I live in Philly where we are currently smack-dab in the middle of a serious heatwave. It’s been 90+ degrees every day, and that means I cannot be bothered to make anything hot. Period. I’m craving light, bright flavors, and salad season is in full swing. This Mediterranean Salmon Salad is sure to be on repeat all summer long, as it’s the perfect meal.
It’s got great-for-you salmon as the protein, lots of veggies, some fruit, some cheese, and some seeds. It’s a textural, flavorful masterpiece that anyone is sure to love. I top it all off with a bight and tangy lemon vinaigrette that gives it the perfect zing – I’m sure you’re going to love it!
This recipe is super simple to modify as well if you don’t like salmon, don’t like a certain ingredient, or simply don’t have something on hand. No matter how you dress it up – it’s sure to be delicious.
Making Mediterranean Salmon Salad
First things first, you want to make your salmon so it has time to cool. When you put steaming hot salmon on a salad, it will wilt the leaves, which is no fun. To season the salmon, I made this super flavorful rub that’s smoky, spicy, and sweet. You’ll spray your salmon with cooking spray, rub it with the spice mix, spray it again, and then air fry it until the internal temp reaches 145 F. I use a meat thermometer like this one to ensure it’s never overcooked.
Next, you’ll mix up your dressing. It’s a mixture of fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, agave, dijon mustard, a bit of white vinegar, and some salt and pepper. It’s tangy, bright, and just a hint of sweet. It makes for the perfect complement to the salmon and the rest of the salad ingredients.
Lastly, you’ll put it all together. There’s minimal prep involve in this salad, so once your salmon is cooked and your dressing is made, it’s just a matter of assembly. Each salad starts with a lettuce base (any lettuce is fine, I used spring mix). Second, you’ll add your cooked, cooled couscous. Third, you’ll add your cut cucumbers, dried cranberries, crumbled feta, and pumpkin seeds. For the final step, you top it all with the seasoned, cooled salmon filet. Add your dressing and voila – the meal is done!
Variations & prepping ahead
There are a number of ways that you can mix this salad up to make it your own.
- Replace the salmon with whichever protein you prefer. The rub would be delicious on chicken as well, or even tofu if you don’t want any meat.
- Replace feta with goat cheese for a totally different flavor profile. I’ve made this same salad with crumbled goat cheese and it adds a delicious creamy texture and great flavor.
- Add more veggies – it will make for a bigger, more filling salad that’s still WW friendly.
If you’re looking to make this salad multiple times in a week, I suggest cooking your salmon filets and storing them in an airtight container in the fridge. Cook your couscous ahead of time as well and store that. Then, when you want to make the salad, you can simply pull out the respective parts and throw them together for a quick and easy meal!
Mediterranean Salmon Salad
- Air Fryer
- Medium saucepan
- Mixing Bowl
- 4 Salmon filets 6 oz each
- Cooking Spray
- 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar or sugar substitute
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 chipotle chili pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice approx 2 lemons
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp agave
- 1 clove garlic pressed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 1/3 cups couscous cooked according to package
- 6 cups lettuce your choice
- 2 cups cucumber cut up
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup feta cheese fat free
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- Combine all of the salmon rub ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Spray both sides of salmon with cooking spray. Rub salmon filets with spice mixture and spray tops with cooking spray again. Air fry at 390 for roughly 14 minutes, until internal temp reaches 145. I use a thermometer like this one.
- While salmon cooks, prepare couscous according to package directions and set aside to cool. Cut cucumbers and set aside.
- Combine dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk together until fully combined. Set aside.
- To assemble salad, in each bowl add:– 1.5 cups of lettuce– 1/3 cup cooked, cooled couscous– 1/2 cup cucumbers, chopped– 1 tbsp dried cranberries– 2 tbsp fat free feta crumbles– 1 tbsp pumpkins seeds– salmon filet– 2 tbsp dressing