When it comes to the holidays, there are a few main dishes that stand out. Turkey, ham, and prime rib are all winners when it comes to holiday feasts, but what about changing up tradition a little bit and trying something a little different? Serving a baked salmon recipe, while untraditional, is a great alternative if you are wanting to try something new for your main course without straying too far from the traditions. And just in case you need a little push, the first Thanksgiving meal was comprised mostly of seafood according to historians.

How To Make Baked Salmon for the Holidays

The best way to add a bit of holiday flair to your salmon fillets is to use veggies and spices which are in season. This means oranges, pomegranate, sage, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, apples, persimmon, fennel, fig, and cranberries. Thankfully oven-baked salmon is a very versatile dish, making it easy to add fresh ingredients without worrying if they will taste good together.

How to Pick Out Salmon

Lyndsay Burginger

Finding truly fresh salmon is pretty scare unless you live in Alaska or the Pacific Northwest. Because of this, the best way to buy your salmon is vacuum-packed, frozen wild salmon. One company that does this is Salmon Sisters. Run by co-founders, fishermen, and sisters Emma and Claire, with support from their amazing all-woman team, Salmon Sisters sells a variety of different Alaskan seafood, including a 10-lb. Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon Box. The box, which is filled with 20 eight OZ frozen, vacuum-packed portions, was recently featured in the 2019 New York Times Holiday Gift Guide.

How To Bake Salmon in the Oven

Lyndsay Burginger

 

While yes, you can bake a salmon filet with some olive oil, fresh herbs, and lemon slices, adding a panko crust and pomegranate sauce helps elevate this fish to the holiday superstar it is.

Begin by making the pomegranate sauce. To do this combine the pomegranate juice, lemon juice, and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer 30 minutes. Once the mixture has reduced by half, stir in a slurry of cornstarch and water and bring to a boil. The mixture should cover the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.

Next up, the salmon. Spray a rimmed baking sheet or casserole dish with cooking spray. There's no need for aluminum foil or parchment paper, baking salmon in the oven doesn't require too much of a clean up compared to other cooking methods. Place salmon skin-side down and season the filet with salt and black pepper. In a small bowl combine extra virgin olive oil, panko breadcrumbs, dill, and sage. Set aside.

Lyndsay Burginger

Preheat your oven to 400F. Spread the Dijon mustard on the salmon. Top with the crispy panko breadcrumbs and press down to adhere. Place in oven and cook salmon until done, about 10-15 minutes.  You can check doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the fish. When then internal temperature reads 145F.

Remove the salmon from the oven and drizzle with the pomegranate sauce. Serve.

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Crispy Baked Salmon with Pomegranate Sauce 

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes

servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 8-oz portions Salmon Sisters Sockeye Salmon, dethawed
  • 2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp chopped dill
  • 2 tsp chopped dry sage
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the Pomegranate Sauce
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Instructions

Spray a rimmed baking sheet or casserole dish with cooking spray. Place salmon skin-side down and season the filet with salt and black pepper. In a small bowl combine extra virgin olive oil, panko breadcrumbs, dill, and sage. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400F. Spread the mustard on the salmon. Top with the crispy panko breadcrumbs and press down to adhere. Place in oven and cook salmon until done, about 10-15 minutes.  You can check doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the fish. When then internal temperature reads 145F.

For the Sauce

Combine the pomegranate juice, lemon juice, and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer 30 minutes. Once the mixture has reduced by half, stir in a slurry of cornstarch and water and bring to a boil. The mixture should cover the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.

Nutrition Facts
Crispy Baked Salmon with Pomegranate Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 319 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 29mg 10%
Sodium 96mg 4%
Potassium 415mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 45g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 24g
Protein 13g 26%
Vitamin A 7%
Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 3%
Iron 5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.