11 Quick and Delicious Weeknight Salmon Recipes
Published on March 29, 2022
By Ariane Resnick, CNC
Salmon really is the king of fish when it comes to healthy eating. It can help reduce your cholesterol, offers lots of brain-boosting Omega-3, can minimize the risk of cancer, and is a fabulous source of lean protein. Not only is salmon great for you, we’re also fortunate that it tastes delicious — and cooks really quickly.
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While all salmon is beneficial to your health and tastes great, wild-caught salmon is your best bet if you want to get the most out of it. That’s because it actually contains more Omega-3 than farmed salmon does.
We’ve rounded up eleven salmon dishes that are perfect for fast and easy weeknight meals. They take an average of thirty minutes or less to prepare, and utilize other healthful, whole food ingredients. Whether you’re in the mood for curry or pesto, we have a quick weeknight salmon recipe you’re sure to love.
There’s no shortage of salmon poke bowls out there, but few include cucumber pickles that take only ten minutes of your prep time. We love this spicy salmon poke bowl partially because it utilizes a really easy topping sauce (just sriracha and plain Greek yogurt), which adds heat, tang, and creaminess to the dish. The salmon poke seasoning itself is simple — and includes either rice wine or apple cider vinegar, whatever you have around. Choose tamari to keep gluten out of your soy sauce if you aim to eat gluten-free.
Coming together in only 25 minutes, this healthy green curry salmon is full of bright, vibrant flavors as well as the health benefits of curry. Freshly minced garlic and ginger, as well as the juice and zest of a lime, will add extra freshness and depth to the taste of jarred green curry paste. Because the salmon is cooked separately from the vegetables and sauce, it holds its shape perfectly. Instead of serving it over white rice as suggested, try a more healthful grain like buckwheat, bulgur, or forbidden black rice.
The trick to making these blackened salmon fajitas full of charred flavor couldn’t be easier: You just sear the salmon stovetop in a pan until its spice mix coating has blackened. You’ll first season the fish with a Cajun seasoning blend, which is made from healthy spices like paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. The salmon is paired with bell peppers, onion, and fresh lime, then topped with a sauce made from yogurt and fresh-chopped cilantro. In thirty minutes, dinner will be sizzling on the table.
A niçoise salad is a wonderful entree that normally utilizes tuna — but honestly, we think a salmon niçoise is even better. It takes just 15-25 to put this dish together, depending on if you have any ingredients cooked ahead of time. We recommend whipping up a batch of each so that you can have multiple meals made with these good-for-you ingredients. Made with green beans, olives, a quickly boiled egg, and baby potatoes, a niçoise is the perfect light meal. The salmon takes only five minutes on the stove to cook, and the whole affair is drizzled with a lemony olive oil dressing.
Coating a salmon filet with coconut isn’t a healthy move if you fry it, so this coconut crusted salmon is instead baked in the oven.The crust, which is made with unsweetened shredded coconut, gets super crispy in the oven, and doesn’t impact the cooking of the salmon. That’s because you’ll bake the salmon for five minutes before patting on the crust on top, so each part finishes perfectly. Coconut oil amps up the coconut flavor while providing health-promoting MCTs.
Let’s face it: Pasta is one of the easiest and most satisfying weeknight meals. Since it definitely isn’t usually one of the healthiest, the addition of protein-packed salmon in this light lemon garlic pasta certainly helps it head in that direction. Fresh lemon, garlic, and chopped basil give it character while adding health value. Because you can use any pasta for this recipe, we suggest one made with a whole food, such as lentils or brown rice.
If you love the crunch of kale chips, this sheet pan blackened salmon with garlicky kale is bound to be a hit for you. You’ll make the crunchy, garlicky kale by roasting it right along with the salmon in the oven, making for a two birds/one stone dish that goes from fridge to table in thirty minutes. We love the salmon seasoning blend that includes dry mustard powder, garlic, and oregano, too. Top the cooked dish with honey and lime, and the taste of the salmon-kale combo is spiked even further.
The best news about this easy pesto salmon dish is that you’ll have even more pesto for later, so you can make more salmon — or top vegetables and grains with this healthful, fragrant sauce. The salmon is kept extra tender by placing it in a quick brine while the oven preheats, which is especially helpful for lean varieties of salmon, like wild-caught Pacific. Topped with toasted pine nuts, which are beneficial for blood pressure, this dish is as crunchy as it is tender. We suggest swapping the foil for parchment paper to reduce your exposure to aluminum.
A bed of rice, black beans, and shredded purple cabbage makes the base of this Caribbean-inspired mango salmon bowl. The sauce is fruity and rich, being composed of chopped fresh mango, light coconut milk, and lime juice. We love the addition of freshly quick pickled red onions, which add dimension to the fruity sauce, simple vegetables, and of course, spiced salmon. Topped with the suggested avocado slices, you have a dish that’s as filling as it is nutritious.
You’ll want to have some plain baked salmon on hand for these salmon burgers with avocado garlic sauce, but it’ll only add a few minutes of prep and cool time if you don’t. Rather than the usual breadcrumbs and mayo, these seafood burgers instead employ much healthier ingredients like almond flour, coconut oil, and Dijon mustard. They’re flavored with whole food ingredients like lemon zest and minced shallots, and the sauce is more avocado than it is anything else. An indulgent burger that’s also a health food? Yes, please.
Ginger and soy sauce are a classic addition to salmon, and this soy ginger salmon celebrates the age-old pairing while enlivening it further with ingredients such as green onion, honey, and sesame. The kick of chili sauce and rice vinegar prevents the honey from imparting too much sweetness, and the recipe takes only twenty minutes from start to finish. It works well to scale up for a crowd, but with flavors like these, even if you make extra, no one will be surprised if you go back for seconds.
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