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Poached Salmon with Lemon, Rosemary & Capers

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My family’s favorite fish is wild salmon. We love to bake it with yummy spices like Magic Salmon Seasoning or Old Bay Seasoning, but we also enjoy Poached Salmon with lemon, capers and rosemary.

Poaching salmon on the stove top is one of the easiest ways to make it. There’s no need to thaw first either, so cooking salmon filets from frozen is a great method to learn if you like easy dinner recipes.

This simple hack of cooking from frozen will allow you to have salmon prepared in as little as 15 minutes. Make it for dinner tonight and it’ll quickly become a favorite recipe to include in your meal plans.

Two poached salmon filets garnished with lemon slices, capers and a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Poached Salmon with Lemon, Rosemary & Capers

Learn how to make the best Poached Salmon from frozen with lemon, rosemary and capers in this easy restaurant-quality dinner recipe.
5 from 4 votes
Print Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Recipe Servings: 4


  • 12 ounces salmon fillets - (3-6 ounces per fillet)
  • 1 cup dry white wine - like Sauvignon Blanc
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice - (about 1 lemon)
  • 1-2 lemons - sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary - minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons shallots - minced
  • 4 cloves garlic - roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt - or kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups cold water


  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large cast iron skillet
  • Spatula


  • Combine the Sauvignon Blanc, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon slices, rosemary, capers, shallots and garlic in a large skillet (I used a 12” cast iron skillet). All of these ingredients will help build complex flavors for your salmon. Add enough water so the liquid reaches a depth of about 1 ½ inches of water. You want enough liquid for the salmon to be submerged in the aromatic poaching liquid. It took about 2 cups of water in my skillet. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then turn it down to low heat (to where it’s barely simmering).
  • Rinse your salmon under cold water to remove the protective ice glaze.
    Frozen salmon filet being rinsed under the water to remove protective ice glaze.
  • Turn off the heat and add salmon to the liquid, skin side down, on the bottom of the pan. Make sure the salmon is submerged. If it’s not, you’ll want to add more water. Return heat to a simmer. Be sure the liquid simmers, but doesn’t boil.
    Salmon filets added to the poaching liquid in the cast iron pan.
  • Once the salmon steaks are simmering, cover pan tightly and cook for 5-10 minutes (shorter for smaller pieces and longer for larger pieces). Turn off the heat and let the salmon rest in the liquid for 5 minutes or until the poached salmon is completely opaque. It will take longer with larger pieces.
    Salmon filets that are opaque being poached in a cast iron pan.
  • Remove salmon filets from the pan and serve with your favorite veggies and rice or potatoes.
    Two perfectly poached salmon filets on a dinner plate, garnished with lemon, capers and rosemary.


See Tips Below!!!

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 450mg | Potassium: 549mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 63IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg

Tips for Making the Best Poached Salmon

1. Tip: Remove pin bones from filets first.

Many salmon filets you buy at the grocery store already have the pin bones removed. If yours doesn’t, you’ll want to make sure to remove them before cooking using needle nose pliers. If you’re new to cooking salmon and fish, check out this tutorial on removing pin bones.

2. When do you know salmon is done?

Salmon cooks at different rates, depending upon the thickness of the fillet. To test if it’s done, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of a piece of cooked salmon. The minimum internal temperature should be 145˚F.

3. Can I poach thawed salmon?

Yes, a thawed piece of fish will cook much faster than a frozen one. You usually need about half the cook time for fresh vs frozen.

4. Substitutions for white wine?

If you prefer to poach your salmon without a dry white wine, you can add the juice of a couple extra lemons instead. That will help balance the flavor of the fish.

Another alcohol-free option is white wine vinegar. Since it’s much more acidic than white wine, you’ll want to dilute it at a 1:1 ratio with water. 

5. Can you use skinless salmon fillets?

Yes, poaching is a great way to cook skinless salmon as well. It may cook faster and flake apart a bit more than salmon that still has its skin, so watch carefully as it cooks and be gentle when you remove it from the pan.

6. Can you poach whole fish?

Yes, you can also poach whole fish with this method. You’ll need a larger pan (or salmon poacher), more liquids and more fresh herbs. It can take up to an hour to poach a whole salmon.

7. Can you use this method with other types of fish?

Yes, I love to poach fish fillets for easy dinners. The best poaching fish will have firm flesh so they won’t break apart. Some good choices besides salmon are tuna, halibut, mahi mahi and swordfish.

8. What are some side dishes to serve with poached salmon?

This poached salmon recipe has a really fresh flavor, so two of my favorite sides to serve with it are Oven-Roasted Bok Choy and Hasselback Potatoes. You can bake them in the oven while the salmon is poaching on the stove top.

It also tastes amazing with a big green salad loaded with veggies. You can use a simple oil and vinegar dressing, or try our Italian Dressing recipe if you want something a bit more flavorful.

9. What to do with leftovers?

We usually only cook as much salmon as we plan to eat for that meal. If you have leftovers, store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Enjoy the next day scrambled with eggs for breakfast or added to a salad for lunch.

10. Where to buy salmon and seafood?

There are a ton of websites that sell frozen and fresh seafood that is delivered to your door. One of my favorites is Wulf’s Fish, but here’s a list of the best places to order seafood online.

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Two poached salmon filets garnished with lemon, capers and rosemary, served on a white dinner plate.

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