Tuscan salmon bathed in a sun-dried tomato, Parmesan, garlic cream sauce on your table in 30 minutes! This Tuscan Salmon recipe looks and tastes gourmet but is a quick and easy one pot wonder the whole family will be raving about! The Tuscan salmon is buttery tender, juicy, succulent and gloriously flavorful thanks to a light dredging in seasoned flour before being nestled in the luscious Parmesan cream sauce spiked with both tangy sun-dried tomatoes and sweet, bursting cherry tomatoes. The sauce is lightened up by using chicken broth and cornstarch along with the heavy cream (or evaporated milk) so you can indulge away. Serve this creamy Tuscan salmon over mashed potatoes (highly recommend!), pasta or rice along with an apple salad and garlic bread and you have a spectacular, simple, saucy, repeat favorite simple enough for every day, exquisite enough for company or special occasion (I’m looking at you Valentine’s Day!).
Servings 4 servings
- 4 6-8 oz. skinless salmon fillets
- 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tsp EACH salt, garlic powder, onion powder
- 1/2 tsp EACH pepper, paprika
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Creamy Tuscan Sauce
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes rinsed, drained, roughly chopped
- 1 shallot minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- pinch-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk + 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp EACH dried parsley, dried basil (or 1 TBS EACH FRESH)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups baby spinach optional
Pat fillets dry with paper towels. Whisk flour and salmon seasonings together in a small bowl/plate. Add salmon and season all sides. Shake off excess flour.
Heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add salmon and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Flip salmon over, reduce heat to medium and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, or to desired doneness, then remove to a plate. Don’t wipe out the skillet.
Melt butter with one tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes jar over medium heat with the drippings in the pan. Once hot, add cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and shallots; sauté until shallots are softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low and stir in heavy cream; mix chicken broth with cornstarch and add to the skillet. Stir in parsley, basil and oregano.
Bring sauce to a simmer while scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan; simmer until sauce thickens to desired consistency, stirring often.
Once thickened, reduce heat to medium-low and stir in Parmesan cheese. Cook, while stirring until melted, 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I use about 1/8 teaspoon each). Stir spinach into the sauce and cook 1-2 minutes, just until wilted.
Add salmon to the skillet and warm through to soak up the sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired
Tips for Success
- How to tell when salmon is done: As salmon cooks, it changes from bright pink (raw) to opaque pink. The outside of the salmon should be completely opaque but the center should still be a bit translucent, but not raw. If the salmon is completely opaque all the way through, it won't be as juicy and tender. America’s Test kitchen suggests cooking your salmon to about 125 degrees F (52 degrees C) to avoid dry, overcooked salmon. This is the guideline I go by and the results are always perfect after a 5-minute rest.
- Remove salmon from the fridge. Never cook salmon cold straight from the refrigerator otherwise it will cook unevenly. Instead, remove the fish from the refrigerator about 15 to 20 minutes before you’re ready to start cooking.
- Do NOT rinse the fillets. You should NOT rinse your fish before baking! The USDA cautions: “do not rinse raw fish, seafood, meat, and poultry. Bacteria in these raw juices can splash and spread to other foods and surfaces. Cooking foods thoroughly will kill harmful bacteria.”
- Don’t cook tomatoes in aluminum or cast iron. These metals can chemically react with the tomatoes and make them taste bitter and metallic. Stainless steel is ideal (much stronger metal than aluminum), as it never reacts with food. I love this stainless-steel pan. You can also use a nonstick skillet.
- Use fresh Parmesan. Use freshly grated Parmesan for the best flavor and for the best melting ability. Pre-shredded cheeses are coated in anti-clumping chemicals which inhibits their melting ability.
- Use FINELY grated Parmesan. When shredding the Parmesan, make sure you are using the smallest, prickly holes of the grater so it becomes powdery.
- Thin sauce, if needed. If the sauce becomes thicker than you like, then stir in additional chicken broth a little at a time.
How to Store and Reheat
- Storage: This Tuscan salmon will last up for four days in the fridge if stored in an airtight container.
- To reheat in microwave: Microwave for 1 minute, then continue to heat at 20-second intervals until warmed through.
- To reheat on the stove: Transfer salmon and sauce to a skillet and heat over medium-low until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of chicken broth to thin the sauce.v