This blackened salmon caesar salad with crispy sourdough croutons and homemade no-mayo caesar dressing makes for the best easy, and healthy weeknight dinner! A high-protein salad recipe everyone will love.
The best homemade salmon caesar salad
My family loves this recipe! We make these caesar salads with blackened salmon, homemade croutons, and healthy dressing every week. It’s so delicious, packed with flavor, and high in protein.
Each part of this salad is a must! The salmon is well-seasoned, pan-seared, and flakey. The croutons are buttery and crisp. And don’t forget about the no-mayo homemade caesar dressing that tops off the crispy and flakey salmon and fresh lettuce base.
The healthy caesar dressing is probably my favorite part. It is the perfect finishing touch made with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, pickle juice, and some seasonings.
What is blackened salmon?
Blackened salmon is a cooking method in which salmon is dry-rubbed with a blend of Cajun spices and then pan-seared at high heat. It looks burned, but trust me, it’s not – the blackened color comes from the seasonings! We use paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
This blackened salmon caesar salad topped with crunchy homemade croutons and no-mayo caesar dressing is delicious and easy to make. It comes together in under 20 minutes and is sure to be a new family favorite. Trust me, you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already. Here is a list of ingredients so you have everything prepared:
- Salmon: This caesar salad recipe serves four, so grab 4 skin-on salmon fillets, so each bowl gets one! Salmon is a great source of healthy protein with omega 3.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: We’ll use some olive oil to pan-sear the salmon and make it crispy on the outside but flaky on the inside.
- Spices: We are making “blackened” salmon, which calls for a mix of paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
No Mayo Caesar Dressing:
- Greek Yogurt: We use non-fat plain Greek yogurt as the base of this mayo-less healthy caesar dressing. You can certainly use 2% or 5% too!
- Lemon Juice: This adds some much-needed tang to our homemade caesar dressing – you need 1 Tablespoon.
- Dijon Mustard: I promise the flavor is not strong, but boy does the two teaspoons of dijon mustard add the best tangy-ness and flavor in place of anchovies.
- Pickle Juice: This is my secret ingredient to make this healthy caesar dressing taste better than the real thing! There are NO anchovies!
- Garlic Cloves: I mean, garlic makes everything taste better. We need two cloves.
Healthy Caesar Salad:
- Romaine Hearts: You need three romaine hearts which is about 5 – 6 cups of chopped. It’s light, crisp, and refreshing – the perfect base for this caesar salad.
- Cherry Tomatoes: I love the taste of sweet cherry tomatoes. Add in 1 cup for the best flavor!
- Parmesan Cheese: You can’t have a caesar salad without shredded or shaved parmesan cheese. Add in 1/3 cup!
Is Caesar salad gluten-free?
Not all caesar salads are gluten-free, since most have croutons. But this caesar salad is 100% gluten-free because we make our own gluten-free crispy croutons!
How to make healthy blackened salmon caesar salad
Blackened salmon caesar salads are so easy to make in under 20 minutes. Here are detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures for any level cook:
First, make one batch of sourdough homemade croutons.
Second, make your healthy caesar salad dressing without anchovies.
Then, combine blackening spices in a small bowl. Pat salmon filets dry with a paper towel, then brush with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil on the flesh side. Sprinkle blackening seasoning on top of the salmon and use your fingers to pat the seasoning mixture in.
After that, add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet and heat medium-high heat. Place salmon flesh-side down into the pan and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, until crisp. Flip the salmon with a spatula and cook for another 5 – 6 minutes until the skin becomes crispy and the salmon is desired doneness. Once done, remove from pan and set to the side to rest.
Finally, divide chopped romaine lettuce and tomatoes between 4 bowls. Add one piece of blackened salmon on top of each; sprinkle parmesan cheese and croutons on top.
Drizzle with the desired amount of homemade caesar dressing, and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best dressing for salmon caesar salads?
This homemade healthy caesar salad dressing without anchovies is the best dressing. It’s made with greek yogurt and not mayo!
Is it healthy?
Yes, this blackened salmon caesar salad is healthy since it is made with simple ingredients; it is high in protein, full of omega 3, and healthy fats. Plus, instead of traditional high-fat dressing, we make our own with Greek yogurt and no mayo!
How to tell if salmon is fully cooked?
There are two ways to tell if salmon is fully cooked. First, you can use a thermometer to see if the thickest part of the salmon fillet reaches the internal temperature of 145°F. Second, you can test it with a fork; the salmon is fully cooked if it flakes apart easily. If you want super well-done salmon, I recommend adding 1 or 2 minutes to the cook times in this recipe.
Is it spicy?
No blackened salmon is not spicy! If you want it to be, add 1/2 tsp red chili flakes. If you are super sensitive to spice, leave off the cayenne pepper.
Can you use frozen salmon?
Yes, just let the frozen salmon filets thaw for 6 hours in the fridge or in a lukewarm water bath for 1 – 2 hours before cooking.
Can you air-fry the salmon?
You can certainly air fryer the salmon instead of pan-frying it. Preheat your air fryer to 380°F, add your crusted salmon fillets skin side down into the basket, and the air fryer for 8 – 12 minutes. I recommend checking at the 6-minute mark to ensure the salmon is cooking properly. You can flip it halfway if you want, but it’s not necessary.
Can you bake the salmon?
You can also bake the salmon. Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Season your salmon filets, then bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until your desired doneness.
Can I meal prep this recipe?
I love making this salad for meal prep by separating each part into an airtight container and storing it in the fridge. You can heat up the salmon separately or enjoy it cold. I highly recommend storing the dressing separately so your salad does not get soggy. When you are ready to enjoy, drizzle your homemade dressing on top!
How to store leftovers:
Store leftover salmon filets in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Keep the salad and the dressing separate. If the salad is already dressed, I don’t recommend storing leftovers since the lettuce will be soggy.
How to reheat blackened salmon:
Reheat blackened salmon in the microwave for 45 – 90 seconds until warm. Then place it on the salad, add the dressing, and enjoy!
If you loved this recipe, try these next!
- Everything Bagel Crusted Salmon
- Healthy Balsamic Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Greek Spinach Salad
- Teriyaki Salmon Buddha Bowl
- Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa
- Air Fryer Teriyaki Salmon Bites
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Healthy Blackened Salmon Caesar Salad
- 1 batch of homemade croutons
- 4 6 oz salmon fillets, skin-on
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 hearts romaine, (5 – 6 cups) chopped
- 1 cup sweet cherry tomatoes, halved
- ⅓ cup shaved or shredded parmesan cheese
- Make your healthy caesar dressing without anchovies and set it to the side or in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
Making Blackened Salmon:
- Combine blackening spices in a small bowl.
- Pat salmon filets dry with a paper towel, then brush with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil on the flesh side.
- Sprinkle blackening seasoning on top of salmon and use your fingers to pat the seasoning mixture in.
- Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet and heat medium-high heat. Place salmon flesh-side down into the pan and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, until crisp. Flip salmon with a spatula and cook for another 5 – 6 minutes until the skin becomes crispy and salmon is desired doneness. Once done, remove from pan and set to the side to rest.
- Divide chopped romaine lettuce and tomatoes between 4 bowls. Add one piece of blackened salmon on top of each. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and croutons on top. Drizzle with desired amount of homemade caesar dressing and enjoy!
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