This salmon salad has it all – flaky baked salmon, crisp celery, red onion, radishes, and fresh herbs, tossed in a creamy lemony dressing. Oh yes, this is how you give salmon a fresh new lift.
I’m a huge proponent of turning simple proteins into creamy summer salads. They’re deliciously filling, yet still light and fresh. At this point, I’ve made shrimp salad, chicken salad, tuna salad (even broccoli tuna salad)…you get the gist. So it only made sense that next on my list was a salad that leveraged one of my favorite ingredients – baked salmon!
Chunky, flaky, baked salmon is one of my go-to meal prep ingredients (a sneak peek of something you’ll find in my meal prep cookbook). And once you toss it with super fresh, creamy, and crunchy factors – this salmon salad recipe is seriously the best thing ever. Especially when it’s served on butter leaf lettuce!
What’s In This Salmon Salad?
Think of this as a variation of my original tuna salad, but slightly elevated. The creamy dressing is a bit more complex in flavor. The celery adds that crispiness we all love. The radishes – my secret ingredient – add a nuanced peppery bite. And the bigger salmon flakes gives this dish a whole new texture and visual appeal that’s decidedly elegant (if I do say so myself).
- Salmon: I’m using a large salmon filet, but you could also use several individual salmon filets. If you use smaller, individual filets, just make sure to reduce the bake time (you can follow my baked salmon recipe). And before you go shopping for salmon, make sure to read my posts about wild caught vs. farmed salmon and king vs. sockeye vs. coho.
- Salmon Seasoning: Smoked paprika, kosher salt and black pepper will give the salmon a hint of smoky, delicious flavor.
- Salad Dressing: A combination of mayonnaise, lemon, Dijon mustard, and garlic makes the best creamy dressing that pairs well with salmon.
- Vegetables: Diced red onion and celery are classics, but the grated radishes really make this dish pop with color and texture.
- Herbs: A generous amount of chives and dill coats everything in herb-y goodness.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
Can you use canned salmon? Well, you can, but I don’t recommend it. Canned salmon typically has bones and skin in the can, which makes it less visually appealing. Canned salmon is perfectly fine to use in my salmon patties recipe, but for this salad you really want those large, chunky, fresh flakes of salmon!
How To Make Flaky Salmon Salad
Once the salmon gets placed in the oven, the rest is super simple to do. Just flake the salmon, chop some veggies and herbs, toss and serve! And if you like step-by-step tutorials, I’ve got a full video on it below.
Prep the salmon. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the salmon on top. Drizzle the salmon with olive oil and season with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
Bake the salmon and flake. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, depending on the size and thickness. Let it cool to room temperature, then flake the salmon into chunks and place in a bowl. Chill it for 5 to 10 minutes in the fridge.
Prep the salad ingredients. As the salmon is baking or chilling, chop up the onion, radish, celery, dill, and chives.
Make the dressing. In a separate small bowl, sir together the mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Stir it all together. Add the chopped veggies and herbs into the flaked salmon bowl, and pour the dressing on top. Gently stir everything until the salmon flakes are evenly coated (and try not to over-stir – you want to keep some of those large salmon flakes!).
It’s ready to enjoy! Serve the salmon salad chilled straight out of the bowl, on top of butter lettuce leaves, or as a sandwich or wrap.
I know many folks have ingredient preferences and dietary restrictions, so here’s a few swaps you can do.
- Not a fan of mayonnaise? You can use yogurt and/or sour cream as the base for the dressing instead.
- Don’t like radishes? Grated turnip or jicama could be great options for a crisp texture.
- Can’t find chives or dill? Chop up parsley, basil, or tarragon to keep some fresh herbs in the mix.
Storage & Meal Prep Tips
A batch of this salmon salad is such a delicious and versatile meal prep ingredient. You can eat it on its own, wrap it, stuff it (like my tuna stuffed avocados), and so much more. And yes – it stores well!
- To store: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
- To freeze: Freeze this for the future! Store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Just make sure to pack it down and remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Then, thaw in the fridge the day before you’d like to enjoy it!
Creamy Salmon Salad Recipe Video
Need some step-by-step guidance on how to make this salmon salad? Take a peek at the video below!
Here’s What to Do With Your Next Salmon Filet…
If you’re on a salmon kick, I’ve got tons more salmon recipes to try next. Here’s some favorites…
A bite of this creamy salmon salad is just pure summertime goodness. Once you make it, you’ll know what I mean. But, let me know how it turned out in a comment below!
Flaky Salmon Salad
For the Salmon
- 1 ¼ pounds salmon filet
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Dressing
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ½ lemon, zested and juiced (about ½ tablespoon of zest and 1 ½ tablespoons juice)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Salad
- ½ small red onion, finely diced
- 3 large radishes, grated
- 2 stalks celery, small diced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- Prep the salmon. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the salmon on top. Drizzle the salmon with olive oil and season with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Bake and flake the salmon. Bake the salmon for 16 to 18 minutes (depending on size and thickness), or until it flakes easily with a fork. Let it cool to room temperature, then flake the salmon into chunks and place in a bowl. Chill the flaked salmon for 5 to 10 minutes in the fridge.
- Dice the vegetables. Top the flaked salmon with the onion, radish, celery, dill, and chives.
- Make the dressing. In a separate small bowl make the dressing. Stir together the mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Stir it all together. Pour the dressing on top of the salad, and gently stir to combine.
- Serve the salmon salad chilled straight out of the bowl, on butter lettuce leaves, or as a sandwich or wrap.
- You can bake the salmon in a baking dish or on a regular half sheet pan, but I love quarter sheet pans. They’re the perfect size for baking whole fish filets!