Poaching salmon is a super easy, and this 20-minute dinner comes out with big flavor every time thanks to its Mediterranean flare!

Vibrant and Fancy, but a Total Cinch to Make!

If you can bring liquid to a simmer, you can poach salmon. It’s really that easy.

And once you get comfortable with poaching salmon, the possibilities are pretty endless. You can come up with your own flavor profiles and add-ins to woo your family and flex your culinary talent!

In this Mediterranean-inspired recipe, we’re bathing our fillets in a tomato wine sauce with burst grape tomatoes and briny kalamata olives. So, if you enjoy big Greek flavors, you’re going to love this.

What Is Poached Salmon?

Poaching is a cooking technique where food is submerged into liquid to cook. That liquid could be stock, wine, milk, or even just plain ol’ water—or a combination of these!

The beauty with poaching salmon is that you’re not going to dry it out. So if you’re new at cooking fish, this is an excellent place to start.

There are two different poaching methods:

  • Shallow poaching
  • Deep poaching

Deep poaching is, of course, when the food is fully and completely submerged into the liquid.

Shallow poaching is what we do in this recipe, where the food is almost completely submerged. This method is great for super tender, boneless, single serving-sized pieces of meat, poultry, or fish.

As the liquid simmers, we spoon it over the salmon fillets—sort of giving them a bath in it.

What I love about this recipe is that the “poaching liquid” doubles as a sauce that you can smother over your fillets when served.

How Long Should You Poach Salmon?

Any fish fillet or steak that weighs between 5-8 oz should take anywhere between 6-9 minutes to cook to an internal temperature of 140-145º F.

A Quick Glance at the Ingredients

  • Salmon fillets (*see Recipe Notes)
  • Olive oil
  • Red onion
  • Garlic
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Vegetable broth
  • Marinara
  • Red wine (I like to use a Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • Kalamata olives
  • Sea salt + cracked pepper
  • Fresh basil

How to Poach Salmon in Tomato Wine Sauce

  1. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes start to soften and burst. You can lightly press on them with your spatula to help them burst.
  3. Stir in the garlic and simmer for another 30 seconds.
  4. Pour the vegetable broth into the pan followed by the marinara and red wine; stir in the olives and the basil.
  5. Finally, nestle the salmon fillets into the pan. Once the liquid reaches a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low.
  6. Cover, and let the salmon fillets simmer (never let it come to a boil) for 6-9 minutes or until the fillets reach an internal temperature of 140º F. Occasionally spoon some of the sauce over the salmon fillets throughout the cooking process to baste them.
  7. When the salmon is ready, sprinkle on the extra basil and serve.

Useful Tools for This Recipe

Recipe Notes

  1. You could use any variety of salmon for this recipe, but I always opt for my favorite tasty, tender, and buttery Faroe Island salmon fillets. They never disappoint. Be aware that some salmon varieties are firmer in texture, like Sockeye and Keta.
  2. In the event that someone at your dinner table doesn’t like salmon, this recipe will work with most fillets of fish. Depending on size, cooking times may vary.
  3. If you prefer to cook without alcohol, you can omit the wine and replace it with extra broth.
  4. Be sure to keep the liquid at a simmer and avoid bringing it to a full boil.

Have You Made This Recipe?

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Other Salmon Recipes You *Need* to Try!

Sauté pan with salmon fillets in tomato and red wine sauce.

Easy Poached Salmon in Tomato Wine Sauce

Poaching salmon is a super easy, and this 20-minute dinner comes out with big flavor every time thanks to its Mediterranean flare!
5 from 22 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 19 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Dana Sandonato

Ingredients

  • 1.5 LBS salmon, cut into four equal fillets I highly recommend a more fatty and tender salmon, like Faroe Island (chinook/king)
  • Sea salt + cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 cup shaved or thinly sliced red onion, preferably using a mandolin
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup marinara
  • 1/4 cup red wine I like to use Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped or ribboned basil leaves, + more for garnish

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan.
  • Transfer the onions and tomatoes to the pan and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Let them simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to soften and burst. (You can press on the tomatoes lightly with your spatula to help them burst.)
  • Stir in the garlic; simmer for another 30 seconds.
  • Now pour the broth into the pan, followed by the marinara and red wine; stir in the olives and the basil.
  • Nestle the salmon fillets into the sauce. Once the sauce reaches a simmer, bring the heat to medium-low and cover.
  • Leave the salmon fillets to simmer (don't let the liquid come to a boil) for 6-9 minutes, or until the fillets reach an internal temperature of 140º F. Occasionally spoon some of the sauce over the fillets as they cook to baste them.
  • When the salmon is ready, garnish with some extra basil and serve.