This Tuscan butter salmon recipe will help you recreate a dreamy, restaurant-quality dish in your own home and an ideal treat for National Italian Food Day (February 13).
Are you looking for salmon fillets bathed in rich spinach-cream sauce that absolutely melt in your mouth? If so, our Tuscan butter salmon recipe is just what you need.
Not only that, but the whole meal comes together quickly. Four servings of rich salmon with crisp salad and fresh juice can be ready in 45 minutes (or even quicker with pre-prepped ingredients).
If you’re in a hurry, click here to get the full ingredient list. Or, spend some time and get to know this savory Italian staple.
What Is “Tuscan”?
Most people know about Italian food, but there’s actually more to it. Italy hasn’t always been unified, so its regions offer a lot of individuality.
Therefore, each region in Italy has its own specialty cuisines, and the people in Tuscany are no exception.
Tuscan culinary philosophy is based on the idea of “cucina poverta”, or “poor cooking.” It means Tuscan meals are built upon inexpensive ingredients and can be created following simple steps.
This philosophy also influences the spice choices. Tuscan cuisine limits itself to only a few spices, so they need to be as fresh and high-quality as possible.
We tried to keep this spirit alive in our Tuscan butter salmon recipe by using just a few ingredients and keeping things simple. After the final tasting, we were all satisfied and full; no one held back!
Is Tuscan Butter Salmon Healthy?
Tuscan butter salmon is one of those dishes that is actually quite healthy if done right, even though it doesn’t look the part.
First of all, our version is neither too salty nor too fatty. We took it easy on the salt, and kept our eyes on the butter and milk so the saturated fat doesn’t exceed what’s allowed.
Specifically, each serving of this Tuscan butter salmon recipe has less than 500mg sodium and 8g saturated fat. These come in at about 21.7% and 34%, respectively, of the USDA healthy eating guideline’s daily recommendation on these nutrients.
Not only does this dish maintain reasonable levels of saturated fat and sodium, it also provides omega 3 from the salmon. Omega 3 fatty acids are highly recommended by experts, as they help to build a healthy body.
Also, cooked into the cream sauce is a handful of spinach, which packs immune-supporting vitamins C, and A, plus plenty of minerals.
Finally, we chose to pair the dish with a salad and a glass of juice, giving you nothing but necessary nutrients.
If you fancy salmon and its impressive health benefits, here are a few from us to include in your meal plan:
- Salmon meuniere: a fancy French staple that includes flaky salmon drenched in a glossy sauce, and well-seasoned potatoes.
- Broiled salmon: a super meal with tender salmon served on a bed of fragrant quinoa.
- Miso Salmon: both a Japanese take on salmon and a salmon take on the Japanese staple. Each fillet is coated in a fragrant, tantalizing glaze.
- Maple Glazed Salmon: Turn plain filets into a Japanese-inspired dish using ambrosial maple syrup flavors with butter and garlic; yum!
- Pan Fried Salmon: Done in under 15 minutes, the dish features salt and pepper-seasoned filets served atop a bed of fennel and arugula.
- Salmon Burger: This toothsome dish presents a healthy alternative to Saturday night takeout meals with an easy, meaty, mouthwatering burger.
How to Make Tuscan Butter Salmon
Here’s an overview of our Tuscan butter salmon recipe:
Season the fillets
Sear the fillets
Take them out and cook the spinach with garlic and butter
Add in cream sauce ingredients and seared salmon, and simmer
Add lemon juice in at the last minute
Sprinkle with parsley and serve
For a full, detailed version of this, refer to our recipe card down below.
How Do You Know if Salmon Is Done?
We have cooked plenty of salmon fillets, including salmon baked in puff pastry. Ending up with a perfectly cooked fillet is really easy, and here are the basic rules our chefs swear by:
- Number one: either get fresh salmon, or thaw the fillets before cooking. It allows the salmon to cook evenly and helps you avoid a cooked-exterior-cold-center kind of situation.
- Number two: sear the salmon skin first thing, then flip if necessary. This crisps up the skin, which makes it a lot more pleasing to eat.
If the dish doesn’t require searing, it’s best to remove the skin before cooking.
- Number three: cook the fillets in a 350-360°F oven or over medium heat, and measure the inner temperature after about 10 minutes. Salmon fillets of different thickness cook differently, so this is the only way to be sure.
We don’t mention rule #3 in our salmon recipes because we already tried and knew exactly when the salmon’s cooked. Following our recipes, you need nothing but a timer.
Cooking Salmon Fillets Without Thawing
Sometimes, you don’t have the time to thaw the fillets (or you simply forgot), and that’s okay. There’s still a work-around.
First, crank the oven to 400°F and take out your trusty baking dish. Place the frozen fillets in, cover the dish in foil to lock the moisture in, and bake for about 10 minutes.
The fillets will come out thawed or partially cooked, depending on their thickness. At this point, they’re ready to be cooked however you want— sear, broil, bake, etc.
If you have a meat thermometer, stick it in the middle to make sure the temperature reaches 145°F as you cook. This is the safe temperature to which salmon needs to be cooked, according to the FDA.
How Long Does Tuscan Butter Salmon Last?
The USDA states that cooked fish can last for up to 4 days in the fridge, and 2 months in the freezer. We encourage you to wrap everything tightly before refrigerating, so no air that potentially carries bioaerosol gets in, maximizing the food’s lifespan.
What to Serve with Tuscan Butter Salmon
Since the dish is filled with fats, we want a tangy, crisp salad to cut the richness. Nothing’s easier and quick to make like our Greek salad.
When the meal’s done, round it all up with a refreshing glass of juice. Celery’s been the hype for packing antioxidants, so we mixed in pineapple juice and they’re just meant to be.
Or learn a skill or two on cooking salmon patties and how to make a perfect meal for dinner parties using the following recipes.
Delicious Salmon Dinners:
- Lemon Pepper Salmon. A pleasant butter sauce that turns simple fillets into an irresistible dish with a side of roasted broccoli and potatoes.
- Blackened Salmon Tacos. A scrumptious taco dish centering around Cajun-seasoned fish with a tasty mango salsa that will get you salivating.
- Honey Mustard Salmon. A filling meal that teeters on the edge of sweet and delivers a zesty kick thanks to the lemon and chili seasoning.
- Poached Salmon. Making salmon has never been easier than with these simple poached filets accompanied by a creamy tomato and parsley sauce!
- Parmesan Crusted Salmon. Shredded cheese and breadcrumbs make these filets irresistibly crunchy with a melted parmesan layer for a delightful eat.
- Salmon Piccata. A classic lemon and capers sauce dresses the filets elegantly, imparting a spicy, vibrant, and tasteful layer to a savory meal.
Tuscan Butter Salmon Recipe
- 20 oz boneless salmon 4 fillets
- 1/2 tsp salt divided
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper divided
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- 2 oz spinach
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 0.5 oz parmesan cheese grated
- 4 oz cherry tomatoes finely chopped
- 2 tbsp basil sliced
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 13.5 oz cooked rotini from around 2 cups dry rotini
- 1 tbsp parsley minced
- Rub 20 oz salmon fillets with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet. Sear the salmon fillets skin-side down for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Take the fillets out of the skillet and place them on a dish. Add 1 tbsp butter, 2 tsp garlic to the skillet and when it’s fragrant, add 2 oz spinach to cook for 2 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 0.5 oz parmesan, 4 oz chopped tomatoes, and 2 tbsp basil. Stir around, and add the seared fillets in. Simmer for 5 minutes. This softens the tomatoes and allows the spinach, salmon to absorb flavors.
- Drizzle in 1 tsp lemon juice and cook for 1 minute. We don’t add lemon juice in too soon, as cooking it for a long time makes it bitter.
- Serve: place cooked rotini in the middle of your serving plate. Put one fillet on top, and portion out the sauce and spinach to drizzle over. Sprinkle with parsley.