Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Every once in a while I make a salad that is so delicious and beautiful I even surprise myself. This Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is one of those times. Truly, it’s amazing.
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Fall Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, seared salmon served on a bed of roasted butternut squash and greens then drizzled with gorgeous green basil vinaigrette.

 Fall Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

This fresh basil dressing is made using organic extra virgin olive oil, Champagne vinegar and fresh basil leaves mixed in a food processor. Look at that color!

How to Work With Butternut Squash

Working with butternut squash can be easy or the hardest thing you will ever do in the kitchen! It depends on the tools you use. You absolutely need a ‘Y’ peeler and a sharp knife. Peel, cut in half, scoop out the seeds (a la Halloween pumpkin) and dice!  If you buy the precut BNS be sure it’s cut fresh on site and not packaged and sitting on a shelf for days.

Fall Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

To roast, simply place squash on a parchment covered rimmed cookie sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, toss and place in oven, upper third rack, until edges are golden. I serve roasted butternut squash all by itself as a side dish all the time.

Time saving tip! Always roast more than you need to have with eggs for breakfast the next day!

 Fall Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Searing Salmon and Removing Skin

I love to sear my salmon on the cook top and then I finish in the oven. If you are not a fan of the skin there is a very simple way to remove it, I simply slide my fish spatula between the skin and flesh and the meat lifts right off leaving the skin in the pan.

Fall Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Assemble and you have a beautiful complete meal salad which is high in protein, healthy fats and unrefined carbohydrates!

 Fall Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

The Recipe: Fall Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Tips and what you will need:  You will need a food processor or blender (I use a Blend Tec, expensive but you’ll never need another one!) To peel and cut squash you will need a “y” peeler and a good knife. (It’s on sale! $42 off at time of posting). You will also need a rimmed cookie sheet, unbleached parchment paper and a good pan. To make Whole 30 compliant omit feta.

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Fall Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette



A gorgeous, healthy, complete meal salad! Dairy free friends a great creamy substitute for feta is avocado.


For Butternut Squash:

  • 4 cups Butternut squash, peeled, cubed and roasted
  • olive oil
  • sea salt, pepper

For Salad:

  • 4 cups baby greens
  • 1 small tomato diced
  • 1/2 a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • handful feta cheese (optional, dairy free friends feel free to omit or sub with avocado)


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Champagne Vinegar
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • generous pinch sea salt
  • pinch freshly ground pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes

For Salmon:

  • Four salmon filets, skin on
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil, , clarified butter, or ghee


For Butternut Squash:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place oven rack in upper third of oven.
  2. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a rimmed cookie sheet.
  3. Peel and cut butternut squash. Place on parchment covered cookie sheet.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and toss till squash is well coated.
  5. Sprinkle with a few pinches of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss.
  6. Place in oven for 50 minutes or until edges are brown and crispy.
  7. While squash cooks make and assemble salad, make dressing and cook salmon.

For Salad:

  1. Place greens, feta, tomato and onion in a large bowl and set aside.

For Basil Vinaigrette:

  1. Place garlic in processor and pulse till minced.
  2. Add olive oil, basil leaves, salt and peppers. Process till will blended.
  3. You made need to scrape down the sides several times. Set aside.

For Salmon:

  1. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper
  2. Heat a panini pan (or other heavy pan) on high heat.
  3. When pan is hot add butter, olive oil or ghee to pan and turn heat to med/high.
  4. Place salmon skin side up on pan (flesh side down)
  5. Cook for five minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Use fish spatula to gently turn salmon skin side down and place pan in oven for 8 minutes.
  7. IF you want to remove the skin, slide fish spatula between skin and flesh, lift salmon. Discard skin.

To plate:

  1. Place butternut squash on four plates. Toss greens in basil vinaigrette reserving some for garnishing salmon. Toss greens.
  2. Place greens on top of butternut squash.
  3. Place salmon on top of greens and drizzle with remaining basil vinaigrette.
  4. Serve and throughly enjoy!

Courses Dinner

Cuisine American

Need more salmon recipes? Here are a few favorites: Tropical Salmon, Fish Tacos, Scottish Salmon Sandwich, and Pesto Salmon with Parmesan Crisps!

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Post tags: Gluten free, grain free

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