15-minute Air Fryer Salmon Tacos with spicy chipotle garnish sauce are the best quick lunch, light dinner, and midnight crave-quenchers. Today we’re making healthy salmon tacos using an air fryer. In this recipe we’ll ‘fry’ the tender, pink fish magically in minutes for the softest salmon tacos ever. We’re also featuring chipotle in this recipe because let’s face it; everything tastes better with these smoked peppers. We’ll also tell you all you need to know about chipotle peppers.
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Hello my friends. Today we’re cooking lunch in fifteen minutes — the perfect salmon tacos using our air fryer.
Tacos are fun as pool-side snacks, and so comforting on cool evenings. They’re always colorful and lively, and since you can cook this recipe in fifteen minutes, they become instant crave-quenchers and an excellent ace to have up your sleeve for unexpected guests.
Close your eyes and listen to the pop of a fizzy, cold beer. Perceive the pale, flaky salmon over a taco bed of crunchy shredded red cabbage, all drizzled with fresh lime juice and the sharp Mexican crema.
Smell the fresh cilantro mingling with the sea-scented salmon in each bite, brought to life with the smoky intense flavors of chipotle balanced out with a creamy avocado slice, all held together by a warm, charred corn tortilla. These are bites of heaven. And the best part? These salmon tacos are super easy to make.
When was the last time you used your air fryer? To be honest, Geoffrey and I use ours less often than we should. When used right, the result is wonderful! And I think it’s the best way of cooking a salmon fillet for a taco — you preserve the freshness and let the fatty richness in the meat shine through.
Tacos are all about layering flavors and balancing them out; sweet and spicy, tangy and starchy. Every bite is an explosion of textures, colors, and aromas, and once you get this right, you can craft amazing tacos in minutes.
What Ingredients are Best for Salmon Tacos
The main ingredients are salmon fillets, obviously, and then shredded red cabbage (slaw), corn tortillas, and spicy chipotle garnish sauce. Then you have the supporting ingredients of cilantro, lime juice, Mexican Crema, and avocado. For the supporting ingredients, you don’t have to pick all of them, and you can add others of your favorites if you like. I didn’t add avocado for this photoshoot, but I did afterward when we were eating them.
How to pick the perfect salmon fillet?
Fresh or frozen salmon will work for this recipe. If you buy fresh salmon, make sure the salmon looks moist because the moisture content is an excellent sign of freshness. Avoid buying salmon with any browned spots in the fillet, and sometimes you can see where the skin has started browning and curling up.
What if I don’t like salmon, but want fish tacos?
If you want to make fish tacos, but don’t want to use salmon, use a saltwater fish with flaky meat like snapper, mahi mahi, grouper, flounder, halibut, or cod. Any of these would be great in the air-fryer and for this taco recipe.
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Is an air-fryer the best way to cook salmon tacos?
I love to cook salmon in the air fryer, and in my opinion is the best way to cook salmon because it always comes out flavorful. With the air fryer's hot air circulating, the salmon fillet will cook perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy and flaky on the inside. Air frying salmon is a foolproof method to get perfect salmon every single time.
How to Make 15-minute Salmon Tacos
The first step to making salmon tacos is to wash the salmon fillet before you use it. Then pat dry the salmon with a paper towel. Go ahead and preheat the air fryer at 400 degrees while you prepare and season the salmon.
Place the salmon skin-side down in the air fryer tray.
The salmon can go skin-side down because we are going to break the cooked fish into chunks for the tacos. When cooking salmon fillets as a main dish with crispy skin, you want to place the salmon skin-side up. Check out the Crispy Skin Snapper with Caper Salsa recipe for more details on how to cook fish with a crispy skin.
Season the salmon with salt and chipotle powder, and cook for 15 minutes.
Don’t overcook the salmon.
Remove the salmon from the air fryer immediately. Remember, it will continue to cook if left in the basket. Fifteen minutes is my foolproof method, but if you want to be 100% sure, use a meat thermometer and check the thickest part of the salmon. The internal temperature should be 145 degrees F. If you don’t have a thermometer, don’t worry. You will know when the salmon is ready because it will turn from translucent reddish to opaque pink.
Note: You can make the salmon ahead of time, and just warm it up before compiling the tacos.
Remove the skin, and using a fork or your hands, break apart the salmon into small pieces.
Warm up the tortillas in a frying pan without oil. The corn tortillas are delicate and can break easily, so handle with care. With corn tortillas, I recommend using double tortillas to make it sturdier; if not you may end up making a mess.
Assemble the fish tacos by adding on the shredded red cabbage, salmon, Mexican crema, and cilantro. Then squeeze on the Spicy Chipotle Garnish Sauce and serve with crispy tortilla chips and salsa, and a cold beer!
Do you know what Chipotle is?
If you’re not enjoying chipotle a few times a month, you’re not doing Mexican food right. Here’s all you need to know about chipotle peppers.
- The most famous chili pepper on the planet is the jalapeño. The green, mildly spicy pepper is a critical ingredient in Mexican salsas for tacos and enchiladas, but they’re not only prominent when fresh. Dried and smoked, jalapeño peppers become chipotle. Did you know? We didn't.
- Chipotle is spicier than a fresh jalapeño since the drying and smoking process concentrates the flavors and the capsaicin, the stuff that gives peppers their fiery personality.
- Interestingly, chipotle lends itself to be paired with sweetness, like with honey; And blended with mayo, you get yourself a mean dip better than store-bought.
- Mexico produces around 16,000 tons of chipotle every year, and you know which country buys most of it? Of course, it’s the USA.
- You’ll find a fantastic Spicy Chipotle Squeeze Sauce, by Terrapin Ridge Farms, in our gourmet store, and it’s addictive! If you like chipotle’s smokiness and spicy flavors, you’ll love this sauce.
3 Homemade Sauce Ideas for Salmon Tacos
- Lime cilantro crema made of lime juice, sour cream, chopped cilantro, salt and pepper.
- Chipotle mayo made of one chipotle with adobo and mayonnaise.
- Avocado crema made of avocado, Greek yogurt, salt & pepper, lime juice, garlic, and hot sauce.
If you don’t have time to make your own sauce, I highly recommend buying the best sauce for salmon tacos from our shop “Spicy Chipotle Squeeze Sauce.”
If you’re ready, let’s make ourselves some salmon tacos. Is there anything more beautiful than a quick and easy homemade taco?
I hope you get a chance to make this Air Fryer Salmon Tacos with Spicy Chipotle Garnish Sauce. Did you make this or another recipe? Tag @Spoonabilities on Instagram or add a photo or comment on Pinterest, so we can find you!
And we love to hear from you in the comment section below.
Your Recipe Concierge!
Do you want more taco recipes?
- Skirt Steak Tacos Recipe | Carne Asada Tacos
- Easy BBQ Short Ribs Tacos
- Pork Carnitas Tacos with Roasted Pineapple Habanero Sauce
- Instant Pot Short Rib Tacos with Tropical Tequila Sauce
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