Salmon and Caramelized Grapes Salad

salmon fillet with caramelized grapes on fresh spinach

Healthy and quick, fast and delicious, salmon with caramelized grapes on spinach with a vinaigrette drizzle is the answer to what to season salmon with! 

Besides all the nourishing foods, this easy recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes so is great for a busy night, but it’s sophisticated enough to serve to guests.

Tasty Salmon Recipe: Skillet Salmon Salad with Caramelized Grapes

In this salmon recipe, I use red, dark purple, or black grapes because the dark color means they are richer in beneficial plant compounds. The grapes are cooked until they get soft and jammy. This doesn’t take long and it makes a scrumptious sauce.

Poke a few grapes with a knife tip to break the skin and allow juice to release. Cover with lid and cook for about 15 minutes, stir. Remove lid, cook 2-5 minutes until grapes are jammy and thickened. They should hold their shape, but be soft and juices reduced.

cooked grapes in a skillet

The grapes are cooked over medium high heat until soft and jammy.

Place salmon in skillet in grapes. Cook 3-4 minutes, flip salmon. If necessary, add a tablespoon of water to prevent grape juice from burning. Continue cooking until fish is cooked to 145℉. It will turn white, or opaque and feel firm when you press on it.

pan seared salmon with roasted grapes in a skillet

Season the salmon

To serve, place equal amount of greens on plate, top with pan-seared salmon and spoon grapes over top. Drizzle vinaigrette over and sprinkle with a coarse salt, such as Maldon flakes or kosher.

roasted rapes on salmon with greens

salmon, caramelized grapes over spinach

Nourishing salmon salad with roasted grapes

More than tasty, the phytonutrients in grapes help fight inflammation and are anticarcinogenic. Like grapes, the compounds in spinach, arugula or kale are packed with health promoting benefits.The salmon is rich in heart and brain boosting fats.

Because of their healthier fats, 8 to 12 ounces of fish a week are recommended for adults, including those who are pregnant and breastfeeding (1 to 2 servings of fish a week for children, starting at age 2).

How to cook salmon

Salmon is fast and easy to cook. If the filet has thin ends, tuck them under the filet to help even out the overall thickness.

The FDA recommends salmon should be cooked to 145℉. It should easily flake with a fork. Visually, watch for the fish to change color from translucent to opaque. It will continue to cook after you remove to from the pan, so a little undercooking is better than overcooking.

How to buy salmon

If you buy fresh salmon, the fish should look and smell fresh, not fishy or ammonia-like. Fresh or thawed salmon lasts 2 days in the refrigerator. Avoid frozen fish that has ice crystals or looks dried out. But frozen salmon is convenient to keep on hand. If kept airtight it will last for months, however, the flavor reduces over time. Because of the fats in salon, 6 months is a good timeline,

I keep Vital Choice salmon in the freezer. To make sure I have fish on hand, I’ve been ordering fish for home delivery via Vital Choice, an online retailer selling wild-caught, sustainably harvested Alaskan salmon and northwest Pacific seafood such as halibut, tuna, shrimp and lobster.

I love convenience, so knowing that I can get delicious, healthy, eco-friendly seafood delivered to my door makes life so much easier to have these things on-hand in my freezer. Vital Choice has a loyalty program where you get points for every dollar you spend, redeemable for discount coupons.

I met the owner at a nutrition conference where we were able to talk about his business. Before founding Vital Choice, Washington State native Randy Hartnell spent more than 20 years fishing Alaskan waters for salmon, herring, and other regional species. His goal is to bring those fish and their health benefits to a larger market, while fishing responsibly to preserve the sustainability of wild fish and seafood. All of the Vital Choice seafood is certified sustainable either by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the State of Alaska’s Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) program, or Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.


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Omega 3 benefits

That amount of fish provides an average 250 to 500 milligrams of omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoci acid (DHA) fatty acids per day. These fats are associated with improving heart and brain health. Seriously. Eating seafood twice a week reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent.

How to buy grapes

When you shop for grapes, look for fresh, flexible stems and plump grapes. If you see a powdery-white coating on the grapes, don’t be alarmed. That natural occurring substance protects grapes from moisture loss and decay. At home, store grapes unwashed, in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Rinse well under cool running water, pat dry.

Can grapes be frozen?

Yes. Grapes may be frozen. No need to remove the stems, just put them in an air-tight container and freeze. These icy little orbs are a refreshing snack, but they can also be used for cooking, like in this recipe.

MORE healthy dinner ideas

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Salmon spinach salad with roasted grapes on a plate
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Skillet Salmon Caramelized Grapes

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5 from 1 review

Healthy and quick, fast and delicious, pan-seared salmon with caramelized grapes is a one-skillet dinner winner! 

  • Author: Judy Barbe
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 pound red grapes, stems removed
  • 2 salmon fillet, 4-6 ounces each
  • 5-ounce package baby spinach, arugula, baby kale, about 4 cups
  • vinaigrette, purchased or make your own
  • Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • few grinds of freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  • Vinaigrette: whisk together mustard, vinegar or lemon juice, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk and gradually pour in oil.
  • Grapes: In a large skillet, over medium-high heat cook grapes. Poke a few with a knife tip to break skin and allow juice to release. Cover with lid and cook for about 15 minutes, stir. Remove lid, cook 2-5 minutes until grapes are jammy and thickened. They should hold their shape, but be soft and juices reduced.
  • Salmon: Reduce heat to medium. Place salmon in skillet, nestled in the grapes. Cook 3-4 minutes, flip salmon. If necessary, add a tablespoon of water to prevent grape juice from burning. Cook 3-4 minutes more, until temperature is 145℉, or until fish is cooked through.
  • Serve: place equal amount of greens on plate, top with salmon. Spoon grapes over salmon and drizzle Dijon vinaigrette over all. Sprinkle coarse salt over.


Frozen grapes and salmon filets make this a great last minute dinner. Use your favorite purchased vinaigrette instead of making your own.

spinach salad on a plate with salmon and roasted purple grapes


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