FRIDAY FISH: Roast a Side of Salmon Friday Night/Make Salmon Chowder for Saturday Lunch

While Americans think mostly clam when the word chowder is mentioned, there is a plethora of chowders (soup with milk or cream, thickened with potatoes or crackers) from which to choose–even right here on More Time. Here are three favorites:

Smoky Green Chile-Shrimp Corn Chowder

Chicken-Cauliflower Chowder

Grilled Olathe Sweet Corn and Chicken Chowder

I typically make a chowder from scratch, but today’s recipe uses up the leftovers from a side or two of roasted salmon, which serves perfectly as the main dish for your Friday Fish. Various ideas for sides and serving below the roast salmon recipe. There are also instructions in the chowder recipe for using fresh salmon for the soup if that’s your fancy. How much you need to make depends on how many servings you need for each meal. If there are only two of you, a pound or a little more is enough for the Friday dinner and the next day’s soup if you’re careful.

TIP: Use the center cuts for dinner and the skinnier tail ends (tuck under to avoid over cooking) for the soup.

4 or 6 folks for each meal? Buy a large side of salmon (2-3 pounds) or two smaller ones to make sure you’ve got enough. A typical serving of salmon is 3 or 4 ounces and the soup needs another 4-6 or even a bit more if you like a really “meaty” bowlful. If by chance you get to Saturday and don’t have enough salmon, you can supplement it with some additional small or medium shrimp (fresh or frozen), a bit of smoked salmon, some diced fish fillets (cod, haddock, flounder, etc.), or even a can of crab and enjoy a seafood chowder.

First you’ll need to crank up the oven on Friday night, wrap up a side of salmon in foil, and roast it for–oh, all of 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of your fillet! Make sure your sides/prep and the table are taken care of ahead of time because there’s only time to open the wine, light the candles, and turn on the music while the fish is in the oven. Try this:

roast salmon

This is the fastest and simplest way to cook a side of salmon. Once it’s done, you can do a large variety of things with it. The number of servings will depend on the size of your fish. A one pound side of salmon will just feed three-four people, for instance. TIP: Tuck under the skinny tails ends so they don’t over cook.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Resting Time2 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Salmon
Servings: 6


  • 1 side of salmon–check for/remove pin bones* (about 2 pounds)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Sliced whole lemon
  • 2 sliced medium shallots or 1 small red onion


  • *Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover rimmed sheet pan with two overlapping sheets of foil across the shorter side (13 inches) that extend 3-4 inches on each side of pan. Place salmon, skin side down, at center, lengthwise. Dry the fish a bit by patting gently with paper towels. Brush salmon evenly with olive oil, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, and lay lemon and shallot slices down center of fish.
  • *Fold the sides of the foil up and around the fish, completely sealing to create an airtight package. Place at center of oven and roast for 12-15 minutes (depending on the size of the side of salmon) or until barely firm but still juicy and damply pink at center. (Does it flake when tested with a fork? It’s done.) Let rest a minute or two. FYI: USDA says 145 degrees for salmon; many chefs prefer stopping cooking at 120 or so degrees F; the fish will come up a few degrees while resting.


*Buy wild salmon. Less expensive wild salmon sides are often available in the frozen section of your grocery. Keep them in the freezer. Submerged in cold water, they thaw in about an hour or you can leave them in the fridge overnight.
Copyright Alyce Morgan, 2019. All rights reserved.


HOW TO USE THAT SIDE OF SALMON: Slice it into serving pieces and add a simple vegetable or salad. Want a bit fancier? Read on…

There are myriad choice for dinner once a side of salmon is cooked… likeTINFOIL SALMON AND BUTTERED TOMATOES WITH THYME ON BROWN RICE (above) or SALMON TACOS (below)

or check out:

More Time’s Top Ten Salmon Recipes for more ideas.


When Saturday comes and you’re ready for lunch (or dinner), you’re all set with this quick bowl of goodness:

salmon chowder

This easy chowder is a riff on the Salmon Chowder from my book, SOUPS AND SIDES FOR ALL SEASONS. While it’s made with last night’s leftover salmon, it works perfectly well with raw, diced salmon. If you’ve other leftover vegetables from dinner (green beans, spinach, kale, tomatoes, mushrooms, fennel etc.), chop them up and toss them in with the salmon. Got fennel? Use the fronds, minced, for garnish, as shown in photo.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chowder
Servings: 4 Servings


  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 4 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 large carrots peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley divided (half for pot, half for garnish)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • Kosher salt freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup white wine or water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or 1 cup Clam Juice and 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 6 small red potatoes cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 6 spears asparagus, trimmed, and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 6-8 ounces cooked salmon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Hot sauce to taste such as Tabasco
  • ½ cup grated Extra Sharp Cheddar–garnish 2 ounces piece grated-garnish
  • Oyster crackers for serving


  • In a heavy, 8-quart soup pot, melt butter, and sauté onion, celery, carrots, garlic, parsley, thyme, and dill weed over medium flame for 10 minutes, stirring, until softening. Season with a teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Pour in wine and let cook down for a minute or two.
  • Add broth and clam juice, if using, and raise heat; bring to a boil. Tip in potatoes and cook until nearly tender—10 minutes or so. Add asparagus; cook for another 5 minutes or until asparagus and other vegetables are tender. Add cooked salmon. Whisk together milk and flour in a measuring cup and slowly whisk into chowder. Reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook, stirring regularly, another 5-10 minutes, or until thickened. Shake in two or three drops of hot sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot garnished with cheese, reserved parsley, and oyster crackers.


Copyright Alyce Morgan, 2019. All rights reserved.

WINE: Since there are two distinct meals, you might decide to choose two very different wines, but there’s the possibility of a single bottle if that’s all you need. Pinot Noir is often a wonderful pairing for a simple salmon dinner and while it might work for the chowder, I don’t like leftover Pinot Noir. It just doesn’t keep well. (Drink it all or invite friends.) If you choose a more spicy or tomatoey prep for the side of salmon, try a Syrah or a Shiraz, which will keep overnight. A milky-creamy chowder calls for a California Chardonnay, French White Burgundy, or even the tiny bit sweeter Viognier–all of which do keep well in the fridge. If you’re going to choose one bottle for both nights, go with the Chardonnay/White Burgundy/Viognier route and leave the Pinot or the Syrah/Shiraz for another dinner.

TIP: The beautiful Oregon Pinot Noirs (my favorite) are indeed pricey and indicate special occasion or date night. If you want a drinkable version without the eyebrow-raising price tag, try an A-Z Oregon Pinot Noir. Just remember to drink it all or it’s cooking wine, which is not a terrible idea after all.


Carrot Cake Cupcakes

While spring is here in Colorado, that doesn’t mean it’s all tulips and blooming trees.

My pansies are still on the porch.

Tomorrow, snow is forecast and my friend Sara comes to share a pot of chili and a movie for dinner. Brr.

One Friday Fish left for the year…Good Friday. See you then,


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