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This smoked paprika salmon with rosemary grapes is a sweet and savory seafood meal made with pan-seared fish and a quick grape pan-sauce.
We’ve been eating so much fish lately. Even more than usual (and mostly salmon!).
It’s been kind of fantastic.
We’ve enjoyed coconut salmon, teriyaki salmon, salmon kale salad, spaghetti squash salmon gratin and herb butter salmon.
Recently, I’ve been revisiting some of my favorite seafood recipes on Champagne Tastes. A few of them, like this one, deserved a little make-over with fresh new photos.
This smoked paprika salmon with rosemary grapes is one of my favorite fish recipes. The smoky flavor from the paprika works perfectly with the salmon and sweet grapes.
Want to try some of our most popular seafood recipes? Check out our mini sardine fish cakes, salmon Caesar salad, crab fries and seafood pot pie.
Fruit and Salmon? Really?
Surprisingly (to me), not everyone loves the idea of pairing fruit with fish.
But I’m still here trying to convince all of the salmon fans out there to try it! I also love salmon with cherries, salmon with blueberries, salmon with plums and salmon with pineapple.
What Kind of Salmon Should I Use?
Any type of salmon will work with this recipe.
We’ve been getting wild Alaska salmon from Sitka Salmon Shares, and love this meal with Sockeye, King, and Coho salmon. It’s also delicious with less fatty, more affordable salmon fillets like Keta and Pink salmon.
You can also use Atlantic salmon: just be aware that all commercially sold Atlantic salmon is farmed, not wild.
Can I Use Regular Paprika Instead?
Your fish won’t have the same smoky flavor, but it will still be delicious.
Is Pan-Searing Salmon Difficult?
No, but there is a (small) learning curve.
If you’ve never pan-seared salmon before, make sure to read the whole recipe in full before cooking. You’ll find lots of pan-searing tips!
Still nervous? Don’t be.
If you like, read more about how to pan-sear salmon (or even more about how to pan-sear other types of fish).
Pan-Sear the Smoked Paprika Salmon
Start by patting the fish dry, seasoning it, and setting it aside for about 15 minutes. Cold fish will be harder to sear.
Next, add a little butter and oil to a heavy pan. I like this Lodge 12″ carbon steel skillet.
When the butter melts, set the salmon into the pan skin-side down.
Watch the salmon as it cooks. The salmon will turn opaque from the bottom up.
When the fish is about halfway cooked, try to slide a thin metal spatula under the fish. I use a Wusthof fish spatula, but have also heard great things about this Toadfish fish spatula.
If the fish doesn’t release, wait about 30 seconds and try again. Don’t rush the fish, it will release when it’s ready.
Flip the fish (when it releases) and continue cooking until the sides are completely opaque.
Take the fish out of the pan and add the grapes and rosemary.
While the grapes cook, smash them down and burst them a little to release the juices.
Serve the salmon with the grapes, and dig in while it’s all still hot!
Smoked Paprika Salmon with Rosemary Grapes
- 8 ounces salmon (2 fillets)
- pinch salt, pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon butter plant-based or dairy
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup red grapes, washed and stems removed Optionally, halve the grapes before using. (I halve large globe grapes.)
- 2-3 sprigs rosemary
- Pat salmon dry. Rub fish with paprika, and sprinkle fillets on both sides with salt and pepper.Allow fillets to rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes. (Cold salmon is more difficult to sear.)
- Add butter and oil to a heavy pan and melt butter over medium heat.Place the fillets skin-side down in the pan and cook 2-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. (If your salmon fillets don't have skin, it doesn't matter which side you cook first.)As the salmon cooks, the flesh will begin to turn opaque from the bottom up. When the fish has cooked halfway through, it's ready to flip.Avoid touching the fish until the fish is ready to flip.
- Use a thin metal spatula to test the fish. If you can slide the spatula under the fish without the fish sticking to the pan, it's ready to flip. If the fillets won't release, give them another 30 seconds. They'll release when they've finished cooking.Cook fish another 2-4 minutes until done. Timing will depend on the thickness of the fillet. (Watch the sides of the fillets to see when the fish is done cooking. It's finished as soon as there are no more translucent patches and it's fully opaque.)
- Transfer the fish to plates, leaving the excess butter in the pan. Cover fish to keep warm, or set fish in a 200ºF oven.Add grapes and rosemary to the pan and allow them to sear for about 2-3 minutes, or until grapes begin to blister. While grapes sear, smash them with the back of a spoon to release juices. Scoop the grapes out of the pan, along with all the liquid. Discard the rosemary.Serve salmon immediately with rosemary grape sauce.
Wow, that looks yum! I’m a smoked paprika addict but never tried it with salmon. I love this!
Yup I’m a huge fan of frozen fish! I always use frozen when I make lox or anything else that’s not really cooked.
I am just totally digging this recipe, Sarah! I loved smoked paprika too and salmon is a favourite of mine. What a wicked combination paired with the grapes!! This sounds and looks so good to me!! Going to have to give this one a try soon 🙂 Happy Monday to ya!
Meg | Meg is Well
That paprika glaze on the salmon looks to die for! I’m big into smoked paprika too and that sweet grape chutney would be great with the really bold smokiness. Frozen fresh is great, whether it’s store bought or freshly caught by yourself and then frozen for later. I’m learning that with shrimp here. I can get fresh fish pretty easily but the fish guy at my market said most shrimp consumed here is actually caught in other countries, frozen, and then sits unthawed on display. He said it’s better to just go buy the packaged shrimp unless you live right near the ocean.
What a great looking recipe. I love the sweetness the grapes would add without sugar and the bit of savory from the rosemary. I’ll have to try the smoked paprika. I’ve never seasoned salmon like that. I’m landlocked too (Nebraska) and often find the frozen fresh is much better than a couple of places that claim they fly it in fresh. Your tips are perfect. Thank you!
Oh that’s good to know!!! There’s a place downtown that flys in fish, but it’s pretty $$$ and I’ve never ordered it! (I wasn’t impressed with the meal they served, so I question their fish quality lol)
I love the smell of rosemary soooo much ❤ with the grapes and salmon. Oh yum
I love the idea of all the spices in this recipe! The salmon sounds perfect, and the grapes just sound amazing! There is just something special about cooked grapes, it changes the flavor so much, and the idea of rosemary with it sounds so delicious! What a lovely meal!
I have such a love hate relationship with cooking fish. I love the taste of it, but hate cooking it because it always seems to disintegrate when I cook it. Your tip about drying the fish is the step Ive obviously always missed, well and maybe the one where I just leave it alone!?!
I too am a lover of the smokiness of paprika…. and oh my…. I am seriously drooling over the grape chutney you are describing here…. I will ABSOLUTELY be making this very soon!
Oh I hope that helps!! Yes it should be dry and room temperature when you go to sear it!!!
J @ Bless Her Heart Y'all
I am also landlocked and most-often buy frozen seafood. No shame in it. I agree with you that you can still have a delicious dish with the right frozen fish selection. The grape chutney sounds amazing combined with that smokey paprika (which I am obsessed with too!)
Well, this is a perfectly timed recipe post for me to be reading, because I literally just unpacked an order from my favorite spice store containing a fresh jar of Spanish smoked paprika! I absolutely love the sound of the grapes with these flavors. What a great way to get an easy and wholesome dinner on the table. Definitely making this one over the next few days!
I cannot wait to try this! I live in Alaska and eat salmon about once a week. Trying to find new fresh recipes for salmon is always an task!
Oh yay! And wow I’m so jealous— Wow the salmon you’ll get to try in Alaska!!! Let me know when you try this!
I made Seared Paprika Salmon with Rosemary Grapes and boy is it a keeper! My hubby even gave it two thumbs up. The salmon was wonderful on its own but the seared grapes and rosemary put it over the top. I appreciated too the clear directions on how to cook it properly. This recipe proves all you need a few quality ingredients in the right proportions to make a fabulous dinner. It’s easy, quick, delicious and you only need to add some roasted veggies to make it a complete meal.