Instant Pot Salmon (Fresh or Frozen)

Cooking salmon in the Instant Pot is quick and easy, whether you’re using fresh or frozen fillets. I love this hands-off method for preparing it as an easy weeknight dinner. It’s ready in less than 20 minutes!

Instant Pot Salmon with broccoli

Benefits of Salmon

Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which according to the Mayo Clinic may help to reduce your risk of dying from a heart attack. Your body cannot create omega-3 fatty acids on its own, so it’s essential that you get them from your diet. Fish is a great source of two types of these fatty acids, EPA and DHA, and you can find another type, ALA, in plant-based sources like walnuts and flax seeds.

Salmon is also a great source of protein and B vitamins. Just 4 ounces provides 22-23 grams of protein per serving! The vitamins in salmon may help to reduce inflammation and maintain optimal brain function, too.

fresh or frozen salmon in the instant pot

Which type of Salmon is Best?

When shopping for fish, be sure to look for wild-caught Alaskan salmon. In many cases, farmed salmon can be exposed to more chemicals than the wild-caught variety, and because the farmed salmon is fed high-fat feed to produce larger fish, it also tends to be higher in fat and calories than the wild caught variety.

Can Salmon be Cooked from Frozen?

Yes! All you have to do is add 2 minutes to the cooking cycle. This is why I love the Instant Pot– it takes the hassle out of thawing the fish first, and you can often save money by purchasing it frozen, too.

Can I Cook Vegetables at the Same Time in the Instant Pot?

Yes, sort of. Vegetables turn to MUSH if you cook them at high pressure for 3 minutes.

Total mush.

So, instead of cooking the fish for the full 3 minutes, I recommend cooking it for just 1 minute, then quickly releasing the pressure, removing the lid, and adding your vegetables on top. Secure the lid again then use the manual setting to cook on high pressure for 0 minutes (yes, zero minutes– you read that right) and when the timer beeps again, quickly turn the pressure release valve to venting to release the pressure again. Everything should be cooked perfectly that way!

salmon and broccoli in the Instant Pot

When cooking salmon in the Instant Pot (Here’s an affiliate link to the 6-quart model I use) I’ve found that I can’t get much flavoring to “stick” to the salmon, so I prefer to whip up a seperate sauce in my blender while it’s cooking away.

If you love the Maple Dijon Salmon in my first book, Everyday Detox, try serving my Honey Dijon Dressing over the top for a similar flavor.

Instant Pot Salmon (Fresh or Frozen
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Here's my go-to method for cooking salmon in the Instant Pot. You can use fresh or frozen, and I've even included tips for cooking vegetables in the pot at the same time for a healthy dinner that's ready in less than 20 minutes. 

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Calories: 161 kcal
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound wild-caught Alaskan salmon , cut into 4 fillets
  • salt & pepper
  1. Pour a cup of water into the Instant Pot and arrange the metal trivet on top. Place the salmon fillets into a single layer on the trivet and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. 

  2. Secure the lid and turn the pressure release valve to sealing. Use the manual setting to cook on high pressure for 3 minutes. (If using frozen fish fillets, cook them on high pressure for 5 minutes instead. No need to thaw.)

  3. When the cooking cycle has completed, quickly turn the pressure release valve to venting to release the pressure. Serve the fish warm with your favorite sauce and side dish. (See the notes in my post above for cooking vegetables with the fish.)

Per Serving: Calories: 161, Fat: 7, Carbohydrates: 0, Fiber: 0, Protein: 22

Recipe Notes:

  • I haven’t tested this cooking method for other types of fish, so I can’t say for sure how it will work with other varieties.
  • The seasoning options are totally adaptable and up to you– you can keep it simple with salt and pepper, or add a slice of lemon and dill on top, or use your favorite salad dressing to punch up the flavor.

As always, if you try something different please leave a comment below so we can all benefit from your experience!

Reader Feedback: Have you tried cooking fish in your Instant Pot before? I’m happy to report that the fish smell did not stay in my Instant Pot for long. Whew. (Curry and cumin is much worse when it comes to making the lid smell after cooking.)



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Does the cook time change for less or more salmon? I’m likely only to cook one or two fillets.

    Megan Gilmore

    No, you don’t have to change cooking times when you scale recipes in the Instant Pot. Should work the same!


tried this exactly as directed and my salmon came out incredibly overcooked. is this recipe supposed to cook them extremely well-done?

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m sorry to hear that! I wonder if your salmon filets were thinner than mine? Mine would have been undercooked had I done 1 minute less, but perhaps for thinner fillets just 2 minutes of cooking would suffice, with the quick release method.

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