Damn Good Healthy Salmon Taco Bowls For Two

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Ready for another DAMN GOOD recipe to start your week off right? I know I am! And this time, I’ve got a savory, healthy dinner recipe that’s perfect for two people (hello date night in!) and only takes around 45 minutes from start to finish.

I developed this recipe over 4 years ago when I wanted to do something a little different to use up the last Alaskan-caught wild salmon filets in our freezer. I thought, why not make a chipotle-style burrito bowl but with salmon instead of chicken or steak? A few jazzed up ingredients later, like sofrito rice, and delicious, heart-healthy salmon taco bowls were born.

Similar to my damn good tahini cookies and damn good peanut butter cake, you know if I’m calling it DAMN GOOD, then you know it’s gotta be out of this world delicious.

Everything you’ll need to make salmon taco bowls

These damn good salmon taco bowls are filled with delicious sofrito rice, perfectly seasoned salmon, and all of the toppings your heart desires. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Salmon: because this recipe serves 2, you’ll need 2 wild salmon filets that are about 6oz each.
  • Taco seasoning: we’re using my famous homemade taco seasoning to perfectly season the salmon filets.
  • Rice: I like to use jasmine or basmati rice because it turns out super fluffy and delicious. You’ll cook the rice with warming spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric & garlic powder.
  • Sofrito: what makes the rice extra special is that you’ll also cook it in a homemade sofrito, which is a sauce used in Hispanic cooking. Read more on it below!
  • Toppings: what’s a taco bowl without delicious toppings?! I like to add avocado, hot sauce, Greek yogurt, green onion and a squeeze of lime juice.

Customize your taco bowls

Here’s what I can recommend for ingredient swaps in these salmon taco bowls:

  • Choose a new protein: feel free to use 2 6oz chicken breasts or 1 lb shrimp instead of salmon filets. You’ll add the taco seasoning the same way, then you can bake or grill the chicken, and bake, grill or cook the shrimp in a skillet!
  • Swap your grains: instead of jasmine rice, you could also use brown rice or quinoa. Please note that you’ll need to cook brown rice longer according to the directions on the package, but quinoa should work with the same cooking time.

Want to make it vegetarian?

This recipe would also work well with tofu! To swap the salmon for tofu:

  1. Cut your tofu block into 2×3″ rectangular strips to bake or grill your tofu, or cube your tofu to bake or pan fry it.
  2. After cubing or cutting your tofu into 2×3″ rectangular strips, toss it in the taco seasoning until each cube or strip is well coated.
  3. Then grill it with these tips, bake it at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes flipping halfway through, or pan fry the tofu until it’s golden brown on all sides.

two pieces of salmon on a baking sheet to make salmon taco bowls

What is sofrito?

In Spanish, sofrito means sauce, and it’s very traditional when it comes to Puerto Rican foods. My version is a mixture of garlic, onion, green bell pepper, cilantro and tomato sauce. Some do it with fresh tomatoes and culantro, but this is how I normally make it.

Tips for making the homemade sofrito rice

I’m pretty much obsessed with the flavors in this sofrito rice (and you will be, too.) Here’s how to make it super fluffy sofrito rice:

  1. First saute your onion, green pepper, cilantro and garlic for just about 2-4 minutes. You’ll want to make sure they are all VERY FINELY DICED. This is important.
  2. Then you’ll add in tomato sauce, cumin, coriander, turmeric, garlic powder, salt and pepper and simmer until sauce comes together (this is the sofrito!)
  3. Next, you’ll add in water, bring it to a boil, stir in your rice, and reduce the heat to low to cook it right in the pot for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Lastly, you’ll remove the pot from the heat, stir the rice with a fork and place the lid back on for 20 more minutes to allow the rice to steam. The rice will be fluffy and perfectly seasoned to make the perfect base in these salmon taco bowls.

healthy salmon taco bowl topped with avocado and greek yogurt

How to cook the perfect salmon in the oven

My absolute favorite way to cook salmon so that it’s moist, flavorful and stays together is to bake it right in the oven. In this recipe, you’ll time your salmon just right to go along with the fluffy seasoned rice that goes in the bowl. Cooking the perfect salmon is easy! Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Generously season your salmon. In this recipe you’ll use an incredible, homemade taco seasoning with coconut sugar, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, a pinch of cayenne and salt & pepper.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and grease lightly with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Place marinated or seasoned salmon skin side down on baking sheet.
  5. For every inch of thickness, bake for 15 minutes. My salmon is usually perfect around 18 minutes. Flake salmon with a fork and serve!

Pro-tip: always err on the side of undercooking rather than overcooking salmon to keep is nice and moist!

Looking to grill your salmon?

You can! Get all of my tips & tricks for grilling perfect salmon with this guide.

healthy salmon taco bowl topped with greek yogurt and avocado slices

More ways to use this taco seasoned salmon

One of the best parts about this recipe is that not only can you use the homemade taco seasoning as a marinade for things like chicken (and even tofu!) but you can cook the salmon according to the instructions and create even more delicious recipes with it. Please note: I recommend doubling the spices for 1 pound of taco meat.

Try this salmon in actual tacos with corn or flour tortillas, scrambled with eggs (sounds strange but it’s amazing!) or in a yummy taco salad like this one for extra protein.

healthy salmon taco bowls with avocado and lime wedges

More delicious dinners you’ll love

Get all of my delicious dinner recipes here!

I hope you love these healthy salmon taco bowls as much as we did! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment below and rate the recipe. xo!

cover of the ambitious kitchen cookbook

Ambitious Kitchen

125 Ridiculously Good For You, Sometimes Indulgent, and Absolutely Never Boring Recipes for Every Meal of the Day

Damn Good Salmon Taco Bowls For Two

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 40 minutes

Total Time 1 hour

Serves2 servings

Delicious, healthy salmon taco bowls with baked taco seasoned salmon and served with flavorful homemade sofrito rice. Add avocado, salsa, green onion, cilantro and any other toppings your heart desires for a wonderful meal prep dinner for two!


  • For the salmon:
  • 2 (6 oz each) wild salmon filets
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • For the taco seasoning:
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper (or just a pinch!)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the rice:
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • ¼ cup very finely diced yellow onion
  • ¼ cup very finely diced green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely diced cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • ¾ cup uncooked jasmine or basmati white rice
  • For serving:
  • avocado, sliced
  • Greek yogurt
  • Salsa or hot sauce
  • Cilantro
  • Diced green onion or red onion
  • Lime wedges


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and grease lightly with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray. Place salmon skin side down. Drizzle salmon filets with olive oil and a squeeze of lime juice.

  • Next, prepare your salmon seasoning mix: in a small bowl mix together the coconut sugar, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper. Sprinkle your taco seasoning on the salmon. Use your fingertips to rub the seasoning in evenly all over the salmon. Set aside.

  • Next prepare your rice: add olive oil to a medium pot and place over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add in onion, green pepper, cilantro and garlic. Saute until onions and green peppers soften, about 2-4 minutes. Bring heat to medium-low and add in tomato sauce, cumin, coriander, turmeric, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes until sauce comes together. Next, add in water and bring to a boil. Once it boils, stir in rice, cover immediately and reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. After 15 minutes, remove pot from heat, stir rice with a fork and then place cover back on. Allow rice to steam covered for another 10 minutes off the heat.

  • As soon as you put the lid on the rice (allowing it to steam), it’s time to get the salmon baking. Place salmon in oven for 15-20 minutes or until salmon easily flakes with a fork. Mine is always perfect at 16-18 minutes.

  • When you are done, pile rice into two bowls, then add salmon filet on the side. Serve with avocado slices, greek yogurt, cilantro, salsa or hot sauce, green onion and lime wedges. YUM. Serves 2.

Recipe Notes

If you’d like you can use brown rice instead of jasmine, but you’ll likely need to cook it for much longer according to the directions on the package.
See the full post for easy ways to customize your taco bowls!


Serving: 1salmon bowlCalories: 616calCarbohydrates: 68.2gProtein: 35.4gFat: 23.1gSaturated Fat: 3.2gFiber: 2.2gSugar: 10.6g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

This post was originally published on March 2nd, 2020, and republished on April 22nd, 2024.


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