Mediterranean Salmon and Vegetable Quinoa

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Mediterranean salmon and vegetable quinoa recipe is a healthy protein-packed meal! Earthy spices roasted lemons and fresh vegetables in each bite.

Mediterranean Salmon and Vegetable Quinoa

One ingredient that I always use to brighten up dishes is lemons. I never leave an inch of zest behind because it adds so much more flavor and aroma than just the zippy juice alone. Mediterranean meals are the best way to showcase springtime because the cuisine is naturally simple and packed with vegetables.

I’m so excited to share this spiced salmon and vegetable quinoa recipe with you! It has been my go-to weekday meal because it takes under an hour and requires minimal effort. Chop, simmer, broil and you’ve got a protein and vegetable-packed dinner all in one bowl. Don’t blink otherwise you’ll miss how I make this wonderful meal, just for you!

salmon fillet in a bowl with quinoa and sliced cherry tomatoes

I have a salmon obsession. It’s mild in flavor with a buttery textured flesh from the healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids naturally in the seafood. This flaky fish infuses flavors quite well and contains healthy vitamins. There are also minerals in the protein that makes for a nutritional meal.

There are many varieties of salmon which vary in color from red to orange, and some fattier than others. I typically choose Atlantic salmon if I want a creamier texture and wild Alaskan when it’s available for a leaner choice. I’ve been making miso-glazed salmon in rotation with this spiced salmon dish to switch things up.

salmon fillet with dry seasons laying in a bowl with vegetables and quinoa

I enjoy broiling or baking the salmon because it doesn’t need much oil if any at all, reducing those extra unwanted calories or soggy bites. The best part of this method is you can add robustly, earthy spices to give a punch of flavor! I used a blend of cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper for a spiced crispy crust on the surface of the salmon, it’s insanely good!

Do you cook quinoa? If not, how come? It’s an amazing gluten-free super grain that can be done as fast as rice or pasta but with added benefits.

Quinoa is packed with protein, minerals, and vitamins. I love how it cooks into light and fluffy grains with a slightly nutty flavor and doesn’t make you feel bloated after eating. It’s easy to make quinoa a little more tasty and exciting. I added ripe cherry tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and lemon zest.

close up of quinoa in a bowl with tomatoes and diced cucumbers

I am so ready to dig in, how about you? Don’t forget about those oven-roasted lemons to squeeze all over the salmon. The broiling causes the acids to mellow out a bit, so the juice has wonderful citrus flavors without the pucker. Each forkful of flaky spiced salmon and vegetable quinoa will make you yearn for a Mediterranean vacation. What’s your favorite way to cook salmon?

What are the benefits of cooking with Quinoa?

Quinoa is a small seed from South America and is a nutrient-dense super grain. You can find them in various colors from yellow, red and black. The more color, the more antioxidants! I have concluded that the flavor doesn’t change much by color. This little seed is unique because it’s a source of complete protein. 1 cup provides 8 grams of protein which is phenomenal! Quinoa also offers an excellent source of calcium, iron, phosphorus, lysine plus some vitamin E and B. I’ve added cooked quinoa to meatballs and black bean burgers for a healthy and yummy, nutrient boost! (Source: Superfood Snacks by Julie Morris)

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Mediterranean Salmon and Vegetable Quinoa

Mediterranean spiced salmon and vegetable quinoa recipe is a healthy protein-packed meal! Earthy spices roasted lemons and fresh vegetables in each bite.
Pin Print Review
3.84 from 153 votes
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Mediterranean

Ingredients

Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup english cucumbers, diced, seeded
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
  • 4 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • zest of one lemon

Salmon

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 20 ounces salmon fillets, (four 5-ounce pieces)
  • 8 lemon wedges
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped fresh

Instructions 

  • In a medium-sized saucepan with a lid, bring 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups of water, and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil.
  • Cover and reduce to a simmer, cooking about 20 minutes or according to package directions until quinoa is light and fluffy.
  • Turn off the heat and let it sit for at least 5 minutes covered before serving.
  • Right before serving mix in the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, basil, and lemon zest. Meanwhile, make the salmon.
  • In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika.
  • Line a sheet pan or glass dish with foil and lightly grease with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.
  • Transfer salmon fillets to the pan and evenly coat the surface of each fillet with about ½ teaspoon of the spice mixture.
  • Place the lemon wedges at the edges of the pan.
  • Broil on high with the rack placed in the lower third of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until salmon is cooked and flakes apart easily with a fork.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve with roasted lemon wedges and vegetable quinoa.

Recipe Video

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Nutrition Facts
Mediterranean Salmon and Vegetable Quinoa
Amount Per Serving
Calories 222 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 0.1g1%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.3g
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 753mg31%
Potassium 331mg9%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 1800IU36%
Vitamin C 34.7mg42%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 2.5mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Reader Interactions

47 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Wayne says

    I saw this recipe on the I’d Rather Be A Chef blog, and I have got to say that the salman looks oh, so incredibly good! Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you Wayne! Looking forward to hearing what you think about the recipe. Thank you for the comment 🙂

  2. Pamela says

    Looks good, can’t wait to try it! Quick question, is 5-6 oz, referring to each fillet or is it for all 4 fillets?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Pamela! 5-6 ounce per fillet. They are generous portions so you could go 3-4 ounces for smaller portions 🙂

  3. Souline says

    Jessica,
    My husband and I love this recipe and I am going to cook it again when my daughter comes home next month.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Souline! It is so wonderful to hear from you! I love that you are getting in the kitchen and making yummy meals for the family. I’m happy that your family enjoyed the salmon recipe! Please keep writing to me so I can hear about you and your cooking adventures!

  4. Ginny Johnson says

    Just made this tonight and hubby and I loved it! Used tricolor quinoa that I rinsed really well before cooking. Didn’t have fresh salmon so used my frozen files from Wegmans, just made sure to thaw first. Delicious and healthy. Winner.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      So happy to hear that you enjoyed the salmon recipe Ginny! I love the tricolor quinoa from Trader joe’s. Great way to improvise with the frozen fillets!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for your feedback Cecilia! You could always cut back on the seasoning on the salmon and add more salt a pepper to the quinoa to your liking. I hope you give it a try again 🙂

    • Me says

      Well of course she cooks to her liking. You’re supposed to take the recipe and tweak it to YOUR liking. That’s why you try while your cooking so you know its good.

  5. Candi says

    Good, simple recipe. I also added red peppers to the quinoa and drizzled a simple balsamic vinaigrette over it. Very tasty!

  6. Lynette says

    This is such an amazing recipe! Simple, healthy yet tasty and satisfying. Just made it for the first time and it definitely won’t be the last!

  7. Jill R. says

    Hi! I tried this on Friday night for my family–it was SO delicious and filling! Just a question–it was my first time broiling salmon and it took much much longer than the 8-10 minutes. I tried baking my leftover uncooked filet and it was not nearly as good as the broiled version (but still pretty tasty ha!).

    At what temperature should I broil the salmon next time? I’m thinking it may not have been a high enough temp.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Great question Jill! I broil my salmon on the “High” setting. Sometimes the broiler will toggle on and off, so if you need more time just check every few minutes. I definitely like my salmon broiled better too! I have baked salmon at high heat to give it more of a crust at 400F.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes, you can definitely grill the salmon. I like to cut them into smaller individual fillets or put it on a cedar plank if you cook one large fillet.

  8. Newbie says

    I am new at cooking salmon.
    The recipe and comments say nothing about the salmon skin. Do you remove the skin before cooking? If not, cook salmon skin side down or skin side up….or what?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi There! You can cook with the skin on, skin side down. Just remove the salmmon from the skin before serving by using a spatula to release the flesh.

  9. Greg says

    We have made this recipe many times, easily the best salmon meal ever. Our daughter and son in law are foodies and say it’s the best they have ever had. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Kathy says

    Was delicious – I used some Salmon and some Cod – both were fantastic with your spices. I cut the cumin in half and used 1/2 teaspoon of Coriander also. I CUT the Salt to just a tiny sprinkle in water for cooking quinoa – I need LOW Sodium and I figure fish would be enough. This was an amazing dish. I had leftover quinoa and told my husband it would be great cold and added to a toss salad.

  11. Ruth Luevanos says

    My husband and I loved this recipe. Refreshing, healthy, and easy to make. Thank you. This will be a keeper.

  12. Lorette Beylefeld says

    Delicious – Your spice mix for the salmon was fantastic. Only used half the cumin and my kids that don’t eat fish approved and wanted more.

  13. Deb says

    So delicious…I added a fair amount of feta. I thought spice level was just right. Next time salad it up with spinach and artichoke.

  14. Tamara B says

    I absolutely loved this recipe. It was full of color and flavor. The roasted lemons were a nice touch. I also added a sprinkle of capers to the top of the salmon. It was perfection.

    Thank you

  15. jess lahti says

    yummy! i used the whole spice blend on my salmon fillets. paired very well. the basil was my favorite honestly, never would have thought quinoa (which i cooked in partly veg broth) and basil would be bomb?

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