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7 Salmon Recipes for Picky Eaters to Try

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Want your kids to eat more seafood? I’m sharing tips for serving salmon to kids as well as 7 yummy salmon recipes for picky eaters to try out! And of course, all of these kid-friendly salmon recipes are designed for the whole family.

Below I’m sharing why you want to serve salmon, some tips for serving salmon to picky eaters, as well as some of our favorite salmon recipes! Give them a try and let me know how it goes.

There is a lot to love about salmon for kids AND adults:

  • Multiple health benefits – Of course it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids (which is something most Americans don’t get enough of) but it’s also a great source of high-quality protein.
  • Versatile – So many different ways to prepare salmon fillets. You can use super simple ingredients or try it in a stir-fry – all options are the perfect weeknight meal.
  • Cooks quickly – Fresh salmon cooks quickly making it a great option for busy weeknights

While these are salmon recipes for picky eaters, I actually don’t like the picky label – so I’ll use selective eater. 🙂

All of my articles on feeding kids can be found here and if you want a FULL list of all of the videos I have with hacks, tips, scripts, and ideas for feeding kids, check out my instagram or tiktok page.

What’s The Best Type of Salmon Should I Buy?

There are soooo many opinions about the different types of salmon. What type of salmon is best and what salmon is most sustainable, but I have a different and more open perspective, especially if your family isn’t salmon-obsessed quite yet.

If you can afford wild-caught salmon, this is the ultimate. But if you can’t? I still want you to eat salmon!

The flavor is another piece to take into consideration. Farmed salmon has a more mild flavor and wild-caught has a stronger salmon and fish flavor. Some absolutely love the wild-caught salmon flavor – but those who are still learning to like salmon might prefer farm-raised salmon.

You’ll find some salmon sides or pre-portioned salmon filets – choose whatever you prefer or will be easiest. For recipes that call for a fillet, I prefer to buy them that way so that there’s less prep but it’s up to you.

And if you like smoked salmon, put salmon bagels (lox), smoked salmon sandwich, or smoked salmon dip on your menu soon!

Pro Tips for Serving Salmon to Kids

Whether your family is full of salmon lovers or still learning to like it, I help parents feel good about meal times. Follow these tips the next time salmon is on the menu:

  • Don’t pressure them to eat it! Just serve it and eat it yourself. This is truly one of the best ways to promote trying new foods. No “Just try one bite!” or “You’ll love it!” requests. This adds to selective eaters stress and anxiety at mealtime, which is the opposite of what we want to happen, especially when learning to eat a new food.
  • Switch it up. Sometimes trying fish in a new way can help if the typical preparation isn’t working.
  • Serve one family meal. And don’t forget 1-2 “safe” foods you know your kids will eat.
  • Have them help you make it. This is progress – even if they don’t eat it!
  • Try a different type or kind. See above for why farm-raised salmon might be more palatable to kids.
  • Make it delicious. These are the best salmon recipes and will help introduce salmon to your family.
  • Serve with dipping sauce. Kids want to dip salmon in ketchup, bbq sauce, or ranch? Let them!

Let’s get to these healthy dinner ideas!

Panko Crusted Salmon

I don’t want to start each recipe with, I love this recipe…but I love this recipe! Salmon fillets are topped with a mayo and mustard mixture, panko bread crumbs before baking – it comes together in less than 20 minutes! Grab the panko crusted salmon recipe.

What you’ll love:

  • It has a crunchy texture
  • Breadcrumbs can sometimes help make food more appealing
  • Fast and easy
  • Made with everyday grocery store ingredients
baked salmon with panko

Caesar Salmon Pasta Salad

This may sound like a strange combo, but it’s a delicious one! Salmon is grilled, but can also be cooked other ways as well. Leave the pasta and salad undressed and serve components separately if your kids don’t like food mixed together. And if you’re looking for just a salmon salad, you could swap out the pasta for croutons. Grab the Caesar salmon pasta salad recipe.

What you’ll love:

  • Includes pasta, which is usually a kid favorite
  • Components can be prepped ahead
  • Pasta shape can be swapped to use your family’s favorite
caesar salad with pasta in a bowl

Teriyaki Glazed Salmon

This teriyaki salmon has sweet and savory sauce that’s made with a brown sugar honey garlic sauce that is spoon-licking good! And while sweet flavors can be enticing to kids, you can also serve it on the side and let everyone add their own sauce. It’s always a great choice. Grab the teriyaki salmon recipe here.

What you’ll love:

  • Sweet flavor can help kids
  • Ready in 30 minutes
  • Sauce can be prepped ahead
Plate with glazed teriyaki salmon over rice.

Salmon Stir Fry

Yes, you can even turn salmon into a stir fry! This easy sauce features soy sauce and other stir fry staples and is served over rice with a side of green beans for a balanced and healthy meal. The pieces of fish are cut into small pieces, seasoned, and stir fried. Yum! Serve with sesame seed “sprinkles” and let your kids add their own. Grab the salmon stir fry recipe.

What you’ll love:

  • Can serve all components separately which can help selective kids
  • Tons of flavor
  • Ready in less than 30 minutes
Bowl of salmon stir fry recipe with chopsticks

Mango Salsa Salmon

Ok, so what makes this a good salmon for picky eaters? Well it can be served family style, so your kids can decide if they want the mango salsa or not. More adventurous eaters can add it to their salmon, but it’s optional, which automatically makes things less stressful! Pro tip: Use a pre-made mango or pineapple salsa for an easy shortcut! Grab the mango salsa salmon recipe.

What you’ll love:

  • Can serve as rice bowls so easy to let everyone choose their own components
  • Spice levels can be mild to spicy
  • Takes less than 20 minutes
Mango salsa on salmon over rice.

Salmon Cakes with Caper Dill Aioli

I started making this salmon patties recipe long before I had kids, but it’s also a great one for families. As with all of these recipes, it’s simple and easy but it’s also mild in flavor with a great contrast of crunchy exterior and flaky center. Grab the salmon cakes recipe.

What you’ll love:

  • Can be made and prepped ahead
  • Lightly seasoned
  • Crunchy exterior
salmon cakes

Air Fryer Salmon

This is a super easy salmon recipe! (Maybe the easiest?!) If your family prefers simple dishes, this is a great one to try. Or making salmon for a baby? Drizzle with a little olive oil and cook. And if you have leftover salmon, try it in my smoked salmon dip! Pro tip: Line the air fryer basket with foil for easy clean up! Grab the air fryer salmon recipe.

What you’ll love:

  • Can cook salmon right from frozen
  • Seasoned simply or add flavor if you prefer
  • Preps in 2 minutes
Flaky air fryer salmon on a plate with broccoli

Easy Side Dishes for Salmon

Many of these meals have built-in side dishes, but if they don’t, give one of these easy side dishes a try:

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