Persian Salmon in Parchment Paper with Pomegranate and Herbs

Impress your guests with this stunning Persian Salmon in Parchment Paper topped with tahini sauce, pomegranate arils, zingy herbs, and chopped nuts.  A healthy, gluten-free, paleo, whole30 and low carb salmon dinner perfect for dinner parties!  #lowcarb #persianrecipes #salmon #glutenfree #cleaneating

Impress your guests with this stunning Persian Salmon in Parchment Paper topped with pomegranate arils, zingy herbs, and chopped nuts.  A healthy low carb, paleo & Whole30-approved salmon dinner perfect for dinner parties!

a fork tucking into a baked salmon fillet covered with herbs and pomegranate seeds

Today I’ll show you an easy way to elevate your usual salmon dinner to new heights.  Tender oven-baked salmon fillet topped with tahini sauce, fresh herbs and nuts as well as sparkling pomegranate arils. Yes, those edible little gems that transform every dish into a total show-stopper.

Every time I want to impress my guests, I’m making this recipe and I always get so many compliments and recipe requests. Would anybody suspect that this is also a paleo, low carb, and Whole30-approved recipe? I don’t think so!

This one is for those occasions when you really want to WOW your guests and leave a lasting impression. It’s as beautiful and festive as it is delicious!

The tart and sweet pomegranate arils paired with the fresh, chopped herbs elevate the buttery salmon and help to balance its richness. Simply sublime!

While this Middle Eastern-inspired salmon in parchment paper surely makes a stunning recipe for entertaining, you can just as well make this a weeknight dinner. Prepping all the herbs and nuts does take a bit of time, but other than that it’s all very easy and straightforward.

overhead shot of parchment paper baked salmon fillets served with an herb topping and pomegranate seeds

Apart from its visual appeal and deliciousness, I am happy to announce that this Persian salmon dinner is also really good for us. Salmon is a fantastic source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. We all need way more of those!

Cooking it low and slow – low temperature for a long time – is game-changing! This gives you the most tender and flavorful salmon that EVERYBODY will enjoy. Even those who claim to be “more of a steak person”.

overhead shot of salmon fillets topped with fresh herbs and pomegranate seeds

You’ll roast the salmon pretty much unseasoned except for olive oil, salt, and black pepper and that’s ok. We’ll go in with all those gorgeous bright flavors right in the end when we add the toppings.

While your fish is in the oven, you’ll simply chop up some fresh herbs and nuts, mix them with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. You also take a couple of minutes for stirring together a tahini sauce that will be the “glue” for the crust.

When the salmon comes out of the oven, it is smothered with a generous smear of tahini sauce and topped with that zingy herb and nut mixture. A sprinkle of pomegranate arils and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses and you are ready to serve and impress.

How to make Persian Salmon in Parchment Paper:

Prep – Preheat your oven to 200F/90C.

picture gallery demonstrating how to season salmon fillet before baking

Step 1, 2 &3  – Drizzle with olive oil and rub all over the salmon. Season with salt and pepper.

picture collage demonstrating how to wrap and bake Persian spiced salmon in parchment paper

Step 4 – Fold parchment to form a sealed packet and secure with cooking twine if needed.

Step 5 & 6 – Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until slightly pink in the middle. You want the salmon to be *just* cooked through. Open the parchment paper and set aside while you prepare the rest.

picture collage demonstrating how to make tahini sauce

Step 7-9  Make the tahini sauce: In a bowl, combine tahini, lemon juice, and cumin. Mix, incorporating water one tablespoon at a time until you reach a thick but spreadable consistency (I used 2.5 tablespoons total). Set aside.

picture collage demonstrating how to mix ingredients for making a herb crust

Step 10 & 11 – Combine all crust ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well distributed. Set aside.

picture collage demonstrating how to spread salmon with tahini sauce and top with herb crust before baking

Step 12, 13 & 14 – Gently transfer the salmon to a serving dish. Spread with your tahini sauce, top with herb mixture and finish with pomegranate seeds. If using, drizzle with pomegranate molasses. Serve and enjoy!

How to cut a pomegranate easily without making a mess!

picture collage demonstrating how to cut a pomegranate without mess

Step 1 & 2  – Using a sharp knife, cut the pomegranate skin into quarters (don’t cut the arils, only the skin) and, using your hands, break it into quarters.

Step 3 – Fill a big bowl with water, submerge the pomegranate quarter and remove the seeds.

picture collage demonstrating how to deseed a quartered pomegranate without mess

Step 4 – Repeat with remaining quarters.

Step 5 & 6 – The white parts will float on the surface: scoop them out, drain the water and your pomegranate arils are ready to be used!

Can I make this recipe using frozen salmon?

I do not recommend baking frozen salmon, as you may accidentally overcook the outside while trying to cook the middle to the right doneness. If you forgot to thaw the frozen fillet in the fridge overnight, you can always run cold water over the salmon fillet to thaw it.

salmon baked in parchment paper being topped with chopped herbs, pomegranate seeds and molasses

Shall I take the skin off or leave it on?

For this recipe, I recommend you keep the skin on and start cooking it with the skin side down. The skin will protect the tender flesh underneath from the harsh heat of your metal sheet pan and will hold in the juices. This also helps the fish cook more evenly.

That said, the skin obviously won’t crisp up at all cooked in the parchment paper parcel. So, when it’s time to tuck in, by all means, scrape the skin away with your fork.

a fork taking a bite out of an oven baked salmon fillet topped with herbs and pomegranate seeds

Tips

  • Cooking the salmon at a low temperature is important, so don’t be tempted to turn up the temperature.
  • You really want to make sure your tahini sauce is easy to spread, or you might risk breaking your salmon fillet as you try to spread it on top of it.
  • Let your salmon fillet warm up to room temperature before cooking it. The colder the fish before cooking, the more likely you are to overcook the outside before the inside is done.
  • Since the salmon fillets are encased in parchment paper, there’s really no good way to check whether they are done. Stick to the recommended baking time and make sure your oven has come up to the right temperature before you put it in.
  • Salmon changes its color from translucent to opaque as it cooks. Once you open the parcel and check your salmon fillets for doneness, take a sharp knife to peek into the thickest part. The salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork. It should not be raw in the middle but a little translucency in the middle is no problem at all.
  • Is company coming? King Salmon is harder to overcook than coho or sockeye, due to the higher fat content. So for when you want to be safe or are cooking for a crowd, opt for bigger filets of king salmon!
  • For a stunning presentation, lay out the whole fish fillet buffet-style.

Recipe Variations:

  • I love the trifecta of parsley, mint, and cilantro but not all of us share that love for cilantro, right? But don’t worry, one herb can easily be substituted by upping the amount of another.
  • As with the herbs, you can also play around with different types of nuts. Pistachios would be amazing in this, so would pecans or macadamia nuts.
  • You can get sumac at most grocery stores these days, but if you cannot find it, use some freshly grated lemon zest and add another pinch of salt to the crust.
overhead shot of Persian Salmon with herb crust and pomegranate seeds on a sheet pan
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Persian Salmon in Parchment Paper

Impress your guests with this stunning Persian Salmon in Parchment Paper topped with pomegranate arils, zingy herbs, and chopped nuts.  A healthy low carb salmon dinner perfect for dinner parties!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern, Persian
Keyword salmon en papillote, salmon in parchment paper, salmon with pomegranate
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 -6
Calories 828 kcal
Author Marie

Ingredients

  • 1 - 1.2 kg salmon fillet skin on, deboned
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 pomegranate seeded (see my demo in the post!)
  • pomegranate molasses to serve (optional)

Tahini sauce

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2.5 tbsp water

Herb Crust

  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 cups flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds chopped
  • 1/4 cups walnuts chopped
  • 2 tbsp sumac
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200F/90C.

Salmon

  1. Place fillet on a large parchment paper.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and rub all over the salmon. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Fold parchment to form a sealed packet and secure with cooking twine if needed.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until slightly pink in the middle. You want the salmon to be *just* cooked through. Open the parchment paper and set aside while you prepare the rest.

Tahini Sauce

  1. In a bowl, combine tahini, lemon juice and cumin. Mix, incorporating water one tablespoon at a time until you reach a thick but spreadable consistency (I used 2.5 tablespoons total). Set aside.

Herb Crust

  1. Combine all crust ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well distributed. Set aside.

Assemble

  1. Gently transfer the salmon to a serving dish. Spread tahini sauce, top with herb mixture and finish with pomegranate seeds. If using, drizzle with pomegranate molasses. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Tips

  • Cooking the salmon at a low temperature is important, so don't be tempted to turn up the temperature.
  • You really want to make sure your tahini sauce is easy to spread, or you might risk breaking your salmon fillet as you try to spread it on top of it.
  • Let your salmon fillet warm up to room temperature before baking it. The colder the fish before cooking, the more likely you are to overcook the outside before the inside is done.
  • Since the salmon fillets are encased in parchment paper, there’s really no good way to check whether they are done. Stick to the recommended baking time and make sure your oven has come up to the right temperature before you put it in. Salmon changes its color from translucent to opaque as it cooks. Once you open the parcel and check your salmon fillets for doneness, take a sharp knife to peek into the thickest part. The salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork. It should not be raw in the middle but a little translucency in the middle is no problem at all.
  • Is company coming? King Salmon is harder to overcook than coho or sockeye, due to the higher fat content. So for when you want to be safe or are cooking for a crowd, opt for bigger filets of king salmon!
  • For a stunning presentation, lay out the whole fish fillet buffet-style. 
Nutrition Facts
Persian Salmon in Parchment Paper
Amount Per Serving
Calories 828 Calories from Fat 504
% Daily Value*
Fat 56g86%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 137mg46%
Sodium 569mg25%
Potassium 1754mg50%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 58g116%
Vitamin A 1885IU38%
Vitamin C 34.3mg42%
Calcium 139mg14%
Iron 5.2mg29%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe adapted from Pete Evans 

If you tried this recipe for Persian salmon in parchment paper, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

More recipes from the blog using pomegranate arils:

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Clean Eating Dairy Free Fish & Seafood Gluten free Holidays Main Dishes Paleo Recipes Refined Sugar Free Whole30 Winter Recipes
6 Comments
  1. Persian Salmon In Parchment Paper With Pomegranate And Herbs is one of the most gorgeous recipes I have seen in a long time!! I’m excited to make it for my husband and see what he thinks. Yum’d to save

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