classic baked salmon loaf with dijon dill sauce
Vintage Meets Modern Recipes

Classic Salmon Loaf With Dijon Dill Sauce, An Easy Dinner 

Cooks in 40 Minutes Difficulty Easy 0 comments


Are you looking for an economical, lighter dinner idea? This tasty classic salmon loaf is made with canned salmon and comes together in minutes. Bake it in a hot oven and top it with a creamy dill sauce for a delicious light dinner the whole family will love. 

When people think of salmon recipes, they often think of thick, juicy fillets or steaks grilled on the BBQ. However, years ago, I discovered an easy and more economical way to enjoy salmon, making this one of my favorite recipes. This classic salmon loaf has been tweaked over the years to make it a straightforward main course to prepare with a delicious, crispy crust. It’s an irresistible meal idea for busy weeknights. 

the salmon loaf with dill sauce

What You Will Love About This Recipe

It’s an easy recipe. Using only a few simple ingredients, you can make the salmon mixture up easily and quickly, letting the oven do the rest of the work. 

Flavorful, bright flavors. With the creamy Dijon mustard dill sauce, the salmon comes alive on your palette, bringing the earthiness of salmon a bright springtime flavor.

It’s easy to pair with sides. Side dishes are sometimes tricky to pair with foods, but not with this salmon loaf. For a fantastic weeknight dinner, it goes marvelously with any steamed green vegetable and roast potatoes.

What is in this besides a can of salmon?

Let’s start by getting our loaf pan ready. It’s so simple- you merely have to pull it out. We don’t need to spray it, as the loaf won’t stick to the pan. 

Add the two cans of salmon, breadcrumbs, egg, milk, and chopped green onions to a large bowl and mix well. The mixture will appear fairly wet. Don’t worry; it will dry out significantly as we bake it uncovered in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 to 40 minutes. The ease of making this salmon loaf is excellent when you’re in a time crunch. Plus, it’s a nice change from heavier meat dishes. 

Place the salmon mixture into the loaf pan and press it down so it’s level and flat across the surface. Then, you can simply need to slip it into the preheated oven. 

The sauce can be made now while you wait for the loaf to bake. It’s a simple blend of Greek yogurt, fresh dill, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. The tangy dill sauce is the ideal accompaniment to the salmon and provides excellent contrast. A generous dollop on each loaf slice served with steamed green beans and roasted potatoes makes a complete meal.

After the loaf has cooked, remove it from the oven and cut it into slices. A regular loaf pan size can be divided into five to six thick slices for dinner. This is best served immediately and only keeps up to four days in the fridge if you have leftovers. We doubt you will, though, as it’s that tasty. 

Ingredients:

Canned Salmon: This can be purchased in various ‘flavors.’ We used two 213 g cans of Clover Leaf Sockeye salmon for our recipe. Undrained, this canned seafood is full of rich flavor and Omega-3 fatty acids, making it a healthful choice for dinner. 

Large Eggs: The size of the eggs is not overly important when adding them, as I have made this with every egg size. But for today, we are using two large eggs. The eggs help bind the mixture and retain moisture during baking. 

Bread Crumbs: These are filler because, let’s be honest, two cans of salmon are not much in volume. The crumbs also bind the mixture together with the help of the egg. These are not to be confused with panko breadcrumbs, which have a different texture. 

Green Onion: We are using only green onions to add a depth of flavor to the loaf. When baked directly in the loaf, they lift the taste of the earthy salmon, making it more complex. 

Milk: The proteins in milk, specifically whey and casein, can act as binders in the salmon loaf. This helps hold the ingredients together, providing structure to the dish. It also adds moisture, tenderness, and flavor and helps to achieve a consistent texture to the salmon batter.

Greek Yogurt: This healthy food option is thick and tangy and makes an excellent base for the sauce. Its tanginess elevates the fish dish from flat to all that! If you’re skeptical, don’t be; it’s a marriage made in heaven.

Lemon Juice: A splash of juice complements the herbal notes of fresh dill and the slight spiciness of Dijon mustard. The combination of these ingredients creates a harmonious blend.

Dijon Mustard: Besides adding a bit of spice to the cream sauce, mustard acts as a natural emulsifier. It helps stabilize the mixture of ingredients, preventing the separation of liquids and creating a smoother, well-integrated sauce. 

Fresh Dill has a unique flavor profile, combining grassiness, citrus, mild licorice, or anise notes. Its refreshing and slightly tangy taste makes it a versatile herb that complements this fish loaf.

classic baked salmon loaf with dijon dill sauce (1)

Substitutions and Add-Ins for this salmon loaf

Canned Salmon: If canned salmon isn’t economically suitable for your food budget, sub it for tuna. A fresh tuna loaf can be just as delish as salmon. Remember that some canned tuna is packed looser than salmon, so you will want to pay attention to the weight. Also, because tuna is packed looser, you must drain it slightly. Using chunk tuna would be a better choice vs. flaked for this recipe as it more closely mimics the texture of canned salmon.

Large Eggs: As stated, you can get away with using different sizes of eggs just fine. If you have an egg allergy, omit them from the recipe altogether. The resulting loaf will be different as the eggs add binding to the recipe. You can try using an egg replacer, but this recipe has not been tested using such. 

 Milk: In a pinch, you can use water as a substitute for milk, as the recipe only calls for half of a cup milk. However, water won’t add the same richness and flavor as milk, so you may need to adjust other ingredients to compensate.

Bread Crumbs: Instead of bread crumbs, try using crushed saltine crackers. A straight 1:1 ratio for replacing will work with a similar outcome. 

Green Onion: Also known as scallions, this green member of the allium family can be replaced with equal parts leek stem cut finely or fresh chives. Remember that leeks and chives have milder flavors, so you may increase the amount used in the recipe. 

Add a pinch of fresh herbs like tarragon to the fish mixture if you want a slightly different twist on this salmon loaf. Tarragon has a slightly sweet and anise-like (licorice) flavor that pairs well with salmon. Use it sparingly, as it has a strong taste. Or fresh parsley, which can add another fresh component that complements the richness of the salmon. It adds a nice touch without overpowering the dish.

Greek Yogurt: This is the base of the lemon dill sauce and is easily switched out for sour cream. If you want to maintain a bit of healthfulness, try using a low-fat option. Another option is just plain yogurt; this is thinner in consistency, though, so it will change the outcome of the finished sauce. Another option is to use silken tofu as the sauce base. Silken tofu can be blended to create a smooth and creamy texture. It’s neutral in flavor, so it won’t overpower the other ingredients.

Expert Tips, Serving and Storing Suggestions

Tip#1: Be sure to have the correct salmon weight so that the binders and fillers ratio is balanced right. 

Tip#2: Bake this uncovered to develop a crust. Covering it will result in too much moisture condensing on the surface of the loaf. 

Tip#3: Serve the cream sauce chilled from the fridge. It can be made a day ahead if needed, allowing the dill flavor to infuse the sauce more. 

Serve the fresh salmon loaf from the oven with a good amount of cream sauce. Add your favorite side dishes like green beans or other green steamed vegetables that pair well with baked potatoes. If you prefer, a side salad of leafy greens also goes well for a lighter dinner option. Still looking for another accompaniment? Try serving it on a bed of rice or quinoa, which provides a neutral side for the fish dish. 

If you’re unsure about using the sauce, go ahead with the tried and true tartar sauce for your dinner. 

You may wonder if you can use this same mixture for salmon burgers. The short answer is yes. Next time, test it out by cutting back slightly on the milk for a less wet mixture. Form into patties with clean hands and fry in oil in the frying pan. 

Leftover cooked salmon loaf will keep in the fridge for three to four days. Be sure to cool and cover it in an airtight container. Do not leave it out too long, as cooked salmon loaf at room temperature can increase the risk of bacterial contamination.

Although you can freeze this salmon loaf, I don’t recommend it as it will lose its texture and not thaw well. It’s best made on the day of use. 

If you enjoyed this classic salmon loaf recipe, we would love to hear about it. Leave a comment below the recipe card if you test this recipe. As always, we love hearing from you, our readers!  

classic baked salmon loaf with dijon dill sauce (1)

Classic Salmon Loaf With Dijon Dill Sauce, An Easy Dinner

Amber Bondar
This easy classic salmon loaf is made with canned salmon for a light flavorful dinner idea. Topped with a creamy Dijon dill sauce its bright flavors complement many side dishes for an easy family dinner idea.
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 6

Equipment

  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 measuring cup
  • 1 Loaf Pan
  • 1 Small Mixing Bowl
  • knife
  • Cutting board

Ingredients
  

Salmon Loaf

  • 2 Cans Salmon 213gm or 8oz
  • ½ Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Lrg Egg
  • 2 Green Onion Just the green stems

Dijon Dill Sauce

  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
  • ½ Lemon, Juiced
  • 3 Tbsps Fresh Dill Weed Chopped
  • 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

Instructions
 

Making the Salmon Loaf

  • In mixing bowl add the cans of salmon, remove bones if preferred.
  • Add remaining ingredients mix well.
  • Put the salmon mixture into a ungreased loaf pan.
  • Bake at 350℉ for thirty to forty minutes uncovered.
  • Test loaf for doneness. Loaf will be browning near edges and be drier on top.
  • Remove from oven, slice and serve while hot.

Dijon Dill Sauce

  • Measure the Greek yogurt and Dijon into small bowl.
  • Chop the dill weed on a cutting board. Measure and add to the sauce.
  • Squeeze half a lemon and add juice to sauce.
  • Mix to blend well.

Serving

  • Serve a slice of the salmon loaf with a large dollop of the Dijon dill sauce.
Keyword canned salmon, easy main dish, healthy main dish, salmon, seafood

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