How To Cook Frozen Salmon: A Step-by-Step Guide for Delicious Results

frozen salmon

Cooking frozen salmon is a convenient way to enjoy this nutritious and delicious fish without the need for extensive planning. Here, I will share my tips and techniques for transforming frozen salmon into a flavorful dish that will impress your taste buds. It’s important to note that using high-quality frozen salmon is essential for the best results.

Preparing and Thawing the Frozen Salmon

A. Selecting and purchasing frozen salmon

When choosing frozen salmon, look for individually frozen fillets or portions. This makes it easier to control portion sizes and ensures even cooking. Opt for wild-caught salmon if possible, as it tends to have superior taste and nutritional value.

B. Thawing methods

Thawing the frozen salmon properly is crucial for maintaining its texture and taste. Here are a few thawing methods to consider:

Refrigerator thawing

To thaw the salmon in the refrigerator, place the frozen fillets in a sealed plastic bag or container. Allow them to thaw in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours or overnight. This slow thawing method helps preserve the quality of the fish.

Cold water thawing

For quicker thawing, you can use the cold water method. Keep the salmon in its original packaging and submerge the sealed package in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes to maintain a safe temperature. This method usually takes about 1 hour.

Microwave thawing (if in a hurry)

If you’re in a time crunch, you can use the microwave to defrost the salmon. Follow the microwave’s defrosting instructions and use the lowest setting. Thaw the salmon in short intervals, checking it frequently to prevent cooking.

Seasoning and Cooking the Salmon

A. Preparing the marinade (optional)

Marinating the salmon adds extra flavor and moisture. You can prepare a simple marinade by combining ingredients like lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce, honey, mustard, or herbs. Allow the salmon to marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.

B. Seasoning the salmon

Once the salmon is thawed, pat it dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Brush the salmon with olive oil or melted butter to enhance its flavor and prevent it from sticking to the cooking surface. Season the salmon with salt, pepper, and any desired herbs or spices.

Cooking methods

There are several cooking methods that work well for frozen salmon:


Set the oven’s temperature to the recommended level, often 375°F (190°C). Put the seasoned salmon on a parchment-lined baking sheet to keep it from sticking. Bake the salmon for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until it is opaque and flakes readily with a fork.


Add a little frying oil to a non-stick skillet and preheat it over medium-high heat. In the heated skillet, add the skin-side-down salmon that has been seasoned. Salmon should be cooked through and have a golden crust after about 4-5 minutes of cooking. After gently flipping the fillets, heat for an additional 2-3 minutes.


Set the grill to medium-high heat and grease the grates to avoid sticking. Place the skin-side down, seasoned salmon immediately on the grill. Depending on the thickness of the fillet, cook the fish for around 4-6 minutes on each side or until it flakes easily.

Serving and Enjoying the Salmon

A. Checking for doneness:

To ensure that the salmon is cooked through, check for a flaky texture and an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). The flesh should be opaque and easily separate into flakes.

B. Plating suggestions:

When it comes to serving the cooked salmon, there are endless possibilities. Pair it with roasted vegetables, steamed rice, or a fresh salad for a complete meal. You can also serve it alongside a flavorful sauce or drizzle it with lemon juice for a burst of freshness.

C. Garnishing options:

To add visual appeal and an extra touch of flavor, consider garnishing the salmon with fresh herbs like dill or parsley. Slices of lemon can also provide a vibrant pop of color and a tangy flavor.

From Freezer to Fork: Master the Art of Cooking Frozen Salmon

Cooking frozen salmon is a convenient and delicious way to enjoy this nutritious fish. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can transform frozen salmon into a flavorful dish that will satisfy your cravings. 

Remember to handle and store frozen seafood safely to maintain its quality. So go ahead and give it a try, and don’t hesitate to experiment with different seasonings and cooking methods to find your perfect preparation.


Can you cook salmon directly from frozen?

Yes, you can cook salmon directly from frozen. It’s important to adjust the cooking time and temperature to ensure it cooks through properly.

How to cook frozen salmon best?

The best method to cook frozen salmon is by thawing it first. Thaw the salmon in the refrigerator overnight or using the cold water method. Once thawed, you can bake, grill, or pan-sear the salmon to your preferred doneness.

How do you cook frozen packaged salmon?

To cook frozen packaged salmon, follow the instructions on the packaging. Typically, it involves thawing the salmon and then cooking it using methods such as baking, grilling, or pan-searing.

How to cook frozen salmon on a pan?

To cook frozen salmon on a pan, thaw it first by using the refrigerator or cold water method. Once thawed, preheat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add a small amount of cooking oil. Place the salmon in the hot skillet, skin-side down, and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Flip the fillets and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the salmon is cooked through.