Food/ Pescetarian/ Sandwiches + Burgers/ Sides, tapa-tizers + snacks

Sweet and Savory Salmon Sliders With Cranberry Sauce

Stacked salmon sliders lined up in a row.

Salmon Sliders

This post is sponsored by Blue Circle Foods | Thanks for supporting the brands that I love + trust!


What are you most looking forward to this holiday season? Entertaining and clinking glasses with your best pals? Or maybe kicking back in front of the fire place in plaid flannel pants covered in holiday cookie crumbs?

The holiday season is a mixed bag for us this year—we get to indulge in a healthy balance of both. This will be our second Christmas staying put in Raleigh, but we need it. We spent the first six years of our life together traveling between Canada, PA, and NC for the holidays. So. We’ve earned it. We’ve learned to put guilty feelings aside and remind ourselves that it’s totally ok to take care of *us*. So much stress and pressure seems to come with the holidays and we’d like to make it… not about that.

But I wanted to pop in before the holidays get too hectic and feed your eyes with these sweet and savory salmon sliders slathered with cranberry sauce. They’re super easy, seasonal, and perfect for passing around a hungry crowd :)

Salmon Sliders Close Up.

Blue Circle Foods’ Happy Fish.

I feel like I haven’t touched salmon in ages! Which has me extra excited to partner up with Blue Circle Foods to bring you these tender, crisp, saucy, sweet, and savory sliders. These beauties couldn’t be easier to prepare thanks to Blue Circle Foods’ new product, Happy Fish. Four minutes poached, grilled, or sautéed, and you’re good to go.

Fish-shaped salmon fillets in a frying pan.

Fish-shaped salmon fillets on slider buns.

Happy Fish, which can be purchased at Whole Foods, is made up of sustainably-raised salmon and is shaped into adorable fish-shaped nuggets—which makes them appealing to kiddos! (Bye, chicken nuggets.) The only ingredients in these gems are protein-packed salmon, sea salt, and white pepper; no preservatives, no nasty breading, and no weird fillers. 

If you’re skeptical about frozen seafood, don’t be. There are good kinds and not-so-good kinds, just like with everything else. Happy Fish falls into the former group (and this is coming from someone who makes her own fish sticks).

Happy Fish can be enjoyed on their own, thrown into pastas, tossed into stir frys, or sandwiched between itty bitty slider buns for a fun party favor with a healthy spin.

Salmon sliders lined up on a serving platter.

Sweet and Savory Salmon Sliders With Cranberry Sauce.

In my experience, salmon truly is the most versatile type of fish. It pairs with the sweet, the tart, and the savory; you can serve it over salad, stuff it into a taco, or enjoy it between bread. Even when it comes to cooking methods, you can smoke it, fry it, grill it, and poach it.

Initially, when I thought “salmon sliders”, my mind went straight to some kind of teriyaki and pineapple medley. But I wanted to keep things seasonal! So I went with cranberry sauce, toasted pecans, and crisp apples. And I’m so glad I did. This is a great way to use up any leftover cranberry sauce you might have kicking around over the holidays, but it’s also worth making a fresh batch if needed. I’ve provided my go-to recipe in the recipe card below.

If you make this dish, snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme! I love seeing your creations, and you could be featured in my monthly newsletter <3

Sweet and Savory Salmon Sliders With Cranberry Sauce

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Active Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
These sweet and savory salmon sliders are slathered with cranberry sauce and topped with crisp apples, toasted pecans, red onion, and spinach.

Ingredients

  • 8 Slider Buns
  • 8 Fillets of Blue Circle Foods Happy Fish salmon fillets
  • 1-2 tsp of olive oil
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 sweet apple, thinly sliced (I like to use gala or honeycrisp)
  • Thinly sliced rings of red onion (about 2 rings per slider)
  • Fresh baby spinach leaves
  • { Homemade Cranberry Sauce } *makes 3 cups
  • 1 12oz bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (can also use good quality store-bought)
  • 1 TBSP orange zest
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan with the freshly chopped rosemary. Once the oil is shimmering, add the frozen Happy Fish fillets to the pan and cook for 4-6 minutes, or until fillets have an internal temperature of 145º F, flipping the fillets halfway through.
  2. While the fillets cook, slather 2 TBSP of cranberry sauce over the bottom of each slider bun. (I like to put the cranberry sauce on the bottom bun since it hits the palate first.) Then sprinkle toasted pecans* over the cranberry sauce on each slider bun.
  3. Carefully transfer the salmon fillets to each slider bun, placing over top of the cranberry sauce. Then, top the fillets with some apple slices, onions, and spinach. Place top slider bun on top and secure with a sandwich pick (optional).

Homemade cranberry sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the orange juice, orange zest, maple syrup, and 3/4 cup of water over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until everything is combined and fragrant.
  2. Rinse the cranberries and add them to the saucepan. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer until the cranberries have burst and the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let the cranberry sauce cool completely before serving.

Notes

*Add an extra 15 minutes of cook time if you're making your cranberry sauce from scratch, and make it in advance since you need to let it cool.

**To toast the pecans, place chopped pecans in a dry pan and heat them over medium-low heat for about five minutes, or until the nuts are fragrant and slightly browned. Keep a close eye on them so they don't burn.

Sweet and Savory Salmon Sliders With Cranberry Sauce

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Trish
    January 1, 2019 at 5:42 pm You definitely deserve to just do some relaxing this year! We stayed home too, and it was AWESOME. I'm totally loving these adorable fish shaped patties. And those apple slices! YUM!
  • Reply
    Marisa Franca
    December 25, 2018 at 12:39 pm How adorable!! I didn't know that they even made anything that cute. We have a Whole Foods near us and I'm definitely going to see about the salmon. I think adults would get just as much of a kick out of the shape as kids. Your flavor combination of savory and sweet is very appealing. I can picture serving these sliders during several upcoming events.
  • Reply
    Tina
    December 24, 2018 at 7:26 am These are so adorable and healthy! My kids are grown, but they would adore these fish sliders. The cranberry, rosemary, apple, and red onion sound very well thought out. These would make a great weeknight meal served with some fresh sweet potato baked fries. Yummy!
  • Reply
    Traci
    December 24, 2018 at 12:31 am Oh girl, not too many people put apple slices on sandwiches, but I do...and this is the perfect recipe for it! That fish is pretty darn cute, and I love all of the flavors built around it. Great recipe, great job! Thanks for sharing it :)
  • Reply
    Mackenzie
    December 23, 2018 at 6:00 pm I've never been brave enough to make salmon sliders because I'm always afraid that it will slide off the bun. The flavors in this recipe however were just too good to not try. I don't know which of the ingredients accents the salmon the best, but I wouldn't change a thing.
  • Reply
    Tracy
    December 23, 2018 at 11:49 am Hooray for staying home for the holiday! As wonderful as it is to see family, travelling this time of the year is so much harder / stressful than the rest of the year. Good for you guys! LOVE the idea of cranberry sauce with salmon - pinning this!
  • Reply
    Carmy
    December 23, 2018 at 10:23 am Is it selfish of me to say that if I had moved, I probably would not be traveling home for the holidays? I always feel so stressed out during the holidays and the idea of having to pack up and fly back to visit just adds more stress! Last year we went to 5+ xmas dinners/celebrations and I was exhausted by the time 2019 rolled around! I'm definitely on your side about staying put this holiday! Anyways, back to your recipe!!! The little cut out of the fish is absolutely adorable! I love a sweet and savoury combo so I am here for this recipe. I need to find these little fishes ASAP!
  • Reply
    Debra
    December 23, 2018 at 8:38 am These look amazing. LOVE the group of condiments you chose. BUT....how come I never knew about these salmon burgers? Love the clean ingredient list and how simple they are to prepare. What a great trick up the sleeve when you have these in the freezer.
  • Reply
    Daniela
    December 22, 2018 at 3:18 pm I love this idea for an elegant but fun holiday starter or appetizer! The flavor combination sounds delicious, and a I love that the salmon fillets have no preservatives added to them. Great recipe!
  • Reply
    Kris
    December 21, 2018 at 3:03 pm Oh, wow! These look so tantalizing! Sliders are so much fun salmon definitely kicks them a few notches. The fish-shaped parties are so dang adorable. The adults will love these and so will the kids! Love everything about this recipe. Will be making for a gathering a friends this New Year's! Thanks for the great recipe!
  • Reply
    Holly
    December 20, 2018 at 1:34 pm Oh my gosh the shape of this salmon really makes me smile! I will keep my eye out for this brand on my next shopping trip. Maybe this is just the thing I need to get my son into seafood.
  • Reply
    Lisa
    December 19, 2018 at 3:54 pm I'm pretty sure I've never said this before, but "those salmon patties are adorable!" I love your seasonal twist to the sliders too. My nephews love salmon, but I really think they'd get a kick out of these sandwiches with those little fish-shaped patties. With a house full of people coming this weekend, I'm looking for delicious, easy-to-make dinners -- this one is all of that with a bit of pizzazz!
  • Reply
    Sues
    December 18, 2018 at 12:57 pm OMG that salmon is the CUTEST ever!! I can't get over it. I LOVE salmon and am always looking for new recipes, so I'm excited about this one. Last year, I made salmon tacos with cranberry sauce and loved the combo, so I know I'd love this, too!
  • Reply
    Dawn
    December 18, 2018 at 9:12 am These are ADORABLE!!! BUUUUUUUT, that' s not stopping me from eating, like, 4! Love the whole sweet/savoury combo goin' on here! Gotta try :)
  • Reply
    Gloria
    December 17, 2018 at 7:42 pm OMG those look like little goldfish crackers on a bun. How cute is that?? I would have no problem eating a few of these for dinner. My grandkids would love these too. That flavour profile is very interesting...and I bet it tastes delicious too. I need to give this a try over the holidays.
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