Cold Salmon Salad (Easy Lunch Idea!)- Skinnytaste

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You’ve tried tuna salad and chicken salad, but have you ever eaten salmon salad? You can make this healthy high-protein lunch with leftover salmon or poach it in the microwave in two minutes!

salmon salad with celery and lemon

Chilled Salmon Salad

If you need a healthy salad loaded with omega-3s, you’ll love this easy salmon salad. It only takes 5 minutes to make! I love it on toasted sourdough bread or everything bagels, but there are so many ways to eat it. I poach a piece of salmon in the microwave, but you can also make it with my air fryer salmon or baked salmon. Then flake the fish, and add celery, red onions, just a little mayo, fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Salmon Salad Toast

Why You’ll Love This Salmon Salad

When I was testing this recipe, I was surprised that my husband, Tommy, tried some and proceeded to eat half the bowl. He hates salmon (or so he says!), but he devoured this salad. I can’t wait for you to try it!

  • Great for all dietary restrictions: It’s dairy-free, gluten-free and low-carb.
  • High Protein: The most satiating macro, this salad will fill you up and keep you full.
  • Easy: Just 5 ingredients, not counting salt and pepper.
  • Quick: Under 10 minutes to make.
  • Great for meal prep! Make it ahead for lunch for the week.
salmon salad ingredients


  • Salmon: You’ll need a half-pound salmon fillet.
  • Vegetables: Chop celery and red onion.
  • Lemon: Juice half of a lemon.
  • Mayonnaise: This salad with mayo only uses a tablespoon since salmon is naturally oily. I used regular mayo since it’s such a small amount, but light mayo works too.
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning

How to Make Salmon Salad

  • Cook Salmon: To make this quick, I cook the salmon in the microwave. Just cover it and microwave it for about 2 minutes. If you make it in a skillet or pan, sear the salmon about 4 to 5 minutes on each side over medium-high heat. If you prefer the oven, bake 425F 10 to 12 minutes. You can also use leftover cooked salmon. Once done, flake it with a fork and let it cool.
  • Make the Salad: Put the fish, onion, and celery in a large bowl, stir in the lemon juice and mayonnaise, and season with salt and pepper.

How to Serve

  • Make a salmon salad sandwich on bagels, toasted sourdough bread, or oat rolls.
  • Wrap up the salad in whole-grain or corn tortillas or grain-free wraps.
  • Lettuce Wraps: Serve it in large lettuce leaves, endive, or collard greens.
  • Serve the fish over spring mix or lettuce and add extra veggies, like avocado, cucumber, or cherry tomatoes.
  • Salmon Salad Bowl: Top your favorite grain, like quinoa or brown rice, with the fish mixture, add some chopped vegetables, and drizzle with red wine vinegar.
  • Eat this dish as a snack on rice crackers.
  • Salmon Salad Pasta: Mix the fish with whole wheat pasta and a little more mayonnaise.

Salmon Recipe Variations

  • Fresh Salmon: You can also use frozen salmon – just thaw it in the fridge the day before you want to make it. You could also use canned salmon, but this recipe is so much tastier with fresh fish.
  • Protein: If you don’t love salmon, substitute it with canned tuna or diced or shredded chicken.
  • Mayo: Sub Greek yogurt for mayonnaise.
  • Onions: Swap red onions or green onions for shallots.
  • Tangy Flavor: Stir in some Dijon mustard, kalamata olives or capers.
  • Fresh Herbs: Mix in fresh parsley, fresh dill, or chives.
  • Vegetables: Add chopped bell pepper, broccoli florets, or cucumber.
  • Crunch: Add chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts.
  • Seasoning: Sprinkle in more seasoning, like garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, or everything bagel seasoning.


Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


Is canned salmon cooked?

Yes, canned salmon is cooked. This recipe can me made with canned salmon, or raw salmon which you cook 2 minutes in the microwave. Leftover salmon also works here.

salmon salad with celery and lemon

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Prep: 2 minutes

Cook: 3 minutes

Cooling time: 10 minutes

Total: 15 minutes

Yield: 3 servings

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups

  • Cook the salmon in the microwave, covered about 2 minutes until cooked through, or use leftover cooked salmon.

  • Flake with a fork and let it cool.

  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix well, refrigerate up to 4 days.

  • Serve over toast, in lettuce cups, on a salad, etc.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 1/2 cups, Calories: 139 kcal, Carbohydrates: 2.5 g, Protein: 17.5 g, Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 1.5 g, Cholesterol: 39.5 mg, Sodium: 185 mg, Fiber: 0.5 g, Sugar: 1 g


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