Crispy, Juicy, Air-Fried Salmon Nuggets

Crispy, Juicy, Air-Fried Salmon Nuggets

Succulent with a delicate crust, salmon nuggets are flavorful and versatile—serve with a dipping sauce for a delightful appetizer or snack, or pile them high on toasted buns with lettuce, tomato, and mayo for a quick salmon “burger.” These tender morsels take nearly no time at all to cook.

30 mins total time

15 mins active time


Serves 4



  • 14 oz salmon fillet
  • 1 tsp (¼ oz) light brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp (½ oz) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (¼ fl oz) vegetable oil


  • 1If necessary, remove the skin before you start. Dice the salmon into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to a large bowl. Set the bowl over crushed ice to keep the salmon cold.
    Tip: Any salmon variety is going to work here, but if you have the option, choose the type with the highest amount of fat to get the juiciest nuggets.
  • 2In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, and baking powder until they’re combined well and free of clumps.
  • 3Drizzle the oil over the salmon and toss gently to coat evenly. Sprinkle with the spice mix and toss again to coat.
  • 4Insert the wire rack into position 8 and fire up the oven.
  • 5Transfer the nuggets to the air fry basket. Leave a little space between each piece for optimal air circulation.
  • 6Once the oven is preheated, place the roasting pan on the rack so it sits beneath the basket to catch any drips. Slide the air fry basket with your salmon nuggets into rack position 5 and start the timer.
  • 7The nuggets should be sizzling on the outside and tender and succulent on the inside. If not, give them a bit more.
  • 8Aw, look at those little guys! Remove the nugs from the air fry basket, and serve in toasted buns with mayo and lettuce or dipping sauces.