This cajun-spiced baked salmon is a fast and healthy dish that is great for weeknights. Serve it with tangy avocado lime sauce that doubles up as a great dressing!
Baked salmon is something that I make often for dinner on weeknights. Salmon cooks quickly and evenly in the oven. Plus, I love that it is packed with healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. When I first started baking salmon, I would season it with just salt and pepper and finish it off with lemon juice. The flavors were simple, but that salt and pepper combination got boring quickly. So I started baking salmon with seasoning blends, like cajun seasoning. I also like to pair salmon with a sauce to give it extra moisture.
This avocado lime sauce doubles as a sauce for the salmon and a dressing for salads. I used water to thin out the dressing. I hesitated to add more olive oil because there is a lot of (good) fat coming from the avocados already. The sauce keeps well in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days!
MASTERING MY MISTAKES / COOKING NOTES
- Consistency of the sauce: The sauce is pretty thick because of the avocado. If you want the sauce to be thinner, add more water or olive oil and adjust the seasonings accordingly.
- Blending the avocado lime sauce: When I was testing the recipe, I used 3 different tools for blending the sauce: my Vitamix, food processor and immersion blender. Of the three tools, the immersion blender was the best for blending the sauce—it yielded the smoothest results. Because there isn’t much ingredients for the sauce, the Vitamix and the food processor weren’t able to blend the cilantro properly. There were a significant amount of large cilantro flecks in the sauce when I used those 2 tools. Another thing to note about using the Vitamix is that removing the sauce from the blender proved to be quite difficult. A lot of the sauce was stuck underneath the blade area, and I had to scoop it out with my rubber spatula.
Cajun-Spiced Baked Salmon with Avocado Lime Sauce
Yield 4 Servings
I used store-bought cajun seasoning for this recipe. If you don't have that on hand, any other kind of spice rub will work well, too.
- 1 pound (450g) salmon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
Avocado Lime Sauce
- 1 medium avocado
- 1/4 cup (60ml) water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1/2 cup (15g) loosely packed cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 to 6 cups salad greens
- 2 large carrots, shredded
- 1 large apple, sliced
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 400F (205C). Line a baking sheet with foil. Set baking sheet aside.
- Slice the salmon into 4 quarter-pound pieces. Drizzle the tablespoon of olive oil over the 4 pieces. Sprinkle with the kosher salt, black pepper and cajun seasoning. Bake salmon for 16 to 18 minutes, until it has cooked through. (My salmon pieces were just over an inch thick and I cooked them for 18 minutes.)
- While the salmon is baking, blend all the avocado lime sauce ingredients with a food processor or an immersion blender. If you are using an immersion blender, blend the ingredients inside a large jar so that you don't get as much splattering. Taste the sauce and add more seasoning, if necessary.
- Toss the salad greens together with the carrots, sliced apples and pumpkin seeds.
- Serve the baked salmon with the avocado lime sauce. You can also dress the salad with the sauce.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Makes 4 Servings (1/4 pound baked salmon + 1/4 batch of avocado lime sauce); Amount Per Serving: Calories: 492, Total Fat 35g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Sodium: 644mg, Cholesterol: 62mg, Total Carbohydrate: 21g, Dietary Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 10g, Protein 27g