Overhead view of Tropical Salmon Salad w/Vanilla Citrus Dressing. The plate sits on a distressed white background and a cream-colored napkin. A fork and knife are nearby.

Tropical Salmon Salad w/Vanilla Citrus Dressing

Tropical Salmon Salad w/Vanilla Citrus Dressing is a light and intriguing meal. Grind some vanilla salt on top to really level it up!

Overhead view of Tropical Salmon Salad w/Vanilla Citrus Dressing.  The plate sits on a distressed white background and a cream-colored napkin.  A fork and knife are nearby.
Tropical Salmon Salad w/Vanilla Citrus Dressing

Ok, ok. I know it can be hard to get excited about a salad. But aren’t there times when you want something a little lighter? There are times you just crave a salad – maybe with a little fruit on it, some crunch, some zip, and some protein.

Yep. This salad right here. 👆🏼

I absolutely love salmon, especially if it’s cooked juuuuuust right. (It can go from melt-in-your-mouth to cat food in no time flat.) With the warmer weather coming on, I just wanted a salad with fish. AND since the good people at Singing Dog Vanilla asked me to write some vanilla forward recipes for them, this salad had to be!

About cooking salmon

My favorite way to cook salmon is in the oven, hot and fast. I put a 4-ounce piece in a 425º oven for only ten minutes. Done.

I also have a hack for cooking the salmon filet, and leaving the skin so that your guests only have the beautiful flakes of fish on their plate. No skin! More about that in the recipe, but also, check out my recipe for Salmon with Orange Maple Glaze. (Note: I don’t generally recommend using Sockeye Salmon in either of these recipes. It’s too lean.)

Closeup of Tropical Salmon Salad w/Vanilla Citrus Dressing. It sits on a cream-colored plate and napkin.
Tropical Salmon Salad w/Vanilla Citrus Dressing

See those little black specks…?

That isn’t pepper. Oh, my friend. It’s ground vanilla salt! Do you have to put it on this salad? No, you do not, but I am telling you. A little grind of this stuff on the top of the salad absolutely up-levels it! Plus, it’s just fun to try new things. We can get in a rut sometimes with our diet, so adding some new flavors keeps things interesting.


Thank you for coming along this journey with me, and trying new things along the way.

As always, I am wishing you great love and deep healing.



P.S. Have you gotten your hands on my mini cookbook yet? It’s 10 premium MAIN DISHES, and that little book baby is only $6.97! Oh. I should also mention that the ingredients for said premium recipes are those you can forage from a grocery store. No weirdo ingredients. 😁 Check it out here! Thank you for supporting my food art! 💕

Tropical Salmon Salad w/Vanilla Citrus Dressing

Recipe by Wendi’s AIP Kitchen – http://www.wendisaipkitchen.com Course: Salads, MainCuisine: AIP, PaleoDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Soft tropical flavors harmonize beautifully in this colorful salad.  You will be surprised how vanilla enhances a salad!


  • 2 TBSP 2 white wine vinegar

  • 1 TBSP 1 fresh orange juice

  • 1 tsp 1 organic double strength pure vanilla extract – OR – 2 tsp alcohol free vanilla

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 honey

  • 3 TBSP 3 extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 2 salmon filets, 4 ounces each, completely thawed (preferably not Sockeye)

  • 5 cups 5 arugula, loosely packed

  • 1 cup 1 peeled, diced jicama

  • 1 cup 1 peeled, seeded, chopped papaya or mango

  • 2 2 avocados, seeded, scooped out and chopped

  • Vanilla salt to finish (optional, but really, really good)


  • Preheat oven to 425º F. Line a roasting sheet pan or rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, orange juice, vanilla, salt, and honey.  Gradually whisk in the olive oil until it is emulsified.  Place 2 TBSP of this dressing in a shallow dish or rimmed plate, and place salmon on it, flesh side down.  Set aside.  Meanwhile…
  • Place arugula in a large bowl.  Chop jicama, papaya, and avocados.
  • Place salmon skin side down on roasting pan.  (There is no need for any spray or oil on the foil.  As the skin sticks to the foil, the flesh can be easily lifted off once cooked.)  Bake for 10 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Remove fish flesh from its skin, and place on a plate.  Roughly separate into large flakes.  Set aside.
  • Pour remaining dressing (not the fish marinade!) over arugula.  Toss to coat.  Place a portion of dressed arugula on each plate.  Add equal amounts of jicama, papaya, avocado, and finally, salmon on top of each salad.  Finish with a few grinds of vanilla salt.  Serve immediately.

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