It’s still chilly outside so comfort food meals are still a thing, like this Baked Salmon and Wild Rice Casserole! Full of tasty salmon chunks, spices and vegetables!
I love turkey and I had an awesome time over Thanksgiving but now I’m ready to slap my taste buds back to reality and tell them that there’s more to life than white meat! So what’s the next best thing…actually better than turkey?
It’s salmon guys, and judging by this Skillet Seared Salmon, Salmon Tacos, and Salmon Spinach Pappardelle, you might say I have a thing for salmon. I love that it’s such a versatile and easy to source ingredient, and it’s healthy too!
Salmon is packed with great omega 3 fatty acids, loaded with protein and is so easy to cook. My whole family love it and love that it can be cooked so many different ways.
How to make my baked salmon casserole
This dish is definitely from the comfort food category. Its thick and rich with a fantastic nutty flavor from the wild rice. Make sure you cut the potatoes on the smaller side because the bigger they are the longer they’ll take to fully cook. Cooking the vegetables is like making stuffing at Thanksgiving, you’ll want to cook them low and slow to develop that great base flavor.
Can I use regular rice?
Yes you could but the dish would lack flavor. If you’ve never had wild rice before give it a try and you’ll notice the flavor difference immediately. Wild rice has a nutty flavor and really elevates a dish.
Tips for making this baked salmon casserole
- Don’t cut the salmon too small. Each piece should be about 1-1/2 inches or it’ll just break up.
- Dice the potatoes, leeks and carrots into very small pieces.
- Use good quality chicken stock.
What is the best salmon to use?
Try and use thick center cut filets as the thinner tail pieces will cook before everything else and be more dry. Copper River Salmon is a little more expensive but well worth it. King salmon as well as Sockeye and Coho are all fantastic fish. The salmon is not farmed and the flavor is amazing. Make sure your salmon has had the skin taken off before cooking.
How to serve my casserole
This recipe has everything already in it to satisfy even the biggest hunger so I like to just scoop it into a bowl and garnish with extra Parmesan cheese. You could also add some fresh chopped rosemary or thyme over the top.
Store any leftovers in the fridge and to reheat, place the casserole into separate serving dishes, cover with plastic wrap and warm in the microwave.
Baked Salmon and Wild Rice Casserole
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups finely diced potato
- 1 ½ cups sliced leeks
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups cooked wild rice
- 1 ¼ pounds salmon, skin removed and cut into 1 inch squares
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp all purpose four
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- 1 ½ tbsp of your favorite Cajun seasoning
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. You will also need a 13 x 9-inch deep baking pan or equivalent.
- In a large pan heat the oil and add the diced potato. Cook until the potatoes feel soft when poked with a sharp knife.
- Add the leeks, carrots, and garlic. Stir and cook for about 6-8 minutes.
- Turn of the heat and add the wild rice and salmon chunks. Set aside.
- In another pan, melt the butter and then add the flour over a medium heat.
- Stir well until the mixture gets thick.
- Gradually add the stock whisking well after each addition to avoid lumps.
- Bring to a simmer and start to gradually add the half and half.
- Simmer for 5-6 minutes then add the cajun seasoning, salt and black pepper.
- Pour the sauce into the pan with the salmon and rice and gently mix everything together.
- Transfer the whole casserole to a 13 x 9 inch baking pan or equivalent and sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and the edges are bubbling.
- Serve at once.
I agree! I’m ready for seafood and lighter meals. I haven’t made much with wild rice but this casserole certainly has me wanting to run to the store and pick up a package. Great photos!!
You don’t need to ask me twice to have comfort food!! :P
What a great upgrade to chicken and rice casserole! The salmon change up sounds perfect and I can’t wait to try it out!
My boys love salmon! This will be a hit!
Comfort food to the max!
Love this cozy non-turkey dish :)
I’ll be making this for a Christmas Eve dinner. What might you recommend as a side dish?
Hi Valerie, any roasted vegetables would be great I Think
Just a nice hot buttery roll(a Christmas standard), would do it for me. 🙂
I love any recipe with Salmon! and this one looks so easy and delicious for week nights!
This looks SO comforting!!!
I made this last night and it was fabulous! I added some mushrooms and a little fresh dill since I need too use up to mine though. Had leftovers for lunch today. The wild rice was done in my instant pot for the first time and would do that again for sure as well in the future. Thanks for the recipe!
This was savory and delicious!! I added mushrooms as well. I will most definitely be making this again. So worth a quick trip to the grocery store to get all your ingredients. Thank you for the recipe!
Glad you liked it Jaime!!
My daughter made this recipe for me after I had surgery. It was so delicious. I wouldn’t change a single ingredient. I love salmon and my daughter!!
This looks so good! I was looking for a salmon casserole and this was the first one with rice instead of noodles…yumm! I don’t have access to fresh salmon right now so I’m wondering about canned salmon as a substitute…I get mine from Costco and it’s good quality, but I’m not sure about amounts. Any ideas??
HI Theresa, i think canned would be okay as long as you didn’t break it down too much and still kept it chunky.
Is this dish spicy?
Hi Carrie, no this is not spicy :)
I’ve made this a number of times – absolutely love it, thank you for the recipe!
Not having enough of any ingredients, and not wanting to go out for them, I did a complete makeover with what I had in little amount: sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, onions, garlic ,wild rice, and millet . No flour? Arrowroot powder…and evaporated milk instead of half and half…fortunately, I did have butter and Parmesan cheese. It turned out salmoncasserolicious, and a new favorite! Thank you so much for the inspiration!
Hi Diana! That’s some genius cooking moves and glad it worked out!!
Hi! Is this recipe okay to freeze and bake later or is it only good if you eat it right after making it?
Hi Tauri, I wouldn’t freeze this
I made this tonight with canned salmon as I wanted to test the recipe before buying the more expensive fresh salmon and it was delicious. My question is if when I do use fresh salmon, do you cook it before it is tossed with the vegetables and rice? Or does the 30 minutes in the oven cook the salmon.
Hi Linda, glad you liked it. You’d add cubes of raw salmon and it’ll cook in the oven. Just be sure they aren’t too large.
Thank you for this recipe! I live in Alaska and have a big freezer full of salmon and am always looking for a great new recipe. I’ve made this twice already (halving it both times), and absolutely loved it! It is delicious and easy and will definitely be in my rotation!
Thanks Ellen! You’re so lucky to be with such an awesome fish!
Should the salmon be cooked before starting the recipe?
Hi Margaret, no the salmon will cook as the casserole cooks
Can you substitute a dairy free milk for the half and half?
I think you could bit it may not be as creamy
Would veggie stock work with this recipe? What cajun spices do you recommend?
Veggie stock would work just as well, for Cajun spices, I like to use Old bay or Toni’s
I plan to serve eight ladies this salmon casserole recipe. Do I need to double it?
Hi Edith, doubling it would be a lot I think, It’s quite filling so maybe if you served a side of veggies or a salad with it would help fill anyone who was still hungry?
My family loves salmon so I’m always looking for new unique delicious ways to make it. This recipe was amazing & did not disappoint. It was packed with SO much flavour & was a huge hit. Thanks for this, it’s a keeper!