Sous vide salmon fillets with crispy skin paired with classic pico de gallo and a simple quinoa salad, this healthy and delicious meal is loaded with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins.

Sous vide salmon fillets with crispy skin paired with classic pico de gallo and a simple quinoa salad, this healthy and delicious meal is loaded with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins.If you place meal prep in the same category as vacuuming—a mundane chore that takes up your Sunday afternoons—you’re not alone. Although I love to cook, I never used to have a designated meal-prep day I looked forward to either.

But that all changed when I got myself an Anova sous vide machine. Let me tell you, I quickly became a big fan of sous vide cooking on Sunday afternoons.

Meal prep no longer felt like a chore. I love the fact that I can drop my food straight from the freezer into the sous vide machine (and skip the thawing time, dishes, and cleanup, etc.) and cook it to restaurant-quality perfection. It’s hard to find anything unmotivating about that.

If you’re new to sous vide, it’s basically a precision cooker that allows you to cook your fresh and frozen proteins and veggies by way of vacuum-sealing and a water bath. All you have to do is place your prepared food in a bag, vacuum seal it, add it to the preheated water bath, set the cooking time, and away you go.

Lately, I’ve been making salmon fillets in the sous vide because they’re impossible to dry out and overcook—and you know that can happen when cooking salmon in cast iron or a conventional oven. It’s the precise cooking time and water temperature of the sous vide that ensures the salmon fillets turn out juicy, creamy, and fork tender every single time.

Sous vide salmon fillets with crispy skin paired with classic pico de gallo and a simple quinoa salad, this healthy and delicious meal is loaded with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins.

When salmon is part of your meal prep Sunday routine, it’s also nice to know you have a few tasty, protein-rich, and nutritionally sound meals waiting for you as you go about your busy week.

To pair with this perfect sous vide salmon, I’ve decided on an easy quinoa salad and pico de gallo as the sides, which you can whip up while the fillets are being cooked to perfection.

WHAT'S IN THE MEAL?

Sous vide salmon fillets with crispy skin (Find the recipe below)

Pico de Gallo that can also be used for literally everything, such as tacos, burrito bowls, and even scrambled eggs for breakfast

Easy Quinoa Salad that’s delicious and filling, even if you enjoy it as a main

INGREDIENT LIST

For the salmon: 

  • 5 salmon fillets, skin on
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Brown sugar, as needed (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2-3 fresh dill sprigs
  • Lemon zest, as needed
  • Extra virgin olive oil

For the pico de gallo:

  • 9 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves, firmly packed
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • Juice of 2-3 limes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the quinoa salad:

  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 4 cups beef or chicken bone broth
  • 1 5-ounce package spring mix
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon

WHAT KITCHEN EQUIPMENT DO YOU NEED?

MEAL PREP SUNDAY INSTRUCTIONS

Here comes the step-by-step meal prep instructions to ease you through the cooking process. Play some music and pour yourself a glass of wine. The next hour or two will be super rewarding, I promise!

#1 Prepare the water bath with a sous vide machine.

Attach the Anova sous vide machine to a large saucepan or a sous vide container. Fill your saucepan with water until the water comes up to somewhere between the lines of “min” and “max” that are marked on your sous vide machine. Set the temperature to 122°F and turn on the machine to heat the water.

#2 Dry cure your salmon.

While the water is being heated, lay salmon fillets skin-side up on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut a few parallel slits through the skin. This step will help get the skin nice and crisp when you sear according to ChefSteps.

Flip the salmon skin-side down. Season generously with salt, sprinkle with some brown sugar if you want, using roughly one part sugar for every four parts salt. Don’t worry about over seasoning. You’ll rinse off that salt after 10 minutes.

#3 Cook quinoa.

Since the salmon needs at least 10 minutes to cure, let’s use this time to cook the quinoa. Oh yeah, we are being so efficient with our time!

Rinse 2 cups uncooked quinoa under cold running water. Place it in a medium saucepan and add 4 cups bone broth or water. Bring it to a boil and switch to low heat to simmer for 15-25 minutes until the quinoa is tender.

#4 Sous vide salmon.

Now, let’s get back to our salmon. Rinse the salmon carefully under cold water. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.

Before you bag the fish, add a generous amount of olive oil in a large ziplock bag. The oil will prevent the fish fillets from sticking together after cooking. Alternatively, you don’t need any oil if you use a sous vide bag. Use more bags if necessary. Just make sure you leave a little room between the fillets before vacuum sealing.

Place a couple fresh dill sprigs on the skin side of the fillets and sprinkle with lemon zest. Seal the bag and lower it into the preheated water bath until the salmon is completely under the water. Cook for 40 minutes.

Note: Sous vide cook time will vary based on the size of your fish. 1-inch-thick filets should cook in about 40 minutes, while half-inch fillets should cook in 30. If your salmon fillets are 1.5-inch thick, leave in the water for an hour.

#5 Make pico de gallo and let the quinoa cool.

Referring to this recipe, chop tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro and jalapeño pepper. Combine in a large mixing bowl. Squeeze lime juice over the top and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set the pico aside and scoop some directly into your mouth.

At some point during the chopping process, your quinoa should be done. Remove from heat and let it chill.

#6 Finish off the quinoa salad.

Once the quinoa is chilled, follow this recipe to add spring mix, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Mix until all ingredients are well combined. Set aside.

#7 Sear the fish.

When the salmon is cooked, remove the bags from the water bath and gently transfer it from the bag to a plate, skin-side up.

Heat a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan until it’s very hot. Add some oil and flip the fish into the pan, skin-side down. Sear for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the skin is crispy.

#8 Pack your meals.

This is the final step of the meal prep, and it’s the most rewarding one, in my opinion. Scoop up a generous amount of the quinoa salad and place it at the bottom of each meal-prep container. Gently place a sous vide salmon fillet on top of the bed of quinoa salad and top with pico de gallo. Repeat with the other four containers. Cover and refrigerate for later or enjoy some of it for dinner.

BUT I DON'T HAVE A SOUS VIDE MACHINE...

Don’t have a sous vide machine? Not a problem. You may totally batch-cook the salmon in your oven. Soak some cedar planks beforehand, will you? They will make your salmon taste a bit smokey.

The steps of curing and seasoning the salmon are pretty much the same. Instead of using fresh dill, sprinkle the salmon with dried dill weed. When ready to cook, place salmon on the prepared cedar planks or a baking sheet lined with foil, skin-side down. Cook at 375°F for 15 minutes and broil on high for another 5 minutes. That’s it.

I hope you enjoy this healthy and high-protein meal. Got any meal prep ideas or tips to share? Leave a comment below. I would love to hear how other street-smart cooks like you do meal preps.

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Sous Vide Salmon

Sous vide salmon fillets with crispy skin paired with classic pico de gallo and a simple quinoa salad, this healthy and delicious meal is loaded with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins.

  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 5 servings
  • Category: Seafood, Main, Gluten Free
  • Method: Sous Vide
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 5 salmon fillets, skin on
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Brown sugar, as needed (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2-3 fresh dill sprigs
  • Lemon zest, as needed
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Heat water to 122°F.
  2. Lay salmon fillets skin-side up on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut a few parallel slits through the skin. This step will help get the skin nice and crisp when you sear. It’s optional.
  3. Flip the fillets. Season with salt and brown sugar (if using) generously, using roughly one part sugar for every four parts salt. Let it sit for 10 minutes and rinse with cold water.
  4. Pat the fillets dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Before you bag the fish, add a generous amount of olive oil in a large ziplock bag. The oil will prevent the fish fillets from sticking together after cooking. Alternatively, you don’t need any oil if you use a sous vide bag. Just make sure you leave a little room between the fillets before vacuum sealing.
  6. Place the dill sprigs on the skin side of the fillets and sprinkle with lemon zest. Seal the bag and lower it into the water bath until the salmon is completely under the water. Cook for 40 minutes.
  7. Once the salmon is done, gently transfer it from the bag to a plate, skin-side up.
  8. Heat a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan until it’s very hot, add some oil and flip the fish into the pan, skin-side down. Sear for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the skin is crispy.
  9. Carefully transfer each fillet to a plate and serve.

Notes

  • Before bagging the fish, make sure to use spices of your choice in powder form on your fish and add any fresh herbs on the skin side, so they don’t leave marks on your fish meat after cooking.
  • Sous vide cook time will vary based on the size of your fish. 1-inch thick filets should cook in about 40 minutes, while half-inch fillets should cook in 30. If your salmon fillets are 1.5-inch thick, leave in the water for an hour.

Keywords: sous vide salmon

Sous vide salmon fillets with crispy skin paired with classic pico de gallo and a simple quinoa salad, this healthy and delicious meal is loaded with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins.

5 thoughts on “Meal Prep Sunday: Sous Vide Salmon with Pico de Gallo & Quinoa Salad”

  1. I really love your recipes. Salmon is my all time favorite but I must say the easy quinoa salad got me craving, LOL. Hence, I would want to do some kitchen experiments this weekend. Thanks as always for sharing great recipes, I truly adore your blog!

  2. This sounds like a great dish for salmon lovers and looks like it would be really delicious. It would make a lovely dinner party meal.

  3. This sounds incredible! I love this combination of flavors and that it is healthy too. I’ll have to give this a try – it’s nice to have something different to make for dinner.

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