The College Housewife » Recipes » Mediterranean Salmon

Mediterranean Salmon

This 15-minute Mediterranean salmon recipe features flaky, tender, lemony salmon topped with a juicy summer produce forward topper. Prepare it on the stove or baked in the oven for a healthy, delicious and gorgeous meal elegant enough to serve at any dinner party.

A big thank you to California Ripe Olives for helping create this recipe and sponsoring this post, all opinions posted are my own.

Mediterranean salmon over a bed of couscous and arugula on large orange platter

Why you’ll love this Mediterranean salmon recipe

The star at any easy al fresco gathering! You ask, and I shall deliver! I put out a poll on Instagram stories a few weeks ago to see what you guys were looking for as far as some entertaining recipes go and SO many of you said easy recipes for a dinner party! Well, a baked salmon lemon recipe instantly sparked my creativity! I even give you directions on how to make it pan-roasted or bake it in the oven. But if the warm weather is calling your name, you could even grill the salmon if that’s your preference!

Truly an ‘eat with your eyes’ dish! While this salmon is many things (quick, simple, easy), it’s also DELICIOUS. Tender flaky salmon with a light, herbaceous taste in every bite. The real star of the show though… the topper. Made with juicy produce like bursting summer tomatoes, salty green olives, tangy feta cheese and savory herbs.

Prep the topper ahead of time! Prep your salmon and the delicious fresh produce forward topper in just 10 minutes! When I’m hosting a dinner party I need recipes that are easy and look restaurant beautiful, and this salmon does just that! You can prep the colorful Mediterranean topper for the salmon the morning of serving to save yourself a little time. After the salmon is cooked, simply assemble on a serving platter and you’re good to go!

baked lemon salmon with Mediterranean topper on large orange platter

Ingredients for Mediterranean salmon 

For the salmon

  • (4) 5-6 ounce salmon fillets 
  • Fresh oregano
  • Garlic 
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt + pepper 

For the Mediterranean topper: 

  • Cherry tomatoes 
  • Green California ripe olives 
  • Cucumber
  • Parsley 
  • Basil
  • Feta cheese 
  • Olive oil
  • Salt + pepper

Scroll below for the recipe card and measurements.

four salmon fillets, tomatoes, lemon, garlic, feta, olives, cucumber, parsley

How to make garlic lemon salmon

This is one of those fancy salmon recipes that looks like you spent all day slaving away in the kitchen. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Season Salmon: In a medium bowl, add salmon fillets. Sprinkle evenly with oregano, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix together so salmon fillets are coated. Sprinkle fillets evenly on each side with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. 
  2. Pan Fry: Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add in a drizzle of olive oil so the bottom of the pan is well coated. When the pan is hot, add salmon, skin side down and cook for 5 minutes. With a fish spatula, gently flip the salmon fillets and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side.
  3. Prepare the Mediterranean topper: While salmon is cooking, add cherry tomatoes, green California ripe olives, cucumber, parsley, basil, feta cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and season to taste with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Mix together and set aside to top salmon with. 
  4. Finish and serve: Transfer salmon to a serving platter and top evenly with Mediterranean topper.

four step grid pan frying Mediterranean salmon in a skillet

Alternative Method: Baked Lemon Salmon Recipe

To bake the salmon, season as directed and preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and arrange fillets evenly. Bake salmon for 12-14 minutes, or until it flakes off easily with a fork.

You can pan-fry the salmon with a large cast-iron skillet or bake it in the oven, whichever is better for you! 

Is this a healthy salmon recipe?

Yes! Here’s why:

  • Heart-healthy! Salmon is SO healthy, it’s filled with rich omega-3 fatty acids which are wonderful for good heart health. I am always looking for Mediterranean diet recipes with salmon and this one sure hits the spot.
  • Olive you! I love adding ripe California olives to dishes. They are packed with antioxidants, low in calories, and are a source of monounsaturated fat, which is associated with increased longevity, decreased risk of heart disease, reduced risk of chronic disease, lower blood pressure, and improved brain function! What a powerhouse food. 
  • It’s low carb! If you’re looking to watch your carbs, skip the couscous and serve it up as a salad on a bed of greens. 
  • Following Whole30? Skip the feta cheese and you’ve got a delicious whole30 friendly meal. Add in your favorite nut for some extra flavor instead!

baked lemon salmon with Mediterranean topper on large orange platter

Serving suggestions

I know the question on everyone’s mind is what to make with this Mediterranean salmon recipe. Well, I have got you covered with plenty of sides.

I served this salmon on a bed of pearled couscous and arugula. Or, swap out the couscous for another grain like brown rice, farro, lentils, or pasta. For those after some heartier sides with a bit more bulk and starch, definitely go with orzo lemon salad, vegan pasta salad, or mashed red potatoes.

If you’re looking for a light meal, pair it with broccolini salad, zucchini corn fritters or honey sriracha Brussel sprouts.

Meal prep tip: Mediterranean salmon salad!

I love meal prepping this Mediterranean salmon to have for a couple of days as a lunch option. I like to serve a fillet over a big bed of greens drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette and top it off with plenty of the homemade Mediterranean topper.

easy baked salmon recipe over couscous on large orange platter

Storage, freezing and reheating

Storage: Leftover baked Mediterranean salmon and its topping is best stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Store the salmon and topping in two separate containers.

Freezing: I do not recommend freezing the salmon or cucumber tomato topping. For best results, make it fresh and enjoy it within 3 days.

Reheating: Reheat the leftover salmon in a 275 degree F oven, tented with foil, for about 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through. Salmon is best reheated low and slow to prevent the tender flesh from drying out.

Mediterranean salmon FAQ

Is salmon good for the Mediterranean diet?

Yes! Fish are an integral part of the Mediterranean diet, including salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies and tuna. All are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is a type of fat known to reduce inflammation in the body. This baked salmon recipe is a wonderful way to introduce seafood into your weekly meal plan!

What’s the best salmon to cook?

If possible, go for wild-caught salmon as opposed to farm raised. Wild-caught has bright, vibrant pink skin and a slightly sweet briny flavor similar to the ocean. Plus, it’s packed with tons more protein, omega-3’s and antioxidants.

What herbs go best with salmon?

Honestly, any herb compliments salmon beautifully, but I really enjoy the floral, nuanced taste of fresh oregano. Keep in mind, fresh oregano is a lot stronger in flavor compared to its dried counterpart, so a little goes a long way. Feel free to also try marjoram, thyme or rosemary.

Is it better to pan fry or bake salmon?

This is all about personal preference. I find pan-frying to be more interactive as you have to monitor the heat and flip the salmon, while baking is a little more hands-off. For both methods, there is no need to remove the skin as the flesh will slide right off when ready to enjoy. The key is to keep salmon light pink, tender and flaky!

Looking for more salmon recipes? Check these out!

If you make this Mediterranean Salmon recipe, be sure to tag me on Pinterest and Instagram!

I seriously love seeing what you guys are making and sharing your creations with the College Housewife community!

Originally published in June 2021, updated February 2022 with updated info and recipe card.

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Mediterranean salmon over a bed of couscous and arugula on large orange platter

Mediterranean Salmon

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This 15-minute Mediterranean salmon recipe features flaky, tender, lemony salmon topped with a juicy summer produce forward topper. Prepare it on the stove or baked in the oven for a healthy, delicious and gorgeous meal elegant enough to serve at any dinner party.


Ingredients

Scale

Salmon:

(4) 5-6 ounce salmon fillets

2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more for skillet

Juice of one lemon

Kosher Salt

Cracked black Pepper

Mediterranean topper:

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

⅔ cup green California ripe olives, pitted and halved

½ English cucumber, diced

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

3 tbsps chopped fresh basil

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Cracked black pepper


Instructions

  1. Season Salmon: In a medium bowl, add salmon fillets. Sprinkle evenly with oregano, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix together so salmon fillets are coated. Sprinkle fillets evenly on each side with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. 
  2. Pan Fry: Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add in a drizzle of olive oil so the bottom of the pan is well coated. When the pan is hot, add salmon, skin side down and cook for 5 minutes. With a fish spatula, gently flip the salmon fillets and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side.
  3. Prepare the Mediterranean topper: While salmon is cooking, add cherry tomatoes, green California ripe olives, cucumber, parsley, basil, feta cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and season to taste with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Mix together and set aside to top salmon. 
  4. Finish and serve: Transfer salmon to a serving platter and top evenly with Mediterranean topper.

Notes

Baked: To bake the salmon, season as directed and preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and arrange fillets evenly. Bake salmon for 12-14 minutes, or until it flakes off easily with a fork.

Storage: Leftover salmon and topping is best stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Store the salmon and topping in two separate containers. I do not recommend freezing the salmon or topping.

Reheating: Reheat the leftover salmon in a 275 degree F oven, tented with foil, for about 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through.

Keywords: salmon, olives, healthy

5 Comments

  1. Sallyjojo
    August 11, 2022 / 8:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing, we really enjoyed it! Not often I don’t make any adjustments when I make a recipe, but no changes needed!

  2. Kim
    March 24, 2022 / 6:28 pm

    Made this recipe and everyone loved it! This is the perfect salmon dish to add to the rotation. Great use of fresh herbs and veggies. Not just for summer in this house!! Thanks!

  3. Savanna
    August 4, 2021 / 1:34 pm

    This was fantastic! Perfect for a Summer dinner with friends. We all loved the mediterranean
    salad. The flavors were a perfect combination. I will definitely be making this for years to come.

  4. Mckenna
    June 27, 2021 / 8:13 pm

    This was AMAZING and I already know it’s going into our summer dinner rotation. Used castelventrano olives which were perfect and served over couscous as mentioned. Fresh but filling, beautiful colors, and tons of flavor. Definitely a winner!!

  5. Mckenna
    June 27, 2021 / 8:13 pm

    This was AMAZING and I already know it’s going into our summer dinner rotation. Used castelventrano olives which were perfect and served over couscous as mentioned. Fresh but filling, beautiful colors, and tons of flavor. Definitely a winner!

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