Quinoa Pilaf with Roasted Salmon and Red Pepper Sauce

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Quinoa Pilaf with Roasted Salmon and Red Pepper Sauce

“By slow-roasting the salmon filets in the oven, you have almost a fail-proof way of cooking the perfect piece of healthy deliciousness. Slow-roasting allows the fatty layers between the meat to melt, making the fish juicy and tender.”

Quinoa Pilaf with Roasted Salmon and Red Pepper Sauce


  • For the Quinoa Pilaf

    1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion or shallot
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 2 cups liquid ( I used 1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup water. You could use 2 cups chicken stock or all water. I would not use veggie stock as the flavor tends to be very strong )
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • For the Slow-Roasted Salmon

    4 (5 ounce) skin on salmon filets (check for and remove any bones)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • For the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

    1 small jar (7 1/2 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained (or roast your own, about 1/2 cup total, peeled and sliced)
  • 1/4 cup fire roasted diced tomatoes ( if you don't have fire roasted, you can use regular diced tomatoes, but fire roasted gives it more depth )
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (for all)


Step 1

Heat the oven to 250°F

It's best to let the fish sit out a bit so it's not super cold, so let it sit out while you prepare the pilaf ingredients and while the oven heats.

Prepare the Pilaf

In a small saucepan with a tight fitting lid, heat the oil over medium low heat; add the onions and peppers; sauté 2 - 3 minutes or until tender. Add the rinsed quinoa to the pan and stir until covered with oil; add the liquid along with a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, cover and lower the heat; cook for 15 - 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Stir in the parsley. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. ( a small pat of unsalted butter here is good, but not necessary )

Step 2

Prepare the Salmon

While the pilaf is cooking, rub the oil over the salmon and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Place the salmon, skin side down, onto an aluminum foil covered cooking sheet that has been lightly oiled or sprayed with cooking spray. Place in the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until medium. Do not overcook the fish.

Step 3

Prepare the Pepper Sauce

While the fish and pilaf are cooking, place all the ingredients for the sauce in a blender; blend until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and heat until just hot.

Step 4

To Serve

Place the pilaf on the bottom of the plate, top with the salmon and spoon the sauce over. Enjoy.

Wine Recommendation: While salmon generally goes well with Pinot Noir, and will do so here as well, a better choice would be a Merlot or even a Sangiovese due to the red pepper sauce. 

{The making of Quinoa Pilaf with Roasted Salmon and Red Pepper Sauce}


quinoa with slow roasted salmon and red pepper sauce


No matter the reason you cook at home, whether it’s to save money, have better control over what you put into your mouth (and on your waistline) or the fact that there’s just NOWHERE for you to go out to eat, or you just plain enjoy cooking; I’m sure that you don’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen cooking dinner. And you want something colorful, tasty, healthy and delicious. Well, look no further…Quinoa Pilaf with Roasted Salmon and Red Pepper Sauce is a powerhouse of healthy food, beautifully presented, and done in about 30 minutes.

Simple to prepare, pretty enough for company and a nutritional powerhouse – what’s not to love?

Really. I mean how can you go wrong in the healthy department? Quinoa, salmon and red peppers. It’s in the bag.


Let’s start with the quinoa.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave (and if so, welcome back) you know that quinoa is being touted as a “superfood” –  gluten-free, filled with nutrient-rich magnesium, iron, and calcium. It’s also low in both fat and calories, yet high in protein. The new culinary star. And it’s so easy to prepare. The only thing I find to be important when working with quinoa is to rinse it well. I use a triple rinse method to get the bitter coating off; if you don’t mind a little bit of bitter, then just give it a rinse as you would rice. I’m finding more and more manufacturers saying you don’t need to rinse quinoa but I suspect they have removed some of the pericarps and that’s like removing some of the nutrition. So buy whole, natural quinoa and give it a good rinse.

Now on to the salmon.

If you have read anything on my site, then you know that I am a firm advocate of fresh, wild caught salmon. None of that “Atlantic Farmed” stuff. The health benefits of wild caught salmon are many; but especially for its high concentration of Omega 3 fatty acids, essential amino acids and high quality of protein. Farmed salmon does not reach the same levels of health benefits. And if they have to put dye in it to make it look like salmon, then something is not exactly right.

That said, the farmed fish industry is starting to make some good progress towards stopping the practices they used that fouled the water which had previously been a huge problem for the environment and are working towards keeping the fish farms cleaner so the fish are not swimming in their own filth. Changing the feed mix and not using hormones is also on the rise.

But for now, I will still stick with my wild salmon.

If all you can get is farmed, make sure it’s the best-farmed salmon you can find. Farmed salmon from Chile has been moved to the yellow list by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’ Seafood Watch program.  And of course, markets such as Whole Foods, are very watchful of where their seafood comes from, so it’s a fairly safe choice when buying fish.

By slow-roasting the salmon filets in the oven, you have almost a fail-proof way of cooking the perfect piece of healthy deliciousness. Slow-roasting allows the fatty layers in between the meat to melt, making the fish juicy and tender.

Don’t overcook it. Better a little rare, then overdone.

Red bell peppers.

Red bell peppers have 300% of the daily requirement for vitamin C.


AND they have high levels of vitamins A, B-6, and magnesium along with supplying antioxidants.

PLUS PLUS they increase your metabolism, which aids in weight loss.

All of these foods are considered part of  The World’s Healthiest Foods.

Healthy, simple, elegant – how can you not love this recipe for Quinoa Pilaf with Roasted Salmon and Red Pepper Sauce?

Well, you can’t. So make it today for a healthy and happy tomorrow.


Quinoa Pilaf with Roasted Salmon and Red Pepper Sauce


LindySez:  I served this with some fresh steamed broccoli … you know, in case it wasn’t healthy enough.


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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Christine | No Gojis No Glory on November 7, 2014

    Quick and healthy…two of my favorite words. Salmon and quinoa…even better. Quinoa has become one of favorite foods to make, especially since it’s so versatile. I even eat it as a warm breakfast cereal. And I agree 100% about the rinsing part. It’s so much better without that bitterness.

    • posted by LindySez on November 8, 2014

      Mine too Christine, I love things to be quick and healthy especially during the week. I hope you enjoy the recipe and thanks for stopping by. Cheers ~ Lindy

  2. posted by Linda Omura on February 21, 2015

    I normally do not rinse my quinoa but now that you mention it I do remember a slightly bitter taste. I’ll try rinsing it! This dish looks so healthy if you are able to get the wild caught salmon. When I’m in Florida I find that it is difficult to find.

    • posted by LindySez on February 21, 2015

      Hi Linda, yes, I find rinsing the quinoa makes a big difference in the flavor of it. Some say they are pre-rinsed, but I’d rather buy ones that are not and rinse it myself. There are a few substainably raised farmed salmon, just avoid anything that is called Atlantic salmon. You can be pretty sure that the ones sold in Whole Foods are good to go. Cheers Lindy


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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.
  • Calories
  • Fat
    18g (2g Sat, 9g Poly, 4g Mono)
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • Nutritional data is provided for your good health, but may not be 100% accurate

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