Easy-Easy Broiled Salmon with Olive Salad

Who else turns to fresh salmon for a quick, easy, healthy meal? This recipe just might be my quickest and easiest and even healthiest! Just take a fresh salmon filet, sprinkle it with salt and Trader Joe's Cracked Olive Salad, cook it under the broiler. There! That's the recipe! So quick, there's barely time to make a salad and set the table.

Easy-Easy Broiled Salmon with Olive Salad, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. Just three ingredients, including Trader Joe's Cracked Olive Salad.

Whole Food, Simply Prepared. Just Three Ingredients! Real Food, Fresh & Inventive. Mere Minutes to the Table. Another Quick Supper, a Kitchen Parade Specialty. Another Sheetpan Supper, a Reader Favorite. Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Perfect When Cooking for One or Two. Low Carb. Low Fat. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free. What're you waiting for?! So Good!!

Is It Just Me?

More and more, I find myself on the hunt for simple suppers that serve just one or two.

  • Uncomplicated.
  • "Planned ahead" by stocking the freezer and/or the pantry.
  • "Cooked on a whim" with zero planning.
  • No leftovers.

And wow. Today's recipe really checks all the right buttons.

Read on ...

Easy-Easy Broiled Salmon with Olive Salad, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. Just three ingredients, including Trader Joe's Cracked Olive Salad.

About This Recipe: Easy-Easy Broiled Salmon with Olive Salad

  • This recipe is a quick, easy way to cook a filet (or filets) of fresh salmon under the broiler. The fish is topped with a store-bought olive salad that keeps the salmon moist under the intense heat and complements with rich fish with equally rich olives.
  • Just Three Ingredients = Fresh Salmon Filet + Salt + Olive Salad
  • The Olive Salad = My recipe calls for a jar of Trader Joe's Cracked Olive Salad, a mix of oil-soaked olives and pickled vegetables. To my taste, it's fabulous! The combination is similar to the olive salad and giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables) so central to the famous muffaletta sandwiches in New Orleans.
  • For Garnish = none needed but fresh lemon wedges would be pretty
  • Kitchen Tools = an oven-safe baking sheet (aka, a sheetpan, something like either a full-size half sheet pan or the smaller quarter sheet pan (with lid) + sheetpan pre-cut parchment; fyi these are all affiliate links
  • Timing/Cooking = If the salmon has what are called "pin bones," allow 5-10 minutes to remove these with a small pair of tweezers or special-purpose fish tweezers (affiliate link). But since not all salmon has pin bones and since some groceries remove the pin bones (you might have to ask), this extra time might not affect all cooks. If there are no pin bones, it'll take just a couple of minutes to prep the fish for the oven, then 6 - 8 minutes under the broiler.
  • Techniques = The only real technique needed for this recipe is removing the pin bones. It's not difficult, just fiddly.
  • Appearance = It's quite pretty, yes?
  • This is pantry-friendly recipe, especially for households that keep fish in the freezer and a jar or two of Cracked Olive Salad in the pantry.
  • This is a calorie-friendly recipe unless you load up the salmon filets with a big pile of the olive salad. I use just a tablespoon or two, it's plenty.
  • I've written the recipe for just one filet which means it works especially well for those Cooking for One or Two. But I hope it's obvious that it's also easy to make multiple filets at the same time when more people are at the table.
  • So good! I hope you love it!

  • If you like this recipe, you may well also like this simple salmon supper, Salmon with Crispy Crust, moist, flaky fish topped with a golden bread crumb crust.
  • Not quite what you're looking for? Check out my other fish recipes.
Easy-Easy Broiled Salmon with Olive Salad, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. Just three ingredients, including Trader Joe's Cracked Olive Salad.

About the Salmon.

During the years I foreswore meat, mouthing fish sounds with my toddler nephew turned me from pescatarian to vegetarian, despite growing up in a family / community where fishing for walleye was central to the life.

And there's no avoiding how much the world's population has depleted natural fish stock by overfishing, that is, harvesting more the fish themselves can replenish. READ MORE? Check out Overfishing Facts from Earth.org.

Honestly? We quit eating fish except bluegill or bass from a small lake at our favorite wildness place in the northern edges of the Ozark Plateau about an hour from St. Louis. This little lake is actually under-fished at the moment, hello fishing excursions with grandkids and grand kids this summer!

And then? We discovered Sitka Seafood Market, a fish subscription service that offers subscription shipments of Alaskan fish and seafood wild-caught by small independent fishermen who are governed by sustainable fishing practices.

(FYI this is NOT a sponsored post, we just really like stocking the freezer with monthly fish shipments since first subscribing to Sitka in 2020.)

Now we feel good about eating fish again, knowing that Sitka takes care of all the hard decisions. We just have to figure out how to cook it!

A fish subscription is not inexpensive but when we first subscribed, I did a little math and figured that Sitka was modestly more expensive than Whole Foods where we were very occasionally buying fish.

But it's also less expensive than dinner out, which we often fell prey to when we just needed a quick, healthy meal. Fish is just so easy to cook, so wonderful to eat!

So for anyone who's felt similarly cautious about buying fish, consider a subscription with Sitka or other fish subscription services. We're very happy with Sitka, the service/support and most importantly, the quality of the fish, including three (maybe four?) varieties of salmon, cod, halibut, rockfish, tuna and our very favorite, the sablefish.

PS If anyone has great a great recipe for fresh tuna loin, I'd sure like to know what you're doing. Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs.

Easy-Easy Broiled Salmon with Olive Salad, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. Just three ingredients, including Trader Joe's Cracked Olive Salad.

About Trader Joe's Cracked Olive Salad.

So who else has picked something up from Trader Joe's and then wondered what to make with it? LOL me three. This is an especially good everyday recipe that makes such good use of TJ's olive salad.

I'm 100% smitten with the Cracked Olive Salad from Trader Joe's, a mixture (according to the label) of green olives, black olives, capers and pickled vegetables (cauliflower, carrot, red pepper and celery) soaked in oil with garlic powder, oregano, parsley, pepper and salt.

That means the Trader Joe's olive salad is actually a mix of the traditional oil-soaked olives and giardiniera, Italian pickled chopped vegetables. Magic!

But! olive salads are a key ingredient in one of the world's greatest sandwiches, New Orleans' famous muffaletta (or muffuletta) especially at Central Grocery, where people line up rain or shine for enormous wrapped sandwiches made with special bread. When we visited New Orleans for Mardi Gras, a Central Grocery muffaletta was my #1 food goal but sadly, the one day we could go, the skies opened up with heavy rain and the walk from our hotel to the French Quarter just wasn't gonna happen. 😢

But the importance of olive salads means you can often find other brands' olive salads in grocery stores. Or make your own! I love the looks of the New Orleans Olive Salad from Take Two Tapas. Just be sure to keep it refrigerated and eat within a week.

In fact, I've been using leftover Cracked Olive Salad to make inauthentic but delicious muffalettas. Messy? You bet. Good eats? Yes ma'am.

  • A fresh hoagie from St. Louis' Companion Bakery
  • The bottom bun sprinkled with dill pickle juice
  • One bun spread with mayo, the other with yellow mustard
  • Double layers of thin-sliced (but not shaved) ham
  • A layer each of thin-sliced smoked gouda and cheddar
  • Plus a generous layer of that all-important Cracked Olive Salad
Collage of four photos depicting how to make Easy-Easy Broiled Salmon with Olive Salad, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. Just three ingredients, including Trader Joe's Cracked Olive Salad.

How to Make Easy-Easy Broiled Salmon with Olive Salad

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights in three (some times five) easy steps. You can do this!

  • THAW THE SALMON (IF NEEDED) To thaw a filet or two of salmon quickly, use cold water. Quick Tip for all those who work outside the home, thaw the salmon before leaving for work, then place in the fridge to cook later in the day.
  • For Vacuum-Sealed Salmon — If the filets are still in vacuum-sealed plastic, leave the plastic on and immerse them as is in a bowl of cold (yes, cold!) water for about an hour, then it's ready to cook.
  • For Light Plastic/Film Wrap — If the salmon has been frozen in a lightweight plastic that won't keep out the water, remove the fish from the plastic and put it into some sort of airtight container. then place the container into a bowl of cold (again, cold!) water until the fish thaws.
  • Otherwise, just place the frozen fish in the fridge to thaw for about 24 hours.
  • One thing NOT to do? Just leave the fish on the counter to thaw: bad idea!

  • REMOVE THE PIN BONES (IF NEEDED) (upper left photo in the collage) Some salmon have pin bones, which surprise surprise aren't actually bones at all but calcified nerve endings that salmon use to navigate waters in close proximity to other salmon. But some don't. And some fish sellers remove pin bones. To check your own filets, rub a finger along the filet's midline. If you feel tiny, stiff protrusions, those are pin bones and if there's one, there'll likely be a few following the same line. Use a tweezers or single-purpose (but small, inexpensive and very effective) fish tweezers (affiliate link) to grab the tip and gently pull the pin bone out.

  • SALT THE FILET (upper right photo in the collage) Salt the skin-side first, then place it skin-side down onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Salt the top-side too.

  • SPREAD THE OLIVE SALAD OVER THE TOP (lower left photo in the collage) Slip a spoon into the olive salad jar, grabbing some of the salad, pressing the bowl of the spoon to the side of the jar to drain off a lot of the oil. Drop the olive salad onto the filet; take care that the spoon never touches the fish itself so you can continue to use the same spoon to go back for more olive salad without contaminating the entire jar. Once you've got whatever salad you want, then use the back of the spoon to spread it evenly across the top of the filet.

  • BROIL (lower right photo in the collage) Place the baking sheet in the oven about four or five inches below the broiler. Broil about 6 - 8 minutes until the center is opaque and the internal temperature reaches 125F/50C. When removing the baking sheet from the oven, it'll naturally tip a little and the oil from the olive salad will spread a little, some times this means the hot oil spits and spurts a little. So be aware and be careful!
  • THAT'S IT! So easy, yes?!
Easy-Easy Broiled Salmon with Olive Salad, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. Just three ingredients, including Trader Joe's Cracked Olive Salad.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

  • Can this same technique be used for fish other than salmon? Not to our taste. One of my great surprises since subscribing to Sitka is that one variety of fish is just not a one-for-one interchangeable substitute for another variety of fish. We're even learning to select certain species of salmon for certain dishes. So while one "can" top other fish with an olive salad, to our taste, the results are only special with salmon.

  • Is there a way to roast the fish instead of broiling it? Absolutely. My favorite way to roast fish is to put it in the oven at 300F/150C for about 20 minutes.

For Best Results

For my weekly column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I interviewed chefs and translated their restaurant recipes for home kitchens. The most illuminating question? "How can a home cook ensure the same results?" So now I ask that question of myself, too, for my own recipes. Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

Do Take Time to Remove the Pin Bones Once, I skipped the step but learned, never again. It's just messy to remove them while you're eating.

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe inspires you, please do save and share! I'd be honored ...

Easy-Easy Broiled Salmon with Olive Salad, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. Just three ingredients, including Trader Joe's Cracked Olive Salad.


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time-to-table: 20 minutes
Serves 1, easily scaled up for more servings

Do allow time to remove the pin bones, it's fiddly but important! That said, not all salmon filets come with pin bones, either because (1) the seller has already removed them or (2) where on the fish the filet was cut.
  • 1 salmon filet, skin on, about an inch thick
  • Good salt
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons (or more to taste) Trader Joe's Cracked Olive Salad or another store-bought olive salad or a homemade concoction

PREP Set the oven to Broil with a rack inserted four or five inches below the broiler element. Line a baking sheet with parchment (see ALANNA's TIPS) or foil.

REMOVE THE PIN BONES (for coho salmon and sockeye salmon) Removal isn't hard but is fiddly and takes a little time, plan accordingly. Rub your fingers down the center of the filet, also along the other cut edges. Once you feel a thin, stiff protrusion, you'll likely find more salmon "pin bones" along the same line. Use tweezers or special-purpose fish tweezers (affiliate link) to gently pull on the tips, pulling out each bone.

SALT THE FILET Sprinkle the skin-side of the filet with a little salt, then place the filet skin-side down on the parchment. Sprinkle the top of the filet with a little salt.

TOP WITH OLIVE SALAD Use a spoon to drain the oil from the olive salad a bit, just by pressing a spoonful against the side of the jar. (To avoid cross-contamination, don't let the spoon itself touch the fish if you'll be double-dipping back in the jar.) Once you have as much as you want, spread across the filet, covering well.

BROIL Place the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until the center is fully opaque, about 6 to 8 minutes. For more precision, cook to 125F/50C (see TIPS!) as measured by a probe thermometer like our favorite ThermoPro Meat Thermometer (affiliate link). Remove the baking sheet from the oven. TAKE CARE! That hot oil from the Olive Salad can sizzle and spurt as it spreads across the hot parchment.

DIG IN! Gently lift the salmon off the parchment (usually, the skin will stick to the parchment!) onto a plate.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS If you like, cook an extra filet or two, the gently cooked salmon makes great salads, quiches, even sandwiches.

ALANNA's TIPS Parchment paper is oven-safe up to 450F/230C, yikes, something I just this minute learned. This means it can catch fire. So it's probably better to use foil or a silicone liner. That said, the fish is under the broiler for just a few minutes, it maybe okay. Cook, beware! For great pin bone-removal photos, please see How to Remove Pin Bones from Sitka Seafood Market, a subscription service for sustainable wild-caught fish from small fisheries in Alaska. We love their fish!

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See https://www.kitchenparade.com/2024/02/easy-easy-broiled-salmon-with-olive-salad.html .

Silly for Salmon

Three slices of uncooked salmon, linked to recipes for fresh, canned, hot-smoked and cured salmon ♥ KitchenParade.com.
~ salmon recipes ~
Finnish Salmon Soup (Lohikeitto) ♥ KitchenParade.com. Finland's 'soul food,' steaming bowls of salmon and potato in a creamy broth.

Roasted Salmon & Asparagus ♥ KitchenParade.com, ever so simple, just salmon and fresh asparagus roasted together, easy enough for a weeknight, elegant enough for company.

Salmon with Crispy Crust, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. Quick, Easy, Adaptable.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ salmon recipes ~
~ fish recipes ~
~ olive recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.