Food

Alex’s 10-Minute Salmon Sandwich

10-Minute Salmon Sandwich

I’m curious: What do you actually make on weekday evenings, when you just want to plop down on the sofa and watch Insecure? At our place, Alex’s secret weapons are delicious salmon sandwiches he whip ups in our toaster oven in just ten minutes. “If you have fresh salmon and decent bread, there’s no need to fire up the big oven,” he says. Here, he shares how to make them…

Recipe: Toaster Oven Salmon Sandwich
Makes 2 sandwiches

You’ll need:

2 salmon filets, skin off
Old Bay seasoning
Sea salt
2 ciabatta rolls
Tartar sauce
Butter lettuce

Preheat a toaster oven to 380 degrees (we use a KitchenAid). Put the salmon filets on a sheet of aluminum foil on the non-stick oven pan and season liberally with Old Bay and good, coarse sea salt. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, depending on how well done you want it. I usually cook the fish a little longer for a sandwich (versus eating it on its own) since you don’t want it to fall apart on you. That’s also why I use a denser, heavier bread like ciabatta than, say, white or sourdough, because salmon is an oily fish and you don’t want the bread to turn into a sponge.

After that, just slather a little tartar sauce on each side of the bread (Trader Joe’s works well) and include a few leaves of butter lettuce per sandwich, just to give it some crunch.

10-Minute Salmon Sandwich

Thank you, Alex!

P.S. More recipes, including salmon and chickpea salad and a California sandwich.

(Photos by Ali Stafford for Cup of Jo. Thanks to Franny Eremin for helping with this series.)

  1. Dienesa says...

    I made these every day during an extended weekend getaway at a lake house. It was such an easy breezy, delicious meal to enjoy by the water. Thank you for sharing, Alex!

  2. Grace says...

    Made a variation of this today after seeing this. It was so good and so easy. I used a brioche bun but the butter lettuce in this was key. Thanks for sharing!

  3. My go-to is kimchi fried rice topped with a sunny side up egg!

  4. Shannon says...

    Joanna, where do you buy your fish in Brooklyn? I like Fish Tales but sometimes the line is so long and they’re too chatty for me, ha (hence, the line being too long). Union Market? Thanks, can’t wait to try this.

  5. Looks fantastic! but I am always too lazy for cooking.

  6. Martina says...

    This is our go-to hectic night fast dinner, which we do regularly because we keep these delicious salmon patties frozen from Costco stocked in the freezer.

    But here’s my weird addition: I like to do harissa on one side of the bun, mayo on the other, and then I also like to add slices of apple. I’m sure that sounds weird but the combo is truly something else.

  7. Jane I. says...

    Made this for dinner with my husband yesterday. I used frozen instead of fresh salmon because that’s what we had on hand. It was de-lish! Thanks for the recipe Alex! This one is for the rotation.

  8. oooh yum! But I never have salmon on hand. So we have eggs and toast on the crazy nights. Or homemade frozen pesto cubes dropped in a plate of hot pasta – stir and done. Or if it’s reallllly crazy, I make popcorn and they can hunt in the fridge to round it out.

  9. Alina says...

    A) why don’t I have a toaster oven??? Note to self: buy toaster oven!
    B) um…delicious.

    • Kelly says...

      I love toaster oven recipes in the summer! I hate heating up my kitchen.

  10. Mimi says...

    Yum! This looks amazing, and simple (always a winner in my book).
    Now to find Old Bay…
    Thanks Alex!

  11. Sarah says...

    +1 for Old Bay, from a Marylander :)

  12. Jean phelepe says...

    Me gusta el salmón lol xd xd xd

  13. Last night I had a salad made with tomatoes, fresh corn, avocado, herbs, mayo, and pickled onions.

  14. Sounds absolutely delicious. Nice work Alex!

  15. Julianna says...

    I do a variation of a Greek Dakos salad- I pan fry some shrimp with olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and red pepper flakes (only takes a few minutes). While that’s grilling I tear up some crust bread, chop a tomato (and some red onion if I’m feeling fancy), and crumble some GOOD feta (the creamy, kind of sour, imported kind) into a bowl. Then I dump the shrimp and pan juices over it all and top with red wine vinegar. You can modify by adding some spinach and/or garlic (or even a quick tzatiki by mixing some Greek yogurt and shedded cucumber and garlic) depending on how aggressive you want to get with rinsing and chopping but I find that this is my perfect lazy night meal when I need a little comfort.

    • Claire says...

      I love the sounds of this! Thanks for sharing it.

  16. Kirsten says...

    If I’m making a ‘fast’ dinner that is actually a dinner, my go-to is migas. Takes all of five minutes to fry up some old corn tortillas and scramble in the eggs, and I almost always have some black beans lying around in my fridge.

    But my actual don’t want to cook dinner dinner is just crackers and cheese.

    • Carrie says...

      Had never heard of migas so I looked it up…. oh man, looks so yummy. So glad you mentioned it!

    • Summer says...

      Carrie, now I need to know where you’re from. :P

  17. Sarah says...

    I once saw a man wearing a t-shirt that read, in huge letters, “I put Old Bay on my Old Bay.” So true.

  18. zivar says...

    so curious.. will your kids eat this? i try to make a dinner that we can all eat together or at least some parts of it so it feels like a family meal.

    • Molly says...

      chiming in to say that I’ve found putting fish on a roll is the only way my kids will eat it! If my husband and I are eating cod or salmon, I put my kids’ portions on a squishy burger bun and they love it :)

    • Katie Larissa says...

      My kids (3 and 2) probably wouldn’t eat it as a put-together sandwich, because big sandwiches are hard for them to manage. But I would serve the salmon with half a piece of the bread and a piece of the lettuce on the side, with the sauce to dip in. They would love that!

    • I made the mistake of only cooking enough salmon for my husband and I the other night, thinking the kids (2 and almost 1) would be content to eat their chicken and rice. Nope, they quickly stole most of our salmon (and ate their own dinners) and we were left with plain salads to eat. Lesson learned!

  19. Stacie says...

    We love quick curry! Veggies, garbanzo beans, and usually the TJ’s curry sauce (we also add coconut milk!). Cook some rice and voila.

  20. jean m goddard says...

    YUM! And I love the easiness of it.

  21. Erin D LaDue says...

    I am a huge fan of TJs tarter sauce. Making this ASAP.

  22. Yum! These look incredible!

    Laura

  23. Katie Larissa says...

    Not a fast fix, because it does require time for the potatoes to bake, but I put them in the oven and forget about them for an hour until it’s time to assemble the add-ons in about 10 minutes total.
    Baked sweet potatoes (one per person)
    Shredded rotisserie chicken, plus can of drained and rinsed black beans, plus fresh corn if you have it, plus quick sautéed onion, sprinkled liberally with Chile powder and cumin. Then top the halved potatoes with the extras and douse the whole thing with easy lime crema. (1/2 cup sour cream, juice and zest of one lime, tsp each of garlic powder and salt, whisked together.)

    So filling and yummy and SO easy.

  24. Dina says...

    My sister and I made these while camping last week, no mayo, tho, just pico.

  25. Jackie says...

    I find cooking fish in the toaster oven to make the toaster oven perpetually smell of fish oil– any tricks for post-fish, toaster-oven cleanup?

  26. Julie says...

    -Grilled chicken with lemon and herbs and a roasted or grilled veggie.
    -Bagel chips topped with goat cheese, capers, and smoked salmon.
    -Angel hair pasta with a good jarred sauce like Rao’s
    -Grilled cheese or a BLT
    -Cheese, crackers, pepperocinis

    • Sabrina says...

      My favorites!!!

  27. MM says...

    My go to is a super fast kale Cesar salad with homemade dressing. 3 Tbsp olive oil, 4-5 anchovy fillets from can, 3 garlic cloves, large Tbsp of Dijon, 3 Tbsp of finely grated Parmesan cheese. Squeeze of lemon. black pepper. Whisk on medium until smooth. Add in one egg, whisking fast so it doesn’t cook. Done in 5 min! I add panko to the kale for crunch.

    • Meagan says...

      I make this too! But I add roasted chickpeas for a little more filling and crunch. 1 can chickpeas tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne (if you like a little kick), roast on a baking sheet at 425* for 20 mins, tossing halfway.

  28. Julie says...

    As someone who is not from the USA I find toaster ovens kinda weird! Do you have just a regular toaster too? And so you also have a regular oven? Or do you use the toaster oven instead of both of these things?

    • Amanda says...

      Hi Julie, speaking for myself, I use my toaster oven all the time. We do have an oven for bigger things, but neither a toaster nor a microwave. It’s great for everything from toasting a piece of bread to reheating leftovers to cooking something start to finish like this recipe… it’s much more versatile than a regular toaster and makes leftovers a LOT more satisfying than the soggy job a microwave will do. But, for instance, it wouldn’t roast a family-size pan of veggies or bake a cake.

    • diana k. says...

      I have a toaster oven and an oven (no toaster or microwave). Some people have all of the above, but I feel like a toaster oven is the least common of the bunch. I toast my bread in a toaster oven, I make baked sweet potatoes, it’s good for single-serving stuff and reheating things like pizza. I only use my oven if I’m making something big like a roast or if I’m doing meat and veggies in the oven at the same time. It’s just an energy and time saver for cooking small amounts, and doesn’t turn my small apartment into a furnace.

    • Katie Larissa says...

      Most people who own toaster ovens also have big ovens (unless they are living it utterly tiny living spaces for some reason.) We use the toaster oven for small things, or quick things, that don’t require heating up the entire big oven. Not everyone has a toaster oven, but I ADORE mine.

    • Anna says...

      I totally love our toaster oven! No toaster or microwave :) we use it for reheating left overs and smaller meals. Like a nice pita bread “pizza” with capers and olives.

    • Molly says...

      I am obsessed with our toaster oven! (also no microwave or toaster here). We also use the regular oven, but it’s so nice to have a smaller option or to be able to roast two things at once (I often do the veggies in the toaster oven and the main course in the regular oven).

    • Cari says...

      Our toaster oven has become the most used appliance in the kitchen! We have a larger one, about the size of a microwave-which we don’t have- and we’ll use it all the time, especially in the summer to avoid heating up the bigger oven. With smaller sheet and baking pans you can cook and bake almost anything; I’ve roasted whole chickens in there! It preheats quickly and as it’s a convection oven everything cooks faster. My teenagers find it less intimidating to use than the large oven, and they’ve become much more comfortable with actual cooking and baking, not just heating up frozen foods. We love it!

    • sabrina says...

      I’m a little late here, but I thought I could maybe help clear up this confusion, Julie! I don’t know where you live (I’d love to know!), but I am an American who is living in Austria. American ovens are very big. They take forever to heat up and of course use a lot of energy to use. In America it makes sense to have an additional toaster oven, since you can save a ton of time and energy by cooking with it. Ovens in Austria (and I assume most of Europe) are barely bigger than most American toaster ovens, which is why toaster ovens in Europe don’t really make sense to have. My Austrian oven basically is a toaster oven, except it doesn’t sit on the counter. (ps. I moved some really nice roasting pans to Austria only to find out that they weretoo big to fit into Austrian ovens. Ha.)

  29. Amy says...

    My quick go-to weeknight dinner is a quesadilla, usually filled with black beans and colby jack but sometimes I get more fancy with the fillings by googling what I have on hand to find complimentary ingredients. Example: granny smith apple quesdilla. Anything is good with melted cheese! It’s usually 9 year old kid approved too.

  30. Sam says...

    Gabrielle Hamilton’s soft zucchini salad if I’m just regular hungry and I’ll add a lamb chop or two if extra hungry. Its such a delicious salad and so perfect for this time of year when there is so much zucchini. Perfect in winter too.

  31. Melissa says...

    And NOW I’m hungry.

  32. Carrie says...

    Salmon is a go-to for us, too, because it’s so fast. Two quick recipes: 1. Smear skin-off salmon filets with Delallo basil pesto (it’s the best, hands down) and then sprinkle with panko. Bake at 400 for ~18 minutes. 2. Mix 2 tbsp miso, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar with 1 tbsp brown sugar. Brush onto skin-off salmon filets poked with a fork a few times and bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes. Use leftover marinade as a sauce. SO EASY.

    • Julie says...

      I made salmon on Monday with Skinnytaste’s Peruvian green sauce on top, and it was spectacular. Salmon is perfect for an exhausted night.

    • diana k. says...

      Thanks for sharing, this looks great. Pre-made sauces do so much heavy lifting.

  33. Erin says...

    Spinach salad with tuna (the good stuff that comes packed in olive oil), sliced avocado, big hunks of roma tomatoes & hard boiled eggs with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. So good! Also very healthy so I don’t feel bad about that ice cream sandwich that I’ll eat later…

    • This is literally the exact dinner I had last night!! Including the ice-cream :)

  34. Annalise Wagstaff says...

    We eat this exact recipe for lunch a minimum of 3x a week. The ciabatta rolls are a must!

    We have about 300 pounds of salmon that we caught this summer in AK so salmon is king in our house for protein.

    • Claire says...

      wow! I am jealous!

    • talia says...

      Super jealous!

  35. NB says...

    Steamed broccoli with some ghee drizzled over it and a side of pureed avocado with cayenne (ave + dash olive oil + cayenne + sprinkle salt in food processor).

  36. Yulia says...

    My three minute meal is a tortilla spread with a layer of refried beans, heated in a skillet with a bit of oil. The tortilla crisps on medium heat, and I keep the lid on the skillet to warm the beans through. I’ll fold the tortilla in half after adding avocado, salsa, a sunny-side-up egg, or all three. (I make the egg in the skillet right after I take the tortilla out. The pan is already hot and oily, and the egg cooks quickly.)

    • Nathalie says...

      sound great, gonna try this, thanks!

  37. Lenae C says...

    What what?? I never thought of cooking fish in our toaster oven. We’re clearly not using it to its full potential; it’s just been a glorified toaster (read: literally just toasting bread, maybe with some melty cheese on top). I’ll have to try this recipe out — I love a good, quick weeknight recipe.

  38. Lisa says...

    Not gonna lie – cereal. Or TJs boxed Indian and frozen mini samosas if my husband gets it ready while I get our little guy in bed.

    • diana k. says...

      Team cereal for dinner! I do try to at least make it adult cereal, but no promises.

    • JessicaD says...

      Cereal OVER yogurt … with honey and berries if I’m feeling fancy! My daughter and I just had it for dinner tonight! Yum!

  39. Ava says...

    On those type of nights I usually do eggs! My fave is over easy eggs on top of toast. Often with some avocado or spinach. (And always TJ’s everything bagel seasoning). I also like open-faced tuna sandwich, and I use the toaster oven to melt cheese on top.

  40. Samantha says...

    It looks so good! I’d prepare mine with honey mustard and arugula 😋

  41. Ann Williams says...

    Wow! Everyone in my family will like this! They especially like TV dinners! Why did I never think to buy ciabatta rolls at Trader Joe’s!?

  42. When our microwave blew up about a year ago (literally– sparks flying), we got a toaster oven and never replaced the microwave. I use it about three times per day. The only time I miss the microwave is when steaming vegetables. The toaster oven does salmon perfectly.

  43. Dan says...

    No-energy-wanna-watch-tv and-shut-off-brain dinner: scrambled egg tacos with avocado and kimchi :)

  44. Charity says...

    No lies, our 5-minute go-to meal is instant ramen noodles (just the noodles with without the broth/seasoning packet), dressed with soy sauce and sesame oil, scallions and a little chili flakes, sliced avocado, and a fried egg with a runny yolk to top it off.

    • Brooke says...

      Oh my word —YUM!! What a fun easy way to eat fancy Asian Delish flavors 🤤🤤

    • Christine says...

      This is one of my go-to’s, too! I usually sub in a splash of sriracha for the chili flakes and add a dash of lime juice. If I’m feeling fancy I poach the egg (in one of those super easy poaching cups).

    • cannotw/theyts says...

      “fancy Asian flavors”? Brooke, do you think mustard is spicy? What is this white woman nonsense? Soy, sesame, chili, scallions… none of that is fancy. It’s just basics everyone has in their pantry…

    • Sharon says...

      Brooke – ;-). Completely agree. Please disregard the other commenter… there is no space for it on CoJ.

  45. Dee says...

    Broad bean and feta on garlic toasted ciabatta.
    Jacket potato +tuna mayo&sweetcorn.
    ‘Tart’s’ spaghetti.
    Celeriac and baked eggs.
    Spanish omlette.
    Salmon &hoisin sauce with stir fry veg.
    5 spice Dahl and toasted naan bread.
    All under 5 mins prep/ standing at the hob. All on rotation at our house.

    • Hali says...

      Tell me you’re from the UK! These words just look so British to me! “veg” “jacket potato” “dahl” and “celeriac” … If not, well, i’m just a California girl over here wishing she was in England all the time.

  46. Emily says...

    So genius. We just got a fancy new toaster as a wedding gift (the Breville Mini Smart Oven) and I can’t wait to try this out!

  47. Laura says...

    Oh, how I wish my husband liked salmon!

  48. Laura says...

    I’m a rice lover and I always have a few different varieties of the Uncle Ben’s 90 second microwave pouches (or the frozen brown rice from TJs) on hand. If you have a can of beans or any leftover protein, you’re halfway to a delicious and filling meal. I throw in whatever veggies and condiments are in my fridge- could be your standard Mexican-inspired salsa, corn, tomatoes, but I love to mix it up: BBQ sauce+ a quick coleslaw, hot sauce + blue cheese+ celery, greens+vinaigrette, hummus+olives + yogurt, avocado+cucumber+soy, etc. The varieties are endless and the result is always good.

    • Hillary F. says...

      I make “Rice Bowls” with that TJ’s rice ALL THE TIME! Same exact process.

  49. EllaY says...

    Lately I love canned salmon, (gf) breadcrumbs, and egg made into a patty and cooked in a pan. Then chipotle mayo or whatever sauce I have ready on a (gf) bun. Yum! And so nice not to have to start up the oven in this heat!

  50. Carrie says...

    I don’t even eat fish but I’m drawn to this recipe just because of the sheer simplicity of it. Plus…ciabatta rolls!

  51. Nina says...

    I like spaghetti with parm and eggs and salt and pepper and garlic and olive oil. For my son he loves a knock off of Subway – a soft roll (recently discovered cheddar rolls are a new favorite) and sliced ham and shredded cheddar. pop it under the broiler and he’s in heaven. He doesn’t like any toppings. for myself I’ll add mayo, tomatoes, maybe some banana peppers.

  52. Maja says...

    What is a toaster oven? Never heard of, we don’t have them in sweden,is it an american thing?!

    • Carolyn says...

      they are THE BEST! it’s a mini electric convection oven with elements on the top and bottom – it makes perfect toast but you can also bake and broil. i use mine a lot because it’s way faster (and probably more efficient) than my ancient gas oven.

  53. Elizabeth says...

    Bacon is an awesome addition to the salmon sandwich (and everything else, right?).

    • E says...

      Salmon BLT, everybody. Just add bacon and a thick slice of tomato to Alex & Joanna’s delicious recipe. Its SO good!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      YUM!!!

  54. Trish O says...

    sounds yummy. I may make this for me and the kids. My husband….worked as a fishmonger the summer before law school. He mentioned “salmon days” may have done him in. No salmon for him.

    I always chicken out cooking any type of fish except frozen shrimp…this seems so easy. I think I will just DO IT. If it turns out poorly, well, we just won’t speak about it.

  55. Claire says...

    This looks delicious! I like to make my own tartar sauce….anybody else do that too?

    • E says...

      Yes! Vegenaise, sweet relish, tons of cracked pepper and lots of lemon zest!

    • Julia E says...

      100%! so worth the 5 minutes

  56. Rebecca says...

    The best sandwich I will ever eat was a salmon BLT at the Ritz in Atlanta. (Since then I have been diagnosed with celiac disease, so it’s all downhill . . .)

    • Cait says...

      Side note, I went to a wedding at the Ritz in Atlanta and the food was incredible!! Is this all Ritz hotels or is there something special in ATL?

    • Megan says...

      I have celiac too. Last month I had gf crab cakes for the first time in a decade…hope you are feeling well.

    • E says...

      So sorry to hear you’re dealing with Celia, Rebecca! I also can’t eat gluten and feel your pain. But take heart: there are tons of amazing gluten free breads out there, becoming more and more common at any restaurant, and if there’s a great sandwich I love, I’m always surprised how much I still enjoy it even asking for it over greens or between big leaves of lettuce instead of on bread. Good luck!!

  57. Kate says...

    This sounds brilliant! Can’t wait to try. I wonder if something pickled would feature well here!

  58. Louisa says...

    The tuna melt! Bread, mayo or olive oil, tuna, cheese. Toaster oven. Top with arugula. Pairs well with an IPA and the Bachelor.

  59. Tara says...

    We typically end up with egg sandwiches on these nights. Sometimes with avocado, sometimes with cheddar, always quick, easy, and delicious!

  60. Jillian says...

    The toaster oven is the workhorse of our kitchen! We got a new one last year and I just love it. We have no toaster, and no microwave nor do we miss either. We only heat up the big rig for pizzas, cookies, etc but on a daily basis I’m using the toaster oven. Bless those things!! :)

  61. Gabriela says...

    Sold! Making these tonight.

  62. Melkorka says...

    One of my go tos with leftover salmon is a ‘spicy salmon’ sandwich – I use whatever greens I have on hand (salad, cucumber etc, sauteed spinach etc) and use mayo & siracha on a bun. Seriously one of the best leftover sandwiches in my arsenal- this sounds delicious too!

    • Trish O says...

      yummy