This Salmon Chimichurri Salad is healthy, flavorful, and topped with the most irresistible cilantro chimichurri dressing!
This tasty restaurant copycat has been in the making for quite a while now.
After frequenting Gloria’s dozens upon dozens of times for what was the most delicious “research” ever, I’ve finally figured out how to make my all-time favorite salmon salad recipe at home.
Cue cilantro-shaped confetti!
If y’all know me and my endless love for this salad, you know what huge deal it is.
From the perfectly tender and juicy salmon to the most magical cilantro chimichurri dressing ever, this Salmon Chimichurri Salad delivers and then some.
It’s a healthy recipe you’ll actually crave and delivers fantastic flavor in every bite.
Cilantro Chimichurri Dressing Ingredients
- Fresh Cilantro
- Green Onion (scallions)
- Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
- Fresh Lime Juice
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Salt + Pepper
Swaps + Such
These ingredients all play a pretty key role in the sauce and would absolutely be missed if left out. Make sure you use fresh garlic as it’s the most flavorful option and a star ingredient in dressing.
When it comes to the oil you can use either avocado oil, olive oil, or a combination of both. For the vinegar, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar could be used in place of red wine vinegar.
Looking to add some extra veggies to your salad? Go for it! When I have some handy, I adore adding chopped avocado to this salmon salad. You could also add some thinly sliced bell pepper for a bit of a crunch. Yum!
Salmon Salad Ingredients
Wild-Caught Salmon – any variety of salmon will work here, but when it’s available I always gravitate towards wild-caught salmon vs farm raised. I used Sockeye here and also adore Alaskan salmon
Romaine Lettuce – this fresh, crisp green is a great base for our salad and what the restaurant that inspired me uses for their version as well. I plan on trying it with massaged kale next as I think that would also work fantastic.
Pepitas – also known as pumpkin seeds, and one of my favorite ways to get a little extra magnesium on my plate. You’ll want to grab roasted salted pepitas for this salad.
Feta – crumbled feta adds a bit of creaminess to the salad and its flavor pairs oh so well with the other ingredients. If you follow a dairy-free diet you could try vegan feta as a swap or simply skip entirely.
Red Onion – thinly sliced red onion is my favorite to use here. You can add it plain or marinate it in a little oil and vinegar (or even in a few spoonfuls of chimichurri) to soften it up before topping your salad. Both options are delicious!
Cilantro Chimichurri Salmon Salad
Feel free to make a jar of cilantro chimichurri in advance to enjoy all week long! It’s great on this salad as well as so many others. You can also use it as a marinade for your favorite protein or as a topping for shrimp and veggies.
If you’re big on meal prep, you can also grill, pean sear, or roast your salmon in advance and keep tightly wrapped in the fridge for later.
I love this salad with both freshly cooked salmon as well as cold salmon and will often make it fresh to eat one day with extra made to have leftover salmon and chimichurri handy for lunch another day. It’s so so good!
Ready to get your salmon salad on? Here’s the recipe:
Salmon Chimichurri Salad
- 8-10 oz salmon filets (4-5 oz each)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 2-3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- ¼-⅓ cup red onion , thinly sliced
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2-4 TBSP roasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Cilantro Chimichurri Dressing
- ½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
- ⅓ cup fresh chopped scallions aka green onion – white + green parts
- 2 fresh garlic cloves (must be fresh – no jars or tubes)
- ⅓ cup olive oil plus extra to taste
- 1 TBSP fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp coarse kosher salt
- ¼-½ tsp dried oregano leaves
- ⅛-¼ tsp black pepper
- First make the cilantro chimichurri dressing.
- Aim for 1/2 cup (packed) of cilantro. Mostly leaves with the smaller portions of stems left on for easy chopping. Finely chop. Remove the root portion of the green onions (scallions) and thinly slice/chop. Add to a medium bowl with the cilantro. Smash, peel, and finely mince fresh garlic.
- To your bowl add the minced garlic, avocado oil, olive oil, freshly squeezed lime juice, and red wine vinegar. Season with adding salt, dried oregano leaves, and pepper.
- Mix well and allow chimichurri to sit for 15-20 minutes before serving to help the flavors mingle. You can even make this dressing in advance and let it chill in the fridge overnight before using.
- If raw red onion is preferred, simply run thinly sliced onion under cold water to mellow the sharpness of the onion. For speedy marinated red onion (my FAVORITE!) add a splash of oil and vinegar to the onion in a small bowl. Mix well and allow to marinate while the salmon cooks.
- Next cook the salmon.
- Season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 10-12 inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Cook the salmon filets, without moving, until golden, approx. 4 minutes. Carefully flip heat to medium. Continue cooking until done to your liking, 3 to 5 minutes more. Cook time will depend on thickness of filet.
- Divide chopped lettuce between two bowls. Lightly toss with 1-2 TBSP of chimichurri dressing. Add red onion, feta, and pepitas. Top with freshly cooked salmon and serve with remaining dressing for drizzling. Enjoy!
If you get a chance to try this salmon chimichurri salad, let me know!
Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!