Frugal Family Feast: Seared Salmon Salad

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Salads are great for summertime dinners or anytime you’re looking to lighten up a meal. Frugal Family Feast serves up a seared salmon salad with key lime vinaigrette to feed a family of four for less than $15.

Chef Rich Matthews, instructor at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, shared his technique with Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson. Watch the video and read on for the recipe.

This colorful seared salmon salad is simple to make and tastes great with the key lime vinaigrette. When you’re scanning the weekly grocery ads for deals, watch for sales on salmon. Chef Matthews found some on special and prepared this seared salmon salad for less than $15.

You start by seasoning the salmon and searing it. Gently lay the salmon in heated vegetable oil in a pan, and cook for five to seven minutes on one side.

The trick to keeping the fish from sticking to the pan when you flip it is to allow it to sear completely on one side before you touch it. As it cooks, the fillet will form a little crust and the flesh will lift cleanly off the pan.

Let it cook for up to five minutes more. When you press on it and it feels firm but not hard, and it’s easy to remove from the pan, it’s done. Set aside on a plate while you prepare the salad.

To add color, texture and flavor, Chef Matthews chose cherry tomatoes, mandarin oranges, sliced almonds and cucumbers for this salad. Toss everything into a bowl and dress with some key lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Plate and top with the salmon and you have a fresh and nutritious meal in less than 30 minutes.

Seared salmon salad – courtesy of the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale


  • 4 salmon fillets, 6 ounces each
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 head romaine lettuce heart
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup almond slices, toasted
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup English cucumber, sliced
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup key lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

To prepare salmon:

  • Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add the oil. Heat until the oil just begins to shimmer.
  • Dry the salmon with a disposable towel and season according to your taste with salt and pepper.
  • Lay each fillet of salmon into the sauté pan and cook about five to seven minutes.
  • Turn over and continue to cook until finished.
  • Set aside on a plate.

To prepare salad:

  • In a bowl, add the chopped lettuce, tomato, almonds, oranges and cucumber, and lightly toss with olive oil and key lime juice seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • Alternatively, dress the salad with a salad dressing of your choosing.
  • Divide the salad into four portions and top with one fillet of salmon.

After you try this recipe, go to our Facebook page and let us know how you like it.

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