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Salmon Bites (Air Fryer, Stove, and Pan-Fried)

These just-a-little spicy blackened Cajun Salmon Bites are SO quick and easy to make with just 3 ingredients, and make the tastiest healthy high-protein snack, appetizer, or dinner addition! Try them with the easy, creamy dip that complements their flavor perfectly. 

This recipe includes directions for air fryer salmon bites, baked, and pan-fried salmon bites. 

Picking up a salmon piece with a fork
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Easy salmon bites

We LOVE salmon, so I make it every which way possible: pan-fried, blackened, into lox—you name it! Making salmon bites is another great way to serve salmon. Cutting the salmon up into bite-sized flavorful pieces makes them so much more snackable.

Serve these with a creamy dip as a snack (dip recipe included below!), over rice with veggies for dinner, in tacos, or on an appetizer tray with some honey drizzled on top (or try spicy honey).

Salmon bites on a plate

Oh, and these salmon bites are gluten-free, if you're looking for gluten-free recipes.

Related recipe: Trout Tacos

Cajun seasoning

These salmon bites are Cajun-spiced with a little blackened seasoning, giving them lots of flavor.

I use about 1.5-2 tablespoons seasoning for 1 lb of salmon, and this coats the salmon pieces nicely and makes them a little spicy. Every Cajun seasoning is a little different, so definitely adjust to your tastes! It's better to have to sprinkle on a little more seasoning later than to make the salmon bites too spicy for your tastes.

I used this blackening rub (also available in a 3-pack).

Salmon bites prepared 3 ways: air fryer, pan-fried, and oven-baked

Salmon bites in the air fryer, stove, or pan-fried

I've made these salmon bites every way possible, so I made sure to write down the directions for every cooking method, which you'll find below. If you're wondering which method I prefer, it's hard to say! I usually specify whether pan-frying is better than air-frying for some recipes, or vice versa, but for this one it doesn't really matter! The salmon bites come out juicy either way because they are small and cook fast—they don't have time to dry out. 

If I really had to pick one way to cook these, I'd say air fryer. Here's why:

Air frying salmon bites is definitely fastest and most hands-off way (5-6 minutes). Pan-frying is just as quick, but you have to remember to flip the salmon bites halfway through. Roasting salmon bites in the oven takes about 10 minutes, and of course the oven needs time to preheat, so it takes longer. 

So use whatever method works best for you!

I'll typically use the air fryer if I am roasting vegetables for dinner. 

More finger food protein appetizers: Peach Meatballs

Ingredient notes

  • Salmon: You'll need the thicker part of a salmon fillet, and you want to choose pieces that are the same in thickness so they cook evenly, about 1-1.5 inches thick. In order to get 1 lb of salmon for salmon bites, you might have to buy one of those large 2-lb packs of salmon and cut off the thinner edges. Those can be seasoned the same way and pan-fried. You can also use steelhead trout for this recipe (and check out my air fryer trout!)
  • Salmon skin: You'll need to remove the salmon skin. The easiest way to do this, is to chop the salmon into 1.5-inch cubes and then turn each piece on its side and cut off the skin. However, if you want to save the skin to make crispy salmon bacon, it is better to cut off the skin from the whole salmon fillet to keep the skin in one piece.
  • Cajun seasoning and substitutions: As mentioned above, every Cajun/blackening seasoning has a different level of spice, and everyone has different spice tolerance. Taste your seasoning first to decide how much you want to use. If you want to cut down on the spice but still keep all the flavor, substitute some of the Cajun seasoning with taco seasoning. Also, check whether your Cajun seasoning to see whether it has salt added. If not, you'll need to also season the salmon lightly with salt.

But enough chatting! Let's grab our ingredients and cook!

Ingredients for Cajun Salmon Bites

More 5 minute air fryer bites: Air Fryer Bagel Bites

Ingredients

For the salmon bites:

  • 1 lb salmon fillet without skin (please read the notes above—the salmon should be equal thickness so you might need to start with more than 1 lb, then cut off the thinner parts)
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, or adjust to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • Optional: salt, if your Cajun seasoning doesn't have salt

For the creamy dip:

  • 3 tablespoons mayo
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice (squeeze 1 wedge), or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon Cajun seasoning, or to taste)

Instructions

Step 1: Cut the salmon fillet into even 1-1.5-inch cubes. Remove the skin, if the skin is on.

Step 2: In a medium bowl, combine the salmon cubes, seasoning, and oil. Mix together to coat the salmon in oil and seasoning completely. I find it best to get in there with my hands and mix. 

Step 3: Cook the salmon bites using one of the methods below. Serve warm with dipping sauce. Prepare the dipping sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl or cup. Adjust the flavor to taste as needed with more seasoning, lime juice, and/or some salt.

Related recipe: Air Fryer Hot Pockets

Air fryer salmon bites

Preheat the air fryer to 400F, if your manufacturer's instructions require preheating. Place the seasoned salmon pieces onto the tray and air fry for 5-6 minutes, or until fully cooked. 

Air fryer cooked salmon bites close up

Pan-fried salmon bites

Preheat a non-stick pan and add a drizzle of oil. Place the salmon bites on the pan and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat. Flip each one and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes, or until fully cooked. Remove from pan to prevent overheating.

Oven-baked salmon bites

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat, or brush it with oil. Place the salmon bites on the mat or oiled pan and bake for 10 minutes, or until the salmon is fully cooked.

However you decide to cook these little salmon bites, I hope you love them as much as we do!

Overhead shot of salmon bite pieces with creamy dip

Leftover salmon

These salmon bites can be refrigerated and reheated to eat the next day and they will still be tasty, however they will not be as tender, flaky, or juicy. I recommend only making as much as you will eat once, since they're so quick and easy to cook!

If you're like me and like to have leftovers (cook once, eat twice, right??), then I recommend cutting enough cubed salmon for 2 days, but storing the salmon in the fridge and the seasoning separately. It will take you just a few minutes to season and cook the salmon fresh, and it's so worth it!

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Recipe card

Salmon bites on a plate with dip
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5 from 6 votes

Salmon Bites (Air Fryer, Stove, and Pan-Fried)

Just 3 ingredients to make the salmon bites! Serve them as an appetizer or snack with the creamy dip, in tacos, or over rice for dinner. The recipe below has air fryer, oven, and pan-frying instructions.
Prep Time4 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Kosher
Servings: 5
Author: Kate

Ingredients

For the salmon bites:
  • 1 lb skinless salmon fillet - (please read notes below—the salmon should be equal thickness throughout)
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning - or less, adjust to taste, see notes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil -
  • Optional: salt - if your Cajun seasoning doesn't have salt
For the creamy dip:
  • 3 tablespoons mayo
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice - (squeeze 1 wedge), or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon Cajun seasoning - or to taste

Special equipment

Instructions

  • Cut the salmon fillet into even 1-1.5-inch cubes. Remove the skin, if the skin is on.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the salmon cubes, seasoning, and oil. Mix together to coat the salmon in oil and seasoning completely. I find it best to get in there with my hands and mix.
  • Cook the salmon bites using one of the methods below. Serve warm immediately with dipping sauce. Prepare the dipping sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl or cup. Adjust the flavor to taste as needed with more seasoning, lime juice, and/or some salt.
Air fryer salmon bites
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400F, if your manufacturer's instructions require preheating. Place the seasoned salmon pieces onto the tray and air fry for 5-6 minutes, or until fully cooked.
Pan-fried salmon bites
  • Preheat a non-stick pan and add a drizzle of oil. Place the salmon bites on the pan and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat. Flip each one and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes, or until fully cooked. Remove from pan to prevent overheating.
Oven-baked salmon bites
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat, or brush it with oil. Place the salmon bites on the mat or oiled pan and bake for 10 minutes, or until the salmon is fully cooked.

Notes

  • Salmon: You'll need to use the thicker part of a salmon fillet, you want to choose pieces that are the same in thickness so they cook evenly, about 1-1.5 inches thick. In order to get 1 lb of salmon for salmon bites, you might have to buy one of those large 2-lb packs of salmon and cut off the thinner edges.
  • Salmon skin: You'll need to remove the salmon skin. The easiest way to do this, is to chop the salmon into 1.5-inch cubes and then turn each piece on its side and cut off the skin. However, if you want to save the skin to make crispy salmon bacon, it is better to cut off the skin from the whole salmon fillet to keep the skin in one piece.
  • Cajun seasoning and substitutions: Every Cajun/blackening seasoning has a different level of spice, so adjust to taste. If you want to cut down on the spice but still keep all the flavor, substitute some of the Cajun seasoning with taco seasoning. Also, check whether your Cajun seasoning to see whether it has salt added. If not, you'll need to also season the salmon lightly with salt.

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcal (9%) | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 18g (36%) | Fat: 10g (15%) | Saturated Fat: 2g (10%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 52mg (17%) | Sodium: 74mg (3%) | Potassium: 467mg (13%) | Fiber: 0.3g (1%) | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 437IU (9%) | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 13mg (1%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.

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