Salmon Bowls are one of those dinners that turned out SO good, I couldn’t stop thinking about making them again. Along with seasoned wild-caught salmon, this recipe includes coconut rice, pineapple salsa and an easy lemon dill sauce. This salmon bowl recipe is filled with fresh flavors and textures and tastes outstanding. You’ve got to try this one! And don’t skip the dill sauce!
These salmon bowls have it all! Wonderfully flavored wild salmon, bright salsa, creamy dill sauce, and fluffy coconut rice. Nutritious, easy to make, satisfying and so very delicious!
The salmon recipe is simple and makes the most tender, juicy salmon ever. For the rice, you can use your favorite type of rice, but I like to use coconut rice because it pairs so well with the tropical flavors going on in these bowls.
The pineapple cucumber salsa adds a fresh kick to the bowl and the dill sauce is simply out of this world. For the sauce, you will only need mayo or yogurt, lemon, and dill. Blend those ingredients in a food processor and pour it all over the bowl for an incredible dish that makes the perfect healthy lunch or dinner.
what’s in salmon bowls?
Along with the simply seasoned, delicious wild salmon, these gorgeous salmon bowls include:
- lemon dill sauce. This tasty sauce is a simple mix of mayo, lemon juice, dill and salt & pepper. Feel free to sub the mayo with Greek yogurt, if you prefer.
- pineapple cucumber salsa. Optional, but it’s vibrant flavors and textures take this bowl recipe to the next level, so please don’t skip it! The combination of the fresh fruit salsa with the tangy dill sauce and seasoned salmon is perfection.
- coconut rice. Once you try this rice, you may not want plain white rice again! Coconut rice is such a tasty upgrade to other types of plain rice. And you’ll love how the fat of the coconut milk makes it seem almost buttery.
what salmon is best for baked salmon?
Baked salmon bowls are a little pricier than chicken dinners, but you can serve these for much less than the cost of dining out – and they taste so much better! If you’re going to the expense of enjoying salmon at home, I recommend spending a little extra on high-quality, wild salmon because you can definitely taste the difference!
- what is high-quality salmon? You want to purchase wild-caught salmon, which is usually king, coho or sockeye.
- king salmon, also known as Chinook, is considered to be the finest of the wild Pacific salmon. It is known for its high content of healthy omega-3 oils and because of the higher fat content, it tastes the richest and is considered the most delicious of all your salmon choices.
- coho salmon, also known as silver salmon, has a lighter taste, which may appeal to some. It pairs well with sauces and it’s more versatile in cooking, making it possible to serve in a wider variety of ways. The flavor of coho salmon is similar to king salmon, but it’s more of an any-day kind of salmon. It’s a great, less expensive option than king salmon.
- sockeye salmon, also known as red salmon, has the strongest flavor of the bunch, but is not overly fishy. It is rich and flavorful, and many prefer it over king salmon. It is leaner than both king and coho salmon, so you’ll want to be careful not to overcook it.
- what size salmon is best? For this recipe, you can use either four 5 to 6 ounce salmon fillets OR 1 large wild Alaskan salmon fillet. I prefer individual fillets because I feel like they are easier to work with, considering they are already cut in perfect portions.
- where to purchase salmon? High-quality salmon can be found at the seafood counter of most grocery stores. This is a great option because you know it’s fresh and you’ll be able to select fillets of uniform size.
- can I use frozen salmon? If you happen to only have frozen wild salmon available – that works! Just make sure to thaw it before cooking. I often buy frozen Alaskan salmon from Costco and it’s wonderful.
- what salmon should I avoid? Always buy wild-caught salmon (preferably Alaskan) and avoid farm-raised Atlantic salmon. Farm raised Atlantic salmon are particularly fatty and often fed an artificial diet, which means they are far less nutritious, waterier and don’t yield the best results when cooked.
how to make salmon bowls
Salmon bowls are simple and come together pretty quickly, especially if you make the coconut rice and dill sauce ahead of time (that’s what I often do). Here’s a quick summary of the recipe and you’ll find the full printable recipe at the bottom.
- make the dill sauce. Stir together the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Cover and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble bowls.
- make the pineapple salsa. Combine salsa ingredients in a bowl and then cover and refrigerate it until it’s time to assemble your bowls.
- cook the salmon. Prepare the salmon with seasoning and then bake it for about 15 minutes or just until the salmon starts to flake. Be cautious not to overcook it.
- cook the coconut rice. Simmer rice ingredients on low heat for 15 minutes. Once cooked, keep the lid on and remove from heat. Let rice stand for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
- serve and enjoy! Assemble salmon bowls with all of the components and dig in!
how to cook salmon in the oven
This baked salmon requires about 15 minutes in an oven set at 400ºF. The cooking time will depend on how thick your salmon is and how well done you like your salmon.
You can accurately check the temperature of your salmon with an instant-read thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the salmon.
The FDA advises salmon should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145ºF., HOWEVER, if you cook your salmon to this temperature it will be overdone because the temperature will continue to rise after baking.
Instead, America’s Test Kitchen suggests cooking salmon to about 125ºF to avoid dry, overcooked salmon. This is the recommendation that I follow and the results are always perfect after a 5-minute rest.
For buttery, juicy and tender salmon, you definitely don’t want to overcook it. I, personally, would rather my salmon be a bit undercooked than overcooked.
how do you know when salmon is done
The most accurate way to test the doneness of any type of meat is with a meat thermometer. Alternatively, check the salmon for doneness after 12 minutes of baking. As salmon bakes, it changes from bright pink (raw) to opaque pink. The outside of the salmon should be completely opaque but the center should still be a bit translucent, but not raw. Cooked salmon will also easily flake with a fork along the muscle fibers.
reasons to love these salmon bowls
So much about these salmon rice bowls to love, but here are a few reasons why this dish is becoming one of my all-time favorite dinners!
- oven baked salmon. Baking salmon is pretty effortless because there’s very little hands-on time needed and it bakes up buttery and juicy (without using butter!). It is the perfect method when you want tender, juicy, flavorful salmon. As an added plus, salmon is packed with protein, healthy fats and other nutrients.
- dill sauce. I’m absolutely in love with the combination of dill and salmon. And this sauce is creamy, tangy and adds that special something to take your salmon bowl over the top.
- make ahead. These salmon bowls are easy to prep ahead of time. You can even just prep certain components ahead of time. For example, I like to prep the sauce and rice the day before we plan to eat our salmon bowls. Then, just before dinner, I bake the salmon and while that’s cooking, I make the salsa. Easy peasy!
- easy. The ingredient list for this may seem a little lengthy, but I promise all of the different components for these bowls are really very easy to throw together.
- versatile. We love these bowls as-is, but there are so many different ways to mix things up. Feel free to add in other favorite ingredients or swap out my recommended ingredients with your favorites!
recipe notes and tips
Here are a few tips to make sure your salmon bowls turn out just as amazing as mine do!
- pineapple. I always buy the pre-cored (or pre-diced) pineapple with the skin removed from the produce department of my grocery store. It’s not too much more expensive and the pre-cored/skinned pineapples are usually perfectly ripe. It’s also less mess and hassle and makes the salsa recipe a breeze. (If you’ll be coring it yourself, here’s a great guide to cutting one). Alternatively, a pineapple corer/slicer will also save time and is great to have if you eat a lot of pineapple!
- make rice ahead of time. If you want to save time, make a big batch of rice at the beginning of the week and use it in recipes throughout the week. You can also use leftover rice in fajita chicken burrito bowls, stuffed bell peppers and Mexican rice.
- dill. Forgot the fresh dill? You can use dried. I’d start with 1 teaspoon and then add more if needed, since it is more concentrated.
- cooking salmon. The thickness of salmon can vary. If your salmon is a bit thicker and not done after the suggested cooking time, just add another few minutes. On the other hand, if your salmon is thin and smaller, you may need to take it out of the oven sooner. If your salmon has skin, I recommend removing that once the salmon is cooked.
- cauliflower rice. Looking to keep this meal low-carb? Instead of coconut rice, use my cilantro lime cauliflower rice. It would work wonderfully in these bowls.
customize your salmon bowls
We love this recipe as written, but feel free to experiment and switch up some of the ingredients depending on what you have on hand and what flavors you’re craving.
- meat. make these bowls with grilled chicken or grilled fish. The cod recipe in my super popular fish tacos would be amazing!
- grains. Any type of cooked rice works. You could even try another grain, like quinoa, couscous or orzo.
- veggies. Bulk up the bowls by adding in some tasty vegetables, such as diced zucchini, corn, or tomatoes.
- other fun ingredients. Try topping the bowls with crumbled cotija cheese or queso fresco. You could also add sliced avocado, guacamole, black beans or slaw. So many options!
make ahead option
If you will be meal prepping this salmon bowl recipe for another day, cook the salmon and rice and place them in one container. Store the salsa in a separate container, then the sauce in small container. When you’re ready to enjoy, simply heat up the salmon and rice, then pour on the salsa and sauce for a super tasty, ready-to-go meal!
Leftovers keep well for about 3 to 4 days.
more favorite seafood recipes
If you try this salmon bowls recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
For the lemon dill sauce:
- 1/2 cup mayo
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- salt and pepper to taste
For the pineapple cucumber salsa
- 1/4 red onion diced
- 1/2 bell pepper diced
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber
- 4 diced tomatoes
- 2-3 cups diced fresh pineapple*
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 clove minced garlic
- juice of one lime
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the salmon
- 4 (5 oz.) skin-on wild-caught salmon fillets
- olive or avocado oil
- lemon pepper
For the coconut rice:
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 (14 oz.) can full fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- To make the dill sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to assemble bowls.
- To make the pineapple salsa, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to assemble bowls.
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place salmon, skin side down, on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. On the flesh side of the salmon, rub with oil and season generously with lemon pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or just until the salmon starts to flake. Don’t overcook.
- While salmon is cooking, make the rice. Bring rice ingredients to a boil, then cover and turn to low heat for 15 minutes. Once cooked, keep the lid on and remove from heat. Let rice stand for 10 minutes, then fluff with fork.
- Assemble your salmon bowl by placing a serving of rice in your bowl. Top it with pineapple salsa. Place your salmon on top or to the side. Drizzle the sauce over the top and garnish with fresh dill and a lemon wedge.