Can You Microwave Canned Salmon? [Explained]

Categorized as Microwave Cooking
A can of salmon on a kitchen counter. The can is opened and the salmon is drained and flaked. Microwaving canned salmon is a convenient and quick way to make a tasty meal.

Canned salmon is a convenient and affordable way to enjoy the health benefits of this delicious fish. It’s rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D, and it can be used in many recipes, from salads and sandwiches to casseroles and pies. But what if you want to reheat canned salmon or cook it quickly in the microwave? Is it safe and tasty to do so?

In this article, I’ll answer all your questions about microwaving canned salmon and give you some tips on how to make it even more flavorful.

How to Microwave Canned Salmon?

The good news is that you can microwave canned salmon without any problems. However, there are a few things you need to know before you do, such as how to place it in the microwave, how long to cook it, and what to add to improve its taste.

Here are the steps to follow:

1. First, open the can of salmon and drain the liquid. You can also remove the skin and bones if you prefer, but they are edible and nutritious.

2. Next, place the salmon in a microwave-safe dish or container. You can either leave it whole or break it into smaller pieces. If you want to add some flavor, you can brush the salmon with some melted butter or olive oil, or sprinkle some lemon juice, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper over it.

3. Then, cover the dish with a lid or a piece of aluminum foil. This will help keep the moisture and prevent the salmon from drying out.

4. Finally, microwave the salmon on high for about 2 to 3 minutes per 4 ounces of fish. The exact time will depend on the size and thickness of the salmon, as well as your microwave’s power. To check for doneness, insert a fork or a knife into the thickest part of the salmon. It should flake easily and have an internal temperature of at least 145°F.

5. Enjoy your microwaved canned salmon with your favorite side dishes or use it in other recipes.

Is Canned Salmon Supposed to Be Heated?

You might be wondering if you can eat canned salmon straight from the can without heating it up. The answer is yes, you can, but it might not be very appetizing. Canned salmon has a bland flavor and a mushy texture that might not appeal to everyone. Plus, it contains a lot of sodium that can affect your blood pressure and health.

If you want to eat canned salmon cold, you should at least drain the liquid and add some ingredients to make it more palatable. For example, you can make a simple salad with canned salmon, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Or you can mix canned salmon with some mayonnaise, mustard, celery, relish, and hard-boiled eggs for a tasty sandwich filling.

However, if you want to enjoy canned salmon at its best, you should heat it up before eating it. Heating canned salmon will enhance its flavor and texture and make it more satisfying. You can heat canned salmon in various ways: in the microwave (as I explained above), on the stovetop (by simmering it in some water or broth for a few minutes), or in the oven (by baking it with some cheese or sauce for 10 to 15 minutes).

How to Use Canned Salmon in Different Recipes?

Canned salmon is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many dishes, from salads and sandwiches to casseroles and pies. It’s a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D, and it’s also budget-friendly and shelf-stable. In this section, we’ll give you some ideas and tips on how to use canned salmon in different recipes, such as:

  • Salmon burgers: Mix canned salmon with bread crumbs, eggs, herbs, and spices, and shape into patties. Fry them in a skillet or bake them in the oven until golden and crisp. Serve them on buns with lettuce, tomato, onion, and your favorite sauce.
  • Salmon quiche: Whisk together eggs, milk, cheese, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add some drained canned salmon, chopped spinach, and dill. Pour the mixture into a pie crust and bake until set and golden. Enjoy it hot or cold for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
  • Salmon pasta: Cook some pasta according to the package directions. In a saucepan, melt some butter and whisk in some flour. Gradually stir in some milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Stir in some canned salmon and peas. Toss the sauce with the pasta and sprinkle with some parsley.
  • Salmon chowder: In a large pot, cook some diced bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. In the same pot, sauté some onion, celery, carrot, and potato until soft. Sprinkle with some flour and cook for a minute. Gradually whisk in some chicken broth and milk. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potato is tender. Stir in some canned salmon, corn, thyme, salt, and pepper. Simmer until heated through. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the bacon and some chives.
  • And more: You can also use canned salmon to make salads, sandwiches, wraps, croquettes, pies, frittatas, tacos, pizzas, dips, and more. Just use your imagination and creativity!

As you can see, canned salmon can be delicious and easy to use in different recipes. Try some of these ideas or create your own and enjoy the benefits of this nutritious ingredient!

The Alternatives to Microwaving Canned Salmon

If you’re not a fan of microwaving canned salmon, or you want to try something different, there are plenty of other ways to cook and enjoy this versatile ingredient. Here are some of them:

1. Baking

You can bake canned salmon in the oven with some lemon juice, butter, herbs, and breadcrumbs for a simple and delicious dish. You can also make a salmon pie with some pastry, cheese, and vegetables.

2. Broiling

You can broil canned salmon in the oven or on a grill with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic for a crispy and flavorful result. You can also make some salmon patties with some eggs, bread crumbs, onion, and parsley.

3. Boiling

You can boil canned salmon in some water or broth with some bay leaves, peppercorns, and vinegar for a tender and moist texture. You can also make some salmon salad with some mayonnaise, celery, dill, and lemon juice.

4. Frying

You can fry canned salmon in a skillet with some butter, flour, salt, and pepper for a golden and crunchy crust. You can also make some salmon croquettes with some eggs, cornmeal, green onion, and cayenne pepper.

5. Steaming

You can steam canned salmon in a steamer basket over some boiling water with some ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil for a light and aromatic dish. You can also make some salmon dumplings with some wonton wrappers, cabbage, scallion, and ginger.

Related: How to properly cook frozen salmon in a microwave?


Canned salmon is a versatile and nutritious food that can be cooked in the microwave in just a few minutes. All you need is a microwave-safe dish, some butter or oil, and some seasonings of your choice.

You can also eat canned salmon cold or heat it up in other ways. However you choose to prepare it, canned salmon will provide you with a quick and easy meal that’s good for your health and your taste buds.

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!

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