This easy salmon salad is a protein packed, nutritious and flavorful lunch made with fresh dill, lemon, dijon mustard, salty capers, smoky roasted chickpeas and cottage cheese. Serve it on some toasted bread or in lettuce wraps.
*This dijon dill salmon salad is made in partnership with Muuna cottage cheese.
My dad used to make tuna melts in the toaster oven all the time growing up.
It was absolutely revolting to me. That tuna smell just permeated the air in the house and would literally make me gag.
I was such a dramatic kid when it came to foods.
It’s kind of funny now considering I eat almost any and everything but as a kid, eggs, oatmeal and ALL fish disgusted me.
Canned tuna hanging out at the very top of that hate list growing up.
Fast forward to today and I hoard those single serve tuna packets in my pantry as if running out would be a crisis of massive proportions.
When I went to Alaska and made this sriracha honey salmon a couple summers ago with Copper River Salmon, I learned something about salmon I never knew; canned salmon and salmon packets in the store are actually wild salmon.
In my head, I had (wrongly) assumed anything that made its way into a can or packet had to be either farmed or of suspect origins so I stayed away.
Turns out, pink salmon (the most prevalent type of wild salmon) is what’s used for that and it’s a great, inexpensive way to get all the nutritious benefits of wild salmon in your diet.
Try these crispy salmon bites as another way to use canned salmon. They’re great little crunchy dippers!
So in addition to the tuna packet hoarding, I started hoarding salmon packets in a nice neat stack in the pantry as well and now I have two protein packed lunch options in a pinch.
It feels like salmon gets no love though in comparison to tuna (or chicken/eggs for that matter) in the salad/lunch world.
Unless you eat it smoked and then this smoked salmon BLT is where it’s at!
It’s the step child lunch salad of the bunch and this dijon dill salmon salad is here to hopefully change that.
When I say this is a protein powerhouse of a lunch, I’m not kidding in the least.
Between the canned salmon, the roasted chickpeas (love their pop of crunchy texture in this!) and the cottage cheese, this lunch has some serious staying power.
Yep, cottage cheese. You heard me. No mayo here in this salmon salad.
I used Muuna 2% plain cottage cheese for this recipe and I may never go back to any other way when it comes to lunch salads.
As a person that 90% of the time goes the sweet route with cottage cheese (their flavored singles are some of my favorite pre and post workout eats), I surprised myself at how much I loved it in this savory way.
I’ve found Muuna cottage cheese to be super creamy, an almost melt-in-your-mouth like texture which makes it the perfect protein-packed binder for a salad like this.
It also really ups the satiety of the meal compared to the normal mayo route.
Combined with tons of flavor from the dill, lemon, dijon mustard, salty capers and the crunch from the cucumbers and roasted chickpeas this salmon salad is a lunch I could happily eat all week long and never tire of.
If you’re down with sardines (and you should be!), my simple sardine salad uses a lot of the same ingredients for another omega-3 packed salad option!
It’s also great to make ahead (who said meal prep is just for dinner?!), just keep the roasted chickpeas separate from the salmon salad until serving so they don’t get too mushy.
Prefer a tuna salad to salmon? I got you! This Waldorf tuna salad is one of my favorites. Tons of flavor and crunch going on in that recipe!
Try more salmon recipes like these:
Dijon Dill Salmon Salad
- 15 ounces canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
- salt and pepper
- 5 ounces wild canned/packaged salmon
- 5.3 ounces 2% plain cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill, or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss chickpeas with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, salt and pepper and spread out on a lined baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden and crispy.
- While chickpeas roast, prepare the salmon salad by combining the salmon, cottage cheese, cucumbers, capers, dijon, lemon juice, dill, remaining 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Mix until well combined.
- Add chickpeas to the mixture before serving and gently stir to combine.
- Serve with lettuce wraps or toasted bread.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.