If you’re looking for an easy, impressive weeknight salmon dinner recipe, it doesn’t get more delicious than Salmon Florentine.
Salmon fillets are topping with a creamy spinach mixture made with ricotta cheese, sautéed shallots, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh spinach. There’s basil and lemon zest to brighten and round out the flavors, and a pinch of red pepper flakes for the tiniest bit of heat.
Here’s why we love this salmon florentine recipe so much:
- Low effort, but big payoff! The prep time is a quick 15 minutes. The salmon then transfers to an oven and baked for another 15 minutes until a perfect medium-rare.
- Flavor! Some people are against pairing seafood with dairy, but the combination of creamy ricotta and spinach with the tender, flaky salmon is melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
- Sun dried tomatoes! The addition of sun dried tomatoes adds a sweet, chewy component that you never knew you needed with salmon.
- Salmon fillets: Skin on or off — just pat the fillets gently to dry with a paper towel before serving. This is Atlantic salmon, though you can check out our salmon guide for more information on the different species.
- Extra virgin olive oil: To sauté the alliums and vegetables.
- Shallot: Adds a sweet, delicate onion flavor to the florentine topping.
- Garlic: Adds that warm familiar garlicky flavor to the dish.
- Fresh baby spinach: You’ll need 1 (5 or 6oz) bag of fresh baby spinach.
- Sun dried tomatoes: Julienned or finely chopped sun dried tomatoes.
- Ricotta cheese: We use full fat, but part-skim is fine. If you have the time, make your own ricotta cheese at home!
- Fresh lemon zest (lemon wedges reserved for serving):
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper: to season everything!
- Fresh basil, thinly sliced: for serving!
Equipment: Medium skillet, spatula, mixing bowl, and small rimmed baking sheet
How To Make Salmon Florentine
First, make the topping! Heat oil (can use sun dried tomato oil!) in a large skillet, then sauté shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add sun dried tomatoes, fresh spinach, lemon zest, and half of the basil, then cook until just wilted. Allow this to cool for 5-10 minutes before mixing with the ricotta in a small bowl to prevent melting.
Finish in a preheated oven. Top each seasoned salmon fillet generously with equal amounts of the Florentine spinach and ricotta mixture. Place on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet, then bake for about 15 minutes, or until the salmon is fully cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 120F.
Remember, proteins will continue to cook after being removed from the oven, so the temp will rise a bit more. 120F will yield salmon that is medium-rare, our preferred temperature. If you like it cooked more, add 2-4 minutes.
We recommend the Thermapen MK4 to check for doneness on all meats!
Transfer to plates, then serve with a chiffonade of fresh basil and some lemon wedges. It’s so delicious!
- Pat salmon dry with a paper towel. This removes excess moisture and will help the Kosher salt and black pepper adhere.
- Don’t overcook the salmon! Salmon is a pretty forgiving fish, with its high fat content and luscious, flaky texture, but if you overcook it, it becomes dry. Cook until medium rare, about 120F. If you want it cooked closer to medium, add 3-4 minutes cook time.
- Spinach: Instead of fresh spinach, try Swiss chard, baby kale, or dinosaur kale. All of which should have their ribs removed and be thinly sliced.
- Sun dried tomatoes: If you don’t have sun dried tomatoes, this would be delicious with roasted red peppers! Chop into small bite size pieces.
- Basil: Don’t have basil? Lots of fresh herbs would work with this salmon recipe: dill, oregano, or tarragon. Parsley is always a great option too!
How To Serve
Try one of these great side dishes alongside our Salmon Florentine recipe:
This depends on how thick the salmon fillets are, as well as your preferred doneness for seafood. We recommend medium-rare, which is reached when an internal temperature of 120F is reached (the temp will continue to rise when taken out of the oven). For fish closer to medium, cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
A great alternative to wild or farmed salmon is Arctic Char. This same topping, however, would be fantastic on flaky white fish, such as cod, haddock, hake, pollock, or black sea bass.
Yes. We are not big fans of frozen spinach because of its diluted taste, but it can absolutely be used. Substitute the fresh spinach with 1 package of thawed frozen spinach. Be sure to completely ring out as much excess water as possible before stirring into the ricotta mixture. You may need to adjust the seasoning, as well. Taste the florentine ricotta mixture before cooking to ensure it’s well seasoned.
This has been a favorite of ours for years! We can’t wait for you to give it a try.
If you make this Salmon Florentine recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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Creamy Baked Salmon Florentine (Gluten-Free)
- 5 (6oz) salmon fillets
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large shallot finely chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves finely chopped
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (5oz) bag baby spinach
- ⅓ cup sun dried tomatoes julienned or roughly chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil thinly sliced, divided
- 1 medium lemon zested (about 1 tsp) and cut into wedges
- 1½ tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese
- Flaky sea salt for serving
- Season the salmon fillets. Preheat oven to 350F. Pat salmon fillets dry with a paper towel, then place on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with 1 tsp Kosher salt and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
- Make the topping. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add shallot and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes. Add 2 cloves chopped garlic and ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, then stir. Cook 1 minute more. Add 1 (5-6oz) bag of baby spinach, ⅓ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes, 2 Tbsp thinly sliced basil, 1 tsp lemon zest, and remaining ½ tsp Kosher salt. Stir well, then continue cooking until spinach has wilted.
- Finish the topping. Transfer the spinach mixture to a mixing bowl, then allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Add ¾ cup ricotta cheese, then mix very well.
- Assemble. Carefully divide the ricotta mixture between each piece of salmon, then pile on top, covering the entire fillet.
- Bake, then serve. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 120F. Serve immediately with remaining 2 Tbsp julienned basil, lemon wedges, and a pinch of flaky sea salt.
- Make ahead: The spinach ricotta mixture can be made 1 day in advance, then stored in an airtight container in a fridge until needed. Salmon can be assembled with ricotta topping a few hours in advance, then baked when ready.
- Leftovers and storage: Allow baked salmon to cool completely before transferring to a storage container. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
- Reheating: Salmon florentine can be reheated in a microwave until warm, about 1½-2 minutes. Alternatively, you can reheat in an oven at 325F for about 6-8 minutes, just until warm and the topping begins to bubble a bit.
- Freezing: We do not recommend freezing the salmon with the florentine topping. You can, of course, freeze uncooked and cooked salmon fillets without the creamy topping.