Salmon in Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce with Pearl Couscous

dairy freeseafood
Salmon in Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce with Pearl Couscous

Sundried tomatoes, coconut milk, garlic and onions form this robustly flavorful dairy-free cream sauce which spoons well over fluffy pearl couscous for a sumptuous salmon dinner. 

Salmon in Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce with Pearl Couscous

I feel like I’m not alone in that I feel like I get stuck in a salmon rut. I feel like my salmon dishes are either a sheetpan salmon or a grilled salmon with a glaze. I never think much about salmon, but it’s such an easy-to-cook and readily available fish that should be used more inventively.

Salmon in Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce with Pearl Couscous

I’ve been thinking about this sundried tomato cream sauce pasta I had pre-COVID at an Italian restaurant in Manhattan forever and one day, I thought, “Why don’t I just make it?!” I’ve never made a sundried tomato cream sauce, and I don’t personally like the way I feel after having a dairy cream sauce, so I used my favorite dairy-free substitute: coconut milk!

Lite coconut milk works fine here, surprisingly, and with a little bit of broth and the sundried tomatoes, you don’t get a heavy coconut taste – it all balances out very nicely and makes for a creamy sauce that spoons beautifully over the salmon, peas, and couscous.

Salmon in Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce with Pearl Couscous

And if you’re gluten-free, you can definitely sub some quinoa for that couscous or a brown rice. Or, just serve this with some roasted potatoes! And you can definitely switch up the seafood (shrimp would work really well here) or even sub in some chicken or pork chops. Make it yours – the sauce its what’s special here!



Salmon in Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce with Pearl Couscous

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins


  • 2 cups dry pearl couscous
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 4oz portions salmon
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ packed cup sundried tomatoes from a jar of sun dried tomatoes in oil better than dry ones for consistency and flavor!
  • 1 13.5oz can lite coconut milk, shaken
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ onion peeled and diced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth low sodium
  • 2/3 cup green peas can be fresh or frozen


  • Boil 3 cups of water in a medium pot. When boiling, add the pearl couscous, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fluffed up, cooked, and moisture evaporates.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add the salmon skin-side down (if there’s skin!) and season the tops with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, flip and cook another 5 minutes or until mostly cooked through (it can be a bit pink in the middle, but you want 80% doneness ideally.) Using a spatula or tongs, carefully transfer the salmon to a plate.
  • While salmon cooks, add the sundried tomatoes and coconut milk to a blender or food processor and pulse or blend until coconut milk is light pink and tomatoes are mostly finely chopped. Set aside.
  • Immediately add in the garlic and onion and cook for 1 minute and then add the sun dried tomato mixture, broth, peas, season with salt and pepper and let cook for 2-3 minutes for flavors develop. Then, nestle the salmon pieces (skin side down) in the sauce, pouring sauce on top. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until reduced by a half or to your preference (I like a creamier sauce, so I really let it thicken, but if you like it a bit runnier, don’t cook it for as long.)
  • Once ready, season with extra pepper and serve alongside the couscous or divide the couscous into bowls or plates and top with salmon and a scoop of sauce.

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Angela Chakos says:
Just made this! Split it between seared chicken thighs (for my husband) and seared salmon!! Excellent! Came together quickly and it didn’t taste like traditional coconut milk! Thanks! Will definitely make again!

Meaghan says:
Amazing job! And thank you for sharing a photo. We love that!
Dina carelli says:
This is SO good, plus the fastest dinner ever! I used cod because my husband doesn’t like salmon and I added chopped spinach instead of peas. We will definitely make this again!

Meaghan says:
You did an amazing job!! Thank you for sharing!

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