This easy dinner recipe pairs lemon butter salmon bites with a vinegar coleslaw that you can prep while the salmon bakes! It’s full of flavor and nutrition. Plus, the process is so simple that it makes putting a healthy meal on the table for your family easier than ever!
Ok, Veg World, it’s summertime…and the living’s easy. Or at least it’s supposed to be, right?! I don’t know about you, but I am very excited about the summer this year and plan to be outside in the sunshine with the fam whenever I can!
Will, Sydney, and I have recently gotten into the routine of going to the park after Sydney comes home from daycare. Since I don’t want to miss out on the fun by staying home to prepare dinner, I’ve started to experiment with recipes that actually don’t take long to prep and cook.
This recipe for lemon butter salmon bites is a result of that experimentation. Paired with a vinegar slaw that relies on packaged coleslaw and a few pantry ingredients, this meal is balanced, veggie-loaded, and ready in no time. I prep the bites and let them sit in the marinade while we hit the park, then I pop them in the oven for a few minutes (literally, just a few) when we come home and whip up the slaw while they bake. Boom. Too easy. By the way, my Salmon Quinoa Salad is another easy fish + veggies meal for summer evenings!
If you haven’t had salmon bites, you’re in for a treat. Cutting salmon into bite-sized pieces before cooking means they can be fully coated in a sauce, leading to better flavor. They also don’t need to cook as long as full fillets. AND, salmon bites are easier to feed to young kids, so you don’t have to spend extra time flaking a salmon fillet for the little ones. I’m hooked, and I think you will be too.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Salmon: Salmon with the skins and bones already removed is going to save you a lot of time, but you can remove those things at home if you can’t find salmon without them at the store. Try to get center cuts when you can, since they are thicker than tailpieces and will yield bite-sized pieces that are all about the same size and shape.
- Butter: I used unsalted butter.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon juice a key ingredient for lemon butter salmon bites! Feel free to add lemon zest if you want more flavor.
- Garlic powder, salt, and pepper: Feel free to use fresh garlic instead of powder.
- Coleslaw: Buy a 10-ounce package of shredded coleslaw (which usually has cabbage and carrots) or shredded cabbage. You can also shred cabbage yourself and use that. There are about 5 to 6 cups of cabbage in a coleslaw package
- Extra virgin olive oil: My favorite brand is Partanna.
- Apple cider vinegar: Substitute red wine or white wine vinegar if needed. Lemon or lime juice also works.
- Grainy mustard: I used a stone ground mustard, but Dijon also works.
- Honey: Omit or sub maple syrup if needed.
- Fresh dill: I like to use this as a garnish, but it’s totally optional.
The full recipe card for the lemon butter salmon bites and vinegar coleslaw is at the end of the post. Here’s a preview of the easy steps with photos to guide you.
If necessary, remove the skin and bones from the salmon. Cut it into bite-sized pieces, as close to 1-inch cubes as possible.
Melt the butter and mix it with the lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add the salmon cubes. Stir until coated. Cover the bowl, transfer to the refrigerator, and let the salmon sit in the marinade for 10 to 20 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take the salmon bites out of the fridge and spread them out on the baking sheet. The butter in the marinade will solidify (as pictured above). That’s OK, but feel free to microwave the bites for 15 to 30 seconds to re-melt the butter if desired. Bake the bites for just 4 to 7 minutes until cooked through.
While the salmon bakes, prep the coleslaw. Put the packaged slaw in a mixing bowl. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour over the slaw and toss until coated. Serve the bites with lemon butter drizzle and slaw on the side.
You can also cook lemon butter salmon bites in a skillet. To make pan-seared bites, follow these instructions:
- Prepare and marinate the bites as listed in the recipe directions.
- When you’re ready to cook them, warm a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the bites to the skillet. Pan fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until cooked through.
- Serve with more lemon butter and coleslaw on the side.
Storage and Reheating
Both the lemon butter salmon bites and coleslaw are best when enjoyed right away. However, you can keep them in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days. Reheat the salmon bites in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes or in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through. You can also use leftover bites in pita pockets, wraps, salads, or bowls.
More Fish Recipes
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Lemon Butter Salmon Bites with Vinegar Coleslaw
Lemon Butter Salmon Bites
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cut the salmon into 1-inch cubes, aiming to make them all around the same size as best as possible.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pour half of the mixture into another dish and set aside to use for serving.
- Transfer the salmon cubes to the mixing bowl. Stir well to coat them all in the lemon butter. At this point, you can cover the bowl and transfer it to the refrigerator to let the salmon bites marinate for 10 to 20 minutes. Or, you can bake them immediately.
- Spread the coated salmon bites out on the lined baking sheet. If they were refrigerated, the butter will have solidified. That's OK, and I typically just bake them like that. If you want to re-melt the butter, you can microwave the bites for 15 to 30 seconds in a microwave-safe bowl before putting them on the baking sheet.
- Bake the bites in the preheated oven for 4 to 7 minutes until cooked through. Your bites may need a couple more minutes depending on your oven.
- While the salmon cooks, make the slaw. Put the packaged coleslaw or cabbage into a large bowl. In a measuring cup or small bowl (or in the large bowl before you add the slaw), whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss until coated.
- Serve the salmon bites with the reserved lemon butter, fresh dill, and a side of coleslaw. Enjoy!
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- This recipe is best enjoyed right away, but you can keep the bites and slaw in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days.
- Leftover bites can be reheated in the microwave or in a skillet until warmed through (usually just takes a couple of minutes). They can be repurposed for salads, bowls, and wraps if desired.
- To cook the bites in a skillet instead of the oven, warm a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the bites and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until cooked through.
- Consider serving with a healthy carbohydrate, such as a whole grain, potatoes, beans, or fruit, for a more complete meal.
Enjoy this summer meal! – Lizzie