Sometimes you need dinner to be ready as quickly as possible. Other times—especially when it’s hot out—you just need to whip up something delicious without using every burner on your stove or turning on your oven.
Either way, this air fryer salmon and green bean recipe checks all the boxes. It’ll give you a warm, comforting meal while requiring very little effort (and very little cleanup) on your part.
Your Air Fryer Is a Kitchen Workhorse
Air fryers are all the rage these days, but beyond their immense popularity, they’re also true workhorses in the kitchen — especially for busy cooks. Since they’re much smaller than conventional ovens, the vast majority of air fryers don’t require pre-heating, and the ones that do require some pre-heating do so much more quickly than a standard oven would.
Due to their “super convection” capabilities—A.K.A. their fans that evenly distribute heat all around whatever you’re air frying—they also cook food incredibly evenly and leave that signature, air-fried “crisp” at the end.
No, your food won’t get as crispy as it would through conventional frying, but it’ll get your veggies and proteins beautifully crisp without a whole lot of work required on your part.
And trust me: the air fryer works exceptionally well when it comes to fish. In the air fryer, it’s much more difficult to overcook fish, which means it’ll come out moist and juicy every single time.
Green Beans Get a Quick Char
Green beans are a vegetable that can easily be prepared in “boring” ways, but this air-fried method is anything but.
When you’re shopping for green beans, opt for the unpackaged, fresh variety at your grocery store—usually found in a bin with all the refrigerated vegetables. Look for green beans that are firm and free of any brown spots, then give them a quick trim at home by snapping off the tough ends.
If you can’t find the unpackaged green beans, the packaged green beans will work nicely, too. You could even use tender haricot verts here—just reduce the cook time by 3 minutes to make up for the difference in size.
Since the green beans will air fry before the salmon, the solution to making sure they stay warm is simple: A simple, garlicky butter sauce that’s prepared in the air fryer, alongside the salmon, warms them up beautifully when it’s time to serve. The butter adds a nutty richness to the charred green beans, and a splash of rice vinegar helps to keep the dish nice and bright, too.
Use Nearly Any Salmon
The beauty of this recipe is that you can use whatever type of salmon works for you, whether it’s frozen, fresh, skin-on, or skin-off. If you’re using frozen fish, keep in mind that the salmon filets must be defrosted ahead of time.
Since the air fryer cooks the salmon relatively quickly, it’s the only way to make sure the salmon will cook all the way through before the outside burns. I usually cook the fish with skin-on (and just flake the tender salmon from the skin when it’s time to serve), but using salmon with the skins removed will yield results that are just as tasty.
When shopping for salmon, look for the thickest salmon filets you can find and make sure both filets are around the same thickness.
If you can’t find salmon, this recipe will even work with other types of fish as well. Tilapia, cod, flounder, or even halibut will also work using this same preparation—just make sure to lower the cook time as needed if you’re cooking thin pieces of fish.
A Tip for Air Frying Salmon
Air fryers are magical tools, but they vary greatly from brand to brand. As such, make sure to keep an eye on your salmon as it cooks to make sure it doesn’t burn. If you do notice the mustardy coating become more brown than you’d like, turn the temperature down and loosely cover the salmon with aluminum foil.
To be 100% sure your salmon is cooked all the way through, I like to use an instant-read thermometer—your salmon is cooked-through once the center of the thickest part registers at 145°F.
Cooking for More Than Two
This recipe makes dinner for two, but if your air fryer can fit more than two filets of salmon, you can easily double this recipe.
The salmon filets should cook in the same amount of time as the recipe calls for here—just make sure to leave as much room between the filets as possible so each piece of salmon can crisp up at the same rate.
When air frying the green beans, cook for 2-3 additional minutes and toss them twice instead of once, just to make sure each and every green bean is getting perfectly cooked.
Quick and Easy Salmon Recipes for Dinner
Air Fryer Dijon Salmon with Charred Green Beans
Although it is not required, you can preheat your air fryer following the instruction manual.
Depending on your air fryer model, the highest setting might be 400°F. You can cook the salmon at 400°F, just add an additional 5 minutes to the cook time.
For the green beans
10 ounces green beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the garlic butter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
For the salmon
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 (6-ounce) salmon filets, skin on or off
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Cracked black pepper, to taste
2 lemon wedges
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Preheat your air fryer to 400°F.
Season the green beans:
In a large bowl, toss the green beans with olive oil, kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
Air fry the green beans:
When the air fryer has pre-heated, arrange the green beans evenly in the air fryer basket and air fry for 8-10 minutes, tossing halfway through, or until the green beans have softened and are just beginning to brown in spots. Remove to a clean bowl and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Adjust the temperature of the air fryer to 425°F.
Prepare the garlic butter:
While the green beans are cooking make the garlic butter. Add the butter, garlic, and rice vinegar to a ramekin, and reserve until ready to melt.
Make the Dijon sauce for the salmon:
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, maple syrup, lemon zest, and olive oil until fully combined.
Season the salmon:
Season all sides of the salmon filets with kosher salt and a few twists of cracked black pepper.
Brush the salmon with the sauce:
Using a pastry brush or a spoon, brush the mustard sauce all over the filets.
Air fry the salmon:
Place the seasoned, mustard-coated salmon filets in the basket of your air fryer and air fry for 10-12 minutes, until the salmon filets are completely cooked through to an internal temperature of 145°F or until the exterior turns crisp and golden brown (and feels firm to the touch).
Melt the butter in air fryer:
In the final 4 minutes of cooking the salmon, add the ramekin with the butter mixture to the air fryer basket and air fry until foaming and fragrant. Remove the salmon and the butter from the air fryer.
Toss the green beans and garlic butter:
Remove the foil from the covered green beans, and using oven mitts, carefully pour the hot garlic butter all over the green beans and toss to combine.
Serve the buttered green beans alongside the salmon, and garnish with chopped chives and serve with lemon wedges. Serve hot.
Storage and reheating:
Store leftover salmon and green beans in the refrigerator in storage containers with tight-fitting lids.
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.
To reheat, air fry the salmon and green beans in the air fryer basket for 6-7 minutes at 400°F, or microwave for 2-3 minutes.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 43g||55%|
|Saturated Fat 10g||50%|
|Total Carbohydrate 49g||18%|
|Dietary Fiber 15g||53%|
|Total Sugars 18g|
|Vitamin C 201mg||1,004%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|