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pan-roasted salmon topped with winter fruit salsa

Pan-Roasted Salmon with Winter Fruit Salsa is a zesty, nutritious and quick recipe: seared salmon topped with a fresh pomegranate, cranberries and apple chopped salad. And it is ready in about 20 minutes, from prep to table! Quick supper, or even an easy festive main dish.

winter fruit salsa on pan-roasted salmon filletI know that many of you will be gearing up towards Thanksgiving Day. Or maybe you’ve already got your packed planner zeroed in on Christmas or Hanukkah. Menus are planned; the kids have made decorations; everyone’s dietary needs are accounted for. You are perhaps exhausted just thinking about the festive days ahead. 

In the lead up to any food-focused holiday we can get so wrapped up in the prep – the running around, the lists, the phone calls and ordering – that we neglect ourselves a bit. 

Does that ring true for you?

I’m not a lifestyle blogger. I don’t have soothing words or sage advice. My quotes game is most definitely not on point. For someone who, as a cancer health educator, dispenses advice for a living, I kind of shy away from a bigger platform to offer it. I prefer my advice to be bespoke. I need to know how to tailor it. To see the reaction in your eyes and body to know how to shape the next thought. So, you won’t get lifestyle or personal advice from me. 

salmon with winter fruit salsa and extra pomegranate molasses drizzle

a generous drizzle – perhaps a bit too generous! – of pomegranate syrup to bring it all together.

I do have food though. And I wish I could make that food for you. Coming over and watching you sink into your sofa while I potter away in your kitchen (kitchen elves on standby to tidy the mess) would be lovely for me, too. I get, “Kellie, can you just come and live with me?” quite a lot. Not because the meal I serve them at one of my Healthy Eating with Cancer workshops is especially amazing. I think rather that looking after yourself and others can be tiring. Very tiring. And it’s so nice to have a meal that is simple, nourishing and just makes you feel good. 

But the next best thing to making your food, perhaps, is an unbelievably easy recipe. One that nourishes body and mind, and tastes fabulous. This Pan-Roasted Salmon with Winter Fruit Salsa is just that. And it is ready in about 20 minutes, too. 

winter fruit salsa in vintage bowlIt is based on a simple but really excellent side dish idea that I got from my best friend, luxury neckware designer, Niki Fulton. It’s so easy that on first read it might not have much of an impact. But I want you to try it and see why I am so excited by this crunchy, zesty, flavour-packed idea of a recipe. I’ve blogged about it twice as a super side dish and relish idea (some images from these posts included here) before. This is a main dish version.

Let’s go.

ingredients for winter fruit salsaWhat’s in this Pan-Roasted Salmon and Winter Fruit Salsa?

A pomegranate – the seeds/arils from a small one, or save seeds from a larger one for nibbling on or tossing onto a warm salad (see this Instagram post for where you can sprinkle them)

An apple or pear – either is good

Fresh cranberries – we are keeping these raw. Yes, raw. Don’t be scared

Parsley – pop of colour and nice herbal taste

A shallot – it’s bringing the fire and bite

Pomegranate molasses – depth and flavour in spades

Clementine – sweet juice and citrus pop

Apple cider vinegar – more pop, and balance for the fatty fish

Dates – to add sweetness if you wish


Coriander seeds

Pepper and salt

Extra virgin olive oil

4 best-quality/provenance salmon fillets or small side of salmon

wild Scottish salmon fillets on wooden plate with concrete background

wild Scottish salmon fillets

Notice that although I call this a salsa, there is no heat. You can add heat, but I like to keep the tastes as they are, not competing with fiery influence. Also, the cardamom, coriander, pepper and salt are for the fish. But if you don’t have cardamom, just season the fish with salt and pepper. The cardamom is, however, really delicious here, but subtle. And totally unexpected.

How to pan-roast salmon fillets

I won’t go into the whole recipe method as it is really easy. If you can make a salad and fry fish, you are good to go. My only advice is to account for how thick or thin your salmon fillets are. 

In the recipe card below I give instructions for fillets that are about 150 grams in weight and four centimetres thick. To cook and get a crispy skin, I heat the oil over a medium flame and add the fillets skin-side down, letting them sizzle moderately (no high heat, please) for up to five minutes. Then I carefully flip to cook for a further two to three minutes.

Your fillets may need more or less time. For much thicker fillets (I’ve had some really lovely fat ones from Waitrose), consider searing in the pan then popping in a hot oven for five-six minutes. We like our salmon “just cooked” (about 5 minutes total cooking time), so I pull the fish out immediately I see, from looking at the sides, that the fish is uniformly opaque. If you want further advice on cooking fish, check this article from Spruce Eats (but knowing that in the UK at least that we get sides and half sides of salmon – more economical than individual filets).

And thinking about it, if you aren’t doing a turkey, or there is room for another easy, nutritious main dish, this might be a welcome addition to your festive menu. A larger side of salmon can be poached or oven-cooked the day ahead, with a doubled recipe of salsa coming together hours ahead on the day of serving. 

Can I do a veggie version of Pan-Roasted Salmon with Winter  Fruit Salsa?

Of course! Almost all of my non-vegetarian recipes will have a suitable alternative given. For this one, why not consider griddling or baking planks of both firm organic tofu and halloumi to pile in a messy haystack, covering in the complementing salsa? If you are vegan obviously make it all tofu, maybe adding a favourite vegan cheese. Whatever protein you use, adding a bit of seasoning to it is key to a balanced-in-flavour dish. And drizzle liberally with pomegranate syrup (pomegranate molasses), too.

serving celeriac parmentier

add my easy low-carb Celeriac Parmentier as a side to this recipe!


More Festive Food Links

Cauliflower and Porcini Mushroom Wellington

Maple-Pecan Hasselback Butternut Squash

Maple-Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Fennel Seeds

Roasted Butternut Squash Mash with Buttery Rosemary Pecans

Creamed Kale

Incredible Cauliflower Mash

Carrot, Tallegio and Hazelnut Tarte Tatin

Celeriac Remoulade

Port-Poached Pears with Belgian Endive and Blue Cheese

One-Pan Squash and Kale Dressing (Stuffing) with Sour Cherries and Pecans

Orange and Spice Sweet Potato Casserole

Southern Cornbread Stuffing

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Sage Crumbs

Winter Slaw with Pears and Cranberries + 15 Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Creamy Wild Mushroom and Greens Phyllo Skillet Pie

Cauliflower Cheese “Cake” + Cooking for Crowds

Carrot and Celeriac Rostï Cake

Smoky Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette

Kale Stuffing Butternut Squash Stacks

Chocolate Walnut Pie (blurry images – sorry!)

Chocolate Chestnut Truffle Cake (super easy and gluten-free)

Creamed Kale with Parmesan

Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Shallots and Panko Crumbs

Pear, Mincemeat and Cranberry Galette

Christmas Mince Slab Pie (vegetarian sweet)

Gingerbread Sourdough Waffles with Ginger-Date Syrup

So, what do you think? Will you make this with best-quality salmon, or will you opt for my vegetarian or vegan alternative? And, what do you think of this as a main dish for your festive table? Either way, this is really gorgeous with my recent Celeriac Parmentier.

Let me know in the comments below if you like this simple recipe. If you make it, consider rating it by clicking on the appropriate number of stars underneath the thumbnail image below. These ratings really help others to find the recipe. Thanks 🙂

salmon with cranberry-pomegranate salsa

salmon with cranberry-pomegranate salsa
5 from 7 votes

Pan-Roasted Salmon with Winter Fruit Salsa

A fresh, zingy and quick recipe for seared salmon topped with a winter fruit salsa of pomegranate, cranberries and apple.

Course DInner
Cuisine Fish, Healthy
Keyword cranberries, pomegranates, quick and easy, salmon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 417 kcal
Author kellie anderson


Winter Fruit Salsa

  • 150 g fresh cranberries rinsed
  • 1 shallot peeled and chopped
  • 1 small pomegranate arils/seeds only
  • 1 apple washed and chopped
  • 1 clementine juice only
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar preferably "raw" and unfiltered
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses plus extra to drizzle on fish
  • 4 raw dates stones removed and dates finely chopped
  • handful of parsley chopped

Pan-Roasted Salmon

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 skin-on salmon fillets organic or wild-caught
  • salt just a little
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom powder or crushed seeds from 2 pods
  • 1/4 tsp coriander seeds crushed
  • black pepper freshly ground


Winter Fruit Salsa

  1. Add the cranberries to a small food processor and pulse until broken down a bit. Be careful or it will quickly go to an actual sauce. You want plenty of texture. Use a knife to chop, but they tend to scatter around too much for me to feel in control. Tip the pulsed cranberries into a bowl.

  2. To the cranberries add the remaining salsa ingredients. Set aside for the flavours to meld while you cook the salmon.

Pan-Roasted Salmon

  1. Pat dry the salmon then season with salt and the pepper, cardamom and coriander. Sprinkle a little salt on the skin too, as this helps crisp it up.

  2. Heat the oil in a wide frying pan over a medium flame. Add the salmon skin-side down and let cook, without moving it, for up to five minutes. Use a thin fish slice/spatula to turn the fillets over and continue to cook for a further two to three minutes, or until they are done to your liking. I am assuming a fillet thickness of 4 cm. If your fish is fatter, of course add more time. Or sear quickly on both side and pop in a hot over for five minutes. I do both, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

  3. Serve the fish with a good couple of spoons of the winter fruit salsa and a drizzle of extra pomegranate molasses if you wish. This is really lovely with my Celeriac Parmentier.

Recipe Notes

For a vegetarian or vegan version: griddle-cook planks of firm organic tofu and halloumi cheese and "haystack" on each plate, topping with the salsa. For vegans, use all tofu (seasoning as directed) or tofu and favourite vegan cheese.

Get ahead: The salsa can be made earlier in the day, while the salmon can be pan-roasted, oven-baked or steamed and eaten cold or briefly re-warmed once.

Go large! For a crowd, consider getting a side of salmon and wrapping in parchment parcel or foil and roast bake in a 200C/400F oven on a baking tray for 15 minutes, depending on the thickness. Double, triple etc the winter fruit salsa to go with it.

Nutrition Facts
Pan-Roasted Salmon with Winter Fruit Salsa
Amount Per Serving
Calories 417 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Sodium 6mg0%
Potassium 346mg10%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 8g16%
Calcium 21mg2%
Vitamin C 24mg29%
Vitamin A 47IU1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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11 thoughts on “Pan-Roasted Salmon with Winter Fruit Salsa {vegan option, too!}

  1. Ann says:

    This looks and tastes spectacular. The seasonal salsa is delicious, I never thought of using cranberries without cooking them, thanks Kellie.

  2. Mr A says:

    This is such a great fresh, crisp and sunny salsa. Perfect with salmon, thanks x

  3. Katie @ Whole Nourishment says:

    Kellie, I love your wise opinion to not give advise in broad strokes. 🙂 Spoken like a true caring professional. And suggesting this recipe as self-care? Genius. Loving the spices on the salmon and the pomegranate molasses in the salsa!

  4. What a great read full of genuine empathy, wonderful. And what a gift – a nourishing and colourful recipe that is quick and easy to make. Genius. Thank you bestie for another cracking recipe 😘

  5. Bernice says:

    Looks fantastic!!

  6. Rachel says:

    Elegant yet humble. What a different idea that I so wanna try!

  7. Tonje says:

    I love how quick and easy this recipe is, and it looks fantastic. Such a good weeknight dinner!

  8. You had me at 20 minutes. I love salmon and pomegranates so this recipe sounds amazing.

  9. Sara Welch says:

    What an amazing dinner recipe! Definitely adding this to my dinner line up for the weekend! Looks too good to pass up!

  10. Toni says:

    This is such the best way to eat salmon! So flavorful!

  11. Neha says:

    Sounds like a perfect dinner recipe to me. I have salmon in my fridge right now. Totally trying this recipe!

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