Main Dishes

September 1, 2022

Healthy Baked Salmon with Blueberry Sauce

Tender, juicy salmon topped with an easy, sugar free blueberry sauce. The salmon can be grilled, baked on a sheet pan, or air fried, and the whole recipe is gluten free dairy free. It's the perfect healthy dinner for late summer or early fall!

Happy first day of fall!

Are you excited for the holidays or mourning the end of summer?

Either way, I got you covered.

September is a weird month where it doesn't quite feel like pumpkin season but it doesn't have the energy of summer, so I really wanted to share a recipe that catered to both feelings.

That's where this Baked Salmon with Blueberry Sauce Recipe was born!

The blueberries celebrate the fresh summer produce, but they're also infused with hints of maple and thyme, which are classic fall flavors.

It's a winning combination that also nourishes your body and comes together in practically no time at all!

A salmon fillet with blueberry sauce on top


Why you'll love this recipe

It's easy to make: just a few ingredients and 15 minutes of cook time is all you'll need for this flavorful meal

It's macro friendly: this means the ratio of fats to carbs to protein is balanced. You get just the right amount of each to keep you fuller longer and balance all the flavors and textures.

It's allergen friendly: no gluten, dairy, or sugar here! But trust me when I say you won't miss any of those ingredients.

It's seasonal: if you're like me where you want to hang on to summer as long as possible but you also want all those cozy fall flavors, this blueberry salmon recipe is for you. The blueberries are the summer flavor, and the maple and thyme are the fall flavors!

It's versatile: I share 4 different ways to prepare your salmon so you always have a way to make it for dinner!

It's unique: every other "blueberry salmon recipe" I found had ingredients like balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, garlic cloves, white wine, or red onion. My recipe is more sweet than savory and it really is one of a kind!

A salmon fillet with blueberry sauce on top


Ingredients you'll need

  • Fresh salmon: the best salmon. You get bigger portions, crispier skin, and more tender fish. See the FAQ section below for details about using frozen fish.
  • Sugar free maple syrup: to infuse the blueberry sauce with maple flavor without the calories. This also replaces brown sugar to keep the recipe refined sugar free.
  • Fresh blueberries: for the blueberry glaze. It's best to use fresh instead of frozen because we want the blueberries to thicken and frozen berries retain too much water.
  • Thyme: my favorite herb pairing with maple. If you can, I would use fresh thyme, but you can also use dried thyme. I don't recommend ground thyme because you will need a lot more to even taste it and by then it will be too much.
  • Pantry staples: molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt
  • Sweet potatoes: these are going to be infused with more cinnamon and maple, then mashed until smooth. They're the perfect compliment to the salmon!
  • Green beans: because every good meal needs greens, right? You could swap these out for broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus too.

Ingredients for blueberry salmon


How to make blueberry salmon

Step 1: boil the sweet potatoes. Peel each potato, then cut into 1" cubes. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the sweet potatoes and cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Make the rest of the meal while the potatoes are boiling.

Step 2: prepare the salmon. If you're using raw salmon, use paper towels to pat dry. We want all the moisture gone so the fish doesn't boil.

Brush each fillet with maple syrup and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, then place skin side down on your appliance of choice. Make sure to spray with cooking spray (I like an olive oil or avocado oil) so you don't get fish flakes in your meal!

Step 3: cook the salmon. There are so many ways to bake salmon, but one of my favorite ways is in the air fryer, and that's what I recommend for the best results. (If you don't have an air fryer, I've included instructions below for 3 other variations to cook your salmon).

Here's how make blueberry salmon:

  • In the air fryer: preheat the air fryer to 400°F and spray with cooking spray. Place salmon skin side down and cook for 8-9 minutes.
  • On the stove: heat oil in a medium saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place the salmon skin side up and cook for 4-5 minutes until slightly crispy. Flip the fish so the skin is in the oil and cook another 4-5 minutes until cooked through.
  • On a sheet pan: spray a baking sheet with cooking spray (no parchment paper needed) and lay the salmon skin side down. Season with salt and bake at 450°F for 12-15 minutes until cooked through.
  • On the grill: grease the bottom rack of an uncovered grill with coconut oil and set the grill to medium-high heat. Place the salmon skin side up and grill for 6-8 minutes until the fish has a nice char. Flip over and grill another 6-8 minutes until the salmon is cooked through.

Raw salmon fillets with thyme on top

Step 3: make the blueberry sauce. Heat a small saucepan to medium heat on the stove. Add the remaining maple syrup, all the sweet blueberries, the molasses, spices, and a pinch of salt.

Once the blueberry mixture starts to bubble, stir gently every 30 seconds or so, then reduce to low heat. Mash half of the berries to thicken the sauce and allow the sauce to simmer until the salmon is ready.

Step 4: boil the green beans. Add the green beans into the pot of boiling sweet potatoes 5 minutes before the timer goes off. This will save you a pan or two! You might need to add up to 1 cup water to make sure there's enough liquid.

Feel free to season the beans however you like. I like a simple sprinkle of salt and black pepper, but you could also saute one clove garlic with some fresh ginger and grated lemon peel in some hot oil.

If you're interested in the latter option, I recommend steaming the beans in a large skillet, then drain the excess water and add the extra ingredients with one tablespoon oil.

Fresh blueberries


Frequently asked questions

What type of salmon can I use?

I prefer using fresh salmon fillets with the skin on, but you can also use a whole salmon fillet, skinless salmon fillets, or frozen salmon fillets. If you use frozen salmon, be sure to thaw fish according to package instructions. All of these options are available at most grocery stores.

Is salmon good for you?

Salmon is a great source of protein, omega-3 fats to help fight heart disease, selenium to balance your thyroid, and the vitamin B complex, which help convert your food into energy. Salmon also has 13% of the daily value of potassium, which is more than a banana!

How long does cooked salmon last?

After cooling to room temperature, store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Can I use frozen blueberries for the blueberry sauce?

Only if you thaw them first and drain all the excess liquid. Having too much water in the sauce will prevent it from thickening.

A plate of blueberry salmon


More easy dinners you'll love

Healthy Shrimp Cacio e Pepe

BLT Chicken Burgers with Pretzel Bun

Healthy Homemade Shrimp Alfredo Pasta

30 Minute Butternut Squash Carbonara

Air Fryer Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa


There you have it! I hope you love this blueberry salmon as much as I do. It's a little unique, but I promise it's amazing!

It actually inspired me to create more healthy salmon recipes, too, so be sure to subscribe to my mailing list to stay in the loop!

If you try this recipe, please leave a star rating and review so other readers know how you liked it.

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Healthy Baked Salmon with Blueberry Sauce

Tender, juicy salmon topped with an easy, sugar free blueberry sauce. The salmon can be grilled, baked on a sheet pan, or air fried, and the whole recipe is gluten free dairy free. It's the perfect healthy dinner for late summer or early fall!

Author:

Brooke Harmer

Prep:

15

min

cook:

15

min

total:

30

min

servings:

4

Ingredients

  • 24 oz fresh salmon, skin on, cut into 6 oz fillets
  • 3/4 C sugar free maple syrup, divided
  • 1/2 C fresh blueberries
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1 1/2 lbs. green beans
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the sweet potatoes. Cook for 15-20 minutes until fork tender, adding the green beans 5 minutes before the potatoes are finished. Season the green beans with salt and pepper, then set aside.
  2. Mash the sweet potatoes, then stir in 1/4 C maple syrup, 1 tsp cinnamon, the almond butter, and a pinch of salt until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the salmon. Preheat an air fryer* to 400°F and spray with cooking spray. Brush each fillet with 1 tablespoon maple syrup, then place skin side down in the tray. Working in batches, air fry for 8 minutes, then set aside and cover with foil.
  4. While the veggies and fish are cooking, make the blueberry sauce. Whisk together the remaining maple syrup (1/4 cup), molasses, remaining cinnamon (1/2 tsp), nutmeg, and cornstarch, then add to a small saucepan on the stove and mix in the blueberries. Cook until the sauce is bubbly but not burned, then turn down the heat to reduce the sauce. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  5. To serve, plate one salmon fillet with 1/4 of the mashed potatoes and 1/4 of the green beans, then top with 1/4 of the blueberry sauce.

Notes

*See blog post for directions on how to cook the salmon on the stove, in the oven, or on a grill.

Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of 6 ounces of salmon (cooked) and 1/4 of the blueberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and green beans.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 salmon fillet with sauce and sides / Calories: 548 / Fat: 24.4g / Saturated fat: 5.2g / Carbohydrates: 43g / Fiber: 8.3g / Sugar: 7.7g / Protein: 39g