Poached Salmon

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Whether you are entertaining a crowd or making a simple meal for one, there’s nothing more easy, healthy, and delicious than poached salmon. This is my hands down favorite way to prepare salmon, because it’s so quick!

Start to finish it takes only 15 minutes (at least with a small fillet), and it doesn’t stink up the kitchen the way broiling or frying salmon can.

The method we use is “shallow poaching”. Rather than submerging the salmon into a poaching liquid, we rest it on a bed of shallots, parsley, and dill, with a little white wine and water, bring to a simmer, cover and cook. The salmon cooks gently and absorbs the flavors of the aromatics.

Poached Salmon Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 or more, depending on the size of the fillet


  • 1 to 1½ pounds salmon fillets, pin bones removed
  • Salt
  • ½ cup dry white wine (a good Sauvignon Blanc)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced or a few thin slices of onion
  • Several sprigs of fresh dill or sprinkle of dried dill
  • A sprig of fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • A few slices of fresh lemon to serve


1 Sprinkle the salmon fillets with a little salt. Put the wine, water, dill, parsley and shallots or onions in a sauté pan, and bring to a simmer on medium heat.

2 Place salmon fillets, skin-side down on the pan. Cover.

3 Cook 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet, or to desired done-ness. Do not overcook.

Serve sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper and a slice or two of lemon.

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Shallow poaching versus deep poaching - an explanation on Wikipedia

Poached Salmon

Feed a crowd with a large fillet poached in a fish poacher or a pan wide enough to hold the whole fillet. Add enough white wine and water to cover the bottom of the pan by at least 1/4 of an inch.

Showing 4 of 47 Comments

  • Matt

    Try adding sliced potatoes and carrots under the fish for a complete meal!

  • Amanda H Kennedy

    I had this for 6 guests and not only is it great it is easy and doesn’t take you away from them. It cooks quickly and if it’s all ready to put in the skillet when they arrive it’s literally 8 minutes with no tending. Fabulous! Everyone thought I was a gourmet. ha ha!

  • Ronald Lee Wheeler

    I tried the recipe, it was delicious, I love to try new and different things.
    Ron Lee

  • Elizabeth

    This was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I was a little skeptical on how it would taste since the preparation was SO easy but my family was totally blown away by how tasty it was! Thank for such a perfect salmon recipe. It will be my new go-to way to prepare it!

  • Linda

    I had never poached salmon before, by the way, and this is my new go to way. I also cooked some greens, so served salmon on a bed of greens and the onion, parsley and dill (also added a few slices of red bell pepper for color).

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