Broiled Salmon with Pepita Salsa

5 from 6 votes
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10 minute perfectly broiled salmon served with zesty pepita salsa. This restaurant-quality dinner is easy enough for weeknights, yet impressive enough for entertaining. Enjoy as is, or make into tacos or tostadas.

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Broiled salmon arranged over pepita salsa on a blue and white patterned plate.

This recipe post is in proud partnership with Seafood from Norway. All opinions are my own.

Why You’ll Love this Broiled Salmon

Out of every salmon cooking method (Slow Roasted Salmon, Blackened Salmon, and Baked Salmon), broiling has to be the quickest + easiest.

I love broiled salmon for 3 reasons:

  • Quick Cook Time: One large center-cut salmon fillet only needs about 10 minutes under the broiler for medium-rare.
  • No Oil Splatters: As much as I love pan-seared, crispy-skin salmon, it can create quite a mess on the stovetop.
  • Crisp, Flaky Texture: Since the salmon is positioned closer to the oven’s upper heating element, it gets crispy on the top while staying juicy and flaky on the inside, which is the best of both worlds. (If you like your salmon on the medium-rare side, broiling is especially effective, because it cooks the top quickly, before the center overcooks!)

In this recipe, I’m using salmon from Norway, which is my go-to for sustainably farmed seafood.

Norway’s cold climate is perfect for producing the best seafood in the world. Producing salmon from Norway follows rigorous standards and thoughtful care for ocean health, establishing it as a world leader in responsible farming and harvesting practices.

For more of my favorite salmon recipes, also check out Miso-Ginger Salmon, Firecracker Salmon Bowls, and Sesame Crusted Salmon.

The Ingredients:

Recipe ingredients in separate bowls arranged on a wooden platter.
  • Salmon from Norway: Salmon is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, all 9 essential amino acids, and essential micronutrients like vitamins A, D and B12. Whether fresh or frozen, salmon from Norway is a fantastic addition to a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
  • Spices: The salmon is seasoned with smoked paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. The brown sugar helps to caramelize and crisp up the flesh. Alternatively, you can use coconut sugar.
  • EVOO: Extra-virgin olive oil is drizzled over the salmon before broiling, as well as blended into the salsa.
  • Roasted Red Peppers: Look for jarred roasted red peppers for convenience.
  • Tomato Paste: For sweetness, bright flavor, and a hint of umami.
  • Pepitas: Unlike pumpkin seeds, which are whole seeds with their shells still on, pepitas are shell-less, or hulless pumpkin varieties.
  • Onion + Garlic: This dynamic duo creates an aromatic foundation for the salsa.
  • Aleppo Pepper: This fragrant pepper variety is about half as spicy as most chile flakes. You can find it in the spice section of most well-stocked grocery stores.
  • Cilantro: Cilantro is used both in the salsa and as a garnish. If you’re not a cilantro fan, parsley also works great.
  • Cumin: For warming, earthy flavor.

For a complete list of recipe ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare Pepita Salsa

To a food processor, combine red peppers, tomato paste, pepitas, onion, garlic, vinegar, Aleppo, cumin, and salt; blend until broken down. Add cilantro and blend again until incorporated. Set aside.

Pepita salsa being blended in a food processor.

Step 2: Prepare Salmon

Pat salmon dry with a paper towel and coat with EVOO and spices. Broil for 10 to 12 minutes, until crisp and flaky.

Salmon fillet being coated in spices and broiled until crisp.

Step 3: Assemble

Spread a spoonful of pepita salsa onto a plate, and top with a piece of salmon. Garnish with cilantro, feta, and lemon juice.

Chunks of broiled salmon arranged on a plate over pepita salsa with sprigs of cilantro.

Recipe FAQs

What are the oven settings for broiled salmon?

While some ovens let you set a broiler temperature, others just have the option of LOW vs. HIGH, which is typically between 400ºF-450ºF for low, and 500ºF -550ºF for high.

For broiled salmon, position the rack about 6 inches from the top heat source.
The best broiled salmon temperature is 500ºF-550ºF if you have the option to set it. If not, simply select “broil” on HIGH.

How to Know when Salmon is Done?

Salmon that is cooked through should be firm and flake easily with a fork. For more accuracy, use an instant-read thermometer and check that the internal temperature registers at 135ºF.

Salmon Skin On or Off?

I recommend making broiled salmon with skin-on salmon, as it helps lock in moisture as the fish cooks.

Can I Broil Frozen Salmon?

If you’re wondering how to broil salmon from frozen, I strongly recommend letting the salmon thaw first. Once thawed, the seasonings will better spread on the flesh, and the fish will cook more evenly.

Serving Suggestions

I love serving this salmon with a simple veggie side or salad, and some rice. Here are a few side suggestions:

Also, if you end up with leftover broiled salmon, flake it up and serve in this Salmon Couscous Salad.

Storage Tips:

  • To Store. Refrigerate salmon in an airtight storage container for 2 days. Store pepita salsa separately.
  • To Reheat. For best results, gently rewarm salmon in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You can also microwave individual portions in a pinch.
  • To Freeze. Freeze salmon in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. (I do not suggest freezing leftover pepita salsa.)
Salmon tostadas with pepita salsa assembled on a cutting board.

More Healthy Salmon Recipes:

If you give this recipe a try, be sure to snap a picture and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

5 from 6 votes

Broiled Salmon with Pepita Salsa

10 minute perfectly broiled salmon served over a zesty pepita salsa with herbs and feta. This restaurant-quality dinner is easy enough for weeknights, yet impressive enough for entertaining.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 to 5

Equipment

  • Food processor
  • Baking sheet

Ingredients  

  • 1.25 to 1.5 lbs. skin-on, center-cut salmon (preferably salmon from Norway)
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • Optional for serving: fresh cilantro, crumbled feta, fresh lemon juice

Pepita Salsa

  • 1 cup jarred roasted red peppers
  • 1/3 cup pepitas
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow or sweet onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp. Aleppo pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves

For Tacos or Tostadas (optional)

  • 8 corn or flour tortillas or tostada shells
  • 2 to 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
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Instructions 

  • Cook pepitas in a dry skillet over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until toasted and fragrant. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • To the food processor with pepitas, add roasted red peppers, tomato paste, vinegar, onion, garlic, Aleppo, salt, and cumin. Begin processing, and with motor running on HIGH, gradually stream in olive oil. Add cilantro and pulse a few more times until green specks appear throughout. (The finished salsa should still have some texture to it.)
  • Preheat oven broiler to HIGH and position the top rack 6 to 8 inches from the top heat source.
    Place salmon on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive (or avocado) oil. Combine brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper, and sprinkle evenly over salmon flesh. Broil salmon for 10 minutes, until crisp and flaky.
  • Serve salmon with salsa as is, or enjoy as tacos or tostadas:
    Mix cabbage with mayo, vinegar, and a pinch of salt. Assemble by spreading salsa on tortillas or tostada shells, followed by a spoonful of slaw, and flaked salmon. Garnish with extra cilantro, if desired.

Notes

  • To Store. Refrigerate salmon in an airtight storage container for 2 days. Store pepita salsa separately.
  • To Reheat. For best results, gently rewarm salmon in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You can also microwave individual portions in a pinch.
  • To Freeze. Freeze salmon in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. (I do not suggest freezing leftover pepita salsa.)

Nutrition

Serving: 6oz. salmon with 2 Tbsp. salsa | Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 820mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. Tiffanie says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is so quick but incredibly delicious! We have had it the last two weeks at our house and we love it!! Thank you for the amazing recipe!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      YAY! So thrilled you enjoyed it, my friend!!

  2. Siena says:

    5 stars
    I love this recipe. I had the Trader Joe’s pepita salsa and was looking for a homemade version. This tastes the same / even better. I will for sure be making again!

  3. Liz says:

    5 stars
    The pepita salsa was so delicious, I was eating it with a spoon. DOH’s ability to create flavors is unmatched! This might be one of my favorite recipes I’ve made so far. Had it with a simple cucumber salad. Truly great.

  4. Cindy says:

    5 stars
    Fabulous and easy recipe. I thought the fish rub was a touch too sweet, but the salsa is SO GOOD! Wondering how long the salsa will last in the fridge?

  5. Lisa says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely fantastic! I love that this dish is a different variety than the sweet Asian inspired salmons! I used a shallot instead of onion because I had none. Couldn’t really taste the pepitas but it was still good.
    Jamie my recommendation to you would be when giving ingred like a jar to say how large. I had no idea so I got what I could and I worry the flavors were off. It made so much salsa I had to store away. For new cooks I would also say either food processor or strong blender. I used a blender. Also, how long would it stay good for?
    Very delicious unique dish!

    1. Adam says:

      It says 1 cup of jarred Roasted Red Peppers. Not 1 Jar. Hope that helps!

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