Need a decadent yet healthy and wholesome restaurant quality meal? This bacon-wrapped salmon recipe is your answer!
Pan-seared until golden and crispy, a simple bacon wrap and creamy tahini sauce brings this salmon dinner to the next level.
Impressive yet easy and a wonderful way to incorporate lots of flavor while still staying low-carb, keto or Whole30 if need be!
Bacon. It makes everything better.
I’m sure you’ve seen or had bacon-wrapped scallops, filet mignon or chicken before. I mean, haven’t we all?
But bacon and salmon might not be a combination that’s entered your mind up until now.
I think of a good thick filet of salmon as the filet mignon of the ocean. All those healthy omega-3 fats make it a rich and decadent fish when cooked right (aka not dried out).
So when you wrap bacon around a piece of salmon the outcome is even more decadent than usual and pretty much blows any other bacon wrapped protein out of the water (pun intended).
This is an easy recipe but one that’s impressive in both looks and taste. The bacon-wrapped salmon itself only has 5 ingredients.
And while you could stop there for an outrageously delicious dinner, why not whip up a quick creamy tahini miso sauce to serve on top?
We typically eat salmon at least once a week but usually it’s a more traditional preparation like this baked wild sockeye salmon recipe. Or, even simpler, frozen salmon in the air fryer that I typically pair with my go-to maple mustard sauce.
Switching our weekly dinner up to this felt like a special occasion treat even though it was just any other weeknight meal.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE BACON-WRAPPED SALMON
- wild salmon filets
- bacon slices
- garlic powder
If you choose to also make the creamy tahini sauce to serve with the salmon, you’ll need:
- white miso paste (check out the best miso paste substitutes if you don’t have this ingredient on hand)
- lemon juice
A NOTE ON INGREDIENT QUALITY
Since the quantity of ingredients is limited in this recipe, it’s important to choose high quality salmon and bacon.
I’ve waxed poetically before about wild salmon after my trip to Cordova, AK which you can find details on in this sriracha honey salmon vegetable packets recipe. Once you taste and learn about wild salmon vs. farmed, it’s a no-brainer.
Thankfully, access to wild salmon is becoming easier and easier with wholesale places like BJs and Costco selling frozen wild Alaskan sockeye salmon filets (which is actually what I used for this recipe!).
For the bacon, if you can find un-cured pastured bacon, that’s the highest quality you can ask for when it comes to procuring bacon in stores.
We actually buy local pork by the 1/4 or 1/2 pig and store it in our chest freezer solely because it’s nearly impossible to find pastured pork in regular grocery stores.
If you’re on a diet like Whole30 or AIP, make sure to select bacon without any nitrates or sugar.
HOW TO MAKE SALMON WRAPPED IN BACON
The simplicity of this recipe doesn’t stop with the ingredient list. The preparation is also a snap!
Start by preheating the oven to 400°F. Season each salmon filet with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
If desired, drizzle a little avocado oil in a cast iron skillet (this can be omitted if you prefer because the bacon has plenty of fat on it) and heat the pan over a high flame.
Wrap the salmon with 1-2 pieces of bacon with the edges ending underneath the filet.
Once hot, place the bacon-wrapped salmon into the skillet with the edges of the bacon facing the bottom of the pan.
Sear until the bacon is golden and crispy on the bottom then flip and sear the other side. This won’t cook the salmon all the way through, just sear the bacon a bit and allow it to adhere to the fish.
Transfer the skillet to the oven to finish the cooking. Bake for about 8 minutes depending on the thickness of your filets until the salmon is cooked to your liking.
While the salmon bakes in the oven, whisk together the ingredients for the tahini sauce adding water a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
Serve the salmon over rice or cauliflower rice as shown here for a lower-carb salmon dish and top with the creamy tahini sauce.
Garnish with fresh parsley or another herb before serving.
HOW TO TELL IF BACON WRAPPED SALMON IS DONE
I cook salmon so often that I can estimate the cooking time just by looking at the thickness of the filet.
If you’re unsure, however, it’s best to use an instant read thermometer. Salmon is cooked to medium around 125°F.
And it’s worth noting that salmon can be eaten medium or even medium-rare. In fact, it’s preferable. Overcooking good quality wild salmon is a shame!
The fat of the bacon wrapped around the salmon does make a slightly overcooked piece of fish a little more forgiving but always err on the side of undercooked when it comes to salmon rather than overcooked.
IS THIS A KETO SALMON RECIPE?
It’s funny because I don’t cook with dietary niches in mind but often times find that by simply eating whole foods, recipes easily hit one of the popular niches of the moment.
So unintentionally, yes, this bacon wrapped salmon is keto! It’s also AIP, Whole30 compliant, low-carb and gluten-free for inquiring minds.
IS IT BETTER TO BAKE OR PAN-FRY SALMON?
There’s really no “better” way. I often tend to bake/roast salmon just because it’s easy and there’s less “fish smell” that escapes into the house.
Recipes like this sheet pan turmeric salmon are a good example of that.
But pan-frying or pan-searing then baking like this salmon and bacon recipe does are equally as good when it comes to cooking methods.
This seared salmon with tomato corn salsa cooks the salmon entirely on the stove-top.
The end results of baking and pan-frying are similar. If anything, pan-searing or pan-frying simply creates a more crispy exterior.
If you like that “crust” on meat and seafood, you may prefer the pan-frying approach.
I know I do and it’s why I combined both methods in this salmon recipe (and why I make this pan-seared duck breast as often as possible!)
There’s also a misconception that salmon should be cooked in foil. And while you certainly can, it’s not necessary to keep the salmon moist.
Proper cooking time is the best way to achieve a nice moist piece of fish. The cooking time of a thick King salmon filet can be very different than that of a thinner less-fatty variety like Coho.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS SALMON RECIPE
The salmon and bacon (especially with the tahini sauce) provide a TON of flavor so I like keeping the sides simple with this recipe.
Either regular white rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice as shown here are all great pairings with salmon. I always prefer rice to potatoes or other carbs with my seafood for some reason.
For a vegetable, pick your favorite one and either roast it (since the oven is on anyway) or sauté it while the salmon bakes.
Sautéed Swiss chard is an easy favorite or some roasted radishes, roasted turnips or roasted kohlrabi make great options too. Sautéed kohlrabi greens are also delicious since they incorporate bacon too!
If you’re not digging the tahini sauce, try some simply sliced ripe avocado instead. It brings the same decadence and creaminess to the dish.
Also make sure to add a green garnish. Whether it’s micro-greens, sprouts or even just some fresh parsley as I did here, that pop of brightness helps balance the savory-heavy flavors of this recipe.
A nice bright pesto would be great too. Try this radish greens pesto on top!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS BACON WRAPPED SALMON RECIPE
- It’s easy as can be. Doesn’t get better than this short ingredient list!
- It’s a flavor profile almost anyone will love. Gotta love bacon for its ability to unite all tastebuds!
- It’s low-carb, gluten-free, Whole30 compliant and even AIP appropriate.
- Looks impressive yet takes little effort and time on your part.
This is one of those dishes that’ll easily become the highlight of your weeknight meals. Great for when you’re low on time but still want to eat nutritiously.
MORE SALMON RECIPES TO TRY:
Bacon Wrapped Salmon with Creamy Tahini Sauce
- 2 wild salmon filets about 1 pound total
- 2-4 slices bacon
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon avocado oil
For creamy tahini sauce
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1/2 tablespoon white miso paste
- juice of 1/4 lemon
- salt and pepper
- water to thin
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Season each salmon filet with salt, pepper and garlic powder then wrap the filets with 1-2 pieces of bacon making sure ends of the bacon and situated on the bottom of the filet.
- Heat a cast iron skillet on the stove-top over high heat. Once hot, place both pieces of salmon into the skillet so that the ends of the bacon are facing down. Sear until the bacon is golden and crispy on the bottom (about 2 minutes) then gently flip and sear the top side.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for about 8 minutes. Timing will vary depending on thickness of salmon and desired doneness.
- While salmon bakes, make the tahini sauce by whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle water while whisking until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
- Remove the skillet from the oven, plate the salmon and serve with the tahini sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.