Make this fennel-crusted salmon for a fast but fancy weeknight meal. Whole30, Paleo and Keto-friendly. Fennel and salmon are a match made in heaven. This easy salmon dish can be ready in less than 30 minutes!
Fennel-Crusted Salmon is on my menu today! Not only is it delicious, it makes a quick and easy paleo, Whole30, and Keto-friendly dish that can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. My kind of meal!
Salmon with fennel seeds may be new to you, but you'll love it!
This Keto Fennel-Crusted Salmon is equally as delicious and just as easy as Pistachio-Crusted Salmon. I’ve adapted this recipe from one published in Salmon: The Cookbook –edited by Bill Jones. When I first read this recipe, I was doubtful that the two flavours would mesh, but it's a perfect match. The crusty coating complements the flavour of the salmon without overpowering it.
Wild salmon is a powerhouse of nutrients! Nutritionists recommend that we eat it once or twice a week. It contains two of the most important omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients that our bodies can't produce themselves so we have to obtain them from our food.
It's packed with protein, but Denis and I eat it mainly because it simply tastes so good!
Let's get started on this simple salmon meal!
Ingredients for Crispy Fennel-Crusted Salmon
salmon fillets: use wild-caught salmon that's available where you live. Most frozen salmon has been flash-frozen at sea to preserve its freshness.
olive oil: a little for brushing on the salmon before baking
fennel seeds: you'll be crushing these before coating the fish
peppercorns: you'll grind these too.
You can make Fennel-Crusted Salmon in less than 30 minutes!
Begin by crushing the fennel seeds. You can use a mortar and pestle if you have one, or you can put the seeds in a bag with a zipper closure and smash them with a rolling pin or a mallet. Alternatively, pulse them briefly in a clean coffee grinder.
Crushing them brings out their flavour. Your kitchen will smell amazing!
Remove any pin bones from the salmon fillets if they haven't already been removed. Pat the salmon fillets dry, then brush with a little olive oil on both the flesh side and the skin side.
Sprinkle with a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Now sprinkle with the cracked fennel seeds, pressing gently so they adhere to the salmon.
Heat oil in an oven-proof skillet until very hot, but not smoking. Add the salmon, skin side up.
Sear for a few minutes (3 - 5) depending on the thickness of your fillets. Once the fillets release easily from the pan, flip them over.
Transfer the skillet to a preheated oven. Bake for a few more minutes until the fish flakes easily with a fork but is still a little translucent in the center. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes to finish cooking before serving.
You can also use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness. Once it has reached an internal temperature of 145°F. your salmon is done!
Note: If the fillets are thin, you can finish cooking them on the stove top instead of in the oven.
How can I tell when salmon is done?
It's easy to overcook salmon. Check it at 10 minutes. If it is beginning to flake when poked with a fork, but is still slightly translucent in the center of the fillet, it is probably done. Remember to let it rest for 5 minutes after removing from the oven. It will continue to cook a little on the counter. You can check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. It should be 145°F.
What to serve with Keto Fennel-Crusted Salmon
Remember that salmon cooks quickly, so you'll want to prepare your side dishes or salad first.
Try one of these salad suggestions:
What to do with leftover salmon
Cook too much? Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the fridge. You can gently reheat it for a few minutes in a skillet on the stove top. Or enjoy it cold! Flake it and add it to a salad for lunch. Delicious!
- 4 wild-caught salmon fillets
- 2 tbsp whole fennel seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- Preheat oven to 400°F. If they're very thin, you can cook them on the stove top.
- Rinse salmon and pat dry. Remove pin bones if they have not already been removed.
- Crush the fennel seeds, using either a mortar and pestle, a bag with a zipper closure and a rolling pin, or a mini grinder.
- Brush the fillets with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Coat the fillets with crushed fennel seeds, pressing down gently to help them adhere.
- In an ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the salmon, with the fennel mix side down (skin-side up) and heat for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
- Flip the fillets over and finish cooking in the oven for another 2 - 4 minutes or less, depending on the thickness of the fillets, until the fish flakes easily with a fork. The fish should be a little translucent in the thickest part.
- Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Slip the skin off before serving, if desired.
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