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Salmon and Rice Recipe With Creamy Dill Sauce

Treat yourself to a delicious weeknight dinner with this easy salmon and rice recipe for moist tender herby salmon on a bed of veggie rice topped with a creamy dill sauce. Ready in 30 minutes.

We like to add veggies to the rice to enhance the colors and nutrition, but feel free to use plain rice if you prefer – or want to save a step.

salmon chunks over veggie rice topped with dill sauce and herbs.

What to expect

There are 3 simple steps to this recipe:

  1. Bake the salmon, seasoned with fresh herbs.
  2. Make the veggie rice (a rice pilaf) – sauté the veggies, add rice and water, and cook.
  3. Make the dill sauce – combine mayo, sour cream, fresh dill, and lemon juice.

Since you can overlap the preparation of all three components, the whole recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish. If doubling the recipe, the rice will take a few minutes longer to cook.

The salmon is moist and succulent if you don’t overcook it. Important!

The no-cook dill sauce takes a few seconds to put together and adds wonderful flavor and texture to the meal.

The recipe is for two people but can be scaled up to whatever you need.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

salmon fillets, oil, salt & pepper, chopped herbs, lemon, dill, sour cream, mayonnaise, rice, dice veggies, butter.

Salmon: buy individual fillets or one larger portion, skin off or on. I like the center cut (instead of the tail) for more even cooking.

Herbs: Use a mixture of fresh herbs and green onions. I use parsley, green onion and dill for this recipe. Other good options are cilantro and chives and a little fresh thyme.

Rice: I tend to use basmati rice or jasmine rice. Any will do though – even brown rice and wild rice. Just follow the directions on the package for how much liquid to add and how long to cook the rice.

Vegetables: I generally use finely diced carrots, red pepper, and green onion. Feel free to use what you have on hand e.g. celery, onion, zucchini, snap peas, bok choy, mushrooms, etc.

Dill sauce is made with mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon, and fresh dill. No cooking.

Variations

  • Replace the water for the rice with vegetable or chicken broth for added flavor.
  • Substitute the sour cream with Greek yogurt or light sour cream.
  • Use plain rice and skip the veggies for a shortcut.
  • Flavor the rice with a pinch of curry powder, garlic powder, coriander, cumin or turmeric
  • Add raisins while cooking the rice and/or chopped toasted nuts after it’s cooked.

Step-by-step instructions

sauteed onions, carrots peppers in pot.
Sauté butter and vegetables in a medium pot for a few minutes. Add rice and sauté another minute or two to toast it.
salmon fillets coated in fresh herbs, salt and pepper.
Season salmon with oil, seasonings and herb mixture
baked salmon fillets with herbs on top.
Bake for 10 minutes per inch/2.5 cm.
rice and vegetables cooked in pot.
As salmon bakes, add water and salt to rice. Cook and let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
Combine dill sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
salmon fillet over veggie rice with dill sauce on top.
Plate the salmon on top of the rice and add a dollop of the creamy sauce. Or…
salmon chunks over veggie rice topped with dill sauce and herbs.
Or…Break up the salmon into pieces over the rice and add dill sauce. Garnish with herbs.

Tip for cooking salmon

If you like tender juicy salmon, DO NOT OVERCOOK IT!

The rule of thumb is to cook salmon 10 minutes per inch (2.5cm). Note that the temperature will rise a few degrees after taking it out of the oven.

It should be warm pink inside (not dry flaky white). The final internal temperature should be about 130-135F (54-57C).

Shortcuts

There are three good shortcuts for this salmon and rice recipe.

  1. Use leftover or store-bought rice, heat it up in the microwave and add the sauteed diced veggies. Or
  2. Make plain rice without veggies – therefore no chopping or sautéeing the vegetables.
  3. Buy a sauce for drizzling instead of using the dill sauce. Some good examples are tzatziki, teriyaki sauce, or Thai sweet chili sauce.

Make Ahead

Make the rice and dill sauce a day or two ahead. Before serving, reheat the rice while making the salmon.

What to serve with salmon and rice

Since you have already made salmon and rice with veggies, all you need is a starter soup, a side salad or a quick vegetable for a complete meal. Here are a few suggestions:

Soup: curried lentil soup, sweet potato and carrot soup with spinach, or root vegetable soup.

Salad: citrus salad or arugula peach salad with walnut dressing

Easy vegetable side: Microwave some fresh snap peas for 2 minutes. Or try these 8-minute microwave green beans. Or make this baked cauliflower and cheese – start it 20 minutes before you bake the salmon, then add the salmon to the pan to bake.

Another option is to create a rice bowl with salmon, adding avocado, fresh cherry tomatoes and the tangy dill sauce (or whatever else you have around).

salmon chunks over veggie rice topped with dill sauce and herbs.

More oven baked salmon recipes

Or check out our full list of fish and seafood recipes.

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟in the recipe card below. And if you REALLY like it, consider a review in the comments. Thanks very much!

salmon chunks over veggie rice topped with dill sauce and herbs.
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Salmon and Rice Recipe With Creamy Dill Sauce

Treat yourself to a delicious weeknight dinner with this easy salmon and rice recipe for moist tender herby salmon on a bed of veggie rice topped with a creamy dill sauce. Ready in 30 minutes.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2

Ingredients

Salmon

  • 3/4 pound salmon, with or without skin 2 salmon filets or one larger piece.
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped herbs and green onion, Note 1 (used for salmon, garnish and rice)

Rice and vegetables

  • 1/2 cup finely diced vegetable, Note 2
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/2 cup raw basmati rice, Note 3
  • 3/4 cup water (or chicken broth for more flavor)

Dill sauce

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream, full fat or light (or Greek yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, full fat or light
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill (remove stems, then chop)
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (black pepper, optional)

Optional garnish

  • lemon zest, more fresh herbs

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN TO 425F/218C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with oil.
  • PREPARE AND BAKE SALMON: Rub 1 teaspoon olive oilon salmon fillets and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread half the chopped herbs on top of the salmon (the rest will be used for the rice and garnish). Place salmon fillets on prepared pan, skin side down, and bake for 9-12 minutes, depending on salmon thickness. Note 4 how to tell when salmon is cooked. Salmon should be warm pink in the center. It will finish cooking when resting. Don't overcook it.
  • MAKE RICE: While the salmon bakes, heat 2 teaspoons butter in medium sauce pan to medium-high heat. Add diced veggies and sauté for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add rice and sauté another minute. Add water or broth and salt. Stir. Bring to boil, cover, then lower heat to medium low heat (3/10 on dial) and cook 10-11 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Let sit 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped herbs.
  • MAKE DILL SAUCE: While rice cooks, combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings (more lemon, salt, dill, etc).
  • ASSEMBLE: To plate, divide rice between two plates. To remove salmon skin, slip a spatula between the skin and flesh and lift off salmon onto the rice. Top with a dollop of dill sauce. Alternatively, break up salmon into pieces and serve over the rice. Garnish with herbs or lemon zest if you like.

Recipe Notes

  1. Herbs: I use a blend of parsley, dill and green onions. Other good options with green onions are cilantro, chives and fresh thyme. You can replace fresh dill with dried dill (1 tablespoon fresh = 1 teaspoon dried). 
  2. Vegetables: I like finely diced carrots, red pepper, and green onion. Feel free to use what you have on hand e.g. celery, onion, zucchini, snap peas, bok choy, mushrooms, etc. Dice finely.
  3. Rice: I prefer basmati rice or jasmine rice, but any long grain white rice or brown rice will work. Even wild rice. Just follow the directions on the package for how much liquid to add and how long to cook it.
  4. How to tell when salmon is cooked: It should be warm pink in the center (not dry flaky white). Peak inside with a sharp knife which will slide in without resistance. The rule of thumb is to cook salmon 10 minutes per inch (2.5cm). Note that the temperature will rise a few degrees after taking it out of the oven. The final internal temperature should be about 130-135F (54-57C) measured with an instant meat thermometer.
  5. Variations:
    • Use plain rice with no veggies (shortcut).
    • Use store-bought or leftover rice (heat in microwave)
    • Flavor the rice with a pinch of curry powder, garlic powder, coriander, cumin or turmeric
    • Add raisins while cooking the rice and/or chopped toasted nuts after it’s cooked.
    • Serve as salmon bowls with rice, salmon chunks, avocado, tomatoes and dill sauce. 
  6. Make ahead: Make the rice and dill sauce a day or two ahead. Heat the rice while making the salmon. Store leftover salmon and rice in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Rice can be frozen separately. 
Nutrition values are estimates for salmon, rice and dill sauce. They include light mayo and light sour cream in the dill sauce. 

Nutrition

Calories: 549kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 996mg | Potassium: 1103mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3832IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 3mg
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