It’s easy to see why salmon, one of the most popular fish in the United States, is such a beloved staple. For one, it’s healthy: Salmon is high in protein, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids — those good-for-you fats you need in your diet. The Dietary Guidelines also recommend that Americans eat fish twice a week, and salmon gets the highest sustainability rating by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. (Just make sure to buy the wild-caught variety!)
That said, if you’re still baffled by how to cook those pinky-orange filets, you’re not alone. We’ve checked in with our favorite bloggers to get the 411 on how to cook salmon with seven different, delicious methods. Your new go-to dinner recipes, served!
How to Cook Salmon: 7 Delicious Ways
1. The Method: Baked
Baking is one of the most popular ways to cook salmon, and it’s also crazy-fast. To prevent the fish from drying out, cook a filet for just 12 to 15 minutes (meaning you could have dinner ready in 20 minutes or less!). As Gimme Delicious Food demonstrates, there’s no need to go overboard with the seasonings — just a little garlic and lemon will do. Rub the fish with butter to keep it moist while baking, and you’re good to go!
2. The Method: Sauté
Sautéing salmon allows for caramelized, crispy edges with a soft, melt-in-your-mouth interior — if you do it right, that is. In this recipe, Steamy Kitchen solves the dilemma of uneven salmon filets, which can cause the edges to overcook before the inside is done. Simply roll your salmon filet, tie with twine and then cut it into uniform “steaks.” Check out her post for the full details, plus an intriguing “Magical Butter Sauce.”
3. The Method: Boiled or Simmered
Soup may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of salmon, but this chowder from Nourished Kitchen will warm the soul. It’s the perfect way to use leftovers, when reheated fish filets aren’t so appetizing. The key to this recipe: Add the salmon at the very end of the cook time, once your potatoes and leeks are already done. This helps keep the fish from overcooking.
4. The Method: Burger-Fried
Whether you usually partake in red meat or not, Pinch of Yum’s salmon burgers make a compelling case for skipping the beef from time to time. Quinoa and eggs help these burgers hold their shape, and a food processor is the trick for getting a nice, uniform ground texture for the fish. Serve these burgers the traditional way, on buns, enjoy them on their own or on top of a grain bowl or salads.
5. The Method: Broiled
Time to finally switch on your over’s broiler. This cooking method is great option for cooking salmon very quickly, like in this broiled salmon gyro by Damn Delicious. (It also adds a nice caramelized coating on your fish, as shown here). This broiled salmon gyro recipe takes a refreshing approach to the standard filet presentation and pairs the warm fish with cool feta in a grab-and-go pita.
6. The Method: Grilled
Salmon can totally get in on the grill action, both on outdoor and indoor grill pans. This grilled salmon recipe from The Wanderlust Kitchen pairs sweet marinade with the smoky flavor of the grill for the perfect filet. Keep in mind that marinating the fish will help keep it moist while it cooks. Many bloggers also recommend placing a sheet of aluminum foil on your grill or cooking the fish in an aluminum tray to help prevent the fish from sticking or falling apart.
7. The Method: Pan-Fried
Salmon for breakfast doesn’t have to mean lox only. By mixing salmon with sweet potatoes and a few other ingredients, then frying it in coconut oil — like in this Run Fast Eat Slow recipe — you get a tasty pancake filled with protein, complex carbs and healthy fats. Even better, you can make these satisfying cakes a few days in advance, so you just have to reheat and eat when you’re hungry.