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- It Doesn’t Get More Decadent Than Baked Salmon in Puff Pastry!
- Salmon En Croute Recipe Highlights
- What is Salmon Wellington?
- Key Ingredients
- How to Make Salmon Wellington
- What to Serve with Salmon En Croute
- FAQs & Storage Tips
It Doesn’t Get More Decadent Than Baked Salmon in Puff Pastry!
Ever since we first shared our Individual Beef Wellington – the epitome of indulgence, inspired by the iconic British dish! – it’s been one of our most well-loved recipes. It’s been such a thrill to see many, many PWWB readers obsess over these mini beef-stuffed beauties, but I’ve always wanted to create a version that welcomes pescatarians & fish lovers in on the fun. Enter: Salmon Wellington!
This baked salmon in puff pastry (aka salmon en croute) is such a show-stopper – an impressive meal made by layering 2 hearty salmon fillets with creamy garlic dill spread & spinach, then wrapping them in prosciutto & pastry crust. It’s perfect for sharing with loved ones on Christmas, Valentine’s Day, date night, or any other special moments that deserve a little something fancy.
And while the end result feels very elegant, the process of assembling & cooking salmon wellington is much easier than you’d ever imagine. It’s a really fun kitchen project that, with a little attention to detail, yields a simple yet super luxe dinner worthy of any occasion. What’s not to love about that?!
Salmon En Croute Recipe Highlights
You will love serving this recipe for Salmon Wellington for your next special occasion dinner. It’s…
LAYERED SAVORY PERFECTION. Made with a decadent combination of tender salmon, creamy garlic & dill sauce, prosciutto, & flaky puff pastry. 🤤 Every bite tastes like decadent perfection!
SURPRISINGLY EASY TO MAKE. An impressive looking salmon en croute is actually quite easy to prepare! We have step-by-step photos & video below to help you visualize the process. Plus, you can prep & assemble Salmon Wellington up to 1 day ahead of time – make-ahead directions below!
A TOTAL SHOWSTOPPER. Baking salmon in puff pastry creates a super luxe centerpiece perfect for any special occasion dinner, whether holidays, dinner parties, or date nights at home.
Everything is better when you wrap it in puff pastry! ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make Salmon Wellington, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!
What is Salmon Wellington?
En croute (prounounced “on KROOT”), is a classic French culinary method consisting of wrapping something in pastry dough & baking it to crispy, golden brown perfection. You can make everything from brie en croute to sausage en croute, but perhaps the most iconic preparation is bouef en croute, also known as Beef Wellington. What’s salmon en croute, then? ⇢ Simply put, salmon en croute is a fillet of salmon baked in puff pastry! This dish is also commonly referred to as Salmon Wellington, given its similarity to Beef Wellington.
What’s the difference between en croute and Wellington? ⇢ They’re the same thing, just 2 different names – one in French & one in English! In 1815, the English created their version of the French filet de boeuf en croute, calling it Beef Wellington. The dish got its namesake in celebration of the Duke of Wellington & his recent victory in the Battle of Waterloo. “Wellington” is now used to describe other proteins wrapped in pastry, like Salmon Wellington!
A quick word of encouragement! ⇢ Don’t feel intimidated by the fancy vibes happening here! While salmon en croute is super elegant & impressive to serve, it’s much easier to make than it seems. This recipe has a few different steps involved but ends up being a super fun & special kitchen project with delicious results. You’ve got this! 🙌🏼
Despite being such an impressive, show-stopping dish, Salmon Wellington comes together with only a handful of simple, flavor-forward ingredients – many of which are staples that you probably have in your kitchen already!
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
To make this salmon en croute recipe, you need…
- Fresh salmon fillet – Look for a salmon fillet that’s uniform in thickness, with a smaller tail & belly section. If you’re shopping your local fish market, ask the fish monger for the top loin & loin section of the fillet. If you have a hard time finding a whole fillet, you can also use 2 center-cut pieces for this recipe.
- Puff pastry – While you can certainly make homemade puff pastry for salmon en croute, store-bought options are just as good – if not better! – & help save tons of time. Dufour Pastry Kitchens makes my all-time favorite puff pastry sheet – it’s a little pricey but it bakes up absolutely beautifully. Trader Joe’s also sells great puff pastry that’s slightly more affordable. If you’re up for the kitchen project, try this homemade rough puff pastry recipe.
- Prosciutto – A trick inspired by Gordon Ramsay’s famous Beef Wellington, wrapping the salmon in prosciutto creates a delicious barrier between the puff pastry & fish, which keeps the pastry nice & flaky as it bakes.
- Spinach – Wilted fresh spinach adds a stunning pop of green across the middle of the Salmon Wellington roast.
- Creamy garlic dill sauce – A simple filling made with cream cheese, sautéed shallot or onions & garlic, lemon, & dried or fresh dill.
- Egg wash – Key to a beautifully golden brown finish!
How to Make Salmon Wellington
While there are several steps involved in preparing this salmon en croute recipe, the actual process is pretty simple. Think of it as a fun kitchen project to enjoy with some music & a glass of wine, so roll up your sleeves & have fun with it! The results are so special-feeling, it’s absolutely worth it.
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Mise en Place
Wilt the spinach. Sauté fresh spinach in butter until it’s wilted & vibrantly green, then use a kitchen towel to wring out any excess water. Why? ⇢ Eliminating moisture is key to ensuring the Salmon Wellington pastry is perfectly flaky & crisp – not soggy!
Prepare the cream cheese filling. Sauté shallots & garlic, then transfer to a small bowl & stir into softened cream cheese with lemon juice & dill, making a savory & smooth spread.
Prepare the salmon. Remove the skin from the salmon fillet & check for any small pin bones that may still be studded into the flesh. From there, trim off any thin ends, then slice the whole salmon crosswise into 2 smaller pieces. Tip! ⇢ Use paper towel to pat the entire surface of both salmon filets as dry as possible. Again, eliminating excess moisture is key to a crisp, golden brown baked salmon en croute!
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Layering & Wrapping the Salmon
Layer the salmon fillets. Pat one salmon fillet dry to remove any excess moisture. Spread the garlic dill sauce over the surface of the salmon & arrange the wilted spinach over top. Pat the second salmon fillet dry, then place it on top of the spinach, sandwiching the cream cheese & spinach mixture in the middle. Why layer the salmon? ⇢ When you slice into the roast, the cross-section reveals the beautifully layered salmon. It helps create a hearty, impressive-looking slice that’s perfectly tender, flaky, & creamy.
Wrap the salmon in prosciutto. Arrange & overlap sliced prosciutto such that it covers the entire surface of the top salmon fillet, then carefully flip the salmon over & repeat with more prosciutto, until the whole layered salmon fillet is fully encased. Why wrap the salmon? ⇢ The prosciutto creates a barrier between the salmon & the puff pastry to ensure the pastry stays nice & flaky as it bakes. Plus, it’s delish!
Wrap the salmon en croute! Dust your work surface with flour & pull the sheet puff pastry out of the fridge. Roll the dough into a rectangle big enough to encase the salmon, placing the fish in the center. To wrap the salmon in puff pastry, fold the short sides of the pastry in first, then the longer sides. If desired, feel free to trim off any excess pastry, or tuck it in & use the egg wash to help seal it shut.
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Baking & Make-Ahead Guidance
Score the pastry. Transfer the assembled salmon en croute to a parchment paper-lined baking tray, seam-side facing down. For a pretty finish, gently run a butter knife across the top of the pastry to create a crosshatch design, then finish by creating 2-3 small holes in the top of the pastry. Why? ⇢ These vents help steam escape as the Salmon Wellington bakes, preventing the puff pastry from puffing up or exploding at the seams.
Chill. Place the prepared Salmon Wellington in the fridge to chill while the oven preheats. Why? ⇢ The temperature of the pastry dough is key to creating the crispy, flaky layers that make pastry so delicious. Chilling the dough before baking keeps it nice & cold so the buttery layers remain separate & then burst open as soon as they hit the heat of the oven.
Bake! As it bakes, the puff pastry will turn perfectly golden brown & the salmon will become buttery & flaky, cooking through without drying out. How long to bake salmon en croute? ⇢ It will take about 25-30 minutes for each element to cook to perfection!
Make Ahead Salmon Wellington
Preparing this salmon en croute recipe in advance is an easy way to keep dinner stress-free – no one needs the added pressure of assembling a fancy-feeling dish as guests arrive! To make Salmon Wellington ahead of time, assemble it up to the point that it’s encased in the pastry dough, then tightly wrap it in plastic & store it in the fridge for up to 1 day. When you’re ready to bake, simply take it out of the fridge & place it in the oven – easy! Check the Recipe Notes, below, for more guidance.
What to Serve with Salmon En Croute
Let the baked Salmon Wellington rest for at least 5 minutes once it comes out of the oven. From there, simply slice the roast into individual portions. You’ll love the big reveal of perfectly cooked salmon, creamy filling, & buttery, golden-brown pastry – each slice is a total show-stopper.
While Salmon Wellington is a decadent meal all on its own, it’s not a feast without a few side dishes! We love serving salmon en croute with…
- Asparagus or broccoli, quickly sautéed or roasted with a little lemon zest
- Brussels sprouts, roasted with pancetta or bacon & Dijon mustard
- Green beans bundles, wrapped in prosciutto & smothered in creamy mushroom sauce
- Crispy roasted wild mushrooms, showered with fresh herbs & parmesan cheese
- Roasted garlic buttermilk mashed potatoes or crispy roasted potatoes.
- A simple green salad tossed with our go-to All-Purpose Vinaigrette
FAQs & Storage Tips
Which pastry is best for salmon en croute?
We love using store-bought pastry for ease. You can find puff pastry in the freezer section of most grocery stores, stocked near other desserts, bread dough, & pie crusts. I’m a big fan of Dufours Pastry Kitchens, but Trader Joe’s also carries great puff pastry at a really affordable price.
How to wrap salmon in puff pastry?
It’s kind of like wrapping the most delicious present! 🎁 Fold the short edges of the pastry in first, then the long edges until the salmon fillet is fully encased in pastry. The dough is delicate, so be sure to handle it gently. As you fold, add a bit of egg wash to help seal it up.
How do you stop salmon en croute from going soggy?
By eliminating as much moisture as possible! There are a few things we do in this salmon en croute recipe to ensure it’s never soggy. The most important is patting the salmon dry & wrapping it in prosciutto so the fish doesn’t come in contact with the pastry dough. Wringing the moisture out of the wilted spinach & creating steam holes in the dough also makes a big difference!
Can Salmon Wellington be made ahead?
Yes! Feel free to prepare this Salmon Wellington recipe up to the point that the salmon fillet is wrapped in pastry dough, then store it in the fridge for up to 1 day. When you’re ready for dinner, simply pop it in the oven to bake. Refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for full make-ahead guidance.
Can you reheat cooked salmon en croute?
Given the crispy puff pastry, salmon en croute is best enjoyed fresh, immediately after baking. However, you can reheat leftovers at 375 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through. Refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for more storage & reheating instructions.
Can Salmon Wellington be eaten cold?
Definitely! Leftover Salmon Wellington is delicious served cold on a salad.
We can’t wait for you to try this Salmon Wellington! It’s an absolutely show-stopping dish that will impress everyone you share it with. We know you’re going to love it just as much as we do!
If you do give it a try, be sure to let us know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. We LOVE hearing seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!
More Recipes Like This:
Special Occasion Dinners
This Salmon Wellington recipe is the most decadent, impressive salmon dish you’ll ever have! Salmon en croute is a classic French preparation & this particular recipe layers hearty salmon fillets with spinach & a creamy garlic dill sauce, then encases it with savory prosciutto & buttery, flaky puff pastry.
While the end result feels very elegant, the process of assembling & cooking Salmon Wellington is much easier than you’d ever imagine. We’ve included step-by-step photos & video below to help you along the way. Take it one step at a time & think of it as a fun kitchen project – one that results in a super luxe dinner worthy of any occasion – Christmas, Valentine’s Day, date night, or any time you want to treat yourself to something fancy!
- 1 sheet chilled puff pastry (about 14 ounces), homemade or thawed from frozen (see Recipe Notes)
- 3 ½ pounds fresh salmon fillet, skin removed & deboned
- 6 ounces prosciutto
- egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 5 ounces fresh spinach (approx. 5 cups)
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped (approx. 2 tablespoons chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- all-purpose flour, for dusting
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- Mise en place: While Salmon Wellington (salmon en croute) isn’t a particularly difficult dish to prepare, success lies in paying attention to the details! Before you start cooking, take the time to read this recipe entirely & watch the video included below. Gather & prep all ingredients according to Ingredients List, above. Notably:
- Thaw the puff pastry: If using frozen puff pastry, be sure to thaw it out completely. You can thaw frozen puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator or set it on the counter at room temperature 20-30 minutes before you’d like to begin cooking – once thawed, place it back in the refrigerator to keep it chilled until it comes time to wrap the salmon en croute.
- Prepare the salmon fillet: Trim off any thin portions near the tail or belly end & discard or set aside for a different use. Slice the remaining thick salmon fillet in half crosswise, creating 2 smaller fillet pieces. Using paper towel, pat the surface of the salmon as dry as possible. Set aside.
- Other prep: Set the prosciutto out on a work surface where you plan to wrap the Salmon Wellington, prepare the egg wash & place it near the prosciutto, & measure/chop the veggies & place them near the stove.
- Wilt the spinach: Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the spinach. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted. Transfer the wilted spinach to a kitchen towel (or a few sturdy paper towels). Wring the towel over the sink to squeeze excess water out of the spinach, then transfer the spinach to clean towel/paper towel near the prosciutto & set aside.
- Soften the aromatics: Carefully wipe out the skillet used to wilt the spinach & return to medium-high heat. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, then add the shallot & garlic. Season with a good pinch of kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened & fragrant. Transfer to a medium bowl & set aside.
- Mix the cream cheese filling: Add the softened cream cheese to the mixing bowl with the cooked aromatics from Step 3. Add the lemon juice & dried dill. Mix to combine well, creating a smooth & creamy spread. Set aside.
- Layer the salmon: Place a large piece of plastic wrap down on your work surface. Place one piece of the salmon fillet in the center of the plastic wrap. Pat the surface of the salmon fillet as dry as possible with paper towel. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the surface of the salmon fillet, leaving a ½-inch border along the edges. Arrange the wilted spinach in an even layer over the cream cheese. Pat the second piece of salmon fillet as dry as possible, then set it on top of the spinach. Feel free to arrange it such that the shape of the top fillet matches the bottom, creating 2 uniform layers of salmon.
- Wrap the salmon in prosciutto: Place a single piece of prosciutto over the salmon crosswise, placing one of its short edges on the center of the fillet – there will be a few inches of excess prosciutto hanging off the side of the salmon. Continue working your way along the length of the salmon with more prosciutto, overlapping each piece slightly to cover the length of the salmon. Repeat to cover the remaining exposed half of the salmon fillet with prosciutto. Place a second piece of plastic wrap over top & carefully flip the salmon over. Remove the plastic wrap to reveal the second side. Use the edges of the plastic wrap to snugly fold the overhanging prosciutto up around the exposed salmon. If needed, add more prosciutto to cover any gaps – the salmon should be entirely encased by prosciutto. Set aside.
- Wrap the proscuitto-wrapped salmon in puff pastry: Lightly dust your work surface & a rolling pin with flour. Remove the puff pastry from the refrigerator. Quickly roll the pastry into a rectangle so that it is large enough to wrap around the prosciutto-wrapped salmon with overlapping edges. Place the prosciutto-wrapped salmon in the center of the puff pastry such that its long edges are perpendicular to the pastry’s long edges. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash. Fold one of the short edges of puff pastry over the salmon, repeat with the opposite side, & press down lightly to seal. Repeat with the remaining unfolded edges of the puff pastry, using extra egg wash as needed to seal the seams completely.
- Score the salmon en croute & chill: Gently flip the puff pastry-wrapped salmon onto a parchment lined baking sheet such that the seam sides are facing down. Using a paring knife, carefully score a crosshatch design over the Salmon Wellington, taking care to avoid slicing all the way through the pastry. Finally, use the paring knife to create 2-3 small holes in the pastry across the top of the salmon en croute to allow steam to release as it bakes. Brush the entire surface of the salmon en croute with egg wash. Transfer the baking pan to the refrigerator to chill for as the oven preheats, at least 10 minutes.
- Bake the Salmon Wellington: Meanwhile, as the salmon chills, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, ensuring a rack is positioned in the top third of the oven. Once the oven is preheated, transfer the baking sheet to the oven & bake the Salmon Wellington for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven & set aside to rest for 5 minutes before slicing & serving.
- Serve the Salmon Wellington: Use a sharp knife to carefully slice the Salmon Wellington into individual portions. Serve with side dishes of choice, such as sautéed asparagus, green bean bundles, mashed potatoes, or crispy roasted potatoes. Enjoy!
- Ingredient Notes:
- Salmon fillet: Fresh salmon should have vibrant color, appear moist, & be firm to the touch. For this Salmon Wellington recipe, you’ll want to choose a fillet with as little thinner tail & belly sections as possible. If you’re at a seafood counter or fish monger, ask for the top loin & loin sections. If you have trouble finding a whole salmon fillet, you can also look for 2 center-cut pieces of similar width & shape, about 1 ½ – 2 pounds each.
- Puff pastry: While you can certainly make your own homemade puff pastry for salmon en croute (this is a great rough puff recipe), it’s also one of those instances where our store-bought options are just as good. Puff pastry is usually sold in the ‘dessert’ freezer section of the grocery store, next to bread dough & pie crusts. My favorite frozen puff pastry is from Dufours Pastry Kitchens, but I also really like the frozen puff pastry from Trader Joe’s, which is very affordable since 1 box contains 2 sheets. You will need 1 sheet for this salmon wellington recipe (approximately 14 ounces).
- Make-Ahead Salmon Wellington: To prepare ahead of time, assemble the salmon en croute according to Steps 1-7 of Recipe Directions, above, taking extra care to pat off as much excess moisture of the salmon as possible as you work. Tightly wrap the assembled & puff pastry-wrapped Salmon Wellington in plastic wrap & store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. The next day, finish the Salmon Wellington & bake according to Steps 8-10 of Recipe Directions, above.
- Storage & Reheating: Given the crispy puff pastry, salmon en croute is best enjoyed fresh, immediately after baking. However, you can transfer cooled leftovers to an airtight container & store them in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat in a 375 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through. You may also reheat individual slices in the microwave for 60-90 minutes – the pastry won’t be quite as flaky & crisp with this method. Don’t forget, leftover salmon en croute is also delicious served cold on a salad!
Keywords: salmon wellington recipe, salmon en croute, puff pastry recipes, special occasion dinners, Christmas dinner recipe, date night recipe, Valentine’s day recipe
Recipe & Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.