What To Do With Leftover Salmon: Recipe Ideas

Cooked up some wild-caught Alaskan salmon for dinner last night? If you find yourself with some leftover salmon, don’t let it go to waste. You can use those leftovers to make some delicious leftover salmon recipes that the entire family will love. 

Here are our tips on handling leftover salmon plus some leftover salmon ideas, so you can make the most out of your favorite cut of fish.

How Long is Leftover Salmon Good For?

But first, a few safety precautions. Before you can decide what to make with leftover salmon that may be sitting in your fridge, you want to be sure that your leftover salmon is safe to eat. 

In most instances, according to the USDA, you can eat your cooked salmon leftovers up to four days after cooking the salmon, for best results. While you technically could keep your cooked salmon leftovers around for up to seven days, you might be dealing with some odd textures and tastes if you pop it out of the fridge and try to use it on Day 7. In general, it’s best to eat your leftover salmon as soon as possible. 

How to Store Leftover Salmon

The question of “can you eat leftover salmon that’s sitting in your fridge for a few days” also depends on how you stored your leftover salmon to begin with. 

Ideally, you’ll refrigerate your salmon as soon as possible after the cooking process, in a small, airtight container. If you don’t have an airtight container handy, you can thoroughly wrap your salmon with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

How to Use Leftover Salmon: 5 Easy Leftover Salmon Ideas and Recipes 

Creating a fresh, tasty meal with your leftover salmon is easy. These leftover salmon recipes come together in a snap, with minimal work on your part.

  1. Salmon Nicoise Salad

Salmon Nicoise Salad

You already have your cooked salmon, so putting together this impressive salad is as easy as just compiling the ingredients. The result is a fresh, summer-ready salad filled with a variety of colors, textures and flavors. 

For a salmon nicoise salad that serves four, you’ll want to mix a salad of one head butter lettuce (torn), one bunch of halved radishes, half a thinly sliced English cucumber, a third cup of halved kalamata olives and a fourth cup of chopped basil. Top the salad with four ounces of trimmed, cooked and cooled green beans, four chopped boiled eggs and flaked salmon (about six ounces of flaked salmon per diner). Serve the salad with a vinaigrette made up of a fourth cup of olive oil, two tablespoons red wine vinegar, two tablespoons lemon juice, a minced clove of garlic, a teaspoon of dijon mustard and salt and pepper. 

Find the step-by-step instructions here (just remember that this recipe calls for cooking your salmon, which you’ve already done). (Original recipe and photo: Kitchn)

  1. Simple Salmon Dip

Salmon Dip

Only have a little leftover salmon? You don't have to toss it! Make this delicious snack that only requires two ounces of leftover salmon. 

All you have to do is flake your leftover salmon into a bowl, mixing it with room-temperature cream cheese (eight ounces), two tablespoons chopped green chiles, a teaspoon of lemon juice and two chopped green onions. Your minimal effort is rewarded with a tasty, easy snack or appetizer that works perfectly with some toasty baguette slices or your favorite brand of gourmet crackers. Get the full recipe here. (Original recipe and photo Taste Of Home)

  1. Crispy Salmon Hash

Salmon Hash

Can’t wait until dinnertime to dive into your leftover salmon? We don’t blame you. This crispy salmon hash makes a tasty, savory breakfast treat to go along with some poached eggs. 

All you have to do is boil up a pound of small, Yukon Gold potatoes while cooking up four slices of bacon until crispy. Chop both items into bite-size pieces. Then, cook the chopped potatoes in the bacon fat (plus two tablespoons of butter), alongside a chopped red onion. When the potatoes start to brown, add in your bacon and about 3/4 pound flaked salmon, cooking only until the salmon is heated through. Top your hash with some chives, salt and pepper and, if desired, one poached egg per serving. Get the full recipe here. (Original recipe and photoFood and Wine)

  1. Chile-Lime Salmon Tacos

Salmon Tacos

Don’t think you have time to cook up a fish-based dinner during the week? Salmon tacos can come together in less than 15 minutes, making them an ideal weeknight dinner bursting with fresh flavors like lime and cilantro. 

Flake your salmon (about one pound, to serve two to four people) into a bowl and season with a teaspoon chili powder, a teaspoon salt, half a teaspoon cumin and a pinch of black pepper. Sprinkle the mixture with a tablespoon of lime juice. 

Separately, mix one mashed avocado with another tablespoon of lime juice, along with a half a bunch of torn, fresh cilantro. 

Heat up eight corn tortillas, and then start building your tacos, starting with the mashed avocados and following with shredded red cabbage, the salmon and more cilantro. Check out our favorite Grilled Salmon Taco Recipe.

  1. Salmon Fried Rice  

Salmon Fried Rice
Some of the best leftover-based recipes incorporate multiple types of leftovers sitting in your fridge, and if you have some leftover salmon and some leftover rice, you’re in luck, because this salmon fried rice recipe will make great use of both. 
Just flake your salmon into a bowl (about one fillet for two servings of salmon fried rice), chop a green onion, whisk one to two eggs in a separate bowl, and then heat up two tablespoons of neutral oil in the bottom of a wok, until smoking. Whisk your egg into the wok and remove the egg when it's about 80% cooked. Add a tablespoon of sesame oil to the wok and then fry your green onions and then add the rice. Toss the wok until the rice is coated with oil and then add your leftover salmon and keep tossing. Add the egg back as well, mix, and season with salt, pepper and a teaspoon of soy sauce, before tossing again. For step-by-step instructions (including photos), check out the recipe here. (Original recipe and photo: Just One Cookbook)

Don’t Let That Leftover Salmon Go to Waste

Incorporating your leftover salmon into new dishes and new dinners is a great way to expand your favorite ways to use this versatile fish. Just make sure to always store your leftover salmon correctly, and to use your leftover salmon within a few days, for the best-tasting leftover salmon dishes possible.