Crispy Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is a rich and decadent main dish that will impress the whole family! The next time you’re craving a striking home cooked meal, this simple to prepare salmon recipe is gold!

Wooden bowl of roasted red pepper salmon with vegetables and brown rice.

Looking for the most impressive way to serve salmon? I’ve got you covered, because this creamy roasted red pepper salmon is pure magic!

Long time followers of The Roasted Root already know salmon is my all-time favorite animal protein. 

I love the juicy fatty richness and the fact that it is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, it is so versatile!

Salmon’s adaptability is on display in this simple yet delectable recipe. 

We’re prepare pan-seared salmon to crispy perfection and serving it with a rich and creamy sauce that is infused with delicious flavors.

If you’ve made my Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Salmon, I double dog dare you to try this roasted red pepper counterpart.

The concept behind this salmon with red pepper sauce is very similar to my sun-dried tomato version in that the already mouth-watering tasty salmon is smothered in taste bud luxury.

The whole thing seems fancy but it’s really a simple two-part recipe wherein we’re whipping up a quick sauce and cooking salmon to your personal preference.

Just be sure to serve it with something delicious to soak up all that marvelous sauce, like rice, crusty bread, or pasta.

If you love show-stopping main dishes like this one, I also highly recommend my Mediterranean Salmon in Parchment Paper, which has been a reader favorite for years!

While a perfectly cooked salmon filet doesn’t need a tremendous amount of doctoring to be completely delicious, I love adding big bold flavors to really level up the experience. 

The best part about this amazing meal is you can find the ingredients at any grocery store and it is very easy to adapt using various ingredients. More on that to come!

I also love that this easy dinner can be made last minute, even for special occasions. It comes together quickly and doesn’t require a lot of cooking experience.

Stainless steel skillet with four salmon fillets cooked in roasted red pepper sauce.

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for salmon with red pepper sauce.

Ingredients for Crispy Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:

Avocado Oil: Used to sear salmon and to sauté the onion and garlic for the red pepper sauce, we need a high-temperature cooking oil with a high smoke point.

I love avocado oil because it has a neutral flavor and is great for cooking at high temperatures.

While olive oil will work, it will likely smoke in the skillet when cooking salmon. For this reason, I always recommend avocado oil over olive oil when cooking salmon.

Salmon: Pick up 2 pounds of your favorite kind of salmon. Because I’m a fatty fish lover, I always go with the fattier cuts like Atlantic Salmon or King Salmon.

Coho salmon, sockeye salmon, and trout work great too.

This recipe is centered around using thick filets so you may need to adjust the cook time based on the thickness of your fish filets. A meat thermometer is key here so that you end up with your preferred doneness. 

Sea Salt, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Black Pepper: The salmon gets sprinkled with sea salt, garlic powder, paprika, and ground pepper to season it. You can also season the fish with any other dry rubs or seasoning blends you enjoy.

Roasted Red Peppers: Pick up a 16-ounce jar of roasted red peppers from the grocery store. If you prefer to roast your own bell peppers, you certainly may do so! I simply save time by buying the pre-roasted peppers.

Full-Fat Canned Coconut Milk or Heavy Cream: To make the sauce luscious and creamy, I use full-fat canned coconut milk. If you aren’t dairy-free, you can use 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream or a combination of heavy cream and half & half.

For the best results, I do recommend choosing a high-fat milk like full-fat coconut milk or whipping cream. This produces the best, silky texture and a thick sauce.

Onion and Garlic: Fresh yellow onion and minced garlic cloves get sauteed up and added to the roasted pepper sauce to add big bold flavors. You can scale the amount up or down according to your personal taste.

Baby Spinach: To add a rustic appeal and some added vitamins and minerals, I add 5 ounces of spinach to the sauce. While this may seem like a ton of spinach, it cooks down to an almost imperceptible level.

In my opinion, this is a phenomenal way of adding nutrients to a meal without detecting a lot of vegetable flavor or texture.

Cherry Tomatoes (optional): While the sauce is already somewhat tangy from the roasted red bell peppers, I like tossing in some cherry tomatoes for a burst of juicy, tangy flavor. The sauce is delicious without the tomatoes too so feel free to skip them.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Add capers, chopped artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, or sun-dried tomatoes for even more flavor.
  • Use any kind of fish you like, including cod, tilapia, halibut, etc. Just note that different types of fish require different cooking times so adjust the recipe as needed.
  • Serve the dish with freshly grated parmesan cheese on top if you do dairy.
  • Add ¼ cup of dry white wine such as sauvignon blanc to the sauce if you enjoy cooking with wine.
  • For a citrus infusion, add 2 teaspoons of lemon zest and a drizzle of fresh lemon juice to the sauce.
  • ​For a little kick of heat, add 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (or to taste).
Wood bowl with crispy red pepper salmon and brown rice inside, ready to eat.

Now that we’ve covered the basic ingredients for roasted red pepper salmon, let’s make it!

How to Make Crispy Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:

Prepare the Red Pepper Sauce:

Begin by preparing the creamy roasted red pepper sauce. Heat one tablespoon of avocado oil or olive oil in a large skillet on the stove top over medium-high heat.

Add the chopped onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes.

Add in the fresh garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes, or until the garlic is very fragrant.

Sauteed yellow onion and garlic in a skillet

Transfer the onion garlic mixture to a high powered blender (or food processor) and set the skillet aside to use for cooking the salmon.

Transfer the drained roasted red peppers, coconut milk, and sea salt to the blender and blend until the sauce is completely creamy.

Blender with coconut milk, onion, garlic, and roasted red peppers.

Set aside until ready to use.

Roasted red pepper sauce in a blender.

Cook the Salmon:

Heat two tablespoons of avocado oil (or high-temperature cooking oil of choice) in a large skillet (I use the same skillet I used to sauté the onion and garlic) over medium-high heat. 

Allow the skillet to heat up for a few minutes until it is sizzling hot. Aim for 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a laser thermometer, use it to test the temperature of the skillet before placing the salmon fillets on it.

Carefully place the salmon filets skin side up (flesh-side down) on the hot skillet. Be careful to gently place the filets on the skillet rather than plunking them down, or hot oil will surely splash back at you. If you have a mesh cover to avoid grease splatter, feel free to use it here.

Spatula underneath salmon getting ready to flip it

Cook salmon for 6 minutes on the flesh side. Use a sturdy spatula (I use a metal spatula) to carefully flip the salmon and cook for 4 minutes on the salmon skin side, or cook to your desired level of doneness. 

Crispy salmon in a skillet

Pro tip for flipping salmon: You can use the spatula to gently roll the salmon to the other side rather than picking it up all the way and plopping it down. This, again, avoids grease splatter. 

Salmon is considered fully cooked once it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Many people, however, prefer the texture of salmon when it reaches 125 degrees F.

Choose your level of doneness accordingly, but note that salmon will have a softer, juicier texture when cooked slightly below 145. 

To check the internal temperature of the fish, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the filet.

Transfer the pan-seared salmon to a plate and allow it to rest for 10 minutes while you finish making the sauce.

Put It All Together:

Pour the roasted red pepper sauce into a skillet or saucepan (be careful if you’re using the same skillet you used to cook the salmon, as the skillet may need to cool down a bit before adding the sauce).

Heat over medium heat and bring the sauce to a gentle bubble. Add in the cherry tomatoes and spinach (if adding) and continue cooking and stirring just until the spinach has wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the salmon to bowls or plates with a lip and pour your desired amount of roasted red pepper sauce over the salmon.

Salmon with bite taken out in a bowl with creamy sauce so you can see the inside of the salmon.

Serve salmon with steamed rice, mashed potatoes, risotto, couscous, pasta noodles, or anything that can soak up the delicious sauce.

I go with brown rice and roasted vegetables. You can serve salmon with cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles for a low carb option.

Looking for instructions on how to cook salmon in the oven? Here you go!

How to Make Crispy Salmon in The Oven:

If your personal preference is roasting salmon in the oven over searing it on the stove top, I’ve got you. Simply turn your oven on the high broil setting and move one of the oven racks to the shelf that is third from the top.

Transfer the salmon fillets to a large casserole dish or oven-safe baking dish or large rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle salmon with avocado oil and use your fingers or a silicone brush to brush the oil over the full surface of the flesh.

Salmon seasoned with salt and paprika in a casserole dish.

Sprinkle salmon filets with sea salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. Place salmon on the shelf that’s third from the top and broil for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the salmon has reached your desired level of crisp and is cooked through.

Thin salmon filets will only take about 6 to 8 minutes whereas thick filets require about 10 to 15 minutes. The exact bake time depends on the size of the filets and the temperature of the filets going into the oven (whether they have been chilling in the refrigerator or are at room temperature). 

Prepare the red pepper sauce while the salmon is baking. Follow the same method for warming up the roasted red pepper sauce on the stove top.

Transfer the salmon filets to individual plates or bowls along with your favorite side dishes. Pour the creamy roasted red pepper sauce over the baked salmon, and enjoy this delicious meal!

Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Stainless steel skillet with four cooked salmon filets in creamy red pepper sauce and fresh tomatoes in the background.

While I love this easy salmon recipe for weeknight dinners or a weekend dinner party, I also love the idea of serving it for special events like holidays. 

If you don’t cook a traditional turkey, ham, or Prime Rib for the holidays, consider whipping up this show-stopping main dish!

Those of you who love salmon, also try out these delicious salmon recipes!

More Salmon Recipes:

It’s a creamy kind of life!

Wood bowl with crispy red pepper salmon and brown rice inside, ready to eat.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Salmon

4.67 from 21 votes
Crispy salmon with creamy roasted red pepper sauce with tomatoes and spinach is a decadent, rich meal! Pair it with rice, crusty bread, pasta noodles, or cauliflower rice for a delicious balanced meal.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings

Ingredients

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion chopped
  • 5 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (16-oz) jar roasted red peppers drained
  • 1 (15-oz) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes optional
  • 5 ounces baby spinach optional

Instructions

Make the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:

  • Begin by preparing the creamy roasted red pepper sauce. Heat one tablespoon of avocado oil or olive oil in a large skillet on the stove top over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the fresh garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes, or until the garlic is very fragrant. Transfer the onion garlic mixture to a high powered blender (or food processor) and set the skillet aside to use for cooking the salmon.
  • Transfer the drained roasted red peppers, coconut milk, and sea salt to the blender and blend until the sauce is completely creamy. Set aside until ready to use.

Cook the Salmon:

  • Heat two tablespoons of avocado oil (or high-temperature cooking oil of choice) in a large skillet (I use the same skillet I used to sauté the onion and garlic) over medium-high heat.
  • Allow the skillet to heat up for a few minutes until it is sizzling hot. Aim for 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a laser thermometer https://amzn.to/3CMOwI6 , use it to test the temperature of the skillet before placing the salmon fillets on it.
  • Carefully place the salmon filets skin side up (flesh-side down) on the hot skillet. Be careful to gently place the filets on the skillet rather than plunking them down, or hot oil will surely splash back at you. If you have a mesh cover to avoid grease splatter, feel free to use it here.
  • Cook salmon for 6 minutes on the flesh side. Use a sturdy spatula (I use a metal spatula) to carefully flip the salmon and cook for 4 minutes on the salmon skin side, or cook to your desired level of doneness.
  • Pro tip for flipping salmon: You can use the spatula to gently roll the salmon to the other side rather than picking it up all the way and plopping it down. This, again, avoids grease splatter.
  • Salmon is considered fully cooked once it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Many people, however, prefer the texture of salmon when it reaches 125 degrees F. Choose your level of doneness accordingly, but note that salmon will have a softer, juicier texture when cooked slightly below 145.
  • To check the internal temperature of the fish, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the filet.
  • Transfer the pan-seared salmon to a plate and allow it to rest for 10 minutes while you finish making the sauce.

Put it All Together:

  • Pour the roasted red pepper sauce into a skillet or saucepan (be careful if you’re using the same skillet you used to cook the salmon, as the skillet may need to cool down a bit before adding the sauce). Heat over medium heat and bring the sauce to a gentle bubble. Add in the cherry tomatoes and spinach (if adding) and continue cooking and stirring just until the spinach has wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Transfer the salmon to bowls or plates with a lip and pour your desired amount of roasted red pepper sauce over the salmon. Serve salmon with steamed rice, mashed potatoes, risotto, couscous, pasta noodles, or anything that can soak up the delicious sauce. I go with brown rice and roasted vegetables.

Notes

Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 4) · Calories: 654kcal · Carbohydrates: 14g · Protein: 50g · Fat: 43g · Saturated Fat: 21g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 5g · Cholesterol: 114mg · Sodium: 1246mg · Fiber: 3g · Sugar: 5g
Author: Julia Mueller
Course: Main Course, Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked salmon recipe, crispy salmon, crispy salmon recipe, healthy salmon recipes, roasted red pepper salmon, salmon with creamy sauce, salmon with red pepper sauce
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

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Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi, this recipe looks really good! I was wondering if there is a healthier alternative to the full fat coconut milk that I can use?

    1. Hi Sana! The best replacement would be heavy cream, which isn’t really a healthier alternative because it still has a lot of fat. If you’re looking for a lower fat recipe, you could try using whole milk and thicken the sauce with flour or cornstarch. Essentially, if you’re fine experimenting with the sauce you can make it “healthier” but it won’t work as written using any other dairy-free milk or regular milk without making changes.

  2. This was so delicious! I didn’t have cherry tomatoes, but I added fresh squeezed lemon juice for the acidity, and, wowza, was it ever tasty! Next time I will also try it with cherry tomatoes. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. My pleasure, Jill! I’m happy you enjoyed the recipe! It’s one of my personal favorites 🙂 Thank you for following up with your experience! xo