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Baked Salmon with sunflower seed crust: This dish will impress everyone no matter what occasion you serve it for. The sunflower seed crust offers an interesting texture and taste that makes this simple yet delicious dish even better! This is a family favorite in our house. In fact, the other kids in the neighborhood will come over and specifically request this meal. They love the various colors that end up on their plate and it's an inspiring thing to watch children actively learning how to eat healthier.

How To Make The Best Baked Salmon with a Sunflower Seed Crust

The ancient Egyptians were the first people to bake fish, and they must have been onto something. Baking is quick and easy, it’s an excellent way of cooking delicate fillets like salmon or trout without drying them out. It also gives you a chance to add flavor with herbs or spices before the fish goes into the oven. In the case of this recipe, I chose a sunflower seed crust for the top of the baked salmon for a new twist on an old favorite.

Tips To Preventing Your Salmon from Drying Out in the Oven

There are a few things to remember when preparing salmon for baking to ensure it doesn't dry out. These include:

Making sure the fillets are moist by covering them with a light layer of oil

To make sure your fish fillets are moist, you should first rinse them thoroughly under cold water. If they aren't pre-seasoned yet, you can sprinkle them with salt and pepper before baking or wait until they come out of the oven. You might also choose to brush or spread some butter or other flavorings onto the fish before putting them into the oven if desired. However, be sure to brush or spread just a thin layer. This ensures that the heat will penetrate to the center of the fish without it becoming too moist, which can result in soggy-bottomed fillets.

Cooking the filets on a wire rack in a shallow pan

Add a pinch of salt and pepper before you put the fish into the oven for about 15 minutes per inch of thickness (about 35-45 minutes, depending on how big they are). Note that most fillets will curl up as they cook, so it's a good idea to put them so they curl away from the wire rack.

Use gentle heat

Use gentle heat when baking salmon in order to prevent it from getting too dry. When you notice that the oil is starting to sizzle, this means that the heat is too high and you should either reduce it or move the pan into another part of your oven. Also, if you notice the edges of the fish beginning to brown too much before they're done in the center, you can either cover them with a piece of foil or take them out and let them finish cooking off the heat so they don't start to dry up and get crusty.

Remember these tips when baking salmon and your friends and family will be impressed with your cooking skills. In fact, you'll probably be asked to make this dish again and again!

Are There Health Benefits to Sunflower Seeds?

Sunflower seeds are high in antioxidants including vitamin A, C, zinc and selenium. Eating sunflower seeds help to reduce the effects of oxidative stress on the body. Antioxidants are essential for keeping cells healthy by neutralizing free radicals.

  • The fiber content found in sunflower seeds helps with digestion as well as fighting hunger. The nutrients found in sunflower seed can also lower cholesterol levels which may reduce risk of heart disease.
  • Vitamin E along with polyunsaturated fats found in sunflower seeds provides protection against chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension.
  • The folate content in sunflower seeds can be useful for women who are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. The nutrients found within the seeds help to protect against birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly.
  • Sunflower seeds also contain small amounts of essential amino acids, which is an important building block of protein. Sunflower seed nut butter is a good alternative to peanut butter as it contains more nutrients and lower levels of sodium.

Sunflower seeds go great with both sweet and savory dishes so you can enjoy them in a variety of ways. A couple teaspoons on top of fresh fruit is an easy way to serve sunflower seeds or sprinkle them on salads, yogurt or cereal. Sunflower seed meal can be a tasty substitute for breadcrumbs when breading fish or chicken, as we are doing in this recipe!

How To Prepare Your Salmon For Baking

On a sheet of parchment paper, layer slices of lemon all across the bottom. Besides adding a nice acid flavor to the salmon, it also helps keep the salmon moist while baking and prevents it from sticking to the parchment. Lay the salmon filets on top of the lemon slices after seasoning both sides with salt and pepper. Place in the oven with the potatoes and green beans for about 10-12 minutes.

I make a mixture of crushed sunflower seeds, Italian spices and 1 tsp of olive oil to place on top of the salmon before putting it into the oven. It's optional, but does have a great texture element!

Other Salmon Recipes To Try:

  • Brown Sugar Spiced Salmon – A blend of sweet and spicy that is quick and easy to prepare but packs a punch of flavor.
  • Crunchy Crusted Stuffed Salmon – Uses similar flavors from this recipe in a whole new way. Crunchy pinenut crust and stuffed with sauteed kale. It's served with a roasted spaghetti squash that is topped with a roasted artichoke and tomato sauce baked with mozzarella on top.

How Many Points Are In This Recipe?

With the new Plan, points can vary for those with diabetes. Check your zero point foods. Points can also vary with different brands. Please use your recipe maker to determine your exact points.

Are You on WW Connect?

Find me on WW Connect @Sassycooking_Alyssa to see my full recipe list!

baked salmon

Baked Salmon with Sunflower Seed Crust

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Adding a sunflower seed crust to this baked salmon is the ultimate crunchy texture with a healthy twist.


  • 2 Medium Lemon
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 Salmon Filets


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. On a baking sheet, add a sheet of parchment paper and a layer of lemon slices to avoid salmon sticking to parchment paper and the salmon drying out. Season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper and place on top of the lemon slices.
  3. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, sunflower seeds, black sesame seeds and Italian seasoning together in a bowl and crush them together. Layer on top of the salmon and place it in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Serve salmon with your choice of sides and enjoy!

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Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1 grams
Amount Per Serving Unsaturated Fat 0g
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    1. I’m so glad you liked it!

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