Sweet + Spicy Air Fryer Salmon Recipe

Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper and brown sugar create a savory sweet, caramelized topping on flakey, perfectly cooked salmon ready in 10 minutes!

So air fryers are cool! I know, you’re rolling your eyes. Where have I been, right!?

I understand I’m a littleeee late to the game but I’ve resisted getting an air fryer because who needs another big clunky piece of equipment on the kitchen counter? Will we even use it!? Seems like a fad!?

Thankfully I was proved very wrong when I finally gave in and purchased our Ninja 4 Quart Air Fryer! It’s been used 5+ times in the last week because it preheats SO quickly, doesn’t roast up the kitchen, cleans so easily and creates delicious oven roasted flavor with little oil and quick cook times. I love being proved wrong when it translates to delicious recipes!!

Speaking of – let’s get into this salmon! I typically lean towards Asian flavors for salmon but I really enjoyed mixing up the palate with this slightly sweet and spicy Cajuny topping. Add a squeeze of lemon on top of the air fryer salmon and VOILA. Get ready to be obsessed.

Here’s how you’ll make this Air Fryer Sweet + Spicy Air Fryer Salmon:

  1. Rinse and pat dry the salmon filet(s) with a paper towel.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together spices and brown sugar.
  3. Sprinkle the topping over the salmon filet, then spray lightly with cooking spray.
  4. Cook at 390º for 10 minutes in the air fryer!

The topping as written has a pretty mild “kick” but keep in mind you can adjust the brown sugar, cajun seasoning and cayenne ratios based on your preference!

Quick note: I served our salmon with air fryer Brussels sprouts which is sprayed with cooking spray, seasoned with salt + pepper and cooked in air fryer for 8 minutes total, shaking every 2-3 minutes! They came out perfectly!

Thank you for being an amazing reader of The Savvy Spoon! If you loved this post, I would so appreciate you rating it below and/or leaving a comment! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more recipes, twin mom and healthy lifestyle content!

Sweet + Spicy Air Fryer Salmon

Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper and brown sugar create a savory sweet, caramelized topping on flakey, perfectly cooked salmon ready in 10 minutes!
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2


  • 12 oz. salmon or two 6-oz. filets
  • 1 tsp. cajun seasoning I like Tony's
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • tsp. brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • lemon slices for spritzing


  • Preheat air fryer to 390º degrees by adding a few minutes to your 10 minute timer.
  • Prep the salmon by rinsing then patting dry with a paper towel.
  • Mix together all seasonings in a small bowl, then sprinkle them onto salmon.
  • Place into air fryer and cook for 10 minutes, or until top is golden and salmon is flakey.
  • Finish salmon with a spritz of lemon then serve immediately!
Keyword air fryer, brown sugar, cajun, salmon, sweet potatoes
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