Add great flavor to your dinner with this healthy Cajun Salmon recipe! It's ready in just 15 minutes and you can make in the air fryer, pan-fried on the stovetop, or oven baked.
This Cajun Salmon recipe is a great way to spice up your dinner routine!
Salmon is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and when flavored with spicy cajun seasoning, it becomes irresistible.
Make it in the air fryer, oven, or pan-fried.
Serve this dish over a bed of zucchini noodles for a healthy and satisfying meal.
Cajun seasoning is a blend of spices that usually includes paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. It originated in Louisiana and is used to flavor many different dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and seafood. It's also similar to this Louisiana Rub.
Making air fryer salmon is a quick and easy way to get dinner on the table in no time. It adds a ton of salmon flavor without adding extra calories, especially when made in your air fryer!
Pair this spicy salmon with a cooling salad made with spiralized zucchini, carrots, oil, and Italian herbs for a healthy meal that can easily be made on a busy weeknight!
Why Make This Recipe
The cajun salmon cooks in just 10 minutes with the help of your air fryer.
You can also make it in the oven or stovetop.
Cajun seasoning gives this fish a smoky and spicy flavor that pairs well with the richness of salmon.
It can be served over rice, vegetables, or this easy cooling zucchini noodle salad.
Great when you're looking for a light and healthy meal packed with fiber and protein!
- Salmon - This fatty fish is high in Omega-3 and takes on flavor very well. You can purchase filets fresh or frozen.
- Olive Oil - Helps seasonings stick to the fish and also helps give it a nice crust on the outside in the air fryer.
- Lemon Juice - The acidic citrus helps brighten up the flavor adding freshness.
- Cajun Salmon Spice Rub - You'll need a mix of dried paprika, garlic and onion powder, cayenne powder, oregano, and black pepper to give the salmon a proper Cajun flavor.
- Zucchini - The base of the salad, spiralized zucchini, adds texture, fiber, and nutrients.
- Carrot - Gives the salad a bright orange pop of color along with crunch and natural sweetness.
- Olive Oil - Used to coat the salad to give it flavor and to help the seasonings stick.
- Italian Herbs - Adds an herb flavor to the zucchini salad that pairs well with the rest of the ingredients.
Please scroll down to the recipe card below for the full quantities.
Wondering how to make this Cajun Salmon recipe? It's easy!
Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Prepare the salmon: Cut the salmon into filets. You can keep the skin on or off, depending on your preference. Use paper towels to pat the salmon completely dry.
Mix the seasoning: Add all of the dry Cajun spices to a small bowl. Mix until fully combined.
Season the salmon: Brush the dried salmon with olive oil and lemon juice, then sprinkle the Cajun seasoning on top. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes to absorb all of the flavors.
Prepare the zucchini salad: Spiralize the carrot and zucchini. Transfer it to a skillet with the oil over medium heat and sprinkle with the Italian herbs. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until lightly cooked.
Cook the salmon in the air fryer: Place the seasoned salmon filets into the bottom of your air fryer basket. Air Fry at 350F / 175C for 8-10 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through on the inside.
Oven bake: Add the prepared salmon to a baking tray, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil and cook at 425°F for 15 minutes or until cooked.
Pan Fry: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium, non-stick skillet over medium heat, then cook the cajun salmon flesh-side down for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for a few minutes on the other side, or until cooked.
Plate and enjoy: Add the salad to the bottom of serving dishes or bowls, then add a piece of cooked salmon on top. Enjoy!
The best way to prepare salmon for the air fryer is to cut it into individual filets. They will cook evenly and not stick together in the air fryer basket.
Make sure to pat the salmon dry before seasoning it. This will help the spice rub stick to the fish and give it a nice crust when cooked in the air fryer, keeping it tender on the inside.
If you don't have an air fryer, you can cook the salmon in the oven at 400F / 200C for 12-14 minutes or until cooked through.
If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, prepare the spice rub and store it in an airtight container. Then, when you're ready to cook, season the salmon and let it sit for at least 10 minutes or up to 24 hours in the fridge before cooking.
Try it with some other cajun recipes!
If you're making your own Cajun seasoning blend, feel free to add more of what you enjoy and less of what you don't. Some other great herbs and spices to add are thyme, basil, smoked paprika, or chili powder.
Use this recipe for other types of fish, including catfish, halibut, or tilapia.
Not a fan of zucchini noodles? You can use regular pasta, rice, quinoa, or potatoes as the base for this salad. To keep it low carb, you can also serve over riced cauliflower.
If you want a bit more of a crunch in your salad, feel free to add chopped celery, red pepper flakes, or green onions. Nuts are also a great addition to this recipe. Try adding some chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds.
Storage & Freezing
Cooked salmon can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. If you have leftovers, I recommend reheating them in the air fryer or oven to keep them from drying out.
The zucchini salad will last in the fridge for up to three days; however, it will lose its crunchy texture over time and is best to make before serving.
Freezing of cooked salmon and zucchini noodles is not recommended as the texture will change when thawed. This dish is best served immediately.
The key is ensuring the salmon is completely dry before seasoning it. You could also layer the bottom with a small amount of parchment paper with holes to keep the air flowing.
Yes, you can. Thaw the salmon completely and make sure it's pat very dry with a paper towel before seasoning and air frying.
Popular brands include Tony Chachere's, Slap Ya Mama, and Zatarain's. You can find them in the spice aisle of most grocery stores or online.
- 1 pound salmon 450 g
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the cajun salmon spice rub
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the zoodle salad
- 1 carrot
- 1 zucchini
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Italian herbs
- Pat the salmon dry with paper towels (the skin doesn’t need to be removed).
- Stir the cajun spices together in a small bowl.
- Brush the salmon with the olive oil and lemon juice, then sprinkle with the spice rub and leave to marinade for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the zoodle salad by spiralising the carrot and zucchini.
- Transfer it to a skillet with the oil over a medium heat and sprinkle with the Italian herbs.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes or until lightly cooked.
- Serve the zoodles topped with the air fried cajun salmon.
To cook in the air fryer
- Place the seasoned salmon filets into the bottom of your air fryer basket. Cook at 350F / 175C for 8-10 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through on the inside.
- Add the prepared salmon to a baking tray, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil and cook at 425°F for 15 minutes or until cooked.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium, non-stick skillet over medium heat, then cook the cajun salmon flesh-side down for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for a few minutes on the other side, or until cooked.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.