How Much Protein Is in Salmon?

This high-protein fish is perfect for a special celebration or a quick weeknight meal.

Looking to add more protein to your diet? It’s a great idea. Protein is an essential nutrient for our bodies to repair cells and build new ones.

Salmon is a protein powerhouse fish that is also loaded with other health benefits. How much protein in salmon depends on your portion size. Salmon is rich in protein and low in saturated fat, making it a healthy choice for everyone.

Eating salmon regularly has also been linked with a lower risk of heart disease, likely thanks to its high level of omega-3 fatty acids. Start adding salmon and these other high-protein foods to your diet this year.

Protein in Salmon

Salmon is a protein-rich food that will keep you full and satisfied for hours after your meal. One-half of a salmon fillet contains 39 grams of protein. About 46% of the calories in salmon come from protein, and the other 54% comes from fat.

(This is how many grams of protein are in meat.)

Serving Suggestions

The American Heart Association recommends eating two 3.5-ounce servings of fatty fish, like salmon, twice per week. Other types of fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids include mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna. Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and congestive heart failure.

It’s important to note that not everyone should eat fish every week. If you have an allergy, it’s important to avoid any foods that your body reacts to. Women who are pregnant, nursing or planning to become pregnant should avoid fish that may contain high levels of mercury. This includes shark and swordfish.

Cooking Tips

There are several ways to cook salmon, including:

  • Bake: Cook in an oven-proof skillet at 450ºF for about 14 to 18 minutes. Baked salmon recipes are quick, easy and loaded with flavor. Start with this oven-roasted salmon.

  • Pan sear: To pan-sear salmon, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the fillets for about five minutes on each side.

  • Grill: Marinate or season salmon, then grill it skin-side-up over medium heat for about four minutes per side. Try our Grilled Lemon-Garlic Salmon.

  • Broil: Place a foil-lined pan six inches under the broiler and cook the salmon for about seven to ten minutes. This Salmon with Spinach and White Beans is a quick weeknight meal.

  • Poach: For a simple poached salmon recipe, heat a large saucepan of water with a blend of seasonings and aromatics. Add the salmon and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

To tell if your fish is done, try the flake test. Simply press a fork down on top of your salmon fillet. If the fish flakes or separates along the lines of the flesh, it’s good to go.

Now that you’ve done all of the kitchen work, it’s time to enjoy your efforts. Try pairing your salmon fillet with roasted veggies or use it as a topper for a protein-packed salad. Check out the best side dishes for salmon. You can even eat raw salmon if you want; it’s all about the taste you’ve developed.

If you have any leftovers, cooked salmon can stay in the refrigerator for two to three days.

Easy Salmon Recipes Anyone Can Make
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Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.