Easy Salmon en Croute

Sounds fancy, right?!

Now, if you’re not a huge fan of fish, I highly recommend you try salmon or a tuna steak, and cook them properly. I grew up eating baked haddock and cod and would be content to never have it again. But I love a nice piece of salmon.

I grew up on the east coast where fresh salmon is not only available, but frequently went on sale. I loved going to get a pound of salmon when it was half off and just pan frying it with a spritz of lime.

Then I moved to Iowa. Now, Iowa is a landlocked state, so fresh seafood is a logistical improbability. And it never goes on sale. I’m on a budget here, so spending $13.99 on a pound of salmon is just not practical. I tried frozen, wasn’t impressed. So I gave up on having a nice piece of salmon unless I was back east visiting my family. But then on a shopping trip I spied a piece of fresh salmon sitting on a shelf with a sale tag. And where did I find this glorious surprise? Walmart. And was it the best salmon I’ve had in the Midwest? You bet it was.

Since this discovery I’m always checking out the fish section at Walmart and they have a surprisingly nice selection of fresh fish that will go on clearance when it’s close to the “best by” date. It fits my budget and satisfies that craving I get every now and again.

One way I always wanted to try salmon was “en croute” which means it is baked into a pastry crust. So I headed over to the frozen aisle where the baked items were and grabbed a package of Pillsbury puff pastry.

Now, traditional salmon en croute has a creamed spinach filling, but I was looking for an easy version of the recipe. I went home and used a can of pesto instead. It’s so flaky and so delicious, I’m so happy with this recipe.

Easy Salmon en Croute

Cook Time: Approximately 1 hour

Servings: 2


1 lb fresh or defrosted salmon

1 sheet of puff pastry – defrosted

2-3 Tblsp. Pesto



Extra Virgin Olive Oil



Preheat oven to 350˚

Unfold puff pastry onto a clean surface. If necessary, use rolling pin to make it large enough to wrap around your piece of salmon (depending on size and shape of the fish).

Take salmon and pat it down with a piece of paper towel to reduce liquid, if any. Salt and pepper the fish. Take spoonfuls of pesto and spread it along the pink side of the fish (not the skin) in a nice thick layer.

Place fish onto the center of the puff pastry, pesto side down. Wrap the puff pastry around the fish, opposite sides in.

Flip folded side down onto a greased baking sheet. Use a knife to scour lines into the top of the pocket. Lightly oil the top of the pocket for baking.

Place in your preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. The top of the pastry will be browned.

Cut in half and serve!

Sides: For my meal we had a simple side of salad, but any steamed vegetable would go great with this meal. No need for any grain or carb. To make it a “one pot” meal, you can add your vegetable inside the pouch; I definitely recommend asparagus cut to size.