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Smoked Paprika Greek Salmon with Lemon, Feta Orzo Salad

Moist Atlantic Salmon with a smoky paprika rub, featuring fresh oregano and dill served on top of a tangy orzo salad with cool mint, roasted red peppers, lemon and feta—an incredibly lovely (and tasty) dinner for two.

We Galloways are big salmon eaters. Before I started blogging, we’d have salmon Caesar salad once per week. I recently discovered the kids will eat salmon, too, which is quite impressive considering I wouldn’t touch it until I was in college. I learned then how much I was missing out because when it’s cooked right, there’s nothing like a mouth full of moist, flaky, cooked-to-perfection salmon.

Not too long ago, I was in the mood for salmon, but I wanted to make something a little different. We also love Greek food and hit up Taziki’s, regularly, when we’re dining out, so I decided to give this salmon dinner a Greek twist, and it was soo, soo fresh and tasty!

If you’ve never tried orzo, you will love it! It’s a pasta, but its “noodles” are small, almost rice-sized little bits of goodness, often served with a light olive oil dressing. For this recipe, I mixed some orzo with fresh cucumber and roasted red bell pepper and finished it with a lemon and feta vinaigrette, which makes for a whole lot of incredible flavor in every bite.

Like nearly everything else I make, this recipe is easily duplicatable at home, and the result will make you feel like a five-star chef. The smoky paprika and fresh herb rubbed salmon will be done in just minutes, and if you’re feeling extra fancy, after you place it on top of the bed of orzo salad, spritz it all with a squeeze of fresh lemon and ENJOY!!

Ingredients for the Salmon:

  • 2 filets of skinless Atlantic salmon

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided (2 & 3)

  • 3 scant teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill leaves

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 4 lemon slices to place on top of fillets

Ingredients for the Orzo Salad:

  • 2 cups cooked orzo

  • 1 red bell pepper, long thin slices

  • 3 tablespoons chopped cucumber

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion

  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill leaves

  • 1/4 cup feta

  • Salt, pepper & red pepper flakes to taste


  • Mix rub ingredients with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, reserving the other 3 tablespoons for cooking salmon. Rub fillets and top with lemon slices & let them sit while preparing the orzo salad.

Orzo Salad:

  • Preheat oven to broil while cooking your orzo pasta according to package directions.

  • Slice bell pepper lengthwise and place on a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper and non-stick spray. Make sure they’re dry before placing in the oven.

  • Broil for 5-6 minutes, watching closely to not burn completely. A little browning is all you need.

  • Add cooked orzo, peppers and cucumber in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix all other ingredients for the dressing and pour over orzo pasta. Gently mix until well-combined and place in refrigerator while cooking the salmon.

Cooking the Salmon:

  • Prepare skillet with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and turn on medium heat. After skillet is hot, place filets in olive oil and let cook, undisturbed, for 3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes until done. Fish will be flaky when finished.

  • Then place the salmon on top of the fresh orzo salad and finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon and enjoy!

The Galloways

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