This Salmon Wellington with puff pastry is an elegant and impressive dish…and believe it or not, it’s actually VERY easy to make!
It’s made with thick salmon filets and a delicious cream cheese and spinach filling. To keep things easy and simple, I use pre-made puff pastry sheets. Assembling Salmon Wellington is actually pretty fast and straightforward, and they only take 20 minutes to bake!
You can also make it ahead or freeze to bake later! You’ll love how easy and delicious this salmon Wellington is!
Have you ever tried making salmon Wellington at home? This salmon wrapped in puff pastry is an impressive dish that is super easy to make!
I love making this salmon Wellington recipe because:
- It’s easy! I use frozen store-bought puff pastry to simplify things. Puff pastry thaws quickly.
- It’s customizable: You can add extra ingredients and seasoning to the filling.
- It’s elegant and impressive! If you like entertaining at home, this puff pastry salmon dish will surely impress.
- It only takes 20 minutes to bake, and it’s make-ahead and freezer friendly!
Also Known As Salmon en Croute
Another name for Salmon Wellington is “salmon en croute” means “salmon in a crust” in French. Basically, it’s salmon and a spinach filling wrapped with puff pastry and baked until beautifully golden brown.
It comes out flaky and buttery on the outside, and perfectly delicious and tender in the center.
Use Thick Cuts of Salmon
I’d recommend using thick cuts of salmon filets (1.5 to 2 inches thick) for two reasons.
First, the thicker they are, the longer they will take to cook…which is a GOOD thing! Because puff pastry needs about 20 minutes in the oven (and salmon usually needs 12-15 minutes), a thicker cut is best.
Second, the thicker the salmon filets are, the taller and more impressive they will look.
Working with Puff Pastry
I’m a big proponent of keeping everything homemade. For example, for my chicken pot pie recipe, I always make my own buttermilk pie crust. Similarly, I like to make biscuits from scratch for my biscuit chicken pot pie.
However, when it comes to puff pastry, I really think store-bought is better. It’s a time saver and quality is pretty good in general. I like to use Pepperidge Farm’s brand – each box (1.1 pounds) comes with 2 frozen puff pastry sheets.
Working with pre-frozen puff pastry to wrap salmon is very easy. They come in sheets that thaw very quickly. You can either thaw them in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours, or on your countertop for just 30-40 minutes.
If you want to make your own puff pastry, I’d recommend using Sally’s puff pastry recipe.
- Salmon filets: Use thick filets, about 1.5 to 2 to inches thick. Each filet should weigh about 6 or 7 ounces.
- Unsalted butter: For the filling.
- Finely diced onions and minced garlic: These are the aromatics for the filling.
- White wine: Adds a layer of flavor and helps deglaze the pan, especially if you’re using stainless steel or cast iron. Substitution: chicken or vegetable broth, or just skip it.
- Cream cheese: For flavor and texture.
- Fresh spinach: I like to use fresh baby spinach. Substitution: Frozen spinach (thawed and excess water squeezed out).
- Italian breadcrumbs: For texture.
- Grated parmesan cheese: For flavor.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Puff pastry: I use frozen puff pastry. Thaw prior to using.
- Egg and milk, for the egg wash.
Step 1 | Make the spinach and cream cheese filling
- Melt butter, and saute onions and garlic until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook until reduced, scraping the pan to deglaze if needed.
- Add cream cheese and cook until softened and somewhat melted.
- Add spinach, breadcrumbs, and parmesan.
- Stir to combine. The filling will look a bit crumbly.
Step 2 | Wrap the salmon in puff pastry
Tip: Because puff pastry takes 20 minutes to bake (and salmon takes 12-15 minutes to cook), start with cold salmon filets so they don’t overcook. Simply take the salmon filets out from the fridge right before wrapping.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry sheets and cut into rectangles, large enough to fit each piece of salmon in the center – there should be 3 inches around the edges from the salmon. Place the salmon in the center and top with the prepared filling.
- Brush the edges with egg wash. This will ensure the puff pastry is “glued” together.
- Carefully, fold the long side into the middle, on top of the salmon.
- Fold the other long side into the middle. There should be no gaps. Slightly pinch to seal.
- Brush the short end with more egg wash, and fold it over.
- Repeat with the other short end side.
Step 3 | Cut slits on top and brush with egg wash
Flip the wrapped salmon Wellington, so it’s seam-side down on top of the lined sheet pan. Using a sharp pairing knife, cut slits in a crosshatch pattern. This will ensure there’s proper ventilation and prevent the puff pastry from getting soggy.
Then, brush the top with more egg wash. This will give it a beautiful golden brown shine after it’s fully baked.
Step 4 | Bake until golden brown
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 20-23 minutes, or until golden brown. Try not to open the oven too much since puff pastry needs full heat to bake and get flaky. This will also prevent the bottom from getting soggy.
Variations and Modifications
There are several ways to modify this easy salmon Wellington recipe. Here are some of my favorite ideas:
- Filling variations: Customize it to taste by adding mushrooms or additional seasoning, for example. You can also use boursin cheese instead of cream cheese.
- Use phyllo dough sheets: Instead of puff pastry, wrap the salmon with about 3-4 layers of phyllo sheets, brushing with melted butter in between layers. If needed, adjust bake time according to package directions.
Serving and Pairing Ideas
As for my favorite side dishes, these definitely make it to the top of the list:
Depends on the shape and size of your salmon. Just make sure to leave about 3 inches of space around the edges, so that it fully wraps the salmon. I use Pepperidge Farm’s puff pastry brand, which comes with 2 sheets. I cut each sheet in half to get 4 sheets in total.
1) Thoroughly pat the salmon dry before assembling. 2) Cut slits on the puff pastry to allow steam to escape. 3) Don’t open the oven while baking – puff pastry needs full heat to get flaky.
Yes, assemble it (but don’t brush with egg wash yet) and refrigerate overnight. Don’t store for more than 1 day – it will make the dough soggy. When ready to make, brush with egg and bake as directed. Note: assembling it ahead could make the bottom a bit soggy.
Yes! Assemble them, but don’t brush with egg wash yet. Wrap with aluminum foil and store in freezer-friendly resealable bags for up to 1 month. When ready to bake, brush with egg wash. Bake, frozen, for about 40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
Tips for Success
- Because puff pastry takes about 20 minutes to bake (salmon takes 12-15 minutes), keep the salmon refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble. Starting with cold salmon ensures it doesn’t overcook.
- To prevent the bottom from getting soggy, pat dry the salmon thoroughly before assembling. Also, make sure to cut slits on the puff pastry once assembled to allow the steam to escape.
- Don’t open the oven until ready since puff pastry needs full consistent heat to bake into flaky layers.
Salmon Wellington with Puff Pastry (Salmon en Croute)
- 1 Large sheet pan or 2 medium sheet pans
- Pastry brush
- Paring knife
- 1 1-pound box frozen puff pastry sheets - thawed according to package directions
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- ¼ cup white wine
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 4 to 5 cups baby spinach leaves - loosely packed
- ¼ grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup Italian or plain breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 6-ounce salmon filets - about 1.5 to 2 inches thick (skin removed)
- 1 egg - for egg wash
- 1 teaspoon milk - for egg wash, I used whole milk
- Make sure the salmon filets (skin removed) are refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble. The salmon needs stay cold (see note below), so don’t let it sit on your counter for too long.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper, and set aside.
Make the cream cheese and spinach filling
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the diced onions and minced garlic, and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook it off for a few minutes, stirring, until reduced.
- Stir in cream cheese until softened and lightly melted.
- Add spinach, parmesan, and breadcrumbs. Stir until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside. It will look a bit crumbly.
Assemble and bake
- Make the egg wash: In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 teaspoon of milk until evenly combined. Set aside.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry sheets and cut into rectangles, large enough to fit each piece of salmon in the center – there should be 3 inches around the edges from the salmon. Note: I used Pepperidge Farm's puff pastry brand, which comes with 2 sheets. I cut each sheet in half, so had 4 sheets in total.
- Remove the portioned salmon filets from the fridge. Pat them dry thoroughly with paper towel. Season salmon with salt and pepper to taste. Tip: Patting dry the salmon thoroughly will prevent the puff pastry from getting soggy.
- Place salmon filet onto the rolled out puff pastry sheet, in the center. Top with the cream cheese and spinach mixture evenly.
- Brush all the borders with the prepared egg wash. This will act as the “glue” for the puff pastry. Fold over the long edges over the salmon, and lightly pinch to seal. Then brush the short ends with more egg wash, and fold them over to seal. Repeat with the remaining salmon filets.
- Transfer the assembled salmon Wellington to the lined sheet pan, seam side down. Using a paring knife, cut slits on the puff pastry over the top, in a crosshatch pattern. Then, brush the top with more egg wash. Tip: Cutting slits over the top ensures there's proper ventilation for the steam to escape and prevents sogginess.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes, until golden brown on top. Tip: Try not to open too much, as the puff pastry needs full heat to properly bake – this will also prevent the bottom from getting soggy.
- Serve warm. Enjoy!
- Why keep the salmon cold: Puff pastry takes about 20 minutes to bake, while salmon usually takes 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees F. Keeping the salmon cold right before assembling ensures that the salmon is not overcooked.
- Puff pastry sheet size: Depends on the shape and size of your salmon. Just make sure to leave about 3 inches of space around the edges, so that it fully wraps the salmon. I used Pepperidge Farm’s frozen puff pastry. Each 1.1-pound box comes with two sheets – I cut each sheet into 2 to roll out 4 sheets total.
- To prevent the bottom from getting soggy, pat dry the salmon thoroughly. Also, cut slits on the puff pastry once assembled – this will allow the steam to escape and keep the puff pastry flaky and buttery.
- Try not to open the oven until ready since puff pastry needs full, consistent heat to bake properly, so it stays flaky and buttery.
- Storing and reheating: Store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat in the oven at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes to maintain texture. Don’t microwave – it will get soggy.
- Make ahead: Assemble, but don’t brush with egg wash yet, and refrigerate overnight. Don’t store for more than 1 day – it will make the dough soggy. When ready to make, brush with egg and bake as directed.
- Freezing UNBAKED salmon Wellington: Assemble, but don’t brush with egg wash yet. Wrap them individually with aluminum foil and store in freezer-friendly resealable bags. Freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to bake, brush with egg wash. Bake, frozen, for about 40 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through in the center.
- Baby spinach: Frozen spinach works too – it should be thawed and excess water should be fully squeezed out.
- White wine: Vegetable or chicken broth. You can also simply skip it.
- Milk (for the egg wash): Water works too. However, milk (which contains fat) will create a deeper golden brown top. I used whole milk.
- Puff pastry: As a variation, phyllo dough sheets work too. Use about 4 layers of phyllo sheets, brushing each layer with melted butter.
- For the filling, try adding mushrooms or extra seasoning.