March 24, 2017 | Home >Healthy Kids >10-Minute Instant Pot Salmon (From Frozen!)

10-Minute Instant Pot Salmon (From Frozen!)

The Instant Pot takes all the fuss out of frozen salmon for a healthy, super-quick family dinner.

Getting into the habit of serving fish to my family once a week has been one of my new year’s resolutions for, um, a few years now. So yes, it’s taken me a little while to get to this point.

It’s not that my family doesn’t find fish tasty; miraculously, everyone seems to like it. For me, the devil is in the prep work. I usually buy fish frozen, so I don’t have to rush to cook it right away. But that means, of course, that I have to defrost it before I cook it.

And call me crazy, but on a regular weeknight, I just don’t love dealing with half-frozen pouches of raw fish floating in bowls of water on my kitchen table.

The first time I tried cooking salmon in my Instant Pot from frozen, I was way skeptical. I mean, I know the Instant Pot is amazing, and it can make quick work of all kinds of fabulous recipes. But putting completely iced-over blocks of fish into the cooker and pushing the button for five measly minutes had me imagining less-than edible results.

Lucky for me, I opened the pot to a happy surprise! The salmon turned out moist, flake-tender, and flavorful, cooked through and through and ready for a pat of butter, a fresh sprinkling of dill, and a squeeze of lemon.

The whole process was so quick, in fact, that I got caught off-guard when the salmon was ready… I hadn’t even cooked a veggie yet. (Quick-cooking frozen green beans save the day!)

The salmon was a big win at the dinner table; the kids gobbled it up. And since it was so ridiculously easy, for the first time in years I found myself inspired to have a fish-for-dinner night two weeks in a row. Yes!

Love getting those brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids into my family…

Freezer to Table

Cooking frozen salmon this way couldn’t be easier. I pour one cup of liquid (¾ cup water, ¼ cup lemon juice) into the bottom of the Instant Pot, then place the steamer insert above it. In go three frozen salmon fillets, topped with a handful of dill and a slice of lemon on top of each.

I lock the lid, hit the “Manual” button, and set it for five minutes. As soon as the timer beeps, I use the Quick Release method to let out the pressure. (Make sure you keep your hand out of the way of the steam… it comes out fast!) And that’s it!

We like to add extra dill and lemon at the table, and serve the salmon alongside whole grain brown rice cooked in chicken broth for extra richness.


10-Minute Instant Pot Salmon (From Frozen!)

10-Minute Instant Pot Salmon (From Frozen!)
Serves: 4


  • 3 medium – lemon
  • 3/4 cup – water
  • 4 fillet – salmon
  • 1 bunch – dill weed, fresh
  • 1 tablespoon – butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 teaspoon – salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon – black pepper, ground
  • 1 cup – brown rice, raw
  • 4 cup – green beans


  1. Place 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 3/4 cup water in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add the metal steamer insert.
  2. Place the (Sockeye) salmon fillets, frozen, on top of the steamer insert.
  3. Sprinkle fresh dill on top of the salmon, then place one slice of fresh lemon on top of each one.
  4. Lock the Instant Pot lid, then set the Manual timer for 5 minutes.
  5. When the timer beeps, press "Cancel" and carefully flip the Quick Release valve to let the pressure out.
  6. Serve immediately with butter, extra dill and lemon, and salt and pepper.

Nutrition Facts

  • Nutrition per serving % daily value
  • Calories: 530 27%
  • Fat: 16 g 25%
  • Carb: 49 g 16%
  • Fiber: 6 g 24%
  • Protein: 45 g 90%
  • Sugar: 3 g
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FdL says:

Hi. I am just wondering if is is possible to cook the rice in the water while steaming the fish? I noticed you put “raw brown rice” so just curious and love anything that saves time. :). Thanks!

Amy says:

Can you cook more than 4 fillets? We have a big family. I was thinking I could criss-cross stack them on top of one another. Do you think that would work?

Terita says:

Hi Amy! I haven’t tried that myself, so I’m not sure how it would work. The fillets MIGHT not cook evenly if they’re overlapping in parts. But I’m all about experimenting in the kitchen! If you try it, be sure to tell us how it turns out!

Adam says:

You might be able to grab another rack to have a second layer for another level of fish.

Andrea says:

I tried layering filets because I also have a larger family. I put slightly thicker orange slices on top of the bottom filet and tried to criss cross to allow for more space. It worked well and I’d almost cook it a touch shorter because the salmon was a little overdone. I think you could do this with lemon slices or even another rack as well.

Melissa says:

Was it at high or low pressure on manual?

Lauren says:

When/how do you cook the rice?

Lonna Wood says:

Salmon does not have 49 grams of carbs

Hi Lonna! That carb count includes all the ingredients for that meal – so the rice and green beans are definitely adding to that number.

Jeezy says:

I followed the recipe exactly but my fish was undercooked in the middle (it was cold to touch). Any advice?

Lion says:

Jeezy, I had the same problem. It was flakey and perfect on the edges but some parts were completely uncooked in the middle. I’m going to try using this method again and cook for 7 minutes next time and see how that goes. I bet that’ll do the trick. There wasn’t much left uncooked. If it’s too tough I’ll try 6. If still undercooked, I’ll try 8 or 9 next time. 5 minutes wasn’t quite enough for mine and I only used one filet. I’m also wondering if this recipe would work with the fish sitting on a piece of foil, because it was kind of a pain scrubbing salmon fat off the wire steamer rack. I’ll let you know if I find a combo that works for me.

John the Cooker says:

Hi. It sounds very simple. My only question is do we use “Steam” or “Pressure Mode.?”
I’m going to cook it tonight and will try steam.

Most kind of you to put up recipes but please consider we novices, who need comprehensive instructions.


Emilie O'Keefe says:

I wish you would have had more comprehensive instructions. Was it steam or pressure? Hi or low?

Mine was also uncooked at the thickest part, and there was only one filet.

Sherstin Sutherland says:

Is this on high or low pressure??

Emily says:

If i use less salmon (2 instead of 4) should i alter the timing at all or should it still be fine?

Christina says:

Alter the timing. I cooked one filet and it was way over cooked. Next time I’ll try 3-4 minutes

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