Salmon, Arugula, and Avocado Salad

5 from 6 votes

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Satisfying and light all at the same time, this salmon salad with a lemon vinaigrette is perfect for warm weather or any time you need a bit of a healthy eating reset.

Salmon, Arugula, and Avocado Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette / Carrie Crow / Katie Workman / themom100.com

Adding avocado and chunks of flaky cooked salmon to a salad always feels like the height of luxury to me…at least as far as salad luxury goes. (Lobster or shrimp also don’t suck.) This is the kind of salad I would be truly elated to see on a menu and probably order without looking to see what else was on offer.

But while this salad looks beautiful and sophisticated, it is just a handful of ingredients tossed together with a very simple lemon vinaigrette dressing. If you have leftover simply cooked salmon on hand (baked, air-fried, poached, or grilled) use that instead of baking it as instructed below! Or try substituting shrimp for the salmon. If you are feeling good about how healthy this salad is and want to treat yourself, serve this with some Sweet Potato Fries or maybe some popovers.

Salmon, Arugula, and Avocado Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette in a white bowl.

Salmon, Arugula, and Avocado Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette: Brightly flavored and beautiful, light and substantial at the same time.

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Salmon, Arugula, and Avocado Salad Ingredients

Salmon fillets – You can roast salmon filets with or without the skin (see Tips below).

Butter – Use unsalted butter and bring it to room temperature before smearing it on the salmon for baking.

Arugula – Baby arugula is best in this salad, with its smaller, more delicately peppery leaves.

Avocado – Make sure it’s perfectly ripe!

Olives – you can use any kind of olives you like, from kalamata olives to green olives with pimentos. Cut them in half before adding to the salad.

For the Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Lemon juice – Use fresh if possible!
  • Rice vinegar – If you don’t have rice vinegar, just add another tablespoon of lemon juice or white wine vinegar.
  • Olive oil
  • Shallot – Adds sweet oniony flavor.
  • Jalapeño – Seeded, deveined, and minced.

How to Make Salmon, Arugula, and Avocado Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

  1. Bake the salmon: Smear the salmon with butter, season, and bake at 350 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes, until just cooked through. Let cool on the baking sheet. Remove the skin from the filets if applicable.
  2. Make the salad: Combine the arugula, diced avocado, and olives.
  3. Make the vinaigrette: Pour most of the dressing on the salad and toss to combine.
  4. Finish the salad: Distribute bite-sized chunks of the cooked salmon over the salad. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salmon, toss, and serve.
Salmon, Arugula, and Avocado Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette in a white bowl.

Salmon, Arugula, and Avocado Salad Tips and Make Ahead

  • You can roast salmon filets with or without the skin. If you roast them with the skin, roast them skin side down, and you can use a thin spatula to slide under the salmon and separate it from the skin, which then gets discarded. I happen to love a piece of crisp salmon skin, but I’m not much of a fan of soft salmon skin.
  • If you want to make the salad ahead, make the dressing, bake the salmon, and store them separately in the fridge. The dressing will keep for 5 days, the salmon for 2 days. Dice the avocado and assemble the salad just before serving.
  • Leftover cooked salmon is also perfect for this salad: try baked salmon, air fryer salmon, poached salmon, or grilled salmon.
Salmon, Arugula, and Avocado Salad  on a white table with serving utensils.

FAQs

Are jalapenos in salad hot?

Wondering if the whole jalapeño is going to blow the roof off this salad? The heat in a hot pepper resides in the seeds and the veins, so if you are diligent about removing those, the jalapeños will only have a very light heat. I once made this salad with a few deveined and seeded roasted jalapeños I had left from something else, and there was a nice extra layer of roasty flavor in the dressing, but still not too much heat.

Salmon, Arugula, and Avocado Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.

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5 from 6 votes

Salmon, Arugula, and Avocado Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Satisfying and light all at the same time, this salmon salad with a lemon vinaigrette is perfect for warm weather or any time you need a bit of a healthy eating reset.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 4 People
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Ingredients 

  • 1 pound salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 6 cups baby arugula
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ cup halved pitted kalamata olives

For the Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or another tablespoon lemon juice)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 large shallot (thinly sliced)
  • 1 jalapeño (seeded, deveined, and minced)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with nonstick spray.
  • Place the salmon on the baking sheet and smear the butter over the top. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, until just cooked through. Let cool on the baking sheet. Remove the skin from the filets if applicable.
  • Place the arugula in a large serving bowl. Peel and dice the avocado. Add the avocado and olives to the bowl. In a small container, combine the lemon juice, rice vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, shallots, and jalapeños. Shake to blend, pour most of the dressing on the salad, and toss to combine. Flake the salmon into bite-sized chunks and distribute them over the salad. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salmon, give it a light final toss, and serve.

Notes

  • You can roast salmon filets with or without the skin. If you roast them with the skin, roast them skin side down, and you can use a thin spatula to slide under the salmon and separate it from the skin, which then gets discarded. I happen to love a piece of crisp salmon skin, but I’m not much of a fan of soft salmon skin.
  • If you want to make the salad ahead, make the dressing, bake the salmon, and store them separately in the fridge. The dressing will keep for 5 days, the salmon for 2 days. Dice the avocado and assemble the salad just before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 424.29kcal, Carbohydrates: 7.83g, Protein: 24.73g, Fat: 33.55g, Saturated Fat: 7.6g, Cholesterol: 77.42mg, Sodium: 375.29mg, Potassium: 930.94mg, Fiber: 4.7g, Sugar: 1.87g, Vitamin A: 1109.6IU, Vitamin C: 17.08mg, Calcium: 76.41mg, Iron: 1.84mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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5 Comments

  1. Jenn says:

    I made this last night and it exceeded my expectations. I added cucumber, and sunflower seeds and since I was trying to empty my fridge (going away) I used a good quality boneless canned salmon and added red pepper flakes instead of the jalapeno. Even my husband said this was an excellent light meal. Thanks for posting the recipe.

  2. Charisse says:

    I just made this now. It’s so delicious! Thank you for this recipe!

  3. DDL says:

    What a perfect menu — we’re making it tonight. Thanks for talking me into the Sanford Chardonnay with that description — even though I’m not a chardonnay aficionado, I actually love it!

  4. Lauren Stanfill says:

    Made this yesterday for dinner and it was so good we are having it again tonight. I made the following modifications: used salmon that was cooked/smoked at my local grocery, added Romain lettuce, sliced baby cucumbers, feta cheese, a little fresh sliced red onion, and served it with a dollop of homemade hummus.

    1. Katie Workman says:

      those adaptations sound delicious!