Fennel-Crusted Side of Salmon with Chive Yogurt Sauce

Although perhaps not a usual staple on the holiday table, this deeply flavored salmon made with just a few ingredients is a nice, light complement to the heavier options on the menu. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle to lightly crush the fennel seeds, just use them as is. Garnish with additional chives.

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FISH IS THE DISH: While salmon is a great way to get your fill of omega-3s, the cold-water fish is also a wonderful source of bone-building vitamin D. The fat-soluble vitamin contributes to bone health by facilitating absorption of calcium and phosphorus (two primary components of bones) in the blood through the small intestine.

Prep Time
20 min
45 min


  • 2 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt (TRY: Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk Greek Plain Yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2–3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt + additional to taste
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper + additional to taste
  • 1 3 1/4-lb whole side of salmon, skinned (about 1 1/2 inches thick at thickest part)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 1 lemon, sliced, for garnish


1. Up to 3 days in advance: In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, chives, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish, cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

2. Up to 2 days in advance: Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Arrange salmon, skinned side down, on prepared sheet. Brush with oil and sprinkle with fennel seeds and 1 tsp each salt and pepper. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

3. On the day of: Set salmon aside at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F. (If also making turkey, set salmon aside at room temperature about 30 minutes before turkey is done cooking.)

4. Bake salmon until barely cooked through, about 25 minutes. (If also making turkey, bake salmon while turkey is resting. If also making dressing in the same oven, note that both might take a little longer to cook depending on your oven.)

5. Use parchment to transfer salmon to serving platter. Cut crosswise into pieces and garnish with lemon. Serve yogurt sauce on the side or drizzle over top.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 5 oz salmon and 3 tbsp yogurt sauce
  • Calories 243
  • Carbohydrate Content 4 g
  • Cholesterol Content 76 mg
  • Fat Content 9.5 g
  • Fiber Content 1 g
  • Protein Content 34 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 3 g
  • Sodium Content 308 mg
  • Sugar Content 2 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 4 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 2 g