Salmon casserole is total comfort food. Delicious flakes of baked Scottish Salmon mixed with spinach and onions in a creamy cheese sauce, all layered between slices of potato and baked to crispy perfection. If you are looking for a new way to enjoy salmon, then this is it.
Some dishes are worth putting in a little more effort for, and this salmon casserole is definitely one of them. It is cheesy and comforting, but still packed with Omega-3s and iron. We say "casserole", but it is more of a salmon and potato bake. But it is a really saucy dish, so it has that casserole element to it.
Why you will love it
- Cheesy and creamy comfort food
- A delicious and easy way to cook with Scottish salmon
- Easy to adapt with different vegetables
- Freezes well
- Salmon - We used wonderful Scottish Salmon. First it is baked and then mixed in to the cheese sauce. I know some people are scared of cooking fish because they think it will over cook and be dry, but this is a fool proof recipe and the salmon is perfectly cooked. The key is making sure it is cooked on a low heat.
- Potatoes - these are key to the layering of this salmon casserole. We used russet potatoes, as we find they are best for roasting. But you could use any white potatoes, or even swap them for sweet potatoes.
- Cheese sauce - this is where all the comfort of the dish comes from. You can use a store bought cheese sauce, but it is so easy to make your own. All you need is milk, butter, flour and cheddar (but you can use any cheese that melts well). You could add a little mustard to the cheese sauce for extra flavour.
- Dill - we think that dill and salmon are the perfect flavour combination. You could swap it for fresh flat leaf parsley if you don't like dill.
- Onions - the base of most dishes, this salmon casserole is no different. it adds lovely flavour and texture.
- Spinach - we love any recipe we can give a green boost to and the spinach pairs well with the salmon and creamy sauce.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Preheat your oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Bake the salmon for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through. Once cooked, remove form the oven and flake. Reduce the oven heat to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5.
Two: Put the potato slices in a pan of boiling water and then reduce to a simmer for 4-5 minutes.
Three: Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted (about 2 minutes). Add the salmon to the onion and spinach. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Four: Make the cheese sauce by adding the milk, butter and flour to a pan. Heat gently until the butter has melted, whisking constantly. Add 120g of the cheese and dill and continue whisking until the cheese has melted.
Five: Grease a large baking dish and put a layer of potatoes on the bottom. Add a layer of cheese sauce and then a layer of salmon mix.
Six: Repeat with another layer of each, finishing with a layer of potatoes and then cheese sauce. Cover with cheese and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
Health benefits of salmon
- It is one of the best sources of long chain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. Children who regularly consume foods rich in Omega-3 have been shown in studies to have increased concentration levels and improved learning abilities.
- Salmon is an excellent source of high quality protein - a 100g (3.5oz) portion contains 25g of protein.
- Contains high amounts of B vitamins. These are good for repairing DNA and reducing the causes that can lead to heart disease. B vitamins also help maintain optimal brain and nervous system functioning.
- Scientists are investigating the role fish consumption may have in protecting people from some cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, asthma, diabetes, macular degeneration, high blood pressure and multiple sclerosis.
- Contains antioxidants.
Health benefits of potatoes
White potatoes always seem to get a bad reputation, but we think they are nutrient dense. They are low in fat, sodium and cholesterol, they have nearly half of your daily vitamin C and they are a great source of potassium - even more than a banana.
They are full of fibre and magnesium, and they are filling too. On top of this, they are also suitable for almost any diet, from vegan to gluten free. I am not sure what more you could want?
You could swap the white potatoes for sweet potatoes, which would add lots of colour to this dish, and give it a sweeter flavour.
What vegetables to add
We have added loads of spinach to this to give it a really leafy green veggie boost, but there is opportunity to add other vegetables too. You could chop up a selection of mushrooms like shiitake, oyster and chestnut to give a variety of texture.
You could also add diced bell pepper, grated courgette (zucchini) or carrots and aubergine (eggplant), or even add some frozen peas to the cheese sauce. This is a good opportunity to use up whatever you have in your fridge.
Whilst you could go the easy route and buy a packet/jar of cheese sauce (nobody is going to judge you), it really is so easy to make yourself. Just some milk, butter, flour and cheese and you have an incredibly silky cheese sauce that has so many uses. But, it's the base of the sauce in this dish, mixed with plenty of dill.
What to serve this with
This is a pretty hearty and heavy meal, so we find it pretty filling on it's own and not really any need for anything else. Some crusty bread rolls are perfect for mopping up all that delicious cheese sauce though.
If you want something light and veggie packed on the side, then we have a few delicious side dishes for you to try:
- Balsamic and Garlic Roasted Cauliflower
- Roasted Lemon Asparagus
- Broccoli Salad
- Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- Baked Carrot Fries
- Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Garlic and Parsley Roasted Carrots
With all the health benefits of salmon that we have listed above, this is a nutrient dense curry. It's also a good opportunity to add lots of vegetables like leafy greens. You could also add some other vegetables to boost the nutrients, or serve it with some veggie heavy sides.
If the salmon is beginning to flake, but still has a little translucency in the middle, it is cooked. It shouldn't look raw. You could use a meat thermometer and check it has got to a temperature of 62°C/145°F.
You can store this salmon casserole in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. It can also be put in a freezable container and kept in the freezer for up to 2 months.
When reheating this dish, it is best done in the oven at a low heat. We reheated at at gas mark 5 for around 20 minutes, but check that it is heated all the way through first.
• If you don't like dill, then you can swap it for fresh flat leaf parsley instead.
• Save yourself time and use a really good quality store bought cheese sauce.
• If you cheese sauce is a little too thick, then just add a splash of milk until it is the desired consistency.
• To ensure that all the potatoes are cut to the same thickness, and therefore cooked the same, use a mandoline.
• Use a meat thermometer to make sure the salmon is cooked all the way through.
• For an extra boost of flavour, add a tiny sprinkle of paprika over the top before baking.
More salmon recipes
- 500 g Salmon fillet
- 800 g Potato - thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 Onion - thinly sliced
- 120 g Spinach
- 10 g Fresh dill - finely chopped
- 600 ml Whole milk
- 5 tablespoon plain flour
- 60 g Butter
- 200 g Cheddar cheese - grated
- Preheat your oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Bake the salmon for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through. Once cooked, remove form the oven and flake. Reduce the oven heat to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5.
- Put the potato slices in a pan of boiling water and then reduce to a simmer for 4-5 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted (about 2 minutes).
- Add the salmon to the onion and spinach. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Make the cheese sauce by adding the milk, butter and flour to a pan. Heat gently until the butter has melted, whisking constantly.
- Add 120g of the cheese and dill and continue whisking until the cheese has melted.
- Grease a large baking dish and put a layer of potatoes on the bottom. Add a layer of cheese sauce and then a layer of salmon mix.
- Repeat with another layer of each, finishing with a layer of potatoes and then cheese sauce. Cover with cheese and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
- If you don't like dill, then you can swap it for fresh flat leaf parsley instead.
- Save yourself time and use a really good quality store bought cheese sauce.
- If you cheese sauce is a little too thick, then just add a splash of milk until it is the desired consistency.
- To ensure that all the potatoes are cut to the same thickness, and therefore cooked the same, use a mandoline.
- Use a meat thermometer to make sure the salmon is cooked all the way through.