We love creating our own recipes. We also love trying recipes others have created and sharing those with you. This is one of our recipe reviews where we test out a recipe we thought sounded good and rate it on some important characteristics. We focus on recipes that make you feel good and are good for you, though sometimes we’ll share recipes that are a bit more indulgent for when you need a special treat in the form of dinner or dessert. We’ll suggest ideas for how to make a recipe a healthier, easier or making substitutions for when you may not have a required ingredient on hand. Also, you should know that we only share recipes we like and would eat again. If a recipe didn’t pass our taste tests, we won’t share it with you.
- Simplicity of Ingredients (based on number of required ingredients and likelihood of having those ingredients on hand or ease of obtaining them): 3/4
- Simplicity Level (based on number of steps and ease of completing them): 4/4
- Ready in 30 Minutes or Less: Yes
Brianna here and today I’m sharing a delicious salmon recipe with you. It’s the Garlic Butter Creamed Spinach Salmon created by Half Baked Harvest. Fish is an important component of a nutritious and nourishing diet. I try to get in at least three servings of fish a week so I am always looking for new ways to prepare it. Salmon is the fish I consume most often, so I was excited to test out a new salmon recipe.
I’ve personally been following Half Baked Harvest on Instagram for several years. They always have fun and delicious recipes and I encourage you to follow them, too. This particular recipe requires the following ingredients (I’ve provided GLA-suggested substitutions or notes in italics)::
- Salmon filets – The recipe calls for 4 salmon filets. I only wanted to make 2 filets, but I did not halve the creamed spinach mixture. I didn’t feel like I had too much of the creamed spinach by doing so, either. So, if you’re someone who likes sauce, you may consider doubling the sauce ingredients if you make the full recipe with 4 filets.
- Salt and pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Shallot – Substitute a small onion or half a larger onion if you can’t find/don’t have shallots.
- Garlic – Fresh really is best in this recipe because you’re sauteing the garlic in olive oil, however jarred garlic, garlic powder or granulated garlic can be used in a pinch. Half a teaspoon of jarred garlic, 1/8 tsp of garlic powder and 1/4 tsp of granulated garlic are all equal to one clove so multiply accordingly.
- Red pepper flakes
- Coconut milk or heavy cream – One cup of full fat coconut milk contains roughly 360 calories and a cup of heavy cream contains roughly 800 calories. I used coconut milk because I wanted to go lighter on the calories especially since I was including both suggested cheeses. I could not detect a coconut flavor, neither could my husband or mom. If you do use coconut milk, be sure to use a full fat version. Don’t go with “lite” coconut milk – it contains more water and won’t provide the same level of creaminess in your finished product.
- Cream cheese – used Kirkland fresh goat cheese from Costco because it’s all I had on hand and has a tanginess like cream cheese. My mom doesn’t like goat cheese and could tell it was in there. I personally liked it. However, I think next time I would completely omit the cream cheese or goat cheese because I’m not sure it’s needed. I think the recipe will be plenty creamy without it. Plus, only using two tablespoons means you’re left with ¾ of the block of cream cheese. If you plan to use it for another recipe, great. If it will sit in your fridge until it starts to harden or grow mold, or you want to make a lighter dish, just skip it in this recipe.
- Parmesan cheese – I used the Kirkland brand shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano from Costco.
- Fresh spinach – You could use frozen spinach, just know that frozen spinach contains more water and you may have to let your sauce simmer longer to thicken. If you have time, you could allow the frozen spinach to thaw ahead of time in a colander over a bowl and then squeeze out the remaining liquid before using in the dish.
- Lemon – The recipe calls for the juice of an entire lemon. I found the lemon taste to be pretty strong and next time would use less out of personal preference. You might want to start with half a lemon, taste it, and add more to your liking.
- Parsley – I didn’t have parsley or chives on hand and didn’t want to buy a fresh bunch that I would only use a little of and throw the rest away. So I left out both the parsley and chives. The recipe was delicious without them, which means it would only be enhanced if you did include them!
- Chives – See above note on parsley.
As far as simplicity of steps, the recipe requires you to cook the salmon in the pan, then make the creamed spinach mixture. I found it easy to follow and quick to complete. I had dinner on the table in around 30 minutes. It could have been quicker, but I wanted my sauce to reduce and thicken.
One tip I’d suggest is to sear the salmon flesh side down FIRST, instead of skin side down like the recipe suggests. When you sear the skin first, the fish starts to become firm and the center will be taller than the ends of the filet. When you flip it, you’ll only get a nice browning in the center, not along the entire filet. Starting with the flesh side down allows you to get an even browning across the entire top of the filet.
As I mentioned above, I made this recipe with only two salmon filets but with the entire amount of everything else. I ate half a filet for dinner the night I made it and portioned out the remaining three halves and creamed spinach for lunches to eat the rest of the week. This is probably better reheated for a dinner at home and not in an office building. It’s good cold, but it’s better warm and microwaving fish in a public space like an office is never a good idea (speaking from experience when I was a freshman in high school and thought it was an acceptable idea to microwave salmon in the school cafeteria). The dish reheats beautifully in a pan on the stove – hence why I suggested it as leftovers for dinner another night of the week.