This salmon salad with lettuce, avocado and other veggies can be made with fresh or canned salmon. The easy dressing with lemon, dill and olive oil makes it irresistible!
This Mediterranean inspired salmon salad is perfect for a healthy lunch or a light dinner. It can be served while the salmon is still warm but it’s just as delicious out of the fridge when the salmon is cold.
If you’re thinking of serving it as a salad next to a main course, I’d suggest a pasta dish with some kind of seafood, maybe some black garlic linguini with creamy olive oil bechamel or a simple pasta with tomato sauce.
Should you use canned, fresh or frozen salmon?
Most of the times I use fresh or frozen salmon for this salad because I find it tastier and cheaper (if you calculate the price per weight).
If you choose fresh or frozen salmon you’ll have to cook it. Two paragraphs below you can find brief instructions with all the easy and quick ways to do that.
For more detailed steps you can check this easy salmon recipe with baking in the oven and air-fryer instructions or this pan seared salmon from onceuponachef.com
Canned salmon will also work, and it’s a great solution for people who don’t have the time or don’t want to cook it.
What about smoked salmon?
I haven’t tried this recipe with smoked salmon so I can’t tell you how it will taste, but you can certainly try it if you like it.
Ingredients for this healthy salmon salad
Salmon. Whether you choose fresh or frozen salmon, make sure it’s good quality and bring it to room temperature before cooking. If you choose canned salmon, drain it and use as is.
Lettuce. Any kind of lettuce you like will work. Here I used Romaine lettuce but Crisphead, Butterhead or Leaf Lettuce will also work.
Avocado. Make sure your avocados are ripe because otherwise they will be tasteless and hard.
Tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are prettier for this recipe, but any kind of tomato will do.
Cucumber. If you choose Persian or English cucumbers you can use them with their skin on, provided you have washed them thorougly (as with all the vegetables). Other cucumber varieties may have bitter skin or large seeds, so you may have to peel them and seed them accordingly.
Kalamata olives. Sliced Kalamata olives are my favorites for this salmon salad recipe, but any kind of black olives will also work.
Red onion. Thinly sliced red onions will brighten up this salad. However you could also use pickled onions or even green onions for a different taste.
Ingredients for the dressing
Dill weed. Fresh dill weed pairs perfectly with the salmon. If you don’t have fresh you can also use dried.
Lemon juice. When a Mediterranean recipe asks for lemon juice, only freshly squeezed lemon juice will do!
Olive oil. Since you’ll be using the olive oil raw, an extra virgin one is your best option.
Dried garlic powder. Dried garlic powder is optional but gives more depth and flavor to this salad. If you love garlic, you can also use 1-2 minced garlic cloves.
Salt and pepper. Adjust this to your taste.
How to Quickly Make Salmon for a Chopped Salmon Salad
Baked salmon in the oven
- If you plan to use the oven preheat it to 430˚F (220°C) for a conventional oven or 400˚F (205°C) for a fan oven.
- Pat-dry the salmon fillets with paper towels, rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the fillets (skin side down) to a baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake the salmon fillets for 12 -15 minutes (the exact time will depend on the thickness of the fillets).
- Remove from the oven and let it cool down.
More details for baked salmon you can read in this easy salmon recipe.
Pan fried salmon
- Heat a large enough nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the salmon, skin side up, and cook until golden, about 4 minutes (for the salmon to brown and caramelize perfectly, you’ll have to let the fillets cook from one side without turning or moving them around).
- Flip the salmon fillets, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 4 – 5 minutes more.
More details for pan fried salmon you can read in this pan seared salmon recipe from onceuponachef.com
Can you eat cold salmon?
Yes you can! Once cooked, you can store it in the fridge and use it in salads and other recipes within 2-3 days. Because it’s a fatty fish, it will remain soft, juicy and flaky even when it’s cold and the taste will not be dull at all.
- 4 salmon fillets, cooked
- 10-12 lettuce leaves, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 2 cups sliced cucumber
- 1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives or black olives
- 1/4 cup chopped or sliced red onion or pickled onions
- 1-2 avocados, sliced
- a few sprigs of dill weed, chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill weed
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
Make the salad: Add all the vegetables for the salad to a large bowl and mix well. Then place the cooked salmon on top.
Make the dressing: Transfer the ingredients for the dressing to a small bowl and mix well with a fork until combined (you can also put it in a jar and shake well to combine).
Add the dressing over the salad, flake the salmon with a fork and mix gently.
- The salmon fillets should be about 6 ounces (170 grams) each, weighted before cooking.
- For detailed cooking instructions see this article for easy salmon in the oven or in the air-fryer.
- For a juicier salad make the dressing with 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 6 tablespoons olive oil.
- I like to add chopped dill weed both in the salad and the dressing, but you can choose to add it to one of the two.
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