Say goodbye to boring lettuce and hello to this refreshing Cold Salmon Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing. Packed with flavor, nutrients, and a delightful combination of textures, this salad will leave you feeling satisfied and energized. Picture this: tender, flaky pieces of cooked salmon layered atop crisp mixed greens, accompanied by a medley of capers, olives, tomato, onion, tangy goat cheese, crunchy pine nuts and creamy Avocado Lime Dressing. With each bite, you’ll experience a burst of freshness that is both satisfying and light, making it the perfect lunch or dinner option. And, it can be served in a variety of ways – as a layered salad, cobb salad-style, or simply tossed and served.

(Photo by Rick Souders)
Table of Contents
  1. This elegant Salad with Salmon is Perfect for Summer
  2. What You’ll Need for This Salmon Salad Recipe
  3. What Kind of Salmon to Put in Salad
  4. How to Make Salmon Salad
  5. Dressing for Salmon Salad
  6. How to Serve This Recipe for Salmon Salad
  7. Variations of Salad with Salmon
  8. Cold Salmon Salad Storage
  9. Salad with Salmon Recipe Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Layered Salad with Salmon and Avocado Dressing

This elegant Salad with Salmon is Perfect for Summer

Warm summer evenings are the perfect time to serve a main dish salad for dinner, and since preparing Layered Salmon Salad with Avocado Dressing doesn’t require turning on the oven or cooktop, your kitchen stays nice and cool.

The avocado dressing is a variation of the dressing used in our Chicken Taco Salad and is delicious on most any tossed or chopped lettuce salad.

What You’ll Need for This Salmon Salad Recipe

To create a tantalizing Cold Salmon Salad and its dressing, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Salmon Salad

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Cooked salmon
  • Capers
  • Red onion
  • Fresh tomato
  • Kalamata olives
  • Goat cheese
  • Pine nuts
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper

Avocado Lime Dressing

  • Ripe avocados
  • Plain Greek yogurt (I use nonfat)
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Garlic clove
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper

What Kind of Salmon to Put in Salad

When choosing the salmon to use in this salad, it’s essential to consider the texture and flavor you prefer. Most any kind of salmon will work well:

  • Grilled or baked salmon. Provides a tender and flaky texture with a mild, slightly sweet flavor. You can season the salmon with various herbs and spices to complement the salad’s other ingredients.
  • Poached salmon. A moist and tender texture. Similar to grilled or baked, you can season the poachng water with various herbs and spices.
  • Smoked salmon. Adds a rich, intense flavor with a more delicate touch. It goes particularly well with this recipe. See my post on the various types of smoked salmon.
  • Leftover salmon (any kind). Flake or slice and add to the salad for a quick and easy option.
Large mason jars filled with Layered Salmon Salad With Avocado Dressing

How to Make Salmon Salad

Here’s an overview of how easy it is to create this luscious salad:

  1. Layer all salad ingredients.
    In a deep 3 or 4 quart glass bowl, layer the ingredients in this order, very lightly sprinklng each layer with salt and pepper: lettuce, salmon, capers, onion, tomato, olives, goat cheese and pine nuts.
  2. Add Avocado Lime Dressing.
    Spoon avocado dressing over top. If desired, use a spatula to smooth dressing into an even layer.
  3. Refrigerate.
    Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Dressing for Salmon Salad

I always make the Avocado Lime Dressing first, then assemble the salad:

  1. Purée avocado.
    Scoop avocado flesh into a food processor and purée until smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
    Add yogurt, lime juice, garlic, salt and cumin; blend until well mixed and few to no lumps remain.
  3. Adjust seasonings.
    Taste and season with additional salt or pepper if needed.
  4. Cover and chill until assembling salad.

How to make layered salad in a jar

Follow the directions as outlined above, dividing the ingredients between 6 (1-quart) mason jars with lids.

How to Serve This Recipe for Salmon Salad

This salad is extremely versatile and can be served in a variety of ways. In addition to layering the ingredients in a deep 3 or 4 quart glass bowl, here are some other serving options:

  1. Individual salads. Divide lettuce among 8 individual shallow bowls, arrange salad ingredients in rows on top (like a cobb salad), and pass dressing on the side.
  2. On a large serving platter. Spread lettuce on a large oval platter and arrange other ingredients in rows, passing dressing on the side.
  3. In mason jars. Layer salad in individual large mason jars for a picnic or casual dinner.
  4. Simply toss. Don’t layer ingredients, just toss and serve.

And, regardless of how you choose to assemble the salad, let the Avocado Dressing sit for at least one hour before serving to allow the flavors time to blend.

Variations of Salad with Salmon

While this recipe is delicious as is, there are several possibilities for customization. Here are a few suggested variations:

  • Use roasted chicken instead of salmon.
  • Substitute toasted slivered almonds for the pine nuts.
  • Use feta instead of goat cheese.
  • Add chopped cooked bacon.
  • Add chopped cucumber.
  • Add chopped fresh herbs – parsley, cilantro, dill or chives.
  • Give it an Asian flair by using a sesame ginger dressing and add sliced avocado and edamame.

Cold Salmon Salad Storage

When chilling – or if you have leftovers – cover tightly and refrigerate. It tastes best within 24 hours of assembling.

More Salad Recipes You'll Enjoy

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Large mason jars filled with Layered Salmon Salad With Avocado Dressing

Layered Salad with Salmon and Avocado Dressing

 Packed with flavor, nutrients, and a delightful combination of textures, this salad will leave you feeling satisfied and energized. Tender, flaky pieces of cooked salmon are layered atop crisp mixed greens, accompanied by a medley of capers, olives, tomato, onion, tangy goat cheese, crunchy pine nuts and creamy Avocado Lime Dressing. It can be served in a variety of ways – as a layered salad, cobb salad-style, or simply tossed and served.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • RefrigerationTime: 60mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale

Salmon Salad

  • 4 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 cups flaked cooked salmon
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives (optional)
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Avocado Lime Dressing

  • 2 large ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (regular or nonfat)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Dash ground cumin
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Avocado Lime dressing

  1. Scoop avocado flesh into a food processor and purée until smooth.
  2. Add yogurt, lime juice, garlic, salt and cumin; blend until well mixed and few to no lumps remain.
  3. Taste and season with additional salt or pepper if needed.
  4. Cover and chill until assembling salad.

salmon salad

  1. In a deep 3 or 4 quart glass bowl, layer the ingredients in this order, very lightly sprinklng each layer with salt and pepper: lettuce, salmon, capers, onion, tomato, olives, goat cheese and pine nuts.
  2. Spoon avocado dressing over top. If desired, use a spatula to smooth dressing into an even layer.
  3. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Notes

Serving variations: This salad is extremely versatile and can be served in a variety of ways. In addition to layering the ingredients in a deep 3 or 4 quart glass bowl, here are some other serving options:
1. Individual salads. Divide lettuce among 8 individual shallow bowls, arrange salad ingredients in rows on top (like a cobb salad), and pass dressing on the side.
2. On a large serving platter. Spread lettuce on a large oval platter and arrange other ingredients in rows, passing dressing on the side.
3. In mason jars. Layer salad in individual mason jars for a picnic or casual dinner.
4. Simply toss. Don’t layer ingredients, just toss and serve.

  • Author: From “Fresh Tastes from A Well-Seasoned Kitchen” by Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: Picnics, pot lucks, easy entertaining, picnics
  • Method: No cook
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 314
  • Sugar: 3.9 g
  • Sodium: 492.7 mg
  • Fat: 22 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.7 g
  • Fiber: 5.7 g
  • Protein: 19.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 40.2 mg

Salad with Salmon Recipe Frequently Asked Questions

What to season my salmon with?

To enhance the flavor of salmon, season it with a variety of herbs and spices. For this recipe, lemon or lime zest, dill, garlic or paprika will work well. And, of course, salt and pepper!

Can you eat salmon cold on a salad?

Yes, you can absolutely eat salmon cold on a salad!

What does a salmon salad contain?

The ingredients in a salmon salad vary based on your tastes and the type of salad you want to create. Typical components include mixed greens, vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts or seeds, cheese, a dressing and sometimes a pasta or grain (like couscous or quinoa).

Is cooked salmon OK to eat the next day?

Yes, salmon is safe to eat the next day provided it has been properly stored and refrigerated. Cooked salmon should be cooled, placed in an airtight container and refrigerated. It will last up to 4 days.

This recipe was first posted on our website in 2011, then updated in 2023.

Large mason jars filled with Layered Salmon Salad With Avocado Dressing

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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I’ve provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.


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