salmon with basil herb couscous
Main Dish

Salmon with Basil & Herb Couscous

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Here is a simple and delicious salmon and couscous recipe for any home cook. Fish and seafood recipes are currently scarce here at Recipe Realism. This stems from preference and an aversion to overly fishy tastes and smells. For those with similar preferences and aversions, this recipe just may change your mind. 

Salmon is one of the less fishy fish both in terms of smell and taste. Perhaps I’ve become used to it or maybe the basil masks any fishy scent. I’m not sure I’ve ever found the aromas of this meal offensive.

While reading the book, Lunch in Paris, I tried an en papillote recipe for baking salmon. And at some point I discovered that salmon pairs well with basil and herb couscous. I can’t quite recall how this pairing came to be but it has now been my preferred way to enjoy salmon at home for some time now.

A french-based cooking style plus a mediterranean staple equals a delicious American mash up. You will want to make this simple and delicious salmon and couscous recipe again and again.

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Ingredient Recommendations

Fresh or frozen salmon can be used. When getting started, allot extra time to thaw frozen salmon.

Most raw salmon filets are between 5 and 7 ounces (or around a half pound). Three to four ounces (or about a quarter pound) is a recommended single serving. Sometimes one salmon filet can be baked and then divided between two portions of couscous.

Ingredient Alternatives

Rather than an ingredient alternative, here is a supply alternative. Instead of foil for the papillote, unwaxed parchment paper is another option. In fact, using unwaxed parchment paper makes it a true papillote. Using foil technically makes it a foil pack. I find the foil easier and quicker to work with and offers similar results.


A chilled Pinot Gris pairs well with this dish and with summer evenings, too.


This recipe does not yield leftovers.

Salmon with Basil & Herb Couscous

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American, French, Mediterranean
Servings: 2



  • 1/2 lb salmon filet(s)
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • lemon pepper seasoning


  • 1 box Near East Basil & Herb Couscous
  • water
  • olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Pat salmon dry. On a large baking sheet, lay out an extra long piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with oil or spray with non-stick cooking oil. Place the salmon in the middle of the foil. Drizzle salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place a second large piece of foil on top and seal as you would a papillote.
  • Cook for 30-35 minutes in the over.
  • After salmon has been in for 5 minutes, cook couscous according to package instructions.
  • Divide couscous between two dishes. Serve salmon over couscous. Sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning to taste.

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