Last updated on August 17th, 2023 at 09:34 amJump to Recipe
Creamy Tuscan Salmon [Video]
Tuscan Salmon is an easy one-pan meal featuring pan-seared salmon in a creamy sauce with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and Italian flavors. Because the meal comes together quickly, this is one of our favorite salmon recipes for an easy weeknight dinner.
I love making delicious and easy fish dishes, as they come together quickly, taste great, and usually are healthier. If you love salmon, I recommend you also try our other popular fish recipes, such as Oven Roasted Mahi Mahi, Oven Roasted Spanish Mackerel, and Mediterranean Salmon.
Creamy Garlic Tuscan Salmon
Tuscan Salmon with sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan, and cream is such an easy and delicious dinner, that you can make in less than 20 minutes. The meal is full of flavor and satisfying, while made in a very short time. These pan-seared salmon filets are super juicy and tender on the inside.
I used fresh Atlantic filet Salmon for this recipe, as it tends to be tastier than the frozen version. However, you can use frozen fish if you want to save some dollars. Just make sure you thaw the fish before cooking.
The salmon is cooked in one pan, making the cooking and cleaning process easier. The sun-dried tomatoes truly bring the flavors to another level in this dish. The fresh spinach compliments the fish well, which everyone seems to love. The cream and Parmesan provide a thick and dense aroma, resulting in a buttery and flaky meal that melts in your mouth.
How to make Creamy Tuscan Salmon?
For exact instructions, please refer to the recipe card below. Also, I have included a short step-by-step video to make it easier to understand the cooking process. Below are the steps:
- Sautee salmon: First, place a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add some olive oil. Then, cut the salmon into 2 or 3 pieces and season with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, add the fish to the pan and cook on both sides for about 2-3 minutes. It should still be slightly pink in the center.
- Rest it: Remove salmon from pan and transfer to a plate, cover with foil. Set aside.
- Make the sauce: Next, add diced onion to the same pan and cook for 1 minute stirring from time to time. Add minced garlic and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Stir and cook for another minute. Add fresh spinach, stir, and cook for 1 minute and add salt, pepper, dried basil, and Italian seasoning herbs. Stir and toss until the spinach is wilted.
- Add the cream and parmesan: Next, add heavy cream, stir to combine, and cook for a few minutes, until the cream just slightly starts to simmer. Reduce heat to low-medium. Then, add grated parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese is fully melted. Taste and adjust the sauce for salt and pepper.
- Add salmon back to the pan: Add the salmon back to the pan, skin side down, scoop, and pour some of the sauce on top of it, and cook it in the sauce for about 3-5 minutes, or until heated through. Baste the salmon from time to time. Serve the Tuscan salmon dish immediately with some bread for dipping.
Tuscan Salmon Recipe Variations:
- Use another fish type: If you don’t like salmon, substitute it with tilapia, halibut, trout, cod, or even tuna!
- Add some wine: For enhanced flavor, add a bit of dry white wine.
- Other veggies: Additionally, you can add chopped cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and zucchini. Simply, drizzle everything with olive oil, garlic, and herbs, then roast until the salmon is cooked and the vegetables are tender.
- Tuscan Chicken: Substitute the fish with chicken, and turn this into Tuscan Chicken Pasta.
Is salmon healthy?
Do you know that salmon is a superfood? It contains omega-3 fatty acids, best known for its heart health benefits. By eating salmon or other fatty fish such as lake trout, mackerel, herring, and albacore tuna, you can protect your heart!
The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two 3.5-ounce servings of non-fried fish per week.
What is the difference between Tuscan sauce and Alfredo sauce?
Both sauces have an Italian origin with a distinct taste and creamy texture. Also, they are both mainly used as pasta sauces. However, there are a few key differences between the two.
Alfredo sauce is rich buttery, and creamy, and its main ingredients are butter, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese.
On the other hand, the Tuscan sauce is made with olive oil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and sometimes cream. It uses sun-dried tomatoes and spinach as the main distinction, which gives it a more savory and tangy taste.
Do you pan-sear salmon with the skin on?
- The best way to prepare the Tuscan Salmon is to pan-sear it. Also, for the best sear, you will need the pan to be as hot as possible.
- To begin, cook it skin side up for 3-4 minutes, or until the flesh is golden brown. Then flip the fish, searing the skin side.
- To make this homemade recipe, you will remove the seared fish from the pan temporarily so that the sauce can be made.
Can I use a different type of cream or milk?
Heavy cream is traditionally used for its rich and luxurious texture. However, you can experiment with alternatives like half-and-half or whole milk for a lighter version.
Can I make it vegan or non-dairy?
Yes, you can create a non-dairy or vegan version by using plant-based alternatives like coconut cream or cashew cream instead of dairy cream. Simply, replace butter with olive oil and use plant-based protein like tofu or tempeh instead of salmon.
What to serve with Tuscan salmon?
Some of our favorite side dishes are:
- Salad: Pair it with cucumber salad or corn salad.
- Veggies: Such as broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, roasted rosemary potatoes, or mashed potatoes
- Pasta: The delicious and creamy sauce is perfect over a bed of pasta.
- White or brown rice
More salmon recipes you might love:
Can I make it ahead of time?
While this dish is best served fresh, you can prepare components ahead of time. You can cook the salmon ahead, and make the sauce separately, then combine and reheat them before serving.
Can I freeze creamy Tuscan salmon?
Usually, cream-based sauces separate when frozen and thawed. If you want to freeze leftovers, consider freezing the cooked salmon and sauce separately. Then, thaw in the refrigerator and reheat gently.
- When possible, choose wild-caught fish, as it tastes better and is healthier.
- Also, make sure the salmon has a nice, vibrant color, and that it looks fresh and moist.
- To save some money, you can use frozen filets. Make sure to thaw before cooking.
- Because cream sauces can separate over time, this is one of the salmon recipes that is best eaten the day it is made.
- If you have leftovers, refrigerate them in an airtight container and try to use them within 1-2 days.
- Gently simmer the sauce to avoid separating and curdling.
Creamy Tuscan Salmon
- 1 lb fresh salmon skin on
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil drained and roughly chopped
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning herbs
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup parmesan grated
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- Place a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil.
- Cut salmon into 2 or 3 pieces and season with salt and pepper.
- Once the oil is hot, add salmon to the pan and cook on both sides for about 2-3 minutes. The salmon should still be slightly pink in the center.
- Remove salmon from pan and transfer to a plate, cover with foil. Set aside.
- Add diced onion to the same pan and cook for 1 minute stirring from time to time. Add minced garlic and chopped sun dried tomatoes. Stir and cook for another minute.
- Add fresh spinach, stir and cook for 1 minute and add salt, pepper, dried basil and Italian seasoning herbs. Stir and toss until the spinach is wilted.
- Add heavy cream, stir to combine and cook for a few minutes, until the cream just slightly starts to simmer.
- Reduce heat to low-medium.
- Add grated parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese is fully melted. Taste and adjust the sauce for salt and pepper.
- Add the salmon back to the pan, skin side down, scoop and pour some of the sauce on top of the salmon and cook it in the sauce for about 3-5 minutes, or until heated through. Baste the salmon from time to time.
- Serve immediately.
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