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Crispy Skinned Salmon Over Red Lentils with Caper Dill Yogurt Sauce

This post was created in partnership with Stonyfield and Bob’s Red Mill. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

Crispy fried shallots are the perfect topping for this tender, flaky seafood meal.

A photo posted by Ashley Covelli (@bigflavors) on

I love a good lentil dish, but for some reason, I don’t cook with them nearly as often as I should! So when Bob’s Red Mill send over a bag of their red lentils and a bag of orca beans, I was excited to get cookin’!

The inspiration for this dish initially came from thinking about how well smoked salmon goes with cream cheese, dill, capers and lemon.

I don’t eat smoked salmon too often, but I love cooking with beautiful, thick salmon fillets. If you cook them just right, they’re flaky and elegant, and can be enhanced by such a wide range of sauces, seasonings and flavors.

Crispy Skinned Salmon Over Red Lentils with Caper Dill Yogurt Sauce

For the salmon itself, I left it simple. Just salt and pepper. I like to let the salmon sit on the counter for a few minutes before I start cooking it to take the chill off. I then pat it dry with paper towels and season it generously with salt and pepper before searing it in a hot skillet.

My husband absolutely loves crispy salmon skin. He calls it the bacon of the salmon. I usually take a bite or 2 of mine and then let him have the rest. It’s a treat that we don’t have too often, and it’s one of his favorite things!

Cooking some aromatics in the saucepan before adding the lentils and stock is a great way to boost the flavor for the base of this dish. I used vegetable stock here, but feel free to use chicken stock or even water if you don’t have any stock handy.

Crispy Skinned Salmon Over Red Lentils with Caper Dill Yogurt Sauce

For the shallots, I had some Wondra Quick-Mixing flour leftover from a pork dish I made a few weeks ago, so I used that to coat them before frying. I’m sure regular flour or rice flour would work just fine, too. It added a nice bit of texture to the dish, and made it look more elegant.

I love the tanginess of Greek yogurt, and the addition of dill, capers and lemon gave it a really fun flavor boost that went beautifully with the other flavors in this dish.

My husband and I both absolutely loved this meal. It seems like a lot of components, but it really wasn’t too difficult. Each component comes together pretty easily, and you can work on some parts while other parts finish cooking. This is definitely one I’ll be making again!

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2 bowls of Crispy Skinned Salmon Over Red Lentils with Caper Dill Yogurt Sauce.

Crispy Skinned Salmon Over Red Lentils with Caper Dill Yogurt Sauce

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Crispy skinned salmon atop creamy lentils is one of the best bowls you can have! I love the flavors, they really bring the meal together.


Units Scale

For the lentils:

For the sauce:

  • 3/4 cup fat free Greek yogurt (I used Stonyfield)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped (I used nonpareil)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

For the crispy shallots:

  • 3 tablespoons peanut or grapeseed oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour (I used Wondra Quick-Mixing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 shallot, sliced into thin rings (about 23 tablespoons)

For the salmon:

For garnish:

  • Lemon wedges
  • Dill sprigs


  1. For the lentils: Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, shallot and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 30 to 60 seconds. Add tomato paste and stir and smash it around with your spoon until it mixes into the shallot and garlic pieces well and starts to cook. Add lentils and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water as needed to keep the lentils covered during the cooking time.
  2. For the sauce: Combine yogurt, capers, lemon zest, lemon juice and dill in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  3. For the crispy shallots: While the lentils are cooking, heat peanut oil in large, non-stick skillet over moderate heat. Place the flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Toss the shallot rings in the seasoned flour to coat well. Once oil is hot, shake excess flour off of shallots and place them in the oil to cook, flipping occasionally, until golden brown and crispy. You may need to do this in batches so the pan doesn’t get too crowded. Once crispy, remove shallots to a paper towel lined plate. Wipe out the pan.
  4. For the salmon: In the same pan that you fried the shallots in, heat oil over medium-high heat. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels and season both sides well with salt and pepper. Place the salmon in the pan, skin-side down, and let cook for 2-3 minutes, flip, and continue cooking for another minute or two – until the salmon reaches your desired degree of doneness.
  5. To serve: Divide lentils between 4 wide bowls or plates. Top each with a salmon fillet (skin side up), a dollop of sauce and a pile of crispy shallots. Garnish with lemon wedges and additional sprigs of dill. Enjoy!


Crispy fried shallots are the perfect topping for this tender, flaky seafood meal.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 939
  • Sugar: 4.1 g
  • Sodium: 950.8 mg
  • Fat: 40.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 42.7 g
  • Fiber: 6.4 g
  • Protein: 104.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 203.6 mg

Keywords: salmon, lentil bowls, gluten-free

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Want to win a pack of red lentils and orca beans from Bob’s Red Mill, along with a stash of Stonyfield yogurt coupons? To enter to win, leave a comment below telling me your favorite way to use lentils or beans. The contest will close on Friday, October 9, 2015 at 12 noon (Eastern Standard Time). One winner will be chosen via random.org and will be contacted via email to get mailing information. Prize will be shipped by the sponsor. U.S. residents only. Good luck, everyone!

Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


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