Oven-Roasted Salmon & Rice with Coconut Tomato Sauce

A bold & vibrant oven-roasted salmon recipe with basmati rice and a coconut tomato sauce. The sauce is creamy and flavorful, with warm spices, garlic, chile peppers, sweet coconut milk, and fresh lime juice. The salmon roasts up quickly and becomes slightly charred and super tender. Serve this as a healthy weeknight dinner with a simple salad alongside!

bowl of oven-roasted salmon & rice with creamy coconut tomato sauce

oven-roasted salmon – the details

While I love weeknight dinners that are simple and efficient, there are still so many ways to keep them really flavorful and exciting. The use of spices, new ingredients, or unique combinations are great for changing up your dinner routine.

In this oven-roasted salmon recipe, the creamy coconut tomato sauce is the star of the dish. It’s easy to make, yet brings a rich, citrusy, spicy flavor that is irresistible.

prepped ingredients for the recipe

For any recipe, I like to prep all of the ingredients before starting the cooking process. I find this especially helpful in this dish.

The sauce starts with a little melted ghee, then shallots, red fresno chile peppers, and lots of garlic. Spices – smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, and cardamom – add robust layers of flavor that make this sauce really special.

Tomato paste adds rich, sweet tomato flavor and body, and then coconut milk thins it out and adds silkiness. After simmering for 10 minutes and getting finished with lime juice, you’ve got a delicious sauce that truly would be good on anything.

bowl of oven-roasted salmon & rice with creamy coconut tomato

While the sauce simmers, you’ll toss the salmon with olive oil, honey, lime juice, and more of the same spices. After a quick roast in the oven, you’re ready to assemble.

Serve the salmon over basmati rice (I like to toss the rice with a little ghee for flavor and keep the seasoning simple with just salt). And then, spoon a very generous amount of the coconut tomato sauce over top.

The sauce will coat the salmon, soak into the rice, and create such a beautiful dish. I like to make a little cucumber salad with olive oil, lime juice, and herbs to serve alongside.


Oven-Roasted Salmon & Rice with Coconut Tomato Sauce

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oven-roasted salmon over basmati rice with a spiced, creamy coconut tomato sauce

servings: 4


  • 1 cup white basmati rice*
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 red fresno chile pepper, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 (13.5 fl oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 ½ lbs skinless salmon, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 limes
  • garnish: cilantro + freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Combine the basmati rice, 1 ½ cups water, and a good pinch of salt in a 2 qt saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice stand (covered) for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F.
  3. Heat another 2qt saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the ghee and let it melt. Add the shallots and chile peppers. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic. Cook for another minute.
  4. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon of the coriander, ½ teaspoon of the cumin, and all of the cardamom. Add the tomato paste. Stir well and let cook for a few seconds. Whisk in the coconut milk and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until thickened.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the salmon, olive oil, honey, juice of ½ a lime, remaining 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon of coriander, and ½ teaspoon of cumin, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Toss to combine.
  6. Arrange the salmon on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast on the top rack for 6 minutes. Turn the oven to high broil and broil for 1-2 minutes, or until slightly charred and cooked though.
  7. When the rice is done cooking, fluff it with a fork and then stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of ghee and the juice of ½ a lime. When the sauce is done simmering, stir in the juice of 1 lime.
  8. Plate the rice with the salmon on top. Spoon the sauce over everything. Garnish with cilantro and freshly cracked black pepper.


I’ve listed instructions for white basmati rice (I’ll typically buy this brand). However, note that brown basmati rice will need to cook longer, typically 35-40 minutes.

bowl of oven-roasted salmon & rice with creamy coconut tomato

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