilled or roasted vegetables like cauliflower or potatoes.
You can freeze chimichurri sauce! If you have extra sauce that you didn't need for this air fryer salmon recipe, refrigerate it for the following day, (it will last a week in the fridge) or freeze it for another meal.
I freeze extra sauce in either small Mason jars or in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, pop out the cubes, transfer to a freezer bag, label and freeze.
How to tell when air-fryer salmon is done
It's easy to overcook salmon. Check it at 6 minutes. The beauty of cooking salmon in an air fryer is that you can check it frequently and add a minute or two more cooking time if needed.
If it is beginning to flake when poked with a fork, but is still slightly translucent in the center of the fillet, it is probably done. Remember to let it rest for 5 minutes after removing it from the air fryer. It will continue to cook a little on the counter.
You can check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. It should be 145°F.
How to reheat leftover salmon
Use your air fryer to gently reheat leftover salmon. Use the Reheat function and heat for 2 - 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon. Remember to spray the air fryer pan with oil first to prevent sticking.
More salmon recipes
Air Fryer Chimichurri Salmon Recipe
- 2 lbs salmon, fresh or previously frozen and thawed
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 medium shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, packed
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 pinch dried chili flakes, optional
- Add chopped shallots and garlic to a small bowl and toss with lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Set it aside while you set up your food processor.
- Add basil, parsley and cilantro to the bowl of a food processor, then add the ground coriander and sea salt. Process until finely chopped.
- Next, add the chopped shallots and garlic along with the liquid from the bowl to the food processor and once again, process until finely chopped.
- With the food processor running on low, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream until well-incorporated. Take care not to chop too finely. Chimichurri sauce should be slightly chunky. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necesaary. If you like more heat, add a pinch or two of dried chili pepper flakes.
- Transfer the chimichurri sauce to a small bowl.
- Spray or brush the air fryer basket and both sides of the salmon fillets with oil. Air fry for 6 - 8 minutes at 390°F. or until the internal temperature of the salmon registers 145°F. (a little less if you like it more rare.) Air frying time will depend on the type of air fryer you have. This recipe was tested with a Ninja air fryer.
- Using tongs or a fish turner, carefully lift the salmon out, leaving the skin behind if desired. Transfer to a serving plate and immediately brush with chimichurri sauce. Serve extra sauce on the side and garnish with lemon wedges for an extra burst of flavour.