Recipe: Warm Potato and Salmon Salad

updated Feb 3, 2020
Warm Potato and Salmon Salad
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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

I always thought of canned salmon as that oily stuff with the bones and skin that my mom would mix up with mayonnaise to make a dip. Even though I actually kind of like the bones and skin, they hardly make for an elegant presentation.

Well, here’s a salad that several steps removed from either mayo dip or your typical bowl of mixed greens and chopped vegetables. It can be put together very quickly, and the leftovers are great for lunch the next day.

Luckily good-quality brands of canned salmon have been increasingly easier and easier to come by at the grocery store. Canned salmon is almost always wild, not farmed and reasonably priced compared to fresh wild salmon. It makes a handy pantry staple to have around.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Tester’s Notes

This is exactly the kind of salad I would serve if I was having company for lunch. For how pretty it is, it’s surprisingly quick and easy to put together. One of the things I love most about is the way the potatoes soak up the flavor of the vinaigrette. It’s like the salad is dressed from the inside out.

I had a bunch of radishes in the fridge, so I took Vanessa’s advice and thinly sliced a few to add to the salad. They add a nice crisp element, and they really make this salad look pretty.

I have also officially been converted to serving non-leafy green salads on lettuce leaves. It adds major points for presentation. I used Boston lettuce since I had it handy, but red or green leaf lettuce (or bib lettuce) would also work well.

Kelli, June 2015

Warm Potato and Salmon Salad

Serves 2 to 4

Nutritional Info


For the salad:

  • 1 pound

    small red potatoes, cut into quarters

  • 1 pound

    green beans, trimmed

  • 1

    (7-ounce) can wild salmon

  • 1

    small red onion, diced

  • 2 tablespoons

    fresh parsley, chopped

  • Lettuce for serving

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons

    Champagne vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon

    Dijon mustard

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/4 cup

    olive oil


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until fork tender. Remove with a slotted spoon, reserving the hot water for the beans. Place the drained potatoes in a medium bowl.

  2. While the potatoes cook, prepare the vinaigrette. Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil, while continuing to whisk until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Set aside.

  3. Bring the water back to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for about 3 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain and pat dry. Add the beans to the potatoes, along with the salmon, red onion, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Add vinaigrette, and toss and serve immediately over a bed of bib lettuce.

Recipe Notes

Possible variations: Add capers or avocado, roasted beets, shaved fennel, thinly sliced radishes, or whatever seasonal vegetables you have around that seem appropriate. You could also toss baby arugula into the salad rather than serving on a bed of lettuce.

This recipe has been updated — first published October 2006.