This wholesome and healthy Salmon Salad is loaded with fresh veggies and finished off with a light lemon tahini vinaigrette. Whether you choose to broil your fish fillet, air fry it or sear it on the grill, this easy lunch or light dinner idea will exceed your highest expectations. Gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, keto, Paleo and Whole30.
Updated August 2022
Quick & Easy Salmon Salad With Avocado
Who doesn’t love a fresh, healthy, energizing meal to feel like their best self? This flavorful salmon salad is the perfect example! After throwing it together in less than 30 minutes, each bite you take will seem like it’s too good to be true.
The salmon is not only packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats, but it’s also incredibly moist and flaky. It doesn’t matter if you grill it, air fry it or broil it! Once you combine it with the crunchy cucumber, the creamy avocado, the savory hard-boiled eggs and the rest of the salad ingredients, your mouth will be watering like never before. Don’t even get us started on the tangy vinaigrette that tops it off!
What You’ll Need
This salad is so light, fresh and satisfying, it might even rival your current favorite recipe. Just look at all those tempting ingredients! When you’re ready for the exact amounts, scroll down to the recipe card.
For the Salmon Salad
- Salmon Fillet: We prefer using wild-caught fish fillets since they tend to be leaner and tastier, but farmed fish are a more affordable option that also works great.
- Garlic Powder: To season the fillet.
- Salt & Pepper: Added to taste.
- Fresh Lemon Juice: This adds some citrusy flavor to the fish while helping the spices stick.
- Olive Oil: To give your salmon that delightfully crispy outer layer.
- Large Avocado: Peeled, pitted and cut into slices or chopped.
- Mixed Green Lettuce: Chopped.
- Hard-Boiled Egg: Peeled and sliced.
- Grape Tomatoes: Or cherry tomatoes, halved.
- Cucumber: Sliced into rounds or chopped.
For the Lemon Vinaigrette
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Commonly known as a superfood, apple cider vinegar has been found to promote heart health and decrease blood sugar.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed.
- Tahini: Coconut cream or sour cream would also work.
- Garlic Powder: For depth of flavor.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Or avocado oil.
- Salt & Pepper: To taste.
How to Make Salmon Salad
First thing’s first, it’s time to season that salmon fillet. Pat the fish dry and rub both sides with olive oil and lemon juice. Season it with salt, pepper and garlic powder, making sure the salmon is evenly coated.
- Heat Grill: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Cook: Grill the seasoned fillet for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until it’s cooked through.
- Flake Into Pieces: Use a fork to flake the fillet into bite-sized pieces and set it aside.
Air Fryer Method
- Preheat the Air Fryer: If your air fryer model requires preheating, preheat to 400F.
- Cook: Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook for 7-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon.
- Flake Into Pieces: Use a fork to flake the fillet into bite-sized pieces and set it aside.
- Prep Oven & Baking Sheet: Heat the broiler and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Broil & Flake: Place the salmon onto the prepared baking sheet and broil it for 8-10 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Break it into bite-sized chunks and set it aside.
Assembling the Salad
- Make Vinaigrette: Whisk together all of the ingredients for the lemon vinaigrette.
- Add 1 Tsp to Avocado: Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the vinaigrette over the sliced avocado to prevent it from browning.
- Combine Salad Ingredients: Add the lettuce to a large bowl, then top it with the flaked salmon, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, tomatoes and cucumber.
- Add Dressing & Enjoy! Drizzle the salad with dressing right before you serve it.
Can I Prep It Ahead of Time?
Yes – you can make the dressing, season the fillet and prepare the lettuce a day in advance if desired. Store the dressing in a sealed jar in the fridge and chill the salmon in a storage container or zip-top bag. Wash and dry the lettuce and refrigerate it in a large resealable bag.
Tips for Success
Go ahead and review these tips and tricks before you whip up your salmon salad.
- Don’t Forget to Pat the Salmon Dry: Starting with a dry fillet sets you up for that crisp exterior. Simply pat it dry with a cloth or paper towel and you’ll be good to go!
- Check for Doneness: Salmon is considered fully cooked once its internal temperature reaches 145°F, but we like to remove it from the heat at 140°F or even 135°F. This is because the fish will continue to rise in temperature – if you stop cooking it at 145°F, it’ll dry out.
- Add the Dressing Just Before Serving: It’s best to add the dressing right before you enjoy your salad. After a while, it will cause the lettuce to wilt.
Whether you’d like to switch up the greens or use Pan-Seared Salmon, you’ve got the green light from us. This salad is super flexible! Here are some other alterations you might want to make:
- Add More Veggies: Thinly sliced red onions, spinach and Kalamata olives would taste great inside this salad.
- Use Another Protein: Who said this has to be a salmon salad? Try swapping out the fish for chicken, pork or steak. You might discover a new favorite!
- Add Cheese: As long as you’re not dairy-free, Whole30 or Paleo, feel free to top your salad with some crumbled feta cheese. Goat cheese would be just as lovely!
- Add Bacon: Add some crispy bacon and blue cheese to make it a Salmon Cobb Salad.
- Make It Vegan: If you need this salad to be vegan-friendly, substitute the salmon for cooked tofu and leave out the hard-boiled egg.
- Switch Up the Dressing: This salad would go wonderfully with all sorts of dressings, from Green Goddess Dressing to a simple honey-lime vinaigrette. Have fun with it!
We like to garnish our salmon salad with Pickled Onions and chopped parsley or mint. In terms of side dishes, you can’t go wrong with Sautéed Green Beans or your favorite dinner rolls. Many people enjoy pairing salmon with a rich white wine or a mellow red one, and this salad would go well with either.
It’s best to store the salmon, the dressing and the salad veggies separately. Each component should be refrigerated in an airtight container. The dressing will last for up to 5 days, the salmon will last for up to 3 and the rest of the salad should stay good for 48 hours.
You don’t have to reheat the salmon if you don’t want to, but if you do, it’s important to do it properly so it doesn’t dry out. Cover it loosely with foil and bake it in a 275°F for 10-15 minutes, or until it’s heated through.
More Protein-Packed Salmon Recipes
Whether you choose to broil your fish fillet, air fry it or sear it on the grill, this wholesome Salmon Salad will exceed your highest expectations. It's loaded with fresh veggies and finished off with a light lemon tahini vinaigrette. Gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, keto, Paleo and Whole30.
- 1 6-ounce salmon fillets
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large avocado peeled, pitted and cut into slices or chopped
- 4 cups mixed green lettuce chopped
- 1 hard boiled egg peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup grape or cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cucumber sliced in rounds or chopped
- 2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp tahini you could also use coconut cream or sour cream
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pat salmon dry. Rub both sides with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F (the salmon will continue cooking for a bit after you remove it from the heat). Use a fork to flake the cooked salmon into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Heat broiler and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or foil). Place salmon on pan and broil 8 to 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
If your air fryer model requires preheating, preheat to 400F.
Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook for 7-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon.
Use a fork to flake the fillet into bite-sized pieces and set it aside.
- Whisk together all the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Drizzle 1 teaspoon over the sliced avocado (to prevent from browning).
In a large bowl, add the lettuce, then top with flaked salmon, eggs, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, onions and herbs. Drizzle with dressing right before serving.
Garnish with Pickled Onions and chopped mint or parsley if desired.
- To Store: It's best to store salmon, dressing and salad veggies separately. Each component should be refrigerated in an airtight container. Dressing will last for up to 5 days, salmon will last for up to 3 and veggies should stay good for 48 hours.
- To Reheat Salmon: You don't have to reheat the salmon if you don't want to, but if you do, it's important to do it properly so it doesn't dry out. Cover loosely with foil and bake in a 275°F for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.