This 3-Ingredient Trader Joe’s Salmon Recipe Was the Best Forking Meal I've Ever Made

young woman cooking dinner

Two (or three) glasses of wine deep, I came home from a “let’s get drinks!” date with a friend and found myself completely famished—thrilled by the wine menu, we never quite got to the food side of things. So, when I stumbled into my kitchen absolutely starving but not tipsy enough to click on my Domino’s app, I opened my fridge to see what I was working with. The contents were by no means abysmal but definitely involved a bigger lift to make edible than, say, ordering a pizza from Domino’s (which I oh-so wanted). 

Scanning the inventory, I had three Trader Joe’s purchases that could potentially make a pretty great meal:

The Ingredients: 

  • BBQ Cut Fresh Atlantic Salmon I buy my salmon from TJ’s usually in “BBQ cut”—aka extra-thick, skin-on—because I usually intend to throw it on the grill.
  • Organic Tricolor Quinoa I feel naked if there’s not a container of quinoa in my fridge. As I wrote about in my meal-prep article, I’ll usually make a big batch of quinoa on a Sunday night and then store it in my fridge to use for lunches and dinners throughout the week.
  • Trader Giotto's Genova Pesto I’d actually never bought this before this week’s grocery trip. I can now say, if you love garlic as much as I do, this sh*t is bonkers delicious.

While I can’t recommend the semi-intoxicated cooking of seafood, I can recommend the easiest, most delicious dinner I made completely by accident with just these three ingredients.

Here’s how to put this stupid-easy dish together. 

How to Make The Salmon 

Step 1: Pre-heat your broiler to high.

Step 2: Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel on both sides.

Step 3: Spread some olive oil on a broiler-safe cast-iron skillet or pan.

Step 4: Place the salmon skin down on your skillet/pan.

Step 5: Drizzle a little olive oil on top of your salmon.

Step 6: Season the salmon flesh with salt and pepper—I also go ham with every spice in my cupboard, making a smoky rub with a kick (i.e., chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cayenne pepper).

Step 7: Spread a dollop (or two) of Trader Giotto's Genova Pesto on top.

Step 8: Put in broiler for 10 to 12 minutes depending on the thickness of your cut.

How to Make The Quinoa

Step 1: Heat up some olive oil in a saucepan.

Step 2: Dump in a bunch of that pre-made quinoa you have in the fridge.

Step 3: Stir to coat all your quinoa on medium-low heat.

Step 4: Dump in a bunch of that Trader Giotto's Genova Pesto; stir to coat.

Step 5: Add more if you want more (I could eat this stuff plain, by the spoonful).

Step 6: Take off heat once it’s all warm.

And now, we plate! Scoop some pesto-y quinoa onto your dish, plop your beautifully cooked salmon on top and squeeze a little lemon (if you have it) over it all before you dive in.

Happy Trader Joe’s eating!

What a Nutritionist Buys at Trader Joe’s


Executive Editor, Frazzled Mom, Bravo-Holic

Dara Katz is PureWow's Executive Editor, focusing on relationships, sex, horoscopes, travel and pets. Dara joined PureWow in 2016 and now dresses so much better. A lifestyle...