Instant Pot Salmon

Here’s a weeknight dinner hack: Instant Pot salmon! Throw in frozen salmon fillets and in 10 minutes, out comes dinner.

Instant Pot salmon

Ready for the ultimate weeknight dinner hack? Instant Pot salmon. Get this: you can take a frozen salmon fillet, throw it in the Instant Pot, and in 10 minutes you’ve got dinner. WHAT? This is unheard of, even in the realm of fast weeknight cooking. Salmon can take 1 hour to defrost, let alone cooking it. Yes, this trick is pretty magical! But like any good trick: there are a few caveats. Here’s how to make this healthy dinner in a flash.

Instant pot salmon

Instant Pot salmon: a few caveats!

Before we start: let’s just be clear about a few things regarding this magical Instant Pot salmon. The main message: it’s for quick, healthy weeknight meals, not for impressing guests. Keep reading for why.

  • The Instant Pot is not the way to perfectly cooked salmon. Yep! If you want to this fish to perfection, pressure cooking is not the way. Try our Oven Baked Salmon, Broiled Salmon or Teriyaki Salmon for the best ways.
  • Why? The salmon comes out well done. There’s not a lot of nuance to pressure cooking, so this method results in a well done piece of fish. It’s not overdone and rubbery, of course! But at the same time, don’t expect a crispy skin and tender interior. That makes this a nice method for a weeknight when you’re trying to get food on the table.
  • For the best experience, add a sauce. Instant Pot salmon doesn’t work well with flavorings applied, so you’ll want to apply them afterwards. Slathered with our Cilantro Dressing or Lemon Dill Sauce, it’s pretty darn tasty! (See a full list of serving suggestions below).

How to make Instant Pot salmon

You read the caveats above? And you’re still ready to try Instant Pot salmon? Perfect. Alex and I shared this recipe because it’s a fancy trick for getting a weeknight dinner on the table…lightening fast. If you’re trying to impress company: this is not the recipe for that! Head to one of our other salmon recipes (promise?). That said, here’s all you need to know about making Instant Pot salmon:

  • Use fillets that are about 1-inch in width. Fillets that are this width will cook in the specified timing.
  • Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes for frozen salmon. We like using the Instant Pot for frozen salmon because it’s such a time saver. If you have a fresh piece of salmon, you may want to try something like Broiled Salmon instead (and use a store-bought glaze).
  • Quick release and serve! This method is a quick release: meaning that total time for the recipe is just 10 minutes.
Instant Pot salmon

Important: make sure the clean the sealing ring after cooking!

Inside the lid of the Instant Pot is a plastic ring called the sealing ring. This ring helps to make the seal that lets the pot get up to high pressure. The sealing ring can take on flavors that were cooked in the pot, especially if they are very strong (like seafood!). After you’ve cooked the salmon, make sure to follow these guidelines:

  • Clean it: Remove the sealing ring after cooking the salmon. Fully clean it with soapy water. You can also throw it into the dishwasher!
  • Store it exposed to air: When storing the Instant Pot, store the lid upside down so the ring is exposed to air. This allows the sealing ring to air out between uses.
  • Deep clean if necessary: If the sealing ring has a strong odor, soak it in vinegar for a few hours.
  • Buy extra sealing rings: If you use your Instant Pot often, consider purchasing extra sealing rings. We have 3 extra Instant Pot sealing rings and use 2 for savory recipes and 1 for sweet recipes.

Sauces to serve with salmon

Instant Pot salmon results in a well-done piece of fish, so it’s best if you serve it with a sauce. While it’s cooking, whip up one of these sauces to go alongside:

  • Creamy Cilantro Dressing Wow, is this cilantro sauce good! Mint green and creamy, you’ll want to spread it on everything.
  • Chimichurri This zesty sauce comes together in minutes in the blender, and adds a bright green color and zingy flavor.
  • Lemon Dill Sauce or Dill Sauce One of our favorite ways to serve salmon is a creamy sauce with lemon and fresh dill. It’s perfection!
  • Caper Butter This sauce takes just a few minutes to warm up: spoon it over the fish and prepare to be amazed.
  • Salmon Seasoning You can also sprinkle the cooked fish with seafood seasoning to take it over the top in flavor!
Dill sauce for salmon
Lemon dill sauce would pair perfectly with this fish

Quick side dishes to serve with salmon

What to serve with Instant Pot salmon to make it into a healthy meal? Why not cook veggies right in with the fish, you might ask? It’s a nice idea for convenience, but here’s the thing: the veggies come out tasting with the aroma of fish. This isn’t the most appetizing! They also lose a lot of their texture, which is not the tastiest.

So, here are a few of our recommendations! You can make these veggies on the stovetop while the Instant Pot does its magic. Or if you want to go full Instant Pot, you could make them before or after the fish.

Instant pot salmon

This Instant Pot salmon recipe is…

Gluten-free, dairy-free, and pescatarian.

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Instant pot salmon

Instant Pot Salmon


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Here’s a weeknight dinner hack: Instant Pot salmon! Throw in frozen salmon fillets and in 10 minutes, out comes dinner.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 to 4 salmon fillets, about 1-inch thick*

Instructions

  1. Add the water to the bowl of the Instant Pot. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon into water.
  2. Add the Instant Pot trivet. Place the salmon fillets on the trivet.
  3. Cook on High Pressure for 5 minutes (frozen) or 3 minutes (fresh): Press the Pressure Cook button, making sure the “High Pressure” setting is selected, and set the time. Note that it takes about 5 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure before it starts cooking. (During cooking, avoid touching the metal part of the lid.)
  4. Quick release: Vent the remaining steam from the Instant Pot by moving the pressure release handle to “Venting”, covering your hand with a towel or hot pad. Never put your hands or face near the vent when releasing steam. Open the pressure cooker lid.
  5. Add the final flavorings: Generously season with salt and pepper. Spritz with lemon juice, or add one of the following sauces: Cilantro Dressing, Chimichurri, Lemon Dill Sauce, or Caper Butter.

Notes

*Thicker fillets will need a few minutes longer cook time.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Salmon

Keywords: Instant Pot Salmon

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Here at A Couple Cooks, we love our Instant Pot! Here are our favorite Instant Pot recipes:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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