Panko Crusted Salmon is a foolproof 10-minute meal that can be made in the oven and air fryer. It’s perfect for busy weeknights and flavorful dinners at home.Jump to Recipe
Baked panko crusted salmon with mayonnaise
If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and healthy salmon recipe for dinner tonight, then you’ll love this Panko Crusted Salmon!
Coated with a smoky mayonnaise spread and crunchy panko breadcrumbs, this easy recipe is packed full of flavor and is good for you too. The minimal ingredients are simple while the salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and healthy fats.
The best part about panko encrusted salmon is that it takes only 10 minutes to cook. Plus, it can be made in both the oven or air fryer! Both methods will leave you with buttery, flaky salmon and a crunchy topping.
Ingredients and substitutions
Every bite of crusted salmon is creamy, smoky, and crunchy thanks to a blend of simple toppings and ingredients:
- Salmon – Choose a high-quality, wild-caught filet to help every bite taste its best. When shopping, look for a coho, king, or sockeye filet that’s bright pink and without any blemishes.
- Mayonnaise – Storebought or homemade mayo is the base of the spread. The mayo can also be replaced with soft cheese, like goat cheese or Boursin.
- Spices and seasonings – Smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, green onions, and lime juice and zest.
- Panko breadcrumbs – These Japanese-style breadcrumbs pack a real crunch. They’re mixed with olive oil and paprika to help them turn golden brown in the oven. If you don’t have panko at home, you can use regular breadcrumbs, gluten free breadcrumbs, or top the mayonnaise spread with crushed nuts, parmesan cheese (just like in my Keto Parmesan Crusted Salmon), or crushed pork rinds as a keto-friendly option.
How to make panko crusted salmon
This crusted salmon recipe comes together in 5 quick and easy steps:
- Make the mayonnaise spread: Stir the mayonnaise, spices, green onions, and lime juice and zest together in a small bowl.
- Prep the panko topping: Stir the panko breadcrumbs together with the olive oil, paprika, and salt in a separate small bowl.
- Assemble the crusted salmon: Cut the filet in half, pat it dry, and season with salt. Spread the mayonnaise mixture on top, then the panko crust.
- Bake in the oven: Bake the crusted salmon on a parchment-lined baking sheet until it flakes easily and turns pink.
- Garnish and enjoy: Sprinkle green onions on top of the baked crusted salmon, serve with your favorite sides, and enjoy!
Air fryer instructions
Prepare and assemble the salmon as normal. Place it on a lightly greased air fryer basket and air fry at 375ºF for 8 to 10 minutes.
Tips and variations
- A pinch of cayenne and smoked paprika gives this salmon recipe a subtle kick. If you don’t like spicy food, omit the cayenne and use regular paprika instead.
- You’ll know the salmon is done baking when it flakes easily with a fork and reaches an internal temperature of 145ºF.
- If using frozen salmon, make sure the filet has thawed completely before cooking. Pat it dry with paper towels to help the seasonings and mayonnaise spread stick.
- Play with the flavors of the mayonnaise spread or panko topping by stirring in dried herbs.
What to serve with crusted salmon
Crusted salmon filet pairs well with almost anything! Enjoy the versatile flavors with:
- Salad: Serve the salmon next to a light and flavorful tomato salad, peach burrata salad, or shaved zucchini salad.
- Pasta: Plate the salmon over a bed of creamy orzo pasta or penne alla vodka.
- Vegetables: Like mashed potatoes, cauliflower mash, roasted asparagus, french green beans, and herb mushrooms.
- Rice: Keep it simple and pair the salmon with wild rice pilaf, cooked brown rice, cauliflower rice, or a more elegant lemon risotto.
- Appetizers: Start the meal with whipped feta dip, radishes with butter, and pan con tomate before digging into the salmon.
Make ahead and storing
Make ahead: Stir the mayonnaise spread together 1 or 2 days ahead of time and keep it in a sealed jar in the fridge. Quickly top it on the prepared salmon filet with the breadcrumbs right before baking.
Storing: Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2 days, however, the breadcrumbs will start to lose their crispy crunch after 1 day.
Looking for more easy salmon recipes?
- Salmon en Papillote with Potatoes
- Oven Baked Salmon
- Tuscan Salmon with Spinach
- Pan-Fried Salmon
- Miso Salmon Rice Bowls
If you try this Panko Crusted Salmon recipe let me know what you think! Rate and review this recipe in the comments below. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog!
Panko Crusted Salmon
- 1 lb salmon fillet cut in half
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon green onions finely chopped
- ½ lime juices and zested
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine mayonnaise, spices and green onions in a small bowl.
- Combine panko with olive oil, paprika and salt. Mix to combine.
- Cut the salmon in half, pat it dry, season with salt. Top with mayo and then panko crust. Then cook according to below either in the air fryer or oven.
Air fry instructions
- Preheat air fryer to 375 F degrees for a few minutes while prepping the salmon.
- Add salmon, spread the mayo mixture. Top with panko crumbs. Air fry for 8-10 minutes. Garnish with some more green onions and enjoy.
Oven Baking instructions
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Add salmon to a baking sheet topped with parchment paper. Add salmon, spread the mayo mixture. Top with panko crumbs and bake for 10-12 minutes. Garnish with some more green onions and enjoy.
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