The Instant Pot takes all the fuss out of frozen salmon for a healthy, super-quick family dinner. No defrosting required!
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.
Salmon for Picky Eaters
The salmon was a big win at the dinner table; the kids gobbled it up. And since it was so very easy to make, for the first time in years I found myself inspired to have a fish-for-dinner night two weeks in a row. Yes!
How to Make Instant Pot Salmon
This recipe is super easy and quick to make. 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.
Arrange three frozen salmon fillets on top of the steamer rack, topped with a handful of dill and a slice of lemon on top of each.
Next, Lock the lid, hit the “Manual” button, and set it for five minutes. As soon as the timer beeps, 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!
Tips for Making Instant Pot Salmon
- Make sure your salmon fillets are uniform in size, so they cook evenly. We bought fillets from Costco that were 6 oz. each and roughly the same size.
- It’s perfectly OK to use “skin-on” fillets.
- Make sure the fillets aren’t overlapping each other, or you may get some under-cooked spots.
- If your salmon is especially large, add an extra minute or two onto the cook time (or even just wait a minute or two before you vent the steam.)
What to Serve with Instant Pot Salmon
We like to serve this salmon with a side of brown rice and a fresh green veggie. Green beans, asparagus, broccoli, or snow peas all pair well with salmon.
As for the salmon itself, some more fresh dill and lemon juice at the table is delicious! Enjoy.
10-Minute Instant Pot Salmon (From Frozen!)
- Place 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 3/4 cup water in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add the metal steamer insert.
- Place the (Sockeye) salmon fillets, frozen, on top of the steamer insert.
- Sprinkle fresh dill on top of the salmon, then place one slice of fresh lemon on top of each one.
- Lock the Instant Pot lid, then set the Manual timer for 5 minutes.
- When the timer beeps, press “Cancel” and carefully flip the Quick Release valve to let the pressure out.
- Serve immediately with butter, extra dill and lemon, and salt and pepper.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie