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Taco Transformation: Roasted Salmon Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema

ByHolley Grainger, MS, RD

With the rising popularity of Taco Tuesday, everyone from restaurant owners to bloggers to mommy meal planners have jumped on the taco bandwagon. It’s funny to think that what seems so trendy and hip now was actually started about 35 years ago! But we’re no longer talking about the traditional crunchy shell + seasoned ground beef + shredded orange cheese + shredded lettuce taco. Not at all! Tacos in every shape, flavor, and form have transformed meal time. Their ease, versatility, flavor variety have made them a dinnertime staple. Plus, they’re just fun!

Beef tacos are certainly iconic, but more creative options are everywhere these days. A new, upscale taco restaurant near my house in Birmingham, AL, has tacos bursting with delicious and gourmet ingredients such as fried oysters, porcini dust, homemade pickled veggies, pork cheek, and ahi tuna. However, you can still make simple and flavor-packed tacos at home using your favorite protein (like this salmon), fresh vegetables, fruit, fresh herbs, spices, beans, cheese, and more. The options are endless! In this roasted salmon taco recipe, I take a shortcut by using prepared taco seasoning by McCormick as a rub for the fillets.

I’m a fan of having some type of sauce to bind together all of the ingredients in the taco. This may be anything from pico de gallo to guacamole to a zesty cream sauce like this cilantro-lime crema. I like the fact that it binds to the cabbage essentially make it a slaw for the tacos.

For this recipe, I made fresh cilantro-lime crema using plain Greek yogurt and mayonnaise as a creamy base flavored with fresh lime juice, garlic powder, pepper, and salt. I also stirred in chopped cilantro and green onions for another layer of flavor – plus some color and texture.  

Roasting salmon may be one of the easiest ways to prepare it but since the thickness of the fish isn’t always uniform, cooking times will vary. You’ll know the salmon is done when it’s cooked to 145ºF (test by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the fillet). Flake the cooked salmon with a fork then stuff the tacos with the salmon and your favorite toppings.

Top the tacos with red and green cabbage, avocado, jalapeno (fresh or pickled), chopped cilantro and lime juice and, of course, don’t forget the crema!  

ROASTED SALMON TACOS WITH CILANTRO-LIME CREMA

Makes 8 Tacos

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds salmon (approximately 4 pieces of salmon)
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Taco Seasoning
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • ½ teaspoon McCormick Organic Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon McCormick Ground Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, stems removed
  • Optional toppings: shredded green cabbage, shredded red cabbage, avocado slices, jalapeno slices, chopped cilantro, lime juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Remove salmon fillets from refrigerator and pat dry. Transfer salmon to a sheet pan lined with foil (skin side down) and sprinkle each fillet with 1 teaspoon McCormick Taco Season. Rub seasoning into salmon. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. While salmon rests, prepare the crema. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir until combined. Gently stir in green onions and cilantro. Set aside.
  4. Roast salmon for 10 to 12 minutes or until done (approximately 145 degrees Fahrenheit). Note that thickness of the salmon will determine the cook time.
  5. Flake fish with a fork and divide equally among tacos along with crema and other desired toppings.

Holley Grainger, MS, RD is a nationally recognized culinary nutrition expert and “Mommy Dietitian in the Kitchen” who instructs families on how to make doable and delicious meals. She’s been featured in hundreds of televisions, print, and radio segments nationwide including The Dr. Oz Show, The Doctor’s, NBC’s Today Show and Weekend Today, CBS’s The Early Show, Fox News Channel, CNN, The New York Times, Travel Channel, Cosmopolitan, MyFitnessPal.com, HGTV.com, and MSN.com among others and is a regular contributor to the Birmingham, Alabama, news outlets.

Holley lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband and two young daughters, Ellie and Frances, and blogs at Holley Grainger Nutrition. Connect with Holley on social media: Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook.

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