Tender, juicy fillets of salmon, a dream-boat filling of cream cheese, spinach, mozzarella, and Parmesan, and exactly 10 minutes of prep, this five-star Stuffed Salmon is the kind of epically impressive, yet paradoxically easy, recipe that will have you swearing off ever going out to eat again.
After all you’ll tell yourself, why should you dress up, pay good money, wait for a seat, and suffer outrageous markup on wine in a restaurant, when you can make a chef-level dish like this elegant spinach stuffed salmon at home?
Michelin star who? Michelin star YOU!
Even if you’ve never baked salmon before, you can nail this recipe.
The steps are very straightforward.
- For even more tips (including what kind of salmon to buy and more), check out this post on How to Cook Salmon.
- For a general look at baking salmon (one of my favorite salmon cooking methods), check out this Salmon Temperature Guide.
I’m so looking forward to making this easy stuffed salmon for Ben and myself this Friday.
We’re having Valentine’s Day at home, in part because we never have a great experience when we eat out on this busy holiday, even at restaurants we normally enjoy, and because thanks to a grueling five days of finishing up my last (hopefully final) round of cookbook edits, it has been ages since I’ve actually eaten a home cooked meal.
Spinach stuffed salmon at home and a crisp glass of wine to go with it (see below for recommendations for wine to pair with salmon) are my ultimate idea of romance.
This stuffed salmon with spinach and cream cheese will make anyone feel special.
Love salmon but not feeling the filling?
Check out my other healthy salmon recipes. I’ve specifically listed few of my favorites that are extra date-night appropriate below.
How to Make the Best Stuffed Salmon
This luscious cream cheese and spinach stuffed salmon meets you at intersection of easy and impressive.
The combination of the filling and the flaky salmon reminds me of a super classed-up seafood spinach dip, turned elegant and dinner appropriate.
- Salmon Fillets. Look for thicker salmon fillets, which are easier to stuff, as they leave more room to create a pocket for the filling. You can eat the salmon with the skin on or ask the seafood counter to remove it for you. For this recipe, I prefer the skin on; it holds the salmon together, makes it easier to stuff, and generally when you leave skin on salmon, it is less prone to overcooking.
- Spinach. Spinach stuffed salmon is not only delicious—it offers good-for-you ingredients too! In addition to the health benefits of the salmon itself (salmon is rich in omega-3s, protein, potassium, and more), spinach is packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Garlic Cloves. Adds bold flavor to the spinach mixture.
- Cream Cheese. Gotta have it here! It makes the most creamy, rich, and lightly tangy stuffing for our salmon. Plus, it goes perfectly with spinach (just ask these Spinach Puffs).
- Mozzarella + Parmesan. Whoever said cheese and seafood do not go together has not tried this salmon recipe. The mozzarella is mild and melty; the Parmesan cheese is salty and nutty. Dream team.
- Red Pepper Flakes. A touch of heat to cut through the richness of the salmon and the spinach cream cheese filling.
- Lemon. Totally optional! Top off with lemon juice or lemon zest for a fresh citrus flavor.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.
- Wilt the spinach in a medium to large skillet with the garlic and spices. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the cheeses.
- Keep stirring until completely incorporated and the mixture is creamy.
- Make a pocket in each 6 oz salmon fillet, by making a small cut in the center. Don’t cut all the way through to the other side. Place the fillets on the baking sheet, and stuff the spinach-cream cheese mixture inside each piece. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake salmon at 425 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes as suggested in my Baked Salmon Time and Temperature Guide, until the salmon is cooked through. DIG IN!
How to Store Stuffed Salmon
- To Store. Place leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
- To Reheat. To keep the salmon from drying out, gently reheat the salmon on a baking sheet, loosely tented with foil, in a 350 degrees F oven until warmed through.
Recipes that Go Well with Stuffed Salmon For A Perfect Menu
- Shrimp. If you want to go all-out fancy, serve stuffed salmon with shrimp by making Garlic Butter Shrimp. You can serve the shrimp at the same time as the salmon, or as an appetizer.
- Salad. Keep it crisp and fresh, but still satisfying. This Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Caesar dressing is fit for a date night dinner (hello, Caesar salad!) and can be prepped ahead.
- Sautéed Vegetables. For more of a steakhouse-at-home vibe, serve the salmon with Easy Sautéed Zucchini with Parmesan or Sautéed Brussels Sprouts.
- Grains. a bowl of rice goes well with stuffed salmon, and this Lemon Rice would be a great option.
- Dessert. Keep it classically decadent with Flourless Chocolate Torte or fruity and festive with this naturally pink, fresh Strawberry Cake.
- Wine. A must! Since this salmon is rich, go for a crisp, dry white like Sauvignon Blanc (or the French version, Sancerre) or try an unoaked or very lightly oaked Chardonnay.
More Delicious, Easy Salmon Recipes for a Special Dinner
- Teriyaki Salmon
- Salmon Meuniere
- Lemon Pepper Salmon
- Baked Salmon in Foil
- Soy Ginger Salmon
- Whole30 Baked Salmon
- Garlic Salmon with Lemon Butter
Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe
- Rimmed Baking Sheets. These are easily one of my most used kitchen tools.
- Non-Stick Skillet. This skillet is perfect for sautéing the stuffing ingredients.
If you make this stuffed salmon, please leave a comment to let me know how it goes! I adore hearing from you.
Cheesy though it may sound, knowing that you enjoy these recipes I post here is what keeps me motivated and excited. I hope you love this salmon as much as we do.
Frequently Asked Questions
Adding crab meat or imitation crab is very popular with stuffed salmon, so you could add it, I just haven’t tried it myself. Fold some into the filling, then stuff and bake as directed.
While I do prefer the simple seasonings that I’ve added to the cream cheese filling, you could kick it up a notch by adding 1/2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning or Old Bay seasoning.
- 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach about 5 cups
- 1 clove garlic minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper divided
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
- 4 6 ounce salmon fillets skin off or on
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. For easy clean up, line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a big handful of spinach and cook, stirring often, until it begins to wilt. Stir in the garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper flakes and let cook 30 seconds. Continue adding the remaining spinach by large handfuls, until it completely wilts down. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir in the cream cheese until it melts and smoothly combines with the spinach. Stir in the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan, until the cheeses melt and the mixture looks like a delicious spinach and dip.
- Place salmon fillets on a clean work surface. With a small, sharp knife, make a cut lengthwise down the middle of each fillet to create a pocket (do not cut the fish all the way through). Transfer the salmon to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. With a small spoon, fill each fillet with a quarter of the spinach mixture.
- Drizzle the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil over the fillets and brush with a pastry brush or lightly rub with your fingers to coat. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake until the salmon is opaque in the center and flakes easily with a fork, 8 to 10 minutes.
- TO STORE: Place leftover salmon in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
- TO REHEAT: To keep the salmon from drying out, gently reheat the salmon on a baking sheet, loosely tented with foil, in a 350 degrees F oven until warmed through.
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