This simple keto salmon recipe is my go-to method for preparing salmon. It's easy to prep, full of flavor and ready in 20 minutes!
A side of salmon is seasoned well with a blend of flavorful spices, then served with this delicious low-carb avocado mango salsa that makes the perfect zesty/sweet/spicy topping. The salmon is tender and flaky with hints of cayenne and smoky paprika, while the avocado salsa is just downright GOOD.
Tons of flavor going on here and a really minimal amount of prep work, too.
I love, love, love this fresh and healthy meal for so many reasons. Salmon is a favorite of mine and fortunately, my husband and kids (who are very meh about salmon) are gradually getting on board with it too.
But I think this salmon with avocado salsa has led to a whole new level of appreciation for the fish among my non-salmon-loving family.
why this recipe works
Here's why you'll love it:
- it's an easy keto salmon recipe with rich flavor that's ready in under 30 minutes
- the oven does most of the work
- you can enjoy it with or without the avocado salsa (or add your own favorite topping of choice!)
- it's gluten free, dairy free and keto diet friendly
- it is a nutritious meal and the best way to get a good serving of omega-3 fatty acids.
This recipe is one of the easiest ways to prepare fresh salmon.
I use a handful of spices that give the fish a slightly "blackened salmon" taste. You can serve it plain or with a variety of toppings like tomato salsa, green salsa or a creamy dill sauce.
But I typically pair it with my avocado mango salsa. It comes together quickly- you can easily modify it based on what's in the fridge. I explain that in detail in the low-carb avocado mango salsa post which is where you'll find all of the ingredients and instructions for making it. For ease, I'm re-sharing the entire recipe here as well.
To make the keto baked salmon with avocado salsa, you will need:
- a side of wild-caught salmon (sometimes called salmon filets)
- avocado oil or olive oil
- smoked paprika
- salt and pepper
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- cayenne pepper
- avocados, cubed
- large mango, cubed
- red onion, chopped
- jalapeño, deseeded and chopped small
- lime juice (or sub lemon juice)
You can certainly riff here - another thing I appreciate about this recipe. Add a touch of sweetener to the salmon rub; omit the mango entirely (or replace it with ripe, juicy peaches); make it even spicier if that's your thing.
It's a go-with-the-flow recipe and I'm all about it.
choosing your salmon
Note that there are different types of salmon you can use and the better the salmon, the better flavor this dish will have.
I prefer wild-caught salmon, which is usually harvested from the Pacific (think Alaska or Pacific Northwest salmon). Wild salmon is known for its bolder salmon flavor, while farm-raised salmon, typically packaged as Atlantic salmon, usually has a more mild salmon flavor.
Frozen or fresh fish will both work and there's really no difference (most salmon purchased at the seafood counter is previously frozen anyway), but be sure that your fish is completely thawed and dry.
an easy keto salmon recipe
For extra easy clean-up, line your baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Since the salmon will bake skin side down, you don't have to worry about greasing the aluminum foil unless you plan on serving the salmon with the skin on.
If you want to easily lift pieces of salmon away from the skin, then don't grease the foil- the salmon skin will stick to the foil and you can easily lift servings of salmon without having to peel away the skin.
Here's a quick look at the cooking process but be sure to check out the full recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Prep the salmon. The first step is to pat the salmon dry with paper towels and place it on a lined baking sheet, skin side down. In a small bowl, combine the seasonings. Drizzle the oil on the salmon, then sprinkled the seasoning mixture evenly on top.
- Bake the salmon. Transfer the sheet to the oven and bake at 400°F for 12-16 minutes (or until it reaches desired doneness).
- Make the avocado mango salsa. In a medium bowl, combine the cubes of avocado and mango. Add the onion, cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice. Gently mix and add salt to taste.
- Enjoy! When the salmon is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 3-5 minutes before serving. Cut portions of the salmon and serve with the avocado salsa on top and more fresh herbs if desired, like cilantro or chives.
Knowing how long to bake salmon: The bake time will vary based on the thickness of the salmon and how you prefer the fish. Since you're baking the salmon at a higher temperature, keep an eye on it as it can overcook quickly.
A meat thermometer will help out a lot, and I shoot for an internal temperature of about 120°F-125°F in the thickest part of the fish. Personally, I like salmon that is prepared medium-rare to medium.
(While the USDA recommends cooking salmon to an internal temperature of 140°F, this usually results in dry, overcooked salmon. Also keep in mind that the fish will continue to cook even after you remove it from the oven.)
Storing leftovers: The avocado salsa is simple to prepare but the leftovers don't keep well and it will brown, just like guacamole.
If you expect to have leftovers of the salmon, I recommend serving the avocado salsa on individual servings of the salmon versus spooned on top of the entire salmon filet. This will make storing any leftover salmon a whole lot easier.
You can wrap it up or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy the next day.
frequently asked questions
Salmon is a wonderful, nutrient-packed protein that fits into nearly any eating style. Since it is full of omega-3's and healthy fats, it is especially ideal for a keto or low-carb diet.
The avocado mango salsa has only 5g net carbs per serving, and that includes the mango.
This low-carb salmon recipe goes well with so many different sides! You could serve it with simple cauliflower rice or mash, or a veg on the side like this air fryer broccoli or crispy roasted Brussels sprouts. If you're looking for a salad, try it with this spicy keto coleslaw or citrus slaw. Or add in a comfort food like a slice of this keto cornbread.
Tender and flaky with a creamy avocado topping, this easy meal is truly the best salmon and a delicious sheet pan dinner with so much flavor. It's a favorite meal of mine and one you can enjoy in all seasons.
If you try it and love it too, please consider leaving a star review below and/or comment. Or tag @stemandspoon on Instagram- your messages make my day!
more keto salmon recipes to try
- Air fryer salmon with coffee rub, a quick salmon recipe if you have an air fryer! The rub is smoky and earthy and adds a bold punch of flavor.
- Ginger soy salmon and sautéed spinach with fennel. Garlic, ginger and soy (plus a hint of citrus!) make a delicious sauce that pairs beautifully with these tender salmon fillets.
- Smoked salmon and dill egg muffins are a yummy, on-the-go and protein-packed breakfast!
for the baked salmon
- 1 whole side of salmon, about 1-½ to 2 pounds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
avocado mango salsa
- 2 large avocados, cut into cubes
- 1 large mango, cut into cubes
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 jalapeño, deseeded and chopped small
- 1 lime, juiced
- dash of salt
- optional seasonings: red pepper flakes, chipotle powder, cumin (add to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or a baking mat.
- Pat the side of salmon dry with paper towels and place it on the baking sheet, skin side down. Drizzle the oil on the salmon.
- In a small bowl, combine the seasonings. Sprinkle the seasoning blend generously over the top of the salmon.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake at 400°F for 12-16 minutes (or until it reaches desired doneness- see notes).
- While the salmon is baking, make the avocado salsa. In a medium bowl, combine the avocado and mango cubes. Add the chopped onion, jalapeño and lime juice. Gently mix and add salt to taste.
- When the salmon is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 3-5 minutes before serving.
- Serve portions of salmon topped with the avocado mango salsa.
The bake time will vary based on the thickness of the salmon and how you prefer the fish. Keep an eye on it as it can overcook quickly. An instant read thermometer will help identify when it's done. For medium to medium-rare salmon, shoot for an internal temperature (at the thickest part of the fish) of 120°F-125°F. The salmon will also continue to cook after it is removed from the oven.
Serve the avocado salsa on individual servings of the salmon instead of piling it on top of the entire piece of fish. This will allow you to store any leftover salmon without salsa on it as the avocado salsa doesn't keep well (it will brown, just like guacamole).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 384Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 8gNet Carbohydrates: 5gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 26g
This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.