Spice-rubbed salmon is seared and topped with a vibrant and zesty salsa in this recipe for Cast Iron Salmon with Homemade Mango and Peach Salsa. Allspice, ginger, garlic, and smoked paprika keep the salmon packed with flavor and the sweet and juicy salsa is a perfect compliment.
This easy dinner is perfect for Tuesday nights as well as any time you have guests at your table! Salmon cooks up in less than 10 minutes in a cast iron pan on the stovetop and most of the prep time is in dicing up the mango, peach, jalapeño, and red onion for the sweet and tangy salsa.
I include ingredient notes here when I think they’ll be helpful, including ways to source, any preparation tips, or why I've chosen a particular ingredient. Be sure to check out the recipe card below for the full list of ingredients and their quantities!
- Salmon: Choose U.S. wild-caught salmon for sustainable fishing practices. The salmon I used in these photos is Alaskan Sockeye and I can get it at Costco in frozen single filets or in a large piece in the fresh fish section.
- Ground Spices: The spice rub for this salmon contains some usual suspects: garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. I also add ground allspice and ginger for a nod to the sweetness in the salsa. These warm spices add a little flair to the salmon flavor profile and are easily found in major supermarkets.
- Peaches: When our local farmers show up to market with their juicy and fragrant peaches, I know it's a great time to make this recipe. Choose peaches that are slightly under ripe so that they hold up to dicing and stirring into the salsa.
- Mango: Use whatever mango you can get your hands on, but these Ataulfo mangoes (also known as honey mangoes) are so intensely sweet and juicy, I always grab them if they are available.
- Jalapeño: One medium jalapeño adds a bright, grassy flavor and a hint of spice to the salsa. Tweak your preferred spice level by removing the seeds, membranes, or both to keep things fairly mild. If you are a spice fiend, keep the jalapeño intact!
- Red Onion: Just a quarter of a red onion is enough to add flavor to the salsa. I chop it extra fine so that there aren't any giant chunks to compete with the sweet fruity flavor in the salsa.
- Cilantro: I consider this a must-have in any salsa but if you are a cilantro super taster, feel free to omit it. Don't forget to use the stems as well as the leaves for the most flavor.
- Lime: Zest the lime and add that to the ground spices for the salmon rub. Juice the lime and it adds the balancing tart flavor that this salsa needs.
Prepare the Mango and Peach Salsa
The salsa preparation comes down to a chopping session, so pull out your favorite knife and cutting board. Once the salsa is prepared, the rest of the recipe is done in 10 minutes.
Cut the two sides of the mango away from the pit and then cross-hatch the flesh on each side before scooping the cubes out with a spoon. Dice the peach into similar sized cubes.
Cut the top of the jalapeño off and then slice the jalapeño in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and membrane (if desired) with a spoon and then cut the pepper into julienne strips. Dice the strips into a fine dice.
Finely chop the cilantro and the red onion. Zest the lime and set that zest aside for the salmon rub and then juice the lime. Stir all of the salsa ingredients together in a medium bowl and let the salsa rest on the counter while you cook the salmon.
Season and Sear the Salmon
Stir together the reserved lime zest, smoked paprika, ground allspice, garlic powder, ground ginger, salt, and pepper. Dry the salmon filets with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel and pat the spice mixture into the flesh so that it adheres. Let the salmon rest while the pan heats up.
Heat your pan over medium heat. Using a more moderate temperature ensures that your salmon cooks evenly but that your spices don't burn and taste bitter. Add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan and then place your filets, skin side up, on the pan. Cook for 4 minutes on the first side and then flip the filets carefully. Cook for 3-4 minutes on the second side.
Plate up the salmon and scoop a generous amount of salsa on top. We've paired this dinner with steamed rice, couscous, and baked potatoes, and it's great in a dinner bowl with the addition of some sliced avocado.
Substitutions and Variations
The substitutions listed below have been tested in this recipe and work well. If you successfully make any other ingredient substitutions, let us know in the comments!
- Change up the Fruit - If you can't find either the mangoes or peaches in stores right now, try fresh or canned pineapple! You can also make the salsa with only peaches or only mangoes. I would avoid substituting canned or frozen mangoes or peaches as the texture can be too soft for the salsa.
- Add more Spice - If you like it spicy, add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the spice rub.
- Serve the Salsa Alone - The mango and peach salsa is a terrific condiment for all sorts of grilled chicken, pork, or fish. It’s also perfect as a snack with tortilla chips or as a topping on salads.
A cast iron skillet is great for cooking salmon because it delivers even heat and a great sear. I use a 10-inch skillet in my kitchen almost every day. That size is a good compromise between capacity and weight for a family of four.
Make This Recipe Kid Friendly
This dish is bright and colorful, and that goes a long way in enticing the younger crowd. Alas, neither of my kids will eat the salsa (onions! cilantro! jalapeños! oh my.) but I offer them slices of peach and mango as a side instead. If your kids like mango and peach salsa, serve theirs with some tortilla chips for a fun addition.
The salmon isn't spicy at all, but if your kids object to the spice rub just make one filet with a simple salt and pepper seasoning. I have to remove the skin on the servings for the kids, but otherwise they both like the mild flavor and flaky texture of the salmon.
Store the salmon leftovers separate from the salsa for the best flavor and texture. When placed in an air-tight container, this can sit in the fridge for about two days. Reheat the salmon in the microwave separately from the salsa. You can also make a salmon patty with the leftover salmon, an egg, and some breadcrumbs for a salsa-topped salmon burger.
Make Ahead Options
You can make the salsa earlier in the day and place it in the refrigerator to rest. After more than a couple of days, however, it gets a bit too soft for my liking. I'd avoid rubbing the salmon with the spice mixture until right before cooking; the salt could draw moisture from the flesh. You can, however, stir up the spice mixture ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container on the countertop for later.
Absolutely! The skin should get a bit crispy from the frying and it contains many of the nutrients that salmon is known for: omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and B vitamins.
Be sure to preheat your skillet completely before adding the oil. Allow the oil to heat and then add your seasoned salmon pieces. Don’t fuss with the fish until the cooking time on that side is complete. If the salmon is ready, it should flip over without breaking up or sticking. Allow the second side to cook completely without disturbing it before transferring to your serving dish.
The salmon should flake into pieces when you press on it with a fork if it is cooked properly. If the fish feels firm but still moist and breaks into pieces along those white lines in the flesh, it is ready.
A protein in the salmon called albumin can leak from the flesh during cooking and once it is exposed to heat it turns white, exactly like the albumin in egg whites. It is safe to eat.
More Mango and Peach Recipes
When peaches and mangoes are in season and readily available, take advantage with these sweet and savory recipes:
These are some great recipes to make and serve with this cast iron salmon:
Try It and Share
I hope you give this Cast Iron Salmon with Mango and Peach Salsa a try and that it is an impressive addition to your dinner rotation. I want to see your results! Tag your photo with #planeatpostrepeat, pin my recipe, and mention me @planeatpostrepeat on Instagram so that I can give you a virtual high five and thank you for cooking one of my recipes. Comment below with any questions and please leave a review so others can find this recipe more easily!
Cast Iron Salmon with Homemade Mango and Peach Salsa
Mango and Peach Salsa
- ¾ cup mango (cut into small dice, from 1 Ataulfo mango)
- ¾ cup peach (cut into small dice, from 1 medium peach)
- ¼ cup jalapeno (finely diced)
- ¼ cup red onion (finely diced)
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves (chopped)
- 2 tablespoon lime juice (be sure to zest the lime for the salmon spice rub before juicing)
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 pound salmon filets
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon allspice (ground)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon ginger (ground)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (ground)
Prepare the Salsa
- Cut the mango and the peach in a uniform small dice.
- Finely dice the jalapeno and red onion. Add to a medium bowl along with the mango and peach.
- Chop the cilantro leaves and stems and add them to the bowl along with the lime juice and salt. Stir to combine and allow the salsa to rest while you prepare the salmon.
Season and Pan Sear the Salmon
- Combine lime zest, smoked paprika, allspice, garlic powder, ginger, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and stir everything together.
- Pat the salmon filets dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Rub the spice rub into each filet, coating the entire surface of the non-skin side.
- Preheat a skillet or cast iron pan over medium heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and make sure the oil is shimmering before placing the filets in the pan, seasoned side down.
- Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of your salmon filet. Move the salmon to a plate and scoop the salsa over the top. Serve immediately.
Nutrition facts are sometimes provided below and are calculated using an online calculator. With specific brands of ingredients and additions, omissions, or substitutions the nutrition facts may change. We encourage you to use your own nutrition facts caculator to obtain the most accurate nutrition facts for your meal.