Tender pan seared salmon over a bed of flavorful zucchini noodles covered in a creamy sauce with avocado and peppery arugula!
This meal has quickly become one of my favorite things to make for friends and family. It is super simple to make and uses minimal ingredients, but it always impresses whoever I’m serving! It’s perfect for summer as it uses zucchini and cherry tomatoes, both of which are delicious this time of year. Roasting the cherry tomatoes makes them extra juicy and sweet, and they add the best burst of flavor that contrasts the herby sauce so well!
Zucchini noodles are a great swap for pasta or grains if you’re looking for a lighter meal, but the healthy fats from the salmon and avocado keep this recipe super satiating and satisfying! I find myself craving different things depending on the time of year. During the winter I’m all about hearty grain bowls, root vegetables, and warm bowls of pasta, but during the summer I find myself craving more fresh, hydrating foods, and this dish is one of my favorite summer dinners!
Salmon is one of my favorite proteins. Not only is it delicious, but it’s high in Omega 3 fatty acids which are often lacking in American diets. Omega 3’s support a healthy heart, reduce inflammation, and are great for strong hair and nails.
This recipe is a bit of a happy accident. When I first first testing it, I had the sauce made, the zucchini spiralized, and the salmon coated in avocado oil when my oven completely broke. I had planned to broil the salmon, which is how I usually cook it, but without an oven I had no other option but to try cooking it in a pan, and I must say I am SO happy I did! Pan searing the salmon on a medium-high creates crispy edges on the outside but keeps the center super juicy and tender. If you’ve never cooked salmon in a pan, prepare to be amazed!
I like the keep the zucchini noodles raw for this recipe. They naturally soften after being tossed with the sauce and I find cooking them causes them to release water easily, making the dish a little soggy. If you prefer zucchini noodles warm, I recommend sautéing them lightly for just a few minutes in some avocado oil, then placing them in a separate bowl and tossing with the sauce.
I am so excited to be sharing this recipe, and can’t wait to hear your thoughts! Remember to tag me on Instagram or comment below if you try it out!
- For the sauce:
- ½-1 avocado, depending on the size (I used about ⅔ of a medium one)
- 2 tbsp water
- ½ cup arugula
- ¼ cup parsley
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ tsp salt
- For the dish:
- 4 zucchinis, spiralized* (about 6 cups of noodles)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 4-6 oz fillets of wild salmon
- avocado oil
- 2 tsp of lemon juice
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and cover with a few teaspoons of avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Roast them for 15-20 minutes, until juicy and slightly blistered.
- Next make the sauce. Place all the ingredients with a few cracks of black pepper in a food processor (I find it's easiest to use a small one) and process on high until creamy. Add more avocado to thicken or water to thin if necessary. Toss the zucchini noodles with the sauce in a bowl and let sit.
- Preheat a large frying pan over medium heat. Coat the salmon filets in avocado oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Place each filet (skin side down if it has skin) in the heated frying pan and let them sear for 4 minutes. Then, flip each filet and let them cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until cooked through. If the sides still look too pink, turn the heat down slightly and let them cook for a few more minutes.
- When everything is done, divide the zucchini noodles between two bowls and top with a salmon filet, the roasted cherry tomatoes, and a sprinkle of pine nuts. Enjoy!