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I love cooking healthy meals for my family.  Salmon is one of my favorite types of fish to serve, but I seemed to get into a rut with using the same few recipes over and over again.  I decided it was time to change things up and started brainstorming some new ideas for serving this flaky, delicious, and nutritious fish to my family.

Whenever I develop recipes, there are a few criteria that are always front and center in my mind.  First, as I shared above, I like to cook healthy meals whenever possible.  However, the second criteria is that these meals must be delicious enough to be toddler-approved.  While more adventurous than many toddlers, my little ones can be a bit picky, and I want to make sure that they’ll actually eat the meal I spend time preparing.  Not only do I want them to like it, but I want them to get all the health benefits from the ingredients I so carefully select.

After some deliberation and experimentation, I created this delicious honey teriyaki salmon with quinoa recipe.  The sweet honey teriyaki sauce tastes so amazing on the salmon that even my two toddlers were asking for second helpings. 

Why Salmon with Quinoa is a Winning Combination

If you haven’t had salmon and quinoa together before, it is understandable why you may be questioning this ingredient pairing.  But, let me tell you, these two ingredients go really well together and will help you create a delicious and satisfying guilt-free meal.

First, let’s discuss the benefits of each ingredient separately, then I’ll share why they go so well together.

First up, salmon.  As I shared above, this is one of my favorite types of fish.  It has a relatively strong taste, but I don’t think it is overly fishy.  One of the best things about salmon, in my opinion, is how flaky and moist it is.  I love that it doesn’t get overly dry when cooked.  

In addition to its taste, salmon is also very nutritious.  When you enjoy salmon, you’re fueling your body with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, B vitamins, protein, and more.  Eating salmon can support heart health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease, support a healthy brain, deliver anti-inflammatory benefits to the body, and more.

With its fluffy texture and generally mild flavor, quinoa can work well as a replacement for rice or other grains.  Quinoa has a bit of a nutty flavor, which I think enhances its taste and makes it more appealing than plain rice for many dishes.   

Quinoa also has a lot to add to the recipe in terms of health benefits.  It is a whole grain that is high in fiber.  Getting sufficient fiber in your diet can help reduce the risk of developing intestinal cancer and aid with weight loss as it helps you stay full longer.  Additionally, eating quinoa may also help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.   

quinoa and salmon

How to Make Teriyaki Salmon with Quinoa

Ok, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to make one of my absolute favorite quinoa recipes with salmon.  I’ll outline the different ingredients and tools necessary so you can prepare your shopping list and make sure you’re ready to make the recipe without unnecessary interruptions.

Ingredients

  • Uncooked quinoa
  • Chicken broth
  • 4 salmon filets (about 1 pound total)
  • Soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Rice vinegar
  • Finely-grated fresh ginger
  • Fresh garlic 
  • Broccoli florets
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sesame seeds

Tools and Appliances

  • Small mixing bowl
  • Mini whisk
  • Fork
  • Shallow tray or plate
  • Mesh colander or strainer
  • Medium pot
  • Baking sheet
  • Basting brush
  • Meat thermometer
salmon with quinoa

Step-By-Step Directions

Step 1:  Prepare the Marinade

The teriyaki marinade for this recipe is so easy to prepare.  You just need soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, ginger, and garlic.  

Add the soy sauce, honey, and rice vinegar to a small mixing bowl.  Peel and mince (or grate) a small piece of ginger (about 2 ½ inches long, or so) and add it to the bowl.  Use a garlic press to press the garlic cloves, or peel and mince them as well.  Add the garlic to the mixing bowl.  Use a mini whisk to combine all the ingredients together.  If you don’t have a small whisk, a fork will work too.

Step 2:  Marinate the Salmon Filets

Place the four salmon filets on a plate or shallow tray.  Brush the marinade over the salmon (covering each side completely) using a basting brush.  You should use about half of the sauce for this step (you’ll want to save the remaining sauce for later).

Let the salmon marinate in the sauce, while still out at room temperature, for approximately 20 minutes.  Flip the filets after about 10 minutes to help ensure that the marinade is evenly distributed.

If you don’t know how to remove salmon skin, you may find this video very informative.

Step 3:  Rinse the Quinoa

It is important to rinse quinoa before cooking it.  Each of the seeds is coated with saponin, which gives quinoa a very bitter taste if not rinsed off.  

Pour the quinoa into a mesh strainer or colander and run it under cool water for 30 to 45 seconds, shifting the quinoa around to ensure it is well rinsed.  Turn off the water and shake the colander or strainer lightly to remove as much excess water as possible.

Step 4:  Cook the Quinoa

Put the rinsed quinoa in a medium pan.  Pour the chicken broth over the quinoa and place the pan over medium-high heat.  Cover the pan and allow it to come to a boil.  

After the chicken broth begins to boil, ensure that the pot’s lid is on and reduce the heat to medium low.  Allow the quinoa to simmer for about 10 minutes.

Check the quinoa to see if all of the chicken broth appears to have been absorbed.  The quinoa will look fuller and fluffier if it has absorbed all of the liquid.  If there is still chicken broth, continue simmering the ingredients until it has all been absorbed (this may take up to 20 minutes total).

Once the chicken broth is fully absorbed, remove the quinoa from the heat and use a fort to fluff it.

Salmon and Quinoa

Step 5:  Bake the Salmon

After the salmon has marinated in the sauce for about 20 minutes, transfer the filets to a baking sheet.  Brush a little more of the marinade over each filet using your basting brush.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for approximately 10 to 14 minutes.  Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness:  salmon is considered done when the internal temperature reads 145 °F.

Step 6:  Cook the Broccoli

After the salmon is in the oven, begin cooking the broccoli.  Head the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add in the cut broccoli florets.

Cook the broccoli, tossing it frequently, until it is tender.  Depending on how tender you prefer it to be, it should take between 6 and 10 minutes to finish cooking.

Frozen broccoli florets can be substituted for fresh broccoli.  They typically take about the same amount of time to cook. 

You can also add in other vegetables, if desired, such as carrots, bell peppers, green beans, or edamame.

Once the broccoli (and any other vegetables) have reached your preferred tenderness level, add about 1 ½ teaspoons of the marinade to the skillet.  Mix it around and let the vegetables continue cooking in it for an additional 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Step 7:  Assemble the Bowls

Evenly distribute the cooked quinoa over four bowls or plates.  Place a salmon filet and about ¼ of the broccoli mixture over each serving of quinoa.  If desired, sprinkle a few sesame seeds over the top of the dish.

quinoa with salmon

Step 8:  Serve and Enjoy

Congratulations!  Now this tasty teriyaki salmon and quinoa recipe is ready to serve.  I’m sure you and your family or guests will love it.

With this broccoli and quinoa side dish for salmon, this bowl doesn’t necessarily need a separate side dish.  However, if you want some ideas for what to serve with salmon, you could try roasted potatoes, green beans, honey-glazed carrots, or brussels sprouts.

Storing the Quinoa and Salmon Recipe

If you have any salmon and quinoa left, you can store them in your refrigerator for two to three days.  Place the salmon, quinoa, and broccoli in an airtight container and refrigerate them until you’re ready to enjoy them again.

Reheating Tips

When you’re ready to eat your leftovers, I don’t recommend microwaving the salmon.  It is likely to make it too dry.  You can either eat the salmon cold (it will still taste delicious), or you may warm it up for a few minutes in an air fryer.

To warm up the quinoa and broccoli, either microwave them for about a minute (give or take, depending on the quantity and how powerful your microwave is) or heat them over medium-low heat in a skillet until warm.

Salmon and Quinoa

Can you make this recipe with another type of fish?

I’ve only made this recipe using salmon so far, but I’m sure it will taste good with other types of fish as well.  Steelhead trout is similar to salmon in a lot of ways, so it could be a good option to try.  Some other fish you may want to try include mackerel, arctic char, and yellowtail.

Teriyaki Salmon with Quinoa Recipe Card

You’ll love this healthy and delicious salmon and quinoa recipe.  The mix of the flavors of the salmon, quinoa, broccoli, and sweet honey teriyaki sauce are truly a treat for your taste buds.

Prep time:  20 to 30 minutes (including marinating time)

Cook Time:  10 to 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 4 salmon filets with skin removed (about 1 pound total)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • Finely-grated fresh ginger (approximate 2.5-inch long piece)
  • 2 large or 3 small garlic cloves
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Prepare the marinade for the salmon by combining the soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, minced ginger, and mincer garlic in a small mixing bowl.  Whisk the ingredients together using the side of a fork or a small whisk.  
  2. Place the salmon filets in a shallow tray.  Use a basting brush to cover them with approximately half the sauce and leave them out to marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.  After about 10 minutes, flip each filet to help more evenly distribute the marinade.
  3. Pour the quinoa into the colander or strainer and rinse it with cool water.  Let the water run over the quinoa for 30 to 45 seconds.  Shake the colander to remove any excess water.
  4. Add the quinoa and chicken broth to a medium pan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.  Once boiling, reduce the heat  and ensure that the pot’s lid is on.
  5. Simmer the quinoa over medium-low heat for 10 to 20 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the chicken broth.  Once it looks like the quinoa has finished cooking, fluff it using a fork and confirm that there is no more broth left in the pan.  If any broth is still present, return it to the heat to cook for a few more minutes.
  6. Once the salmon has finished marinating, place the filets on a baking sheet and brush a little more sauce over them (be sure to reserve some sauce for the broccoli).
  7. Bake the filets in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 145 °F (about 10 to 14 minutes).
  8. As the salmon cooks in the oven, prepare the broccoli.  Add the olive oil to a nonstick skillet and heat it over medium-high heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the cut broccoli florets and cook for 6 to 10 minutes (depending on your desired tenderness).  If desired, you can substitute frozen broccoli florets, which could cook in approximately the same amount of time.  Spoon in about 1.5 teaspoons of the marinade and let the broccoli cook in it for 45 seconds to 1 minute more.
  9. Portion the cooked quinoa over four bowls or plates.  Top each serving of quinoa with one salmon filet and ¼ of the broccoli mixture.  Sprinkle a few sesame seeds over the broccoli and salmon.
  10. Serve and enjoy.
salmon and quinoa

Quinoa with Salmon:  So Delicious!

I bet you can see why this quinoa and salmon recipe has quickly become a new favorite in my home.  The salmon is so moist and flaky, while the honey teriyaki sauce adds a little sweetness to the bowl.  After I created this recipe, it took a lot of self-control not to make it every week….it’s that good!  What do you think?  Are you ready to give my honey teriyaki salmon and quinoa recipe a try?  I bet it will be as big of a hit at your house as it is at mine!