Salsa-Baked Salmon Nachos


This is one of my favorite methods for cooking salmon! Baked on a bed of onions and jalapeño peppers and thickly covered with seasoned salsa, the salmon stays moist and tender without giving your kitchen any fishy smell. Even though these nachos don't contain cheese, they're topped with a rich sour cream drizzle which makes them every bit as decadent as real nachos.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
2 servings

This super simple salmon dish is dedicated to that old Food Network staple, Semi-Homemade, starring the former First Lady of New York State, Sandra Lee. If you're not familiar, the show was focused around making easy "homemade" recipes utilizing pre-made products from the grocery store. It was the kind of show that all the "real" chefs made fun of, but then went home and secretly tried some of the ideas.

For the record, this Salsa Baked Salmon "Nachos" recipe is not something I saw on the show, but I think it captures the essence of what it was all about. I'll admit I didn't watch the show regularly, so there's a pretty good chance she did something similar. But if she did, I'm guessing it wasn't presented in nacho form.

Even if you don't (or can't) eat tortilla chips, I still hope you give this method a try. Cooking fish is a big phobia for a lot of home cooks, and it doesn't get much more foolproof than this. You can also adapt the salsa choice, and other ingredients to your personal taste. I think I can speak for Sandra when I say "we really hope you do." Enjoy!

Salsa-Baked Salmon Nachos
Chef John

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • cup salsa

  • ½ teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ cup diced red onion

  • 2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and thinly sliced

  • 2 (8 ounce) skinless salmon fillets, bones removed

  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1 medium avocado, diced

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, or to taste

  • cup sour cream

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 3 cups corn tortilla chips

  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons minced green onion

  • 1 small lime, juiced


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Generously grease the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish with olive oil.

  2. Combine salsa, ground chipotle, and cumin in a bowl.

  3. Sprinkle red onion and jalapenos in an even layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Place salmon filets over top and season with salt. Generously spoon salsa over the filets and distribute remaining salsa over onions and jalapenos.

  4. Bake in the center of the preheated oven, until salmon is moist and tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads at least 130 degrees F (55 degrees C), about 20 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, toss diced avocado with lemon juice in a small bowl. Thin sour cream with water in another bowl.

  6. Divide chips between two serving plates. Spoon onion-jalapeno mixture over top, along with any accumulated juices, then top with avocado, cilantro, and green onion. Place a salmon filet on top of each plate and drizzle with sour cream. Sprinkle with more green onions and serve with lime.

Chef's Notes:

Any jarred salsa or even homemade will work, and feel free to season it with different spices. You can use butter instead of olive oil for greasing the pan. If you like beans, you can add refried beans or another type.

The sour cream drizzle is optional, but I highly recommend it!

For a low-carb version, substitute vegetable chips for the corn chips.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

858 Calories
54g Fat
50g Carbs
50g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 2
Calories 858
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 54g 69%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 113mg 38%
Sodium 1110mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 13g 45%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 50g
Vitamin C 36mg 181%
Calcium 266mg 20%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 1834mg 39%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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