Instant Pot Salmon (Fresh or Frozen)

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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
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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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.)

Video

Nutrition

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.)

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Comments

Bonnie

This was amazing! Moist and flaky and so easy. I thawed a previously frozen salmon fillet, and used 3 minutes. It was ‘almost’ perfect, but a tad overdone since salmon continues to ‘do’ as it sits, so next time I’ll do the QR between 2 and 3 min. for a similar sized piece. I cooked the thinner tail end of the fillet separately for 2 minutes, and same thing, will do a little less next time.

I’m wondering if it would make a difference if the 1 cup of water is room temperature, or heated before going into the IP.

Thanks Megan, your 3 books are my go-to for everything, although I must admit almost everything I cook is in the IP these days, so your IP book is the most dog-eared! Maybe another one is on the horizon???

Virginia

I tried this today. It came out perfect. I love salmon, always cooked it in the oven. But the instant pot was good in my opinion even better cooked in instant pot

    Virginia

    Sorry meant cooked even better than the oven
    Just my opinion

MarY

Thank you for posting this recipe! This will be my new go-to every time I make salmon. Being able to cook from frozen saves so much time. I only eat wild caught salmon which I’ve found tends to dry out more than farmed salmon. My filets were on the thicker side and came out perfectly cooked. Once cooked, I squeezed on fresh lemon juice which added extra moisture and flavor. My husband and I loved it.

Kbrads

I cooked Atlantic salmon tail From frozen at 5 minutes & it came out a little over (as the tails are a but thinner). Will reduce to 4 next time. Regarding veggies in the pressure cooker, I find the root vegetables hold up well to 5 minutes cook time. I cooked a potato (cut into 1 inch chunks), a medium carrot in 5-6 chunks, butternut squash in 1.5 inch chunks + some medium size Brussels sprouts (base scored with a cross at least 1/4 inch deep). Large pieces of cauliflower also do ok. The flower will be a bit soft but the stalk is nice and tender as long as it is left in large pieces, at least 2 inches across the top of the flower

Hannah J Parrish

This is amazing! I was immersed in this recipe, very quickly I was able to try it. Thank you for sharing!

tk

This is my go to for a quick dinner. Thanks!

Ingrid Loveman

Excellent. Timing is perfect.. Only thing different was i put salt and pepper on the Salmon, (frozen) fresh garlic, a slice of butter, and a couple slices of lemon on top. I put mine on trivet with parchment paper underneath so it didnt fall apart.. but melts like butter..

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