I love salmon and there are a variety of ways to make it. Here are some of my favorites: oven baked salmon, broiled salmon, poached salmon, grilled salmon, and a ridiculously easy way to make salmon in the Instant Pot — or any pressure cooker of your choice.
Whatever method you choose, these healthy salmon recipes are great for lunch or dinner, easy to make, and can be served hot or cold… just chill it in the fridge and toss it on salad. Or if you’re serving salmon as a main course, pair it with your favorite side dish — asparagus with garlic butter is mine.
What is the best way to prepare salmon?
There is no “bad choice” — it’s all about how you like it. I personally like each of the techniques and for myself, it depends on how I’m serving it. Here’s some basic guidelines:
Baked vs Broiled Salmon vs. Poached Salmon
Baked salmon: Depending on thickness, most baked salmon takes about 15 minutes at 450°F. You want to make sure it isn’t over-cooked — there’s nothing worse than dried-out salmon as my mother, Bernice would always point out. Drizzling olive oil over the seasoning keeps the fish moist. Baked salmon has a delicate texture which I love.
Broiled salmon: Broiling on high heat for a short time makes it crispy and the flavors are released in about 10-12 minutes. I love salmon a little crisp. Of course, you can toss it on the grill, but if you don’t have one, or you live in Chicago, grilling in the winter is challenging. So, when I want that grilled taste and I am indoors, for me, broiling is the way to go.
Poached Salmon: I make poached salmon in the Instant Pot and it takes 4 minutes. Seriously. This is by far the fastest method — and it’s never dry.
What is the healthiest salmon to buy?
- Wild Alaskan salmon is the healthiest salmon available.
- Wild Alaskan King or Chinook salmon is known for its high fat content, rich omega-3s and buttery texture.
- Sockeye salmon is an oilier fish with deep-red flesh and has a stronger flavor. It works well for grilling and broiling.
- Coho salmon is milder and lighter in color.
- Wild salmon is higher in minerals, including potassium, zinc and iron.
What is the difference between Wild Salmon and Farm Raised Salmon?
- Farmed salmon is much higher in fat and contains 46% more calories — mostly from fat.
- Farmed raised salmon is less expensive than wild salmon because they are bred in a controlled environment.
- Farmed salmon is fed with processed fish feed, whereas wild salmon eat what’s in their natural environment.
- Farmed salmon is readily available all year round, generally has a rich, mild flavor, but lacks the “saltiness” of wild salmon.
Instant Pot Salmon: Cooking Tip:
When cooking salmon in the Instant Pot — or any pressure cooker, I always use organic vegetable stock in place of water. I learned this trick from my mother, Bernice. She was right — using a vegetable stock adds an extra richness and flavor to almost any dish. As Bernice used to say: “Use stock, water doesn’t taste good. But do what you want.” (Welcome to “cooking with Bernice.” LOL.) Whatever you decide, it’s easy to prepare. Let’s get started…
Basically, if you have salt, pepper, garlic, and some basic herbs, you’re good to go. As for lemon: a personal note: lemon slices are pretty, but I prefer to use wedges. I find a wedge of lemon is easier to squeeze than dealing with slices. That’s just me. (And yes, I realize I am beginning to sound like Bernice!)
What to serve with salmon
Okay, asparagus is one of my favorite veggies. I love it crisp and crunchy with garlic and butter. (You can of course substitute olive oil for butter.) I also love to make asparagus as a side dish and use a variety of dipping sauces.
- Roasted Potatoes or Rice
- Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”
- Grilled or steamed vegetables
- Asparagus with garlic and butter (recipe below)
- Corn: NO Shucking Required!
- Avocado, Tomato, Cucumber Salad
- Spoon-Bread Corn pudding
Oh! And here’s the Instant Potholder — great for removing the Instant Pot insert. It’s a 3-in-1 accessory: a jar opener, a potholder, and a trivet. I created these because I hate using those clunky silicone mitts. When I was growing up, Bernice used to have these thin mitts, and I couldn’t find them anywhere, so I made them. (They’re proudly Made in the USA.)
Instant Pot Poached Salmon – with Asparagus – in 3 Minutes
Easy to prepare. Create a perfect dish in about 15 minutes.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 3 mins
- Total Time: 8 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Category: Entree
- 6 oz filet of salmon
- 2 pats/2 tsp of unsalted butter – one is for the fish, the other for the asparagus
- 1 cup organic chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1/4 tsp Salt – or to taste
- 1/4 tsp Pepper – or to taste
- 3 roasted garlic cloves
- Fresh Lemon
- 8 oz bag of pre-washed asparagus spears
- Place trivet on the bottom of the Instant Pot
- Add 1 cup of either organic chicken stock or organic vegetable stock – whatever you prefer
- Place salmon on the trivet – skin side down
- Season salmon with 1 tsp each of salt and pepper – or to taste
- Add the pat of butter to the top of the salmon
- Squeeze 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice over the fish and into the stock
- Place lid on Instant Pot and close the valve to SEALED
- STEAM or Pressure Cook for 3 minutes
- Quick Release when it’s done
- Carefully remove the fish and set aside to cool or place it in the fridge so it chills up.
- cup of vegetable stock
- Create a tinfoil boat and place the asparagus into the foil and add roasted garlic, a pat of butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place tinfoil boat on the trivet and place the lid on the Instant Pot
- STEAM or PRESSURE COOK for 2 minutes. (I like my asparagus crisp… if you like it softer, cook for 3 minutes.)
- Set the valve to SEALED
- QUICK RELEASE
- Remove the asparagus and squeeze fresh lemon to taste.
Salmon: 1 tsp of butter adds 2 WW points.
You may substitute olive oil for butter.
JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP WHERE YOU CAN SHARE YOUR RECIPES AND IDEAS.
And please, follow me on PINTEREST… the place where I go to look for a recipe and end up considering which Tiny House I should buy.
And if you have leftover salmon… it makes a gorgeous and healthy breakfast: scramble some eggs, toss in some avocado, add you’re good to go.
If you like fish, here’s another easy recipe for halibut…. Halibut Alaska. Yep. It’s pretty spectacular!
I also recommend checking out some of my healthy options that don’t taste like “diet food.” Because they’re not. I ended up doing Whole30 (or as I call it, Whole 29.5) and it was a game changer. I had horrible inflammation and a tear in my rotator cuff and after doing Whole30… I had ZERO pain and ZERO inflammation.