Salmon Salad

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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.

Salmon salad in a large white bowl

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!

Ingredients for salmon salad on a table

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.

Chopped veggies on a board for salmon salad

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!).

Healthy salmon salad in a bowl next to a napkin

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.

Ingredient Swaps

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.
Salmon salad on butter lettuce leaves

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!

A big bowl of healthy salmon salad

Flaky Salmon Salad

5 from 29 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 10 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

This salmon salad has it all – flaky baked salmon, red onion, radishes, celery, and herbs, tossed in a creamy lemony dressing. Watch how I make it in the video above!

Video

Ingredients 
 

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

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.
    Salmon with spice rub for salmon salad
  • 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.
    Flaked salmon with a fork for salmon salad
  • Dice the vegetables. Top the flaked salmon with the onion, radish, celery, dill, and chives.
    Diced vegetables on a board for salmon salad
  • Make the dressing. In a separate small bowl make the dressing. Stir together the mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper.
    Creamy dressing in a bowl for salmon salad
  • Stir it all together. Pour the dressing on top of the salad, and gently stir to combine.
    Creamy salmon salad in a bowl
  • Serve the salmon salad chilled straight out of the bowl, on butter lettuce leaves, or as a sandwich or wrap.
    A creamy salmon salad in a bowl with a spoon

Lisa’s Tips

  • 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! 

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 227mg | Potassium: 820mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 491IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dinner, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Salmon Salad, Salmon Salad Recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




68 Comments

  1. Great stuff. Making it for a Scandinavian themed party this weekend and gave it a run through tonight. Question though: when I chilled my salmon in the fridge (after flaking it), it seemed to release quite a bit of liquid. Maybe I’m using inferior salmon, but should I drain the liquid before adding the dressing? I think it ended up more like salmon dip than salmon salad.5 stars

  2. We love this recipe! The fresh herbs and radishes really shine! I’ve made this with leftover fresh salmon from the previous night and with canned salmon and both versions are great! Thanks for sharing.5 stars

  3. Could you use any canned salmon for any of the salmon recipes? I just ordered some wild planet because I knew you used the tuna.

  4. Another winner! I’m not a fan of raw onions so I sauteed them a bit. I forgot the celery so I didn’t include it but it still tasted delicious. It was easy to make. Am making this again.5 stars

  5. I made this for Whole 30. It is very refreshing! I couldn’t find the fresh herbs needed so used their spice versions and thought it still tasted good. I can only imagine how much better it would’ve been if I used fresh dill.5 stars

    1. Fresh herbs are a sensation in this salad, but is fine if you have the dry version. Glad you enjoyed this salmon salad, Emily!

  6. This is absolutely delicious. I followed the recipe exactly (as I always do the first time making anything) and I wouldn’t change a thing! I like the chunks of salmon and the combination of flavors is perfect. You need to make this asap!5 stars

  7. Ummmm please get up and got to the store and get the ingredients for this ASAP!! lol y’all I’ve made rbis a few times and it’s such a flavor explosion. I’ve eaten it with crackers, by itself, on a bagel with cream cheese (lox style) I just love it! Thank you for being willing this to share your recipes with us. Much Gratitude!5 stars

  8. This is how I’ve made salmon salad for many years EXCEPT for the grated radish.
    I think that’s a brilliant addition and I can’t wait to add it.5 stars

  9. Hi Lisa
    what would be a good dish to serve with this if i wanted this to be the main course?

    Thank you!
    Dafi5 stars

    1. I’d say to serve this as lettuce wraps, or serve it alongside any sort of roasted vegetable :)

  10. One of my favourite recipe! It’s very simple to make, perfect for summer and so refreshing! If you love salmon and dill, you’ve got to try this recipe!5 stars

  11. This recipe is absolutely delicious and definitely one of my new favorite dishes! Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe, I will definitely be making it again and again. Keep up the good work!5 stars

  12. I made this last night and it was  so good. Unfortunately, I could not find wild caught Salmon, but it was still great.5 stars

  13. I love tuna salad and chicken salad and never thought of salmon salad! This was the perfect recipe to make use of a very large salmon cut I had made for dinner the night before and had lots of leftover salmon. I just put it on top of some toasted homemade bread, haha sorry no gluten free requirements in this house! I will definitely make it again. 5 stars

  14. Delicious! I added more lemon but I like a little more zing. My 1 year old also loved it! She just kept asking for more!5 stars

    1. 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!

  15. This sounds delicious and a lot like the salmon salad sandwiches I make (with canned salmon…guilty as charged). One thing that can really give this a tasty bite is horseradish. I see radishes are included, but a jar of horseradish really makes it ‘extra.’

    The tricky thing with salmon is keeping it moist. Any few minutes of overcooking or leaving it out (such as if taking this to a potluck) can really make it dry and not so tasty. Do you find that adding more dressing helps with this?

    Thank you for the deliciousness idea!

  16. Hi Lisa, I am so bad about remembering to leave a comment. I am so addicted to your videos and recipes. I have not had one bad one yet! Im making this salmon salad for the third time and its so delicious.  Among my favorites are the pork carnitas, the white chicken chili, the guacamole, zucchini fritters, shredded chicken and the chicken marinades.  All are just so good. Today I will also be giving the frozen bananas a try. Can’t wait.
    Thanks again for such wonderful recipes.5 stars

  17. Wow, this is a delicious salad!  Such a great way to get extra salmon into the diet as well. I didn’t have garlic, radish, or chives but I used 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder & half seeded chopped cucumber instead.  Yummy.  Thanks for this.  

  18. Light and delicious!  I wasn’t sure about the dressing but it was great (I used half Mayo and half yogurt). I also added capers after dressed.  Thank you for this!5 stars

  19. Very tasty! I am not a celery fan and honestly I have probably never ate fresh celery, but in this salad it tastes delicious! Thank you!5 stars

  20. Really incredible!  My husband and I both loved it!  The flavors are so fresh. I left out the radishes and chives because I didn’t have them. Will be making this again soon. 5 stars

  21. I plan to try this and if it’s as good as it looks I may serve to a group of women. Do you have any suggestions for sides with this dish ?

    1. I would say this alone doesn’t need any side dishes, especially if you serve these with butter lettuce leaves. But, you could always make a side massaged kale salad, or warmer roasted veggies if that’s what you’re feeling for.

  22. My husband made this tonight for dinner. It was excellent. He added capers to the recipe which really paired nicely with the rest of the ingredients.5 stars

    1. 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!