The Washington Post

Salmon BLTs

Salmon BLTs 4.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes May 14, 2019

These are luxe sandwiches for the everyday world – rich-tasting fish, meaty bacon and doctored mayo.

Because you are likely to buy salmon fillets with the skin on (especially if they are frozen), see the NOTES below for an easy way to remove the skin. Bonus: It can make a great snack, or crunchy addition to the sandwiches.

Serve with potato chips or roasted sweet potato wedges.

Total time: 25 mins

NOTES: The frozen, wild-caught salmon fillets used in testing for this recipe came with the skins on. The skin is easy to remove while the fillets are well chilled or semi-frozen: Turn them skin sides up. Starting at one of the shorter cut sides, run the sharp edge of a chef's knife just under the skin until the flap of skin is at least halfway detached. Keep cutting, sliding the knife along, and cut the edge of it so it's detached.

To turn the skins into a snack or a topping, cut them into bite-size pieces. After your salmon fillets are cooked, toss in the salmon skin pieces into the skillet, skinned sides down. Cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes; flip them over and they should look slightly browned on the edges and crisped. Drain on a rack set over paper towels. Season with flaky salt.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 4 slices applewood-smoked bacon
  • 8 slices whole-grain or country-style sourdough bread
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large tomato, preferably beefsteak
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves, 4 to 6 large leaves
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more as needed
  • Four 6-ounce thin-cut salmon fillets, skinned (not center-cut; see NOTES)
  • Leaves from 1/4 head Boston/butter lettuce OR 1 packed cup baby arugula leaves


Line two plates with tea towels or paper towels.

Cut each bacon slice crosswise in half. Place in a large skillet; cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, turning the slices over once, just until crisped. (You may have to do this in two batches.) Transfer them to a plate to drain, leaving the rendered bacon fat in the pan and the pan over medium heat.

Toast the bread until just lightly brown. Brush each slice lightly with oil (or you can use a little of the rendered bacon fat). Cut 4 slices from the tomato and season them lightly with salt, letting them drain on the other prepared plate.

Meanwhile, make the mayonnaise. In a small bowl, add the zest, basil, mayonnaise and a few grinds of pepper, then whisk until well incorporated.

Skin the fillets, as needed; see the NOTES. Season them with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Gently lay the fillets in the hot bacon fat in the skillet (so each one lands with a splash away from you), skinned sides up. Cook for about 5 minutes total, or until barely translucent in the center, turning them over halfway through the cooking.

Spread one side of each toasted bread slice with the lemon-basil mayo. Next, build the sandwiches on four slices, using ingredients in the following order: the lettuce or arugula, the tomato, salmon and a crisscross of 2 bacon pieces. Top with remaining toasted bread slices.

Cut each sandwich in half – toothpicks might come in handy to keep the halves neat and tidy, but warn your guests if you use them – and serve.

Correction: An earlier version of this recipe called for using the oven to toast the bread. We have removed those instructions and advise you to toast the bread in a toaster, toaster oven or oven, as you desire.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from “Hero Dinners: Complete One-Pan Meals That Save the Day,” by Marge Perry and David Bonom (Wm Morrow, 2019).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Avg. Rating (3)

Rate this recipe

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 670

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 36g 55%

Saturated Fat: 5g 25%

Cholesterol: 110mg 37%

Sodium: 890mg 37%

Total Carbohydrates: 40g 13%

Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 46g

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

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read Lifestyle