For National Nutrition Month, Dole has shared another collection of original healthy recipes. Naturally, several of them are dairy-free, but we were most smitten by these baked salmon nuggets with a creamy, from-scratch spinach dip. Appetizer nights are a weekly mainstay in our home, and you can bet this delicious recipe is now at the top of our list!
Baked Salmon Nuggets make Fun Finger Food for Fish Fridays
We all like homemade chicken nuggets, but I love the way this recipe mixes things up with salmon. The nuggets are far more tender and flaky than chicken, but still hearty and delicious. The recipe keeps things simple with salt and pepper for seasoning, but you can mix things up, if desired. Lemon pepper seasoning or spices like paprika are also fantastic with salmon.
This recipe is also a great way to sneak in some healthy fats. Wild salmon is higher in Omega 3 fatty acids than farmed, but it also tends to be more finicky to cook. It is usually less fatty and dries out more. These salmon nuggets help solve that problem. The breading locks in more moisture, and the smaller bites don’t overwhelm like a whole wild salmon filet can.
Special Diet Notes: Salmon Nuggets with Dairy-Free Spinach Dip
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally gluten-free, peanut-free, and soy-free. The salmon nuggets are nut-free, so you can enjoy them with another nut-free dip (like dairy-free tartar sauce!) if desired.
For egg-free baked salmon nuggets, I recommend using about 1/3 cup aquafaba, or more as needed, in place of the eggs.
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free, if needed)
- 2 large eggs (see note above for egg-free options)
- 1½ cups dairy-free panko breadcrumbs (whole wheat or gluten-free)
- 1¼ pounds skinless salmon fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Oil or cooking spray
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup packed baby spinach leaves
- ¼ cup lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper.
- Place the flour in a wide, shallow dish. Whisk the eggs in a separate shallow dish. Place the breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish.
- Sprinkle the salmon evenly with the ¾ teaspoon salt and pepper.
- Working with one salmon piece at a time, dredge the salmon in the flour mixture, shake off excess flour, then dip in the eggs, and then roll in the breadcrumbs to coat. Place the pieces on your prepared baking pan, an inch or so apart.
- Spray the nuggets with cooking spray or lightly drizzle with oil.
- Bake the salmon nuggets for 10 minutes, or until golden brown, and the internal temperature of the fish reaches 145°F.
- In your food processor or blender, puree the cashews, spinach, lemon juice, water, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper on high until smooth.
- Serve the salmon nuggets with the dip and some crudites, if desired.