Quick, perfectly cooked salmon, crunchy veggies, and a bright vinaigrette make up this Greek salmon salad recipe. A tasty, wholesome dinner in less than 20 minutes, and it's packed with nutrition, protein and good-for-you Omega 3s! (Video & Tips below)
One of the easiest ways to get a healthy, wholesome weeknight meal without much effort is a big salad with a little added protein. It's a no-brainer on busy nights, and a great way to use up what produce you already have on hand.
Today's salmon salad recipe is one of my latest obsessions! It makes a tasty, satisfying dinner with loads of nutrition, protein, and good-for-you Omega 3s. And wait till you try the lemon-mint vinaigrette! I've been making more of it to drizzle on top of everything.
There are three components to this salad: the salmon, fresh salad, and vinaigrette. It's easy to make and takes less than 20 minutes!
How do you make salmon salad?
1. Cook the salmon
Not a ton of work goes into the salmon fillets other than a quick seasoning of Kosher salt, pepper and dried oregano. Then a quick brush of extra virgin olive oil. In the oven it goes for a quick 8 to 12 minutes (I typically start checking at the 8 minute mark to avoid overcooking the salmon). Salmon is cooked when it flakes easily (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the thickest fillet should register 120°F to 130°F for medium-rare, or 135°F to 145°F for more well-done).
But, if you're up for firing up the grill to get some gorgeous char marks on your salmon, that will work as well. (I have grilling instructions and a few tips for you below.)
2. Make the salad
To save time, while the salmon is cooking, make the salad.
A bit of a twist on my Greek salad using fresh ingredients like tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and onions (I used shallots this time, but red onions would work perfectly). And of course, kalmata olives and some creamy Greek feta cheese (I like to leave my feta in big pieces as they do in Greece).
But I took the liberty to change things up from my traditional Greek salad by adding lettuce, which is not a typical ingredient. The lettuce here provides a nice, sturdy bed for the cooked salmon.
You can see, this is a salad that is loaded with crunch and flavor already.
3. Make the lemon-mint vinaigrette
We have some Greek flavor makers already in the salad like shallots, olives and feta, but the lemon-mint vinaigrette adds the unique, super fresh and bright touch we need. It's really what brings this salad together, marrying our rich salmon fillets and crunchy salad so well.
What's in the vinaigrette? Extra virgin olive oil (and of course, Early Harvest Greek EVOO was my top choice), along with fresh lemon juice, garlic, and loads of fresh mint!
I decided to use my small food processor to blend the vinaigrette ingredients, and I'm glad I did! The result was this extra smooth, well-combined minty green vinaigrette.
4. Assemble the salmon salad bowls!
Once you have all three components of this amazing supper salad, all you need to do is put it together! I like to toss the salad with a good bit of the vinaigrette first. From there, divide the salad into four bowls and top with the salmon. The big finish is another drizzle of the vinaigrette over the salmon. So good!
Can I grill the salmon instead?
Like I said earlier, I do like to bake my salmon for this salad. It's easy and can be done year-round. But in the summer months, it's totally worth it to fire up the grill for some salmon.
It is better to use skin-on salmon fillets, if you plan to grill them. I have some instructions for you, borrowed from my grilled salmon and mango salsa recipe (a good one to try sometime!)
1. Start by preparing the grill...oil grates etc. And be sure to heat it on super high.
2. Season salmon as instructed and brush well with extra virgin olive oil and arrange them on hot grill, skinless side down first (this way, they’ll get some nice grill marks while the fish is still firm.) Close the grill lid. Cook 1-3 minutes on the first side, depending on how thick the fillets are. DO NOT move the salmon fillets until ready to turn them over.
3. Look for grill marks on the fish, and where the fish is closest to the grill, you should see a small layer of opaque (cooked) flesh. Using tongs and a metal spatula, carefully turn the fish over so it is now skin-side down. Now, turn heat down to medium. Close the grill lid. Cook for another 2-5 minutes, again depending on the thickness of the fillets. Salmon is ready when it is barely opaque throughout.
Meal prep & storage tips
You can prep this salad to use for lunch or dinner for no more than 3 days. A few tips for that:
- Hold the vinaigrette and save it in a separate container. Add as needed before you eat the salad.
- Make sure salmon is stored in a separate section of your meal-prep container (affiliate link) or in a separate container from the actual salad.
- It's best if you eat cooked salmon cold or closer to room temperature.
Is cold salmon good?
If stored properly, salmon can last in the fridge for 2 to 3 days after it's been cooked. And it actually develops a nice texture as it cools, so it is not necessary to reheat salmon particularly for this salad.
Greek Salmon Salad Recipe
- 8 oz chopped hearts of Romaine lettuce
- 10 oz cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 bell pepper any color, cored and sliced into rounds
- 1 English cucumber sliced into rounds
- 2 shallots sliced
- pitted Kalamata olives to your liking
- Quality Greek feta blocks to your liking
For the Lemon-Mint Vinaigrette
- 1 lb salmon fillet cut into 4 equal pieces
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Dried oregano a generous pinch 1 ½ tsp or more to your liking
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and position a rack in the middle.
- Season the salmon. Pat the salmon dry on both sides and season with kosher salt, pepper, and dried oregano. Arrange on a lightly oiled sheet pan and brush the top of the salmon with extra virgin olive oil.
- Bake the salmon in the heated oven for 8 to 12 minutes until it's done and flakes easily (see cook's tip #1 below). Meanwhile, work on the salad and the vinaigrette.
- Prepare the salad. In a large salad bowl, add the lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, shallots, and Kalamata olives (don't add the feta yet)
- Prepare the vinaigrette. In the small bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, add olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, fresh mint, oregano, and paprika. Add a pinch of Kosher salt and black pepper. Blend until well-combined.
- Pour about ½ of the vinaigrette over the salad. Toss to combine. Now add the feta cheese blocks on top. (Hold the remaining vinaigrette to dress the salmon later).
- Build your salmon salad bowls. Transfer the salad to 4 serving bowls, top each with 1 fillet of salmon. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette on top of the salmon. Enjoy!
- Cook's tip #1: When is salmon ready? Check salmon for doneness at the 8-minute mark to make sure you don't overcook it. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the thickest fillet should register 120°F to 130°F for medium-rare, or 135°F to 145°F for more well-done. Cook time will depend on the thickness of salmon and your oven.
- Cook's Tip #2: Grilled Salmon Option. If you prefer to grill the salmon fillets, it's best to keep the skin on. Heat an outdoor gas grill on high (grill is ready when you can hold your hand one inch above the grates for only 1 to 2 seconds.) Spray or brush the grates well with oil (this is important so that the salmon does not stick.) Brush the salmon fillets well with extra virgin olive oil and arrange them on the hot grill skinless side down first (this way, they’ll get some nice grill marks while the fish is still firm.) Close the grill lid. Cook 1-3 minutes on the first side, depending on how thick the fillets are. DO NOT move the salmon fillets until ready to turn them over. Look for grill marks on the fish, and where the fish is closest to the grill, you should see a small layer of opaque (cooked) flesh. Using tongs and a metal spatula, carefully turn the fish over so it is now skin-side down. Now, turn heat down to medium. Close the grill lid. Cook for another 2-5 minutes, again depending on the thickness of the fillets. Salmon is ready when it is barely opaque throughout.
- Leftovers? It's best to store the baked salmon and salad in separate air-tight containers in the fridge and use within 2 to 3 days.
- Visit our shop for quality extra virgin olive oils (I used Early Harvest in this recipe), and all-natural and organic spices. The Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle is a fan favorite!
*This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in August 2019 and has been recently updated with new information and media for reader's benefit.