Salmon with Tomato, Onions, and Capers

If fresh tomatoes aren't in season, use a 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes.

Don't use wine in cooking? Just sub with more water and an additional 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of capers, drained
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped jalapeño peppers (no seeds, no stem, no ribs) either fresh or pickled
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 fresh salmon fillets, 1/2 pound each


1 Sauté the onions and garlic: In a large, wide (at least 12 inches wide) saucepan (one that comes with a cover), heat olive oil on medium heat.

Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.


2 Add tomatoes, thyme, lemon zest and juice, capers, jalapeño, salt, pepper: Raise the heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, and jalapeño peppers.

Simmer for 10 minutes, adding a little water if needed to prevent the sauce from getting too dry. Salt and pepper to taste.


3 Add wine and water: Add 1/3 a cup of white wine - a simple Chardonnay will work. Add 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a simmer.

4 Add salmon fillets, cover and cook: Place the fillets in the pan on top of the sauce, skin side down, if the fillets are still in their skin. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low.

salmon-tomato-onion-capers-method-3 salmon-tomato-onion-capers-method-4

Cook for 4-7 minutes, depending on how thick the cuts of fish are. Poke the fish with a fork and look for doneness. The fish should still be a little rare in the middle, but not raw.

Serve immediately, with tomato sauce generously applied.

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  • Dawn

    We made this last night with a few changes. We added half of a red and green bell pepper, black olives and switched to chives instead of onion (low FODMAP diet). It was absolutely delicious with jasmine rice. I loved that it is so easy to check when the salmon is done, giving us some of the most moist and fabulous tasting salmon we have ever had. Wonderful recipe, thank you Elise!


  • Jelena

    Thanks for another great recipe, enjoyed it the other day. However, my family isn’t fond of capers and I’m thinking of a possible substitute. Olives? Thanks in advance!

  • Stephanie

    What a flavourful dish…thanks for posting this recipe. It will definitely be one of our favourite salmon dishes from now onwards!!!


  • Emily

    This was fantastic! Easy to prepare, elegant and delicious. My two-year-old enjoyed it, as well. Bonus! Thanks for another great recipe.


  • Todd

    This is wonderful. And I love how helpful the comments on the site are. Thanks!

  • Cathy Harmon

    My husband and I loved all the flavours in this recipe. This is the second winning recipe in a week I have tried from your collection; you have some really good ideas. Thank you!


  • KalynsKitchen

    Oh yes, this sounds amazing. I am crazy about capers, so they always get my attention. Thanks for the shout-out for my grilled salmon recipe too.

  • Michael

    As with most of your recipes this is really appreciated. A suggestion, if you don’t mind, an indication of what to serve with the dish would be very welcome. I live in Spain and regrettably some of your recipes contain ingredients that are not available here, however, I make do wherever possible. Thank you

  • Isabel Laessig

    Hi Elise,
    Thank you so much for posting my recipe link. You are truly that best! Looking forward to trying your version of this delicious dish. It is a favorite at our house.

  • Randi Lesnick

    This recipe sounds delicious! …However, I’m predisposed against poaching fish. Not generally my favorite. So here’s my question: Would it work for me to compromise, by searing the salmon (only about 1 minute on the flesh side, then proceeding with your directions for poaching?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Randi, sure, why not? I would sear first, remove the fish from the pan, make the sauce, and return the fish to the pan.

  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today

    Poached salmon is sth new for me. Sounds delicious, thank you for sharing.

  • Lisa

    This was great! I was looking for a last minute switch to salmon (from tri tip!) and of course checked here first! I had everything but the tomatoes so I used a can of diced and kept everything the same except didn’t add the water; excellent! Served with risotto in the pressure cooker and homemade bread and everyone raved! Thank you sooo much for all the raves I’ve been awarded since finding your site!


  • Vee

    Great and tasty meal will be cooking again.


  • Stephanie

    This was wonderful. I made it for my family and my picky grandma was here and I was convinced she wouldn’t like it, she loved it! Thanks for the recipe


  • Don'Avonne

    I really do love this recipe. I make it for all my guest.. I even made it once for one of my friends mother from Germany. and she loved it so much she begged me (hardly speaking English) for the recipe. she kept the left over tomato sauce from the salmon to put on a baguette the morning after. Thank you so much for this Recipe.


  • Holly

    I made this the other night and it was really good!


  • Wayne

    This was a great recipe…
    Thanks for sharing…
    I had a bottle of capers just begging for use.
    The tastes blended well together.


  • Alicia

    I really enjoyed this recipe, I eat salmon all the time and this was a new, tasty way to prepare it. Even my 2 year old enjoyed it! Thanks!


  • Julie

    This was one of the best salmon dishes I had in a while! Thanks for the recipe!


  • Leea

    Made this for dinner guest, had a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and used instead of fresh. Everyone really enjoyed this dish.