How to Cook Skinless Salmon

Cook skinless salmon on the grill in a basket, by poaching it in liquid, or by baking in foil.
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The American Heart Association recommends that you eat two 3 1/2-ounce servings of fish, especially fatty fish like salmon, at least twice per week. Get excited about this dietary advice, with a great skinless salmon recipe.


Cook skinless salmon on the grill in a basket, by poaching it in liquid or by baking it in foil. Get delectable fillets every time with a few key techniques.

Advantages of Skinless Salmon

The American Heart Association explains that salmon, in all its forms, is a good source of protein, one that's relatively low in saturated fat. Salmon is also considered a fatty fish, with a rich dietary supply of omega-3 fatty acids.

Read more: How Much Salmon Is Healthy to Eat Per Week?

The journal Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine published research in October 2016. It confirmed that consuming two servings of fatty fish per week, especially when continued for decades, is a behavior directly associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

You might choose skinless salmon, as opposed to salmon with the skin on, for ease of eating. Not everyone enjoys salmon skin on their finished dish. Although the skin on salmon helps retain moisture while the fillet cooks, it can be bothersome to remove once the salmon is cooked. Skinless salmon is also less likely to contain contaminants, says the Washington State Department of Health.

Certain cooking methods are better reserved for skinless salmon. For example, poach salmon without the skin to avoid flaccid, chewy skin that's as inedible as plastic. Grilling salmon without the skin is another delicious cooking method, but is best done with a grill basket. This way, the fish won't break up and fall through the grates.

Bake Skinless Salmon En Papillote

Skinless salmon is more likely to dry out in the oven during roasting or baking. Baking the fish "en papillote," which means enclosing it in parchment or foil (or plastic and steaming or simmering sous vide style), retains moisture and creates a delectable dish.

As the salmon bakes in its packet, steam keeps moisture around the fish. It comes out tender and elegant every time. As an added bonus, this en papillote cooking technique looks fancy and sophisticated, but is easy to execute.

To make perfect salmon en papillote, place your salmon on a cut piece of parchment that's large enough to fold over and encase the fish fillet completely. Layer on any herbs, seasoning, butter, lemons and julienned vegetables that you desire. Delicious additions include tarragon, parsley and thyme.

Fold the packets up, crimping the edges to keep them sealed, and bake them at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit until done — usually about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how thick the fillets are cut. Serve with white rice or roasted potatoes.

Delicate Poached Salmon

A poached, skinless salmon recipe gives you delicate fish that's the perfect medium upon which to highlight rich sauces. Plus it's a heart-healthy method, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Use leftover poached salmon in a salad, such as our Arugula Salad With Salmon and Avocado, or as an ingredient in our Salmon Croquettes recipe.

Poaching involves simmering in water or another liquid. For a basic poached salmon, use water with a few peppercorns and a bay leaf added. Other flavorings might include sliced onions and lemons, fresh thyme and salt. Alternatively, fish or vegetable stock may be used as part of a poached skinless salmon recipe.

Read more: The Best Fish for Heart Health — and 6 Recipes to Keep Your Ticker in Top Shape

You need just enough liquid to cover the salmon fillet (or fillets). No need to place them in deep water. Bring the liquid to a high heat and then lower it to a strong simmer — do not let it boil. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and allow the fish to cook for 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve poached salmon with's Sauteed Spinach, alongside steamed green beans in a vinaigrette or atop a butter lettuce salad. Poached salmon is also delicious cold, with a creamy dill sauce.