Our Canned Salmon Salad will soon become your go-to quick fix for a light lunch or dinner. Paired here with crunchy vegetables and tossed in our mouthwatering avocado ranch dressing it is completely irresistible.
We have taken crunchy, colourful vegetables and smothered them in our mouth-watering dairy-free version of ranch dressing then added a tin of salmon for added protein to make a quick, tasty meal.
Is it okay to eat the bones and skin in canned salmon?
The truth is that the bones and skin found in canned salmon are a rich source of calcium (for bone health), protein, vitamin D and heart healthy omega-3 fats.
To get all the health benefits just break up your canned salmon with a fork and mix it all together and those fussy eaters won’t know the difference 😉.
Pink and red salmon – what’s the difference?
They are each a different species of fish but both types are usually caught in the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean and not farmed like some Atlantic salmon can be.
Pink salmon is sometimes referred to as humpback (humpie) and has pink flesh with large black spots on their back and tales. They are small (4 pounds- 1.2kg) with a bland, mild flavour and a soft texture similar to tuna.
Red salmon also known as sockeye salmon has red flesh, with iridescent sides, a white belly and a metallic greenish-blue top. They are larger (6 pounds- 2.7kg) with a richer, fuller flavour and a firmer texture.
Some serving ideas
Let’s talk ingredients and substitutions
- Canned pink salmon – we used pink here to make this salad budget-friendly, the dressing and herbs add so much flavour here that it wasn’t necessary to spend double for the red salmon. You can splurge and use red salmon if you prefer or even canned tuna or shredded chicken will also be great in this salad.
- Romaine/cos lettuce – is used as a base in this salad and because it is a sturdy lettuce that holds its shape well. As an alternative, you can try kale, baby spinach or arugula/rocket instead.
- Carrots – used for some bright colour, you can replace with raw grated beets/beetroot, cherry tomatoes or some coloured peppers/capsicum instead. If you use beets don’t toss the salad otherwise it will taint everything and make the salad pink.
- Fresh soft herbs – we used parsley, dill and chives but you can also try some, mint, basil or coriander.
- Avocado – for creaminess and as a stunning garnish.
- Avocado ranch dressing – used to blend everything together so rich, healthy and flavourful but if you want a quick and easy dressing you can use bottled ranch dressing or a simple lemon and olive oil dressing instead.
You Will need
How to make it
1 PREPARE THE VEGETABLES
Drain your tinned salmon and break up the skin and bones using a fork. Wash your lettuce either pat dry with a towel or use a salad spinner for extra dry leaves.
Cut off the lettuce core and remove any damaged outer leaves then shred.
Wash your celery stalks carefully to remove any dirt that may be lodged. Cut off the white part of the celery, remove the leaves and discard.
Using a vegetable peeler, de-thread your celery (no need to do this if you don’t have the time). Then chop finely into small dice or thinly slice in a food processor.
Wash, trim and peel the carrots then either grate with your grater or use your food processor.
2MAKE THE DRESSING
Wash your herbs, shake to remove excess water, pat dry and chop. Chop some extra chives into 1-inch strips to use as a garnish.
Add all dressing ingredients to a blender, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Blitz to combine, taste and adjust seasonings according to your preferences.
Your dressing should be the consistency of mayonnaise, you can add some water to loosen if necessary.
3ASSEMBLE THE SALAD
Add all the salad ingredients to a mixing bowl, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Pour over your dressing and mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your liking.
Arrange in a salad bowl, slice and fan the avocado on top with a pinch of Cajun seasoning and the chopped chives then serve immediately.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE EXTRA DRESSING
This is enough dressing for two salads. I have changed the quantities in the nutritional panel to half which is what is used in this salad.
Can I make it ahead?
- Ideally, you should really make this salad just before serving. But if you really need to save some time you can chop the vegetables (not the avocado) and keep covered and chilled in your fridge until you are ready to assemble it. Also, do not add the salmon until just before serving as it may smell a bit too fishy.
- Slice the avocado and dowse it in lemon juice to prevent browning, alternatively, you may like to slice it just before assembling the salad.
- The dressing can be made only 1-2 days in advance because we are using fresh, healthy ingredients; it won’t last more than that! 🤷🏻♀️
Can I meal prep for weekday lunches?
- To meal prep, this salad, chop your vegetables (not the avocado) and portion into individual containers.
- Instead of using a large tin of salmon, opt for small salmon tins to add to the salad just before eating as otherwise it will smell.
- Slice your avocado and dowse in lemon juice to prevent browning then place on top.
- Make your dressing and keep it individual containers to add to your salad just before eating.
What about the leftovers?
Once dressed you should really eat this salad pretty soon after you make it. The salad can still be eaten the following day but it will have a slight fishy smell and lose its crispness and your avocado may discolour if you haven’t used enough lemon juice. However, if you keep the dressing separate it may last a day or so longer.
Try some more delicious fishy salads
(Times are an estimate and will depend on your skill level)
- small food processor or bullet blender
- Salad Spinner
- Food Processor
- 1 tin salmon (415 grams)
- 3 cups cos/romaine lettuce (½ head – approximately 120 grams)
- 2 cups carrots, grated (2 medium, approximately 200 grams)
- 2 cups celery, diced (4 stalks, approximately 300 grams)
- ¼ cup soft fresh herbs (we used dill, parsley and chives)
- 1 medium avocado (approximately 200 grams)
- 2 medium avocados (ripe)
- ½ cup coconut yogurt
- ¼ cup lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon
- 1 tbsps Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsps fresh parsley leaves chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh chives chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh dill chopped
- 1 tsp Cajun spice mix
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Water to loosen if it is too thick
- Drain your tinned salmon and break up the skin and bones using a fork.
- Wash and trim your lettuce, then shred.
- Wash, trim and de-thread your celery then chop into small dice.
- Wash and dry your herbs, then chop. Chop some extra chives into 1-inch strips to use as a garnish.
- Add all dressing ingredients to a blender, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
- Blitz to combine, taste and adjust seasonings.
- Your dressing should be the consistency of mayonnaise, you can add some water to loosen if necessary.
- Add all the salad ingredients to a mixing bowl, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Pour over your dressing and mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your personal preferences.
- Arrange in a salad bowl, slice and fan the avocado on top with a pinch of Cajun seasoning and the chives, then serve immediately.