Salmon Salad – Perfectly seared salmon fillets with cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, olives, lettuce, and avocado tossed in an incredible garlic lemon dressing. Refreshing and beautiful, flavor-packed and oh-so-healthy, you’ll want to enjoy it several times a week. It’s easy to make, colorful, and the perfect hassle-free lunch or dinner.
Who says comfort food has to be bad for you? Honestly, anything that satisfies your cravings, like this salad, should be considered comfort food IMO. Maybe it’s the perfectly seared salmon, maybe it’s the fiesta of greens and veggies; all I know is that this salad hits the spot every single time.
And the homemade dressing! 🤤 It has the perfect amount of zing with fresh lemon juice and red wine vinegar, along with some gorgeous herby notes from the fresh dill, Italian herbs, and minced garlic that really set off that classic salmon flavor. This is a salad even non-salad lovers can appreciate.
How to Choose the Best Salmon
How to Choose the Best Salmon for Salad
Salmon can be expensive, so go for quality salmon to get the most bang for your buck. Make sure the color is vibrant, and the fish is plump and moist. It should spring back if you give it a little press, and it shouldn’t smell overly fishy or have brown spots or bruising.
In addition, avoid cuts of salmon that are overly floppy or where you notice the edges falling apart or gapping because that one is on its way out. Frozen salmon also works well for this recipe, especially if you have a trusted brand you like to buy.
- Salad Dressing – Olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, fresh dill, garlic, and a few dried herbs and spices make for a ridiculously delicious homemade dressing.
- Salmon – Fresh, pan-seared salmon tastes amazing in this recipe, but don’t hesitate to cook up frozen salmon, either!
- Veggies – Romaine lettuce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, black olives, and avocado are my veggies of choice for this salad.
How to Make Salmon Salad
- The Dressing – Whisk together all the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl: olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, dill, garlic, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Then set it aside or store it in the refrigerator if you’re making it ahead.
- Season salmon with salt and pepper, and heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Sear the salmon on both sides until it’s crispy and cooked to your liking.
- Prep Salad – While the salmon is cooking, mix all the salad ingredients in a plate or bowl.
- Serve – Arrange the salmon over the salad. Drizzle everything with the salad dressing. And serve with avocado and lemon wedges.
- Tilapia, fried catfish, and shrimp are excellent options for this salad if you don’t have salmon.
- The sky’s the limit for salad greens variations. You can leave out literally anything and add just about anything else. Roasted veggies or a different salad dressing, for example. Anything goes here, my friend. 😉
Tips and Tricks
- Make the Dressing Ahead: Salad dressing can be made a few days before and stored in the refrigerator. But bring it to room temperature before drizzling it on your salad.
- Make it Colorful: Use different colors of bell peppers if you want a more Instagram-worthy plating. 🌈
- Mix and Match: Don’t be afraid to mix and match other meats, such as chicken, tuna, or shrimp, with this dish. You might be happily surprised.
You can totally make the salad dressing and the salmon ahead of time for this salad. Make them as instructed and store them in the fridge for 1-2 days. Then, toss everything together whenever you’re ready to eat.
Serving and Storage Instructions
I like to serve my salad with room-temperature salad dressing and fresh-out-of-the-pan salmon, but it can be eaten any way you like. If you prefer everything chilled, go for it!
Store leftovers in the fridge but try to consume them within the next day or so. The dressing will make the greens wilt, so store the dressing separately if possible.
Almost any veggie in this recipe pairs beautifully with salmon, but they aren’t the only options. Coz about any salad green (think baby spinach, arugula, shaved Brussels sprouts, or baby kale) tastes good with salmon. Zucchini, broccoli, carrots, corn, shallots, and roasted sweet potatoes would also be tasty.
Other toppings you could include that would taste amazing are black beans, hard-boiled eggs, feta cheese, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), almond slices, pecan pieces, and chopped fresh herbs like cilantro or basil are ideal toppings.
Absolutely. If you still want the outer bits to be a little crisp and crunchy, you’ll still want to pan-sear it first. Otherwise, just pop the fillets in the oven at 450℉/232℃ for 12-15 minutes.
What Goes With Salmon Salad
For sides, try a salmon salad with roast potatoes and carrots, which will make your meal keep you fuller longer. You could also add a side of homemade garlic bread!
Sometimes I like to swap up my dressings too. Homemade ranch dressing or a side of blue cheese dressing tastes amazing with a salmon salad. I also like some kind of fresh and fruity drink, like sorrel drink. Yum!
More Easy Salmon Recipes
Fresh, colorful, super healthy, and filling! What’s not to love? ❤️ Give this salmon salad a try, and let me know if you love it as much as I do! For more fun salad recipes, follow me on Facebook or Instagram. See you there! 😘
Watch How to Make It
This blog post was originally published in August 2019 and has been updated with additional tips, new photos, and a video.
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) red wine vinegar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon (4g) Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon (15g) fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon (4g) garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon (1g) onion powder
- ½ teaspoon (2g) dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
- ½ teaspoon (2g) pepper
- 2 4-6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
- 4 cups (188g) Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried
- 1 cup (119g) cucumber, quartered
- 2 cups (400g) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 red onion, sliced
- ½ cup (75g) red bell pepper, sliced
- ⅓ cup (60g) black olives, halved
- 1 avocado, sliced
- lemon wedges, for garnish
- In a small bowl, Whisk together all of the salad dressing ingredients: olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, dill, garlic, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- Season salmon with salt and pepper, and heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Sear salmon on both sides until crispy and cooked to your liking.
- While the salmon is cooking, prepare the salad ingredients and mix them in a plate or bowl.
- Arrange salmon over salad, and drizzle with the salad dressing. Serve with avocado and lemon wedges.
Tips & Notes:
- Make the dressing ahead: Salad dressing can be made a few days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.
- Make it colorful: Use different colors of bell peppers if you want a more Instagram-worthy plating.
- Mix and Match: Don’t be afraid to mix and match other meats, such as chicken, tuna, or shrimp, with this dish. You’ll never know what’ll surprise you.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.
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