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About This Recipe
Summer is my favorite time for salads and this recipe is my new go-to! It’s made with fresh produce, crispy, flavor-packed salmon bites and the most unbelievable Bang Bang dressing. Not to mention, it’s a light, satisfying meal that works as a great quick lunch or healthy dinner!
Also if you haven’t already been air frying your salmon, what are you waiting for! I swear it’s the quickest, easiest way to get the best tasting salmon every time. Plus it takes less than 10 minutes!! And the salmon is SO juicy and flavorful!
And let’s not forget about the true star of the show here. This lightened up Bang Bang dressing is also great as a dipping sauce. It’s a simple recipe that packs a ton of flavor.
You can use it for other salads, sandwiches, chicken nuggets or try it with these Bang Bang Chicken Minis for your next game day or get-together!
If you’re looking for other quick and delicious ways to cook your salmon, don’t miss this 25-Minute Baked Pesto Salmon (so good with these Pesto Salmon Bowls), this bomb Honey Garlic Salmon, or my favorite Healthy Salmon Burgers!
Why You’ll Love This Blackened Salmon Salad
- The ULTIMATE summer meal for the salmon lover! Healthy, packed with protein and absolutely delicious!
- Also the best lightened up Bang Bang dressing that takes this salad to the next level!
- Great for meal prep or prepping or for a quick weeknight dinner.
- A great low carb, high protein option that is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free.
- Made with a handful of simple ingredients that you can easily find or might already have on hand!
For the Salmon Bites and Salad:
- Salmon filets – I used skinless salmon fillets for the salmon chunks but you can use the kind with the skin on too. Also, if your salmon is frozen, be sure to thaw before using.
- Spices – Sweet paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Brown sugar – Just a little bit to give the salmon a little touch of sweetness! It really makes a difference I think. If you don’t have brown sugar, use regular sugar.
- Red pepper flakes – Added to give these air fryer salmon bites a little tiny kick. Still, I wouldn’t consider these salmon bites spicy. But feel free to omit if you wish!
- Spring mix – You can use any type of lettuce, spinach or greens of choice.
- Red onion
- Tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes both work! Or you can dice up a regular tomato.
For the Lightened up Bang Bang Dressing:
- Mayonnaise – This is what we’ll use as the main base for the bang bang sauce. I used light mayo but any mayo will do the trick!
- Sweet chili sauce
- Lemon juice
- To make spicier: Add more red pepper flakes and/or add more sriracha to the bang bang sauce.
- Add cheese: Goat cheese, feta cheese or shredded cheddar cheese would be delicious on this!
- Add more vegetables: Or switch up the vegetables! This salad is totally customizable so use what you like. Grated carrots, diced red pepper, sweet potatoes or avocado would all be amazing!
- Switch up the dressing: So we know the bang bang dressing pairs AMAZING with this salmon. But if you’re in a crunch or just want to switch it up, you could also try my favorite Skinny Yogurt Honey Mustard Dressing, Low Calorie Caesar or the Best Lightened up Creamy Balsamic with it!
How To Make
The full printable recipe is below, but let me walk you through the process so you know what to expect when you’re making it!
1. Make sauce: whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl or shake in a mason jar. Store in the fridge until ready to use. Dressing will thicken with time; To make it thinner, just shake with a little more water until desired consistency.
2. Salmon bites: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Whisk the seasoning mix together in a small bowl.
3. Pat the fresh salmon or thawed salmon dry with a paper towel and cut into 1-inch cubes. Add salmon cubes to a bowl and spray with cooking spray or olive oil spray so all sides are coated.
4. Add the seasoning mix.
5. Then toss to evenly coat.
6. Spray air fryer basket with cooking spray. Then add the seasoned salmon bites to the air fryer basket in a single layer.
7. Cook for 5-7 minutes, tossing halfway through. Or until the salmon is no longer pink.
8. Finally, assemble the salad: add 1/4 of all the ingredients to a bowl, drizzle with bang bang sauce (or dressing of choice), sprinkle with red pepper flakes and enjoy!
I love using these little 2oz containers with lids to store my bang bang dressing when making these salads for meal prep!
How do I cook salmon if I don’t have an air fryer?
Even though my favorite cooking method for this recipe is the air fryer, you can cook these salmon bites several ways if you don’t have an air fryer! Firstly, in a skillet for about 3-4 minutes (make sure to grease the skillet first). Secondly, on a baking sheet in the oven at 425F for about 10 minutes. Or you can also just broil them for 3-4 minutes on each side. Cooking time might vary depending on which method you choose so just keep on eye on it to make sure it doesn’t overcook!
Can I make this recipe with chicken if I don’t like salmon?
Sure! Just cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and follow the rest of the recipe as is. Since chicken usually takes a little longer to cook, you might need to cook for an additional minute or two. But just make sure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F or there is no pink in the center. Or you can try this recipe with my Grilled Chicken Nuggets or Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders!
Can I prep this salad in advance?
This salad is great for prepping ahead of time! Go ahead and chop your veggies, cook your salmon bites and make the dressing. Then store everything in individual airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or if taking on the go, store the salad and salmon bites together and just the dressing separately.
Is this this salad healthy for you?
This Blackened Salmon Salad with Bang Bang Dressing is a great healthy summer salad option! It’s packed with protein and healthy fats from the salmon and fiber from the veggies. It’s low in carbs so add an additional carb source like rice, quinoa or sweet potato for a macro-balanced meal.
What to with leftover air fried salmon bites?
Besides this salad, these easy air fryer salmon bites can be eaten so many different ways! You can add them to your favorite poke bowl or serve with side dishes like air fryer broccoli, air fryer sweet potato wedges or roasted potatoes. Or even just simple noodles or rice, I seriously feel like these salmon bites go with just about everything!
For the Salmon Bites:
- 1 lb. salmon filets I used skinless, Atlantic salmon
- 1 Tbsp sweet paprika
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
For the Salad:
- 8 cups spring mix, lettuce, spinach or green of choice
- 2 cups cucumber, finely diced
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 cup red onion, finely diced
- red pepper flakes
(optional) Bang Bang Sauce:
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise (120g)
- 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce (60g)
- 1.5 tsp honey
- 1.5 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sriracha can add 1-2 tsp more more if you want it spicier
- 1 Tbsp water (more or less depending on if you want it as a sauce or more like a dressing)
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Make the Sauce
- Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl or shake in a mason jar. Store in the fridge until ready to use. Dressing will thicken with time; To make it thinner, just shake with a little more water until desired consistency.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Whisk the seasoning mix together in a small bowl.
- Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel and cut into 1-inch cubes. Add salmon bites to a bowl and spray with cooking spray so all sides are coated. Add the seasoning mix and toss with the salmon bites to evenly coat.
- Spray air fryer basket with cooking spray. Add the salmon bites to the air fryer basket in an even layer and cook for 5-7 minutes, tossing halfway through, or until the salmon is no longer pink.
- Add 1/4 of all the ingredients to four bowls or assemble each bowl at a time. (2 cups lettuce, 1/2 cup diced cucumber, 1/4 cup tomatoes, 1/4 cup diced red onion in each of the four bowls).
- Drizzle with bang bang sauce (or dressing of choice), sprinkle with red pepper flakes and enjoy!
- To cook salmon in skillet: cook in a skillet for about 3-4 minutes.
- To cook salmon in oven: cook in the oven at 425 for about 10 minutes. You can also broil them for 3-4 minutes on each side.
Bang Bang Sauce Nutrition:
- Per serving: 2 Tbsp (30g) – makes 7 servings
- Nutrition per serving: 52 calories 4C / 4F / 0P
- MFP entry: LFF Skinny Bang Bang Sauce
Nutrition is hand-calculated and accurate. No autocalulations! However, note that values can vary based on the brands you use and if you substitute ingredients.