Instant Pot Salmon (Fresh or Frozen)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and privacy policy.

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 with broccoli
Add to Collection
Print Pin
4.47 from 52 votes

Instant Pot Salmon (Fresh or Frozen

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
Cuisine American
Keyword Instant Pot Salmon
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 161kcal


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound wild-caught Alaskan salmon , cut into 4 fillets
  • salt & pepper


  • 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. 
  • 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.)
  • 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.)



Calories: 161kcal | Protein: 22g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 555mg | Vitamin A: 45IU | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.9mg
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.)

Shop the Post:
Get more recipes + meal plans in my books:

detox book and meal plan

Get Started Today!

Get a free 7-Day Kick Start when you sign up for my email newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



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!

      Conni stock

      I am getting ready to make this salmon! Wild caught sockeye salmon from thrive market. It is 1 lb and 8 oz. so I will use the two filets which should be half. Do I still use the same amount of water? 1 cup? For 1/2 of this recipe? I will cook for 5 min. As my filets are thick and frozen. Please let me know about the water. Thanks

        Megan Gilmore

        The water would remain the same no matter how much fish you use, and I think that timing sounds good if you’re using thick frozen filets. Let us know how it turns out for you!


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.

    Alison Sutton-Saelee

    Same thing happened to me! Incredibly disappointed and a huge waste of 3 salmon servings. I did more research and read some other recipes that were nearly identical but days to use the “steam” setting. Were we supposed to do that vs pressure cook?

      Megan Gilmore

      Sorry to hear that! Sounds like it can vary with the thickness. I’ve cooked for less and had raw salmon in the center, which was unappetizing. The “steam” setting is simply a cook setting at high pressure for 10 minutes, but it can be adjusted as low as 3 minutes or as high as 15 minutes. The main importance with the steam setting is that they expect you to use a trivet so that the food isn’t touching the bottom of the pot. The downside of the Instant Pot is that you can’t check on your meal the way you can with the oven, so oven-roasted salmon would be my choice if I was serving company. I usually like the Instant Pot version for weekly use, since I think pressure cooking is the healthiest method of preparation. Hope you’ll experiment with it again and find a timing that works well for you!


        I use my instantpot to do real steaming by removing the rubber gaskette so that it will never pressurize. The steam just leaks out the edges. You get a lot more control over the cooking that way for delicate foods, and doing it this way allows you to check doneness periodically without all the pressure release and repressurization times.


          Great suggestion, sir!


          Is your timing for a frozen filet of x thckness the same? Thanks Jeff for the informative post! Happy New Year!

          Annette Engel

          I am brand new to pressure cooking. Was there a website or somewhere you started when you were beginning? My pressure cooker didn’t come with many instructions or reciped


      i have always made the salmon, just as recipe says, mine are usually smaller and only 2. and comes out perfect everytime.

      Gwen bain

      If you accidentally cook salmon too dry, flake it with a fork and make salmon Pattie’s out of it. For lo carb, you can use almond flour or crushed pork rinds, minced onion, eggs and mayo. Pan fry on each side very briefly for a crisp brown surface.


    Mine were about 3/4″ thick, and also over done, even at 3 minutes. I cooked from frozen, too. That’s ok, a bit of trial and error to start with is always required. And I added a star for the maple mustard, my fav topping for salmon. Tomorrow I’ll just flake up and make salmon salad, it certainly wasn’t a ‘waste’.


      Mine turned out okay, but the steam release and resulting enormous cloud of hot fish-scented air was so gross and stunk up my entire house. Never again!


      The original recipe worked great the first time I made thick fillets. This comment was very helpful when I had thinner ones. Even though they were frozen, they came out perfect when cooked 2 minutes, then quick released for five minutes.

    Melissa Duthler

    Made this tonight with frozen salmon we caught in Alaska. Seasoned with salt, pepper and a splash of lemon juice. Cooked on high pressure for 5 minutes with a quick release and it was absolutely perfect! Temped at 145 degrees, which is the exact temp you want fish cooked. Thank you for a great recipe!

Kiki Abbott

Thanks for being so thorough and giving detailed directions. I appreciate how you give directions for both frozen and thawed salmon. I am looking forward to having you be my go-to site!

Dan Gracia

I only had one salmon steak in the freezer, so I used this simple recipe with frozen Flounder instead. Had to cut 2 frozen Flounder fillets in half because they were too long to fit in my InstaPot as whole fillets. I reduced the frozen cooking time to just 3 minutes instead of the 5 for the salmon because they were so much thinner than salmon and it came out just right. Next time I will cook twice as much because the Flounder fillets are so thin. I could have eaten all four pieces (2 fillets) with no problem.

Will give the salmon a shot as soon as I get some more frozen salmon.

barbie lee

thank you I will try this:-)

does your book contains nutrition facts as well like calories?

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, my second book No Excuses Detox has the nutrition info in a chart in the back, and my new Instant Pot book that’s coming out this Fall has the nutrition facts listed on each recipe

Yasmine K

Thanks for this recipe. I used the recipe exactly as you wrote it and the salmon fillets turned out wonderful. I used frozen sockeye salmon filets from Trader Joe’s and they were perfect.


My salmon was undercooked had to put it through again for another three minutes andthe middle was still a little under done for me but I ate it because I knew it was super fresh . I Like the idea of this but it sounds like there are big discrepancies in cooking time depending on the size of your fillet.


    I had the same problem. Ive adapted to this With frozen salmon filets from costco. I cook for 5 then let sit for another 5 before releasing the pressure.

Cara Champagne

This was my first fish recipe in my instant pot. I followed the recipe exactly, and it was absolutely perfect. Thank you for the very specific directions. It definitely helped to make a note-worthy meal I will be repeating again soon.


I am planning to make this for dinner tomorrow. For planning purposes, do you have any idea how long it would takes to come to pressure for frozen salmon?

Thank you!

    Megan Gilmore

    My best guess would be about 10-15 minutes for frozen salmon. The fastest I’ve seen the Instant Pot come to pressure is about 5-6 minutes if you’re starting with water from the faucet at the bottom, so I’d add at least an extra 5 minutes from the cold fish.


      Thanks Megan!
      I made it this evening and could not believe how perfectly the salmon was cooked and how quickly it went from frozen salmon to dinner! AMAZING!

    Rafaela Amini Hirsch

    Hi I’m confused because the recipie says cook for 3 minutes but the video says 1 minute?


Made this tonight with wild caught Sockeye Salmon, used Everglades fish seasoning- it came out perfect. Will make again!

Laura Hayward

My piece of frozen salmon was still raw after 5 minutes. It’s no bigger than the piece pictured. Had to cook for an couple of extra minutes.


In my case more than five minutes was needed for frozen. More like 10 minutes.


Thank you for the recipe. I usually cook fish on low for 8 minutes and then use quick release. But it turns out touch and rubbery. I cook for 7 mins and it’s under-cooked. I don’t know what I am doing wrong? Don’t know how a fish in tin cans is so soft?


Thank you for the recipe. I usually cook fish on low for 8 minutes and then use quick release. But it turns out touch and rubbery. I cook for 7 mins and it’s under-cooked. I don’t know what I am doing wrong? Don’t know how a fish in tin cans is so soft?

Susan Budge

Thank you so much for this. Salmon and vegetables has been the first thing tried after the water test when my IP arrived this morning. I used frozen salmon fillet, done for 4 minutes then the vegetables (6 sprouts and 4 baby carrots left whole) for 0 minutes.
The salmon was cooked perfectly but the vegetables were too firm for my taste. Next time I will try 3 minutes for the salmon and 1 for the vegetables and see how that goes. I was very impressed with the improved flavour of the vegetables and the salmon was so moist, absolutely delicious.

Elisa Simkovitz

1st time on your site. New IP. Ok I put a cup of water in the bottom, put the trivet in, leave the fish on top of the trivet with lemon slices and seasoning, and threw the vegetables in. Good thing I read the entire recipe because I quickly opened up the pot and removed all the vegetables! I cooked three small frozen ahi tuna fillets (from Aldi’s) for about five minutes on manual. I opened up the pot, threw in sliced up yellow squash and red pepper, added more seasoning and put the lid back on for one minute. It seemed to take a while to pressurize and once the pressurization was done then I opened up the pot again. The fish was done a little bit too much but the vegtables were perfect! My thought, I should have underestimated the time it was delicious and I will do it again.


I used frozen salmon and it was still frozen with just 5 minutes in the pot. Did another 2 minutes but still was not cooked all the way through. 2 more minutes and one filet was cooked all the way but had to do another 2 minutes on the second filet. Took a long time considering the pot had to come to pressure each time.


I did partially frozen Steelhead trout. Two pounds cut into four fillets and overlapped, lemon pepper seasoning and salt. Four minutes. The thin parts were perfect, the really thick parts just barely done. Delicious. Thanks for the guidance!

Nancy Cuppy

Turned out great. Used two salmon fillets partially frozen for 5 minutes.

    Megan Gilmore

    Thank you for letting me know! I’m glad your salmon turned out well.


Thanks for this recipe. Turned out wonderful. Salmon cooks quickly and continues to cook even when taken out of pan/oven/pot. I did 5 minutes for frozen but to me it tastes over cooked. I might try 4 minutes next time.

Suzie Clary

I was so tickled to take frozen filets and have dinner ready in 15 minutes. They looked a little sickly coming out of the pot. I wonder if popping them in the broiler a couple of minutes might spruce them up. Any ideas on how to bring more color to them?

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, placing them under the broiler would help them get golden on top! I usually just drizzle it with a sauce and some fresh herbs on top for a prettier presentation.


I love this recipe, it is super easy for a healthy quick dinner. I am still playing with the time a bit…tried this two nights in a row- one night with fresh wild caught sockeye salmon the next night with the same but frozen. The salmon came out a bit overcooked ( the filets were very thin) so I placed in on the low setting with the frozen salmon and the broccoli came out a tiny bit crunchy. I will continue to play with the settings until I can find the right combo but even with the overdone/underdone it was delish! Squeezed some lemon one everything after putting broccoli in also.

Paul Gowin

This recipe worked PERFECTLY for my .8 lb salmon filet!

Dianne dennis

Made this using frozen salmon fillets. seasoned with everything seasoning, salt, pepper! Cooked to perfection and so delicious. Will definitely make this often.


Newbie with a Instapot Ultra and I am confused on the proper setting is it steam

Dolores Konopa

Will be doing a frozen salmon and want to add vegetables as well. So would that mean 4 minutes then add the vegetables for an additional minute?

Caley Hansen

I used this salmon recipe as a guide for cooking my 3 frozen catfish fillets in the instant pot that I had previously seasoned & cooked. They were perfect, thank you!

Myrtese Jacobs

I cooked 2pieces of salmon in the instant pot. I cooked for 6 minutes and then immediately venting after it was done.
The salmon did not brown, so how do i brown the salmon?

    Megan Gilmore

    The Instant Pot cooks with steam pressure, so it doesn’t brown anything unless you use the Sauté function. For the cooked salmon, I’d probably pop it under your oven’s broiler for a couple minutes until it’s browned to your liking.

Sherrill L. Van Valkenburgh

This blew my socks off!! The texture of the fish was like butter; only tasted anything like this in a Beverly Hills 5-star restaurant. Wild-caught fresh salmon from Costco, cooked for 3 minutes…just delicious. Steamed broccoli and BBQ beans on the side. Thank you!


gorgeous one recipe of the salmon fish. i solute to you for this recipe method.


My frozen salmon fillet, after a 5 minute pressure cook and instant release as you instructed, was still raw in the middle. I put it back in for 4 minutes of pressure + instant release, and it was good. So…I can’t believe you really tried this with a frozen fillet.

    Ken campbell

    Just saw your comment. I had the same experience. Glad it wasn’t just me (amateur cook).


Hi, I was wondering if you can substitute red roasted pepper dressing instead of the water? Will the insta pot penetrate into the salmon?



    Megan Gilmore

    You’ll need to use water on the bottom of the Instant Pot to create the pressure, but you could possibly glaze the salmon with the dressing if you want to add more flavor?


Thank you… cooked perfectly! I used three frozen salmon fillets on a trivet and placed three peeled, cubed, potatoes and a handful of baby carrots on the bottom with 3/4 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of butter (sliced) and sprinkled it all with lemon pepper seasoning. Cooked for 5 minutes. Thumbs up from my family at dinner time 🙂


I used 4 frozen Costco filets and They cooked beautifully under “steam” In 3 minutes. Then added my veggies as you mentioned with the zero time and I am so excited and impressed. Thank you so much!


I tried this several times, and every time the salmon has been under-done after cooking per the recipe.

My most recent attempt was with a 12oz fresh fillet at refrigerator temperature. I ran it for 6 mins high pressure and it was still raw.

My instant pot is working fine. Any thoughts?

Carol B

If you have thin fillets you can fold them in half (skin side out) with lemon slices or herbs pressed in the middle. I think it improves the texture.

This is now our go-to method for wild salmon. The texture is shockingly silky — like farmed salmon, but so much tastier and healthier.

Kellie frakes

Am trying this recipe tonight. Really excited! Will let you know how everyone liked it. Thank you for your recipe!

Ken campbell

Recipe was excellent for 3-minute thawed steelhead. However, added five minutes for frozen and the center was still frozen. Did it for another five minutes and center was just war (98 degrees).


Used two frozen salmon fillets from Costco and set for 5 minutes, just as the recipe said. Turned out perfectly! Nice and tender.


Put two, 7 oz, thin frozen salmon fillets on the trivet, sprinkled with salt pepper and dill weed, added a cup of water. Cooked it for 5 minutes high pressure, quick release, it was still half frozen.

Did another 4 minutes, high pressure, quick release, checked with a thermometer and it had only reached 120°. Did it for another 3 minutes quick release and they were 145‚, but tasted over-cooked.

Not sure how everyone is having such success with frozen salmon fillets.

(and my sealing ring and vent knob are fine. Any suggestions appreciated..

Jessica Callanan

I cooked salmon, from frozen, and set it for 5 mins and then did quick release. One was thoroughly cooked (and almost too dry) and the other was still raw in the middle. I had to put it back in for another 2 minutes and it came out perfectly. What I came to realize is how different the thickness of the pieces were. I didn’t see that while they were frozen. So, next time, I’ll be more aware of picking similar sizes.
Also, one trick I use for seasoning of frozen items is, I use baster to moisten the outside of the meat I’m cooking (with whatever liquid I added to the instant pot) and then the seasoning actually sticks to it during the cooking process!

Megan WISE

I make this recipe all the time. It’s just so easy. I almost always use frozen salmon. Mine is typically 1/2 thick or less so from frozen I cook for 3 minutes. I could probably get away with cooking for 2 minutes. This time around I used 1 cup white wine instead of the water in the instant pot. It was good!! As soon as the salmon is done I put it on the plate and let a pat of butter melt on it and add garlic powder, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Really great, quick healthy meal. Thanks for the recipe, Megan!


Thank you! My Instant Pot is new and I’m still scared of it😆 i just made this with frozen Trader Joe’s sockeye salmon and it was restaurant-worthy and SO EASY!!! Thank you!!


I used my steamer basket instead of a trivet.I sprinkled on a little salt, some garlic and herb seasoning, Montreal seasoning, and pepper. The flavor was pleasing. I usually use my Foreman grill to cook salmon, but this is going to be my new method!

Allison Cox

I cook large amounts of fish at a time for my homemade dog food. How much is safe to cook in a 6 qt instant pot at one time? Does the amount of liquid I add change for home many pounds of fish?


Cooked my frozen salmon fillet in my insta pot for 1 min then added my broccoli like you suggested for 0 mins turned out perfectly! From freezer to table in less than 20 mins! Thank you Megan!


I cooked about 1.25 lbs frozen with 1 cup of water, but increased the time to 8 min since the filets overlapped a bit. I sprinkled with smoked salt and pepper. Came out perfect! Thanks for this recipe!


2 fish pieces largest part about an inch. needed 5 mins

Eve DeMeester

Great instructions but the frozen salmon definitely requires more than 5 minutes. I cooked for 5 minutes then released pressure and it was still red on the inside and no where near cooked. I had to put it in for another 2 minutes to get it cooked enough. Not a big deal but the rest of my food got cold in the meantime.


I used four 5oz frozen salmon filets that thawed on the counter for maybe 5 minutes. I cooked that for 2 minutes on high did the quick release then added in fresh broccoli and cooked that for 1 minute on high. Everything was perfect. Reading the comments helped me to determine an appropriate cook time. Thanks for sharing!

Get Started Today!

Get a free 7-Day Kick Start when you sign up for my email newsletter