This Grilled Salmon Salad is full of crunchy veggies, tender, flaky grilled salmon and a luscious champagne vinaigrette dressing. Customize the ingredients to your liking and enjoy this salad for lunch or dinner.
GRILLED SALMON SALAD
I have always been a huge fan of anything grilled, from chicken to steak, but grilled salmon is my absolute favorite thing to cook during the summer. Salmon is tender and flaky and distinctly flavorful. Add the caramelized char from the grill and this heart-healthy fish is just over the top with flavor.
Last summer my husband and I enjoyed a meal at a farm to table restaurant at The Ranch Resort in Laguna Beach. The food was as fresh as could be and we were absolutely smitten. My husband thoroughly enjoyed his avocado toast while I relished every crunchy bite of my grilled salmon salad with champagne vinaigrette. As I ate, I plotted my own recipe recreation because I knew I would be craving this salad often.
WHAT’S IN A GRILLED SALMON SALAD?
the thing I love about main course salads is that you can really put anything in them that you like. For my grilled salmon salad, I stayed true to that delicious salad from The Ranch and included the following:
- Lettuce – I used a spring mix, but romaine, butter lettuce, or even spinach would be wonderful.
- Tomatoes – Grape tomatoes are a personal favorite and I put them in every salad I make. Cherry tomatoes, heirloom or Roma are also delicious options.
- Kalamata Olives – It’s difficult to substitute the distinctive, briny flavor of these little beauties, so I definitely recommend using them. However if you’re not a fan you could leave them out or swap out for regular black olives.
- Artichoke Hearts – I used a can of marinated artichokes and chopped them up for my salmon salad. They do not have to be marinated but canned is super simple.
- Red Onion – This ingredient adds a crunch and a spicy bite against the saltiness of the cheese and olives.
- Feta cheese – Speaking of cheese, Feta is my choice for this salad. It crumbles nicely but also holds up it shape in small chunks. I love the saltiness and rich flavor. Goat cheese or gorgonzola would be worthy of this salad as well.
- Salmon – I am a sucker for grilled salmon, but really you could use leftover baked salmon if you have it on hand. Or even canned in a pinch (although I don’t recommend that).
HOW TO GRILL SALMON
You can certain grill salmon on an outdoor grill, but for this simple salmon salad I prefer to use my indoor grill pan.
- Heat the grill pan over medium-high heat while brushing with a little bit of olive oil.
- Season the salmon with salt and pepper, or other seasonings that you enjoy.
- Place fish flesh side down (skin side up) and cook for several minutes per side until the fish is cooked through. The proper internal temperature for grilled salmon is 145 degrees F.
I love vinaigrettes because they are super easy to make, and they are better for you and taste better than store-bought. Similar to my Homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette and Lemon Vinaigrette dressings, this Champagne Vinaigrette starts with champagne vinegar and olive oil.
Whisk the two together until emulsified (really well blended) or shake together in a sealed mason jar or shaker. Add minced garlic, dijon mustard, lemon juice and honey. Tasting is important, so you’ll want to do that before adding the salt and pepper. You can add as much or as little of that as you like.
Does Vinaigrette Dressing need to be refrigerated?
Some people assume that because olive oil and vinegar separately are shelf stable, that a dressing with these ingredients would be as well. If all that’s in it is the oil and vinegar, then you’d be right; it can sit on a shelf in your pantry for a few days and be just fine. However when you add other ingredients that aren’t as stable, like garlic and mustard, it requires refrigeration.
Homemade Champagne Vinaigrette will last in the fridge for 2 weeks. I recommend making just what you need for the grilled salmon salad, or any salad that you’re making, rather than making a big batch. Fresh is always the tastiest!
SERVING SUGGESTIONS & LEFTOVERS
More Protein Packed Salads
- Greek Chicken Salad
- Simple Spinach Salad
- Ramen Noodle Salad with Salad
- Teriyaki Chicken Salad (Red Robin Copycat)
More Salmon Recipes
Grilled Salmon Salad
- 8 ounces salmon filets or more, if desired
- 8 cups spring mix lettuce or other favorite lettuce
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup Artichoke hearts drained and roughly chopped
- 1 cup Grape tomatoes cut in half
- 1/4 cup Feta cheese
- 1/2 cup sliced red onion
- Croutons optional
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon dijon Mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper more or less to taste
- Blend ingredients in a blender or food processor until emulsified.
- Store in a tightly sealed container until ready to serve. Makes approximately 1 cup of dressing.
- Season salmon with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a grill pan and place salmon, skin side up (if leaving skin on). Cook 4-5 minutes on each side. Depending on the thickness of the fish, cooking time may vary.
- Add lettuce to individual plates or bowls. Toss with vinaigrette dressing and top with kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, onions, feta cheese and grilled salmon (warm or chilled).
- Feel free to double or triple the Champagne Vinaigrette ingredients to have leftovers or if you prefer a heavier dressed salad.
- All salad ingredient amounts are approximate. Use more or less of anything you like.
- This salad is great with other protein, like chicken or steak.