Sunday, August 23, 2009

15-Minute Poached Salmon

The other day, while Tom was out of town, I got home from running a few errands at 5pm. The kids were all hungry and ready for dinner….like now! I had a beautiful fillet of wild Coho salmon which I had bought the previous day, ready to be seasoned and baked. My friend who was helping out with the kids thought I should use some of the blueberries we still had sitting on the counter waiting to be processed and frozen. Mashed blueberries with ginger to top the salmon was her idea. I thought yum, but I don’t have time for that right now.

I mean, I had two crying 1-year olds pulling on my legs. Poached salmon came to mind. With a thin fillet like I had, 10 minutes cooking time is all that is needed. Add five minutes of prep time and you get 15-minute Poached Salmon.

Serve it over brown rice noodles with a green salad for a 15 minute meal! How is that for healthy and quick? Grain-free? Try serving this over a bed of sautéed dark leafy greens like kale or collards, or try serving it with zucchini noodles.

Start a pot of water to boil before you prep the salmon. Add the noodles, place the salmon on the stove to cook, prep a salad or steam green beans. Dinner is done, kids in the bath, bedtime early…..ahhhh take a breath, relax.

15-Minute Poached Salmon

I used Lucini Rustic Tomato Basil pasta sauce but you could use a homemade sauce or any other brand. Either red or white wine will work here. The trick to keeping the salmon tender is to keep the heat low to create a very gentle simmer. If you turn the heat too high the fish will toughen up. The acids from the wine and tomatoes also help to tenderize it. I use a 12-inch oval au gratin pan to poach fish. I am sure a 10 or 11-inch skillet would work too.

1 ½ pounds wild salmon, such as Coho
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup marinara sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Rinse the salmon and place into an oval pan or skillet (you’ll need one with a lid). Season the fillet with a few pinches of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the pasta sauce over the fillet, drizzle with olive oil. Pour wine over fillet and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Cover pan and cook over medium to medium-low heat. The cooking time will depend on how thick your fillet is. To check for doneness you can pull away the flesh with a fork to see if it is pink. Remember though that the salmon will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat. Enjoy! :)

You might also like these recipes:

Subscribe to this blog via Email
Follow me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Follow me on Instagram

About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. I always love what you share but this one just moved to the top of my list. I'll be needing a 10 min meal tonight. I'm stopping on the way home and getting some salmon. I hope it's still on sale. I think while this is cooking I'm also going to saute zucchini. My kids are older so I have a few more minutes to cook. You my friend are amazing. When my kids were young they were lucky if they got to eat more than a bowl of cereal or McDonald's. They're still telling me I ruined them.

    Thank you for this great recipe!

  2. Thanks for the suggestion! Coho and Copper River salmon are the best-tasting salmon I've ever had. I would not touch the farmed stuff (unless I happen to get stuck at a sushi restaurant like I did this past Saturday).

  3. I'm surprised that you could come up with any dinner with two little ones pulling on your legs, but I guess that is status quo some days. You rock and gorgeous dish. You know my love of salmon. We ate an early dinner out after a memorial service this evening and I happily went for the salmon, garlic mashed potatoes, and asparagus ... and even brought some home. :-) I like how you use some sauce, but just a little. Delish. Thank you, Ali!


  4. Scrumptious Ali! This was easy to prepare and delicious. I too, had some fresh coho in the fridge and hardly any time to make dinner. Then in my inbox I see your blog post, yay dinner! We loved it. I didn't have any wine so I used some wine vinegar and water. Yummy and I still have extra pasta sauce so I think I'll make it again in a few days :-)

  5. Diane - Thanks! Hope you all enjoyed it! By the way, I come up with new recipes when there is a high demand for them. I had planned on baking the salmon, roasting some veggies, making a salad, and cooking a pot of quinoa but I got home later than expected and clearly there wasn't time for that. My mind instantly came up with this. I thought I would measure as I made it to be able to share it. My boys ate it by the fist full they liked it so much! :) When I was growing up, my mom made us eggs and toast for dinner if there wasn't time for anything else. She can't believe that I would take the time to come up with anything new when the kids are hungry like that, but really it just happens so I go with it. And this meal is sooo fast! :)

    Erica - Hope you enjoy! I just love all of the fresh wild salmon we are able to get out here! :)

    Shirley - I think this meal could be considered GFE, don't you? :) Garlic mashed potatoes are my favorite, especially when whipped with a good olive oil! I don't know why, but coming up with new meal ideas is actually easier when everyone is hungry - strange I know! :)

    CoconutGal - Thanks for the feedback, what a happy coincidence, glad I could help with dinner tonight! Using a mixture of wine vinegar and water is a great way to replace wine in a recipe, thanks for sharing that! :)

    -Ali :)

  6. I've never served salmon with a tomato sauce. I'll have to try it. Sounds like a wonderful quick meal. Thanks for sharing it.

  7. We've been much more salmon here lately than usual. It's quick, delicious, and healthy. I haven't served it with pasta, though, which sounds delicious. Joe's been asking for salmon again - I think I'll make this for him.

    The mashed blueberries with ginger sounds great, too - maybe you'll post that soon!

  8. Linda - Thanks, it is one of those quick and easy meals that tastes delish! :)

    Amy - Thanks, I bet you guys will like this. I will create a recipe soon using blueberries and salmon since we just picked another 23 pounds of them today! :)

  9. Great idea for a quick dinner. Looks delicious.

  10. Brian - Thanks, just made this again for dinner tonight along with polenta and a bunch of veggies from our garden. It is very simple and delicious! :)

  11. 15min!! Now I LIKE the sound of that! :)
    Jessie at Blog Schmog

  12. Do you remove the skin from the salmon before or after poaching? I can't believe such a big piece of fish cooks in so little time!


Join the Conversation!

I'd love to hear your feedback with my recipes. If you make any changes or substitutions then please share what you did so others can learn.

If you have a question about a recipe, please leave it here. I will do my best to answer it when I have time.

Comment moderation is in place. Your comment will be only be visible here once I publish it.

Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)