Pacific Northwest Flavors: Baked Salmon with Wild Rice and Roasted Squash

Oct 23, 2023 | Main Courses


Prep Time

Cooking Time

20 minutes
40 minutes


– 4 salmon fillets (6-ounce), skin-on
– 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
– 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
– 1 medium acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
– 1 red onion, thinly sliced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon dried thyme
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– Fresh dill, for garnish

Cooking Instructions


1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). While the oven works its magic, let me share a story about how this dish took the Pacific Northwest by storm many years ago. Long ago, in the quaint coastal town of Sitka, Alaska, local fishermen would embark on their daily voyages to gather the freshest catch from the icy depths of the Pacific Ocean. And it is from their rich traditions and reverence for the sea that this recipe was born.

2. In a saucepan, bring the vegetable or chicken broth to a boil. Add the wild rice, reduce heat, cover, and let it simmer for 40-45 minutes, or until the grains become tender and chewy. Once cooked, set it aside and allow it to cool slightly.

3. While the rice cooks, prepare the acorn squash. Peel off the tough skin, remove the seeds, and dice it into bite-sized pieces. On a baking sheet, spread out the diced squash, drizzle it with olive oil, and season it with salt, pepper, and dried thyme. Roast the squash in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until it becomes tender and slightly caramelized.

4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced red onions and minced garlic, sautéing them until they become fragrant and translucent. Gently spoon in the cooked wild rice, mixing it with the onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

5. Place the salmon fillets skin-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle them with lemon juice, sprinkle them with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake the salmon in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until it flakes easily and reaches your desired level of doneness.

6. Assembled on a plate, this dish tells a story of the connection between land and sea, a tale whispered through layers of flavors and textures. Start by spooning a generous portion of the wild rice and onion mixture onto each plate. Place a piece of salmon on top, its crispy skin proudly displayed. Finally, scatter the roasted acorn squash around the plate, adding a delightful sweetness and golden touch to the ensemble.

7. Garnish your creation with fresh dill, adding an herbaceous note that beautifully complements the salmon’s richness. And now, it’s time to have a taste, savoring the symphony of flavors that dance on your tongue. The nuttiness of the wild rice, the tender and succulent salmon, and the caramelized sweetness of the roasted squash harmoniously unite, creating a dish that pays tribute to the Pacific Northwest’s abundant offerings.

Tips and Variations:
– Enhance the flavors of the salmon by marinating it for 30 minutes before baking, using a mixture of lemon juice, garlic, and dill.
– For a heartier version, add some sautéed mushrooms to the wild rice mixture.
– Experiment with different types of squash, such as butternut or delicata squash, to explore the varying tastes and textures they bring to the dish.
– Sprinkle some toasted almond slivers over the top for a delightful crunch.
– Don’t be afraid to garnish with additional fresh herbs like parsley or chives for added freshness.

In this recipe, every ingredient shares its own story, creating a dish that pays homage to tradition while celebrating the culinary experiences of our modern lives. I hope this recipe not only inspires you to explore the joys of Pacific Northwest cuisine but also encourages you to add your own unique twists and tales to every dish you create. Bon appétit!

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 fillet (177g)Servings Per Recipe 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 311
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 88mg 29%
Sodium 161mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Sugars 0g
Protein 38g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 3% Iron 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories: 2,000 2,500
Total Fat Less than 65g 80g
Saturated Fat Less than 20g 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg 300 mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g
Dietary Fiber 25g 30g
Main Courses > Pacific Northwest Flavors: Baked Salmon with Wild Rice and Roasted Squash

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