Comforting, creamy, fast and nutritious - this one pan Coconut Cream Salmon with Tomatoes is so easy it practically makes itself. Packed full of veggies, it's gluten free, dairy free and can be on the table in an impressive 20 minutes!
As a busy mum I gravitate towards anything which can be made in one pot. And I will jump on any trend which means less dishes.
Add to that the fact that we are all trying to eat more fish, this creamy coconut salmon dinner is definitely one dish you’ll want up your sleeve.
Why you Should Try Coconut Cream Salmon with Tomatoes
- It’s loaded with veggies yet requires no chopping except the basil garnish. My kind of dinner.
- This delicious dish is a one pot wonder - which means less time doing dishes.
- Pan frying the salmon is a very easy way of cooking fish which makes sure your fish stays juicy and tender
I made this version with coconut cream to switch things up. And also because I love the taste. But it’s fine to go with regular cream if you prefer.
Pan searing salmon may sound scary at first but honestly it’s a very simple method of cooking fish. It helps to avoid the dry and chalky overcooked fish that kids (and adults!) hate. It also gives that delicious crispy outside and moist inside that restaurants do so well.
What you Will Need to Make Coconut Cream Salmon with Tomatoes
I always try to buy the very best salmon I can afford. Ideally wild but definitely from a sustainable farmed source.
What is a Fillet of Salmon?
A fillet of salmon is by far the most popular cut and refers to a side section of boned salmon.
How Big Is A Fillet of Salmon?
This completely depends. A small fillet can be used to serve just one or two people. Or it can be a whole side of boned fish which can be used to serve a crowd of people.
I loved fish cooked in butter. It pairs perfectly with the lemon and adds a richness to the finished dish.
I add this as I think the flavor really complements the salmon. But it’s fine to switch it out for vegetable broth if you don’t have wine. Or don’t drink alcohol.
A natural friend for salmon but the tartness also contrasts really nicely with the richness of the coconut cream.
These add a vibrant pop of color to the dish and ups the veggie content. They are also a nice acidic foil to the creamy sauce.
Use whatever tomatoes you have if you don’t have cherry. Simply cut them to roughly cherry tomato size.
Not to be confused with coconut milk, coconut cream is much thicker and richer. It’s basically the fat and protein that floats to the top of the coconut milk. You can use regular heavy cream if you prefer a more traditional dairy ingredient.
Parmesan or a similar hard Italian cheese adds a great savory contrast to the rich sauce. But feel free to leave this out if you’re trying to reduce dairy.
I like to add spinach wherever I can for the nutritional punch but also the pop of color.
Can I use Frozen Spinach?
I like to use fresh spinach here as it has a better flavor and texture for this dish.
I love a chiffonade of basil for it’s fresh look as much as it’s taste.
To cut basil into a chiffonade, pick a handful of similar sized leaves off the stalk, lay them flat on top of one another and roll them as tight as you can. Then, with a large chefs knife, carefully cut them in ribbons as thinly as possible.
How to make Coconut Cream Salmon with Tomatoes
Full recipe with measurements is below.
- First sear and cook the salmon (see my how to sear salmon guide below). Remove from the pan to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Next add the tomatoes and garlic into the same pan, then the lemon juice and wine and let them cook down for a few minutes.
- Then add the coconut cream and parmesan and stir until melted.
- Stir in the spinach and basil.
- Add the fish back to the pan and re-heat for a moment or two until warm.
An Easy Guide to Pan Searing Salmon
- Make sure that the salmon is seasoned well with salt and pepper.
- Heat your skillet until hot and then add some vegetable oil or butter.
- Place the fish skin side down in the pan and leave it to sear on a medium high heat without moving it.
- Try to cook the salmon through mostly on the skin side. The skin is a barrier to the direct heat and this makes sure your fish stays juicy. Depending on the thickness it should take between 4-6 minutes.
- Watch the fish closely and flip it over when you can see that the flesh has turned mostly opaque from translucent all the way up the sides.
- Now turn the heat to low and finish the cooking the other side for a minute or two. To avoid over cooking, the salmon should still be a little translucent inside when you take it off the heat.
- If you like to use an instant read thermometer the thickest part of the fish should reach 125ºF/62ºC.
Tips for Making the Best Coconut Cream Salmon With Tomatoes
- If you’re buying the salmon from a fishmonger ask for fillets from the ‘center cut’ piece. This is from the middle of the fish, and the fillets are more likely to be thick and uniform in size. And therefore easier to cook.
- A general cooking-with-white-wine tip: If you don’t often have white wine open for cooking, try getting a bottle of dry vermouth. It’s a great substitute for recipes which require a small amount of wine (up to half a cup) and keeps for much longer in the fridge with the cap screwed back on.
- Make sure you don’t add the spinach until the very end. It will loose its brightness and freshness if its sits in the liquid too long. It cooks very quickly and only needs to be wilted by being stirred through a hot sauce.
Variations to this Salmon Dish
Like all my recipes - this one is flexible so feel free to use what you have in the fridge.
Switch up the Greens
Don’t have baby spinach? Baby kale or regular kale which has been stemmed and shredded would also work well.
Change the Cheese
Pecorino would also be great here. Finely grated cheddar would work too.
What to serve with Coconut Cream Salmon with Tomatoes
This salmon dish goes perfectly with some simple mashed potato or some crusty bread for mopping up juices. If you’d like to keep things on the lighter side, an easy dressed green salad would also work well.
Can You Reheat This Dish?
This dish is best served immediately since the spinach goes a little soggy if its kept.
If however you have extra salmon leftover, it can be eaten cold the next day, with a simple green salad.
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Coconut Cream Salmon with Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 4 Salmon Fillets
- 2 cloves Garlic - crushed
- ½ cup White Wine
- ½ Lemon - zest and juice
- 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 cup Coconut Cream - or heavy/double cream
- ½ cup Grated Parmesan or Vegetarian Alternative
- 4 cups Spinach
- 2 tbsp Fresh Basil - finely sliced
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- Melt the butter in a medium sized skillet over a medium heat.
- Whilst the pan is warming, pat the salmon dry and season well with salt and pepper.
- Place the salmon in the skillet, skin side down and cook for around 4-6 minutes.
- Flip the fillets over and cook for another couple of minutes until the salmon is fully cooked and has changed color from translucent to mostly opaque.
- Remove the salmon to a plate and reserve.
- Add the tomatoes to the pan - let cook for around 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add the garlic and stir for another minute.
- Add the wine and lemon juice and zest. Let it bubble away for a minute or two.
- Turn down the heat and stir in the coconut cream.
- Next add the parmesan and stir until melted.
- Stir in the spinach and basil for a minute or two until wilty but still bright green.
- Add the salmon back to the pan and reheat for a minute or two until warm. Serve immediately.