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Baked Salmon & Lentils

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One of my favorite places in my neighborhood market is this fantastic Middle Eastern market, always overflowing with fresh pita bread and naan, endless $1 spices by the scoop, and all of the nuts, grains, and everything Middle Eastern you could dream of. But more than anything, I love the great guys who run the place. And now that I live across the street, we get to see each other wonderfully often.

So yesterday when I walked over to pick up a few scoops of lentils, they of course asked what was on the menu. As soon as I mentioned “salmon”, their elderly mother who was sitting behind the counter immediately started talking a million miles an hour in her native language. Her son translated, “She says you must cook salmon and lentils this way — cumin, coriander, cilantro, salt, pepper and a nice bit of lemon juice. It is the best way. You will love it.”

So I scrapped my plans and decided to give her version of baked salmon and lentils a try. Sure enough, this sweet lady was right — this was delightful! I used the spices and some red onions to season the lentils, and ended up just cooking the baked salmon plain with some salt and pepper. And while I often find myself guilty of packing in too many extra spices, I actually loved how simple and mild this dish was. One of my friends who was iffy about salmon even gave the recipe a thumbs up when we shared it for dinner tonight. Success!

Definitely one of my new favorite baked salmon recipes. Look forward to making it again soon!


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Baked Salmon & Lentils

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  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


Simple baked salmon is served with mildly-spiced lentils. A healthy and delicious dish!


  • 1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 salmon filets
  • half a red onion, diced
  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lemon, quartered


  1. Preheat broiler. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then mist with oil or cooking spray.
  2. Place salmon filets on the baking sheet, and brush each with about 1 teaspoon of the oil. Season liberally with salt and black pepper. Broil for 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through. (Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your salmon.)
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced red onion and saute for 2 minutes until partially cooked. Add the lentils, cumin, coriander, black pepper and salt, and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until the lentils are heated through. Remove from heat and stir in fresh cilantro.
  4. Serve lentils topped with the fresh salmon, sprinkled with the juice from the lemons to taste.

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22 comments on “Baked Salmon & Lentils”

  1. So jealous… We don’t have any Middle Eastern markets out here! The salmon sounds wonderful… can’t wait to give it a try since it includes most of my favorite spices.

    Beautiful photos, as always :)

  2. Love that you gave the Middle Eastern flavors a try!! (I’m a little biased..we are Middle Eastern.) :-) Salmon and lentils are a match made in heaven – looks delish.

  3. This looks DELICIOUS! I’ve never thought to put salmon and lentils together but I need to try it now because this looks too good to pass up!

  4. This is so refreshing to see. I’m so full of sugary treats lately that I need a break!!

  5. while i’m sure your plans for the salmon were going to be wonderful, I am completely in love with today’s dish. It must have been fate drawing inspiration from her idea. I love middle eastern dishes, the flavors, spices, everything. Salmon is my favorite fish as well. Oh and I love lentils! I’m saving this one Ali – it looks divine!

  6. This sounds so perfect! I love the pieces of onion and the lemon sounds like a perfect addition!

  7. I love that you took that lady’s random advice, she sounds wonderful even from your one sentence about her! This does look like a winner.

  8. That’s so cool how you came up with this recipe! Love friendly grocery store people, especially ethnic ones that teach you something you might not have known! This looks so delicious!!

  9. That market sounds amaaazing. I’d love to get my hands on all of that homemade bread and spices. My hubs would adore this salmon!

  10. My Saudi friends make the best salmon… they use something red….paprika?

  11. I guess it’s kind of bad that I don’t know what lentils are. Will check that out! The salmon looks amazing. :)

    • Whoa – do they not have lentils over there? The differences in food around the world always fascinates me! Lentils are one of my favorites — tiny little beans that take on the flavor of whatever you cook them with. Very popular in Middle Eastern food too. :)

  12. Yum this recipe looks divine!

    I’m hosting a link party and would love if you would share this post!

    Merry Christmas!

    Put A Bird On It

  13. I have dried lentils! How do I cook them?!
    Was planning on making this for dinner tomorrow night. 

    • Hey Kira! You want to make sure you sort and rinse the lentils first. Then bring 1½ cups water or stock to a boil for each cup of dried lentils. Once the liquid is boiling add the lentils, return to a boil, then bring them down to a simmer, partially covered, until they’re tender, (30 to 45 minutes). We hope that helps, and that you enjoy the recipe!

  14. This was delicious! I added some shredded green cabbage and green apples to this recipe and it was a hit! My boyfriend who normally eats the stuff he doesn’t like first left this till second to last, last being the salmon.