Recipe: Quick Salmon & Couscous with Cilantro Vinaigrette

updated Jan 29, 2020
Sautéed Salmon with Cilantro Vinaigrette over Couscous
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(Image credit: Stephanie Barlow)

This dish will officially cure you of boring weeknight chicken blues. Not only does the recipe come together incredibly quickly (like, 15 minutes!), but it’s something I’d order in a restaurant, and at a fraction of the price. The vinaigrette adds a fresh, bright flavor to otherwise bland couscous and scallions provide a satisfying green crunch to buttery smooth salmon.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This recipe is the result of a mostly lazy attempt on my part to incorporate more fish into my diet. Something about putting together a seafood dinner during the week has always seemed like major work to me. That is, until I tried this dish. A handful of ingredients and a trip to the seafood counter and you’re set. The resulting meal is simple, but somehow, also sophisticated.

This recipe also belongs to our Six Ingredients (and Salt) series — recipes like this quick soup that call for no more than six ingredients. We do allow for cupboard staples — specifically salt and pepper, and olive oil. But other than that you won’t have to have any more than six ingredients on hand to make these recipes.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

My favorite detail is seasoning the salmon with sumac. If you’ve never used sumac before, it has a lemony flavor ideal for fish. If you can’t locate it, try paprika instead.

Sautéed Salmon with Cilantro Vinaigrette over Couscous

Serves 2

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    (10-ounce) box plain couscous (1 1/2 cups)

  • 1

    (10-ounce) salmon fillet, skin removed and cut in 2 pieces

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • Salt and pepper

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1/4 cup

    cilantro, chopped

  • 2

    scallions, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons

    lemon juice


  1. Cook couscous according to package directions.

  2. Season salmon with sumac, salt, and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Add salmon and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

  3. Combine cilantro, scallions, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve salmon over couscous, drizzled with vinaigrette.

Related: What Is the Best Way To: Cook Salmon Filets?

(Images: Stephanie Barlow)