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Baked Salmon Pockets with Shaved Fennel and Cucumber Salad

Looking to nourish your body and mind with a wholesome and delicious meal? Look no further than these Baked Salmon Pockets with Shaved Fennel and Cucumber Salad. This recipe is specially crafted to support your well-being diet, packed with flavour and essential nutrients.

Salmon is renowned for its omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart health, cognitive function, and overall well-being. By baking the salmon in parchment pockets, we ensure that it is cooked gently, preserving its moisture, tenderness, and nutritional integrity. The addition of ground saffron, not only for its unique flavour, but also for its antioxidant properties, elevates the dish to a new level of health-conscious gourmet.

Complementing the salmon is a vibrant salad that is as nutritious as it is flavourful. The combination of shaved fennel, cucumber, and avocado is a celebration of textures and freshness, providing a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. The fennel adds a crisp, anise-like flavour that pairs beautifully with the creamy avocado and the crisp cucumber, while the lemon vinaigrette dressing adds a zesty finish that ties all the components together.

Every ingredient in this recipe has been chosen with your health in mind without compromising on taste. Whether you’re seeking to maintain a balanced diet, improve your overall health, or enjoy a delicious meal, this Baked Salmon Pockets with Shaved Fennel and Cucumber Salad is a testament to the fact that healthy eating can be a delightful and gourmet experience.

This Baked Salmon Pockets with Shaved Fennel and Cucumber Salad recipe is an excellent choice for individuals managing diabetes or thyroid conditions due to its nutrient-rich ingredients and balanced macronutrient profile.

Diabetes-Friendly Features

Low Glycemic Index: The meal is low in simple carbohydrates, which helps prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. Ingredients like vegetables and salmon have a low glycemic index, beneficial for maintaining stable glucose levels.

Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, and potentially lower the risk of diabetes-related complications.

High in Fiber: The vegetables, particularly the fennel and cucumber in the salad, are high in dietary fibre. Fibre slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, preventing sudden increases in blood sugar.

Healthy Fats: Using olive oil and avocado provides healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are beneficial for blood sugar control and overall heart health.

Thyroid-Friendly elements

Anti-inflammatory: Ingredients like salmon, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, have anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation can exacerbate thyroid issues, so a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods can be beneficial.

Selenium Content: Selenium, found in salmon, is crucial for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. It helps in the conversion of thyroid hormones from their inactive to active forms.

Low in Goitrogens: Goitrogens are substances that can interfere with thyroid function. This recipe is low in goitrogenic foods, making it suitable for those with thyroid concerns.

Rich in Antioxidants: Ingredients like fennel, garlic, and citrus fruits provide antioxidants, which can support thyroid health by reducing oxidative stress.

Thyroid Health Benefits:

  • Combats inflammation with omega-3s.
  • Boosts thyroid function with selenium.
  • Helps protect against oxidative stress and inflammation with vitamin C and antioxidants.
  • Optimises thyroid health with low goitrogen ingredients.

Diabetes Benefits:

  • Stabilises blood sugar with low glycemic index and high fibre foods.
  • Enhances insulin sensitivity through omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.
  • Supports blood sugar control with high fiber and healthy fats.

By focusing on whole, nutrient-dense foods and avoiding processed ingredients and excessive sugars, this recipe supports metabolic health and can be a delightful addition to a diet aimed at managing diabetes or thyroid conditions. However, individual dietary needs can vary, so it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider or a dietitian to tailor dietary choices to your specific health requirements.

Ingredients and Their Health Benefits

Salmon Fillet:

Salmon Fillets: Chosen for their high omega-3 fatty acid content, which supports heart and brain health. Salmon is also rich in protein, essential for muscle maintenance and repair.

Ground Saffron: It has a luxurious aroma and flavour and is known for its antioxidants.

Lime Juice and Zest: Provides vitamin C and adds a fresh, tangy flavour that enhances the salmon’s taste.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Used for its heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and to add moisture and flavour to the dish.

Minced Garlic: Offers antimicrobial properties and adds depth to the flavour profile.

Spices (Salt, Paprika, Black Pepper, Turmeric): These are used for their flavour-enhancing properties and health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory effects (turmeric).

Potatoes: Serve as a nutritious carbohydrate source, adding texture and substance to the meal.

Red Onions and Fennel Bulb: Provide fiber, vitamins, and a unique flavor, with fennel adding a refreshing anise-like taste.

Fresh Dill, Lemons, Orange: These ingredients add fresh, citrusy notes and antioxidants.

For the Salad: Rocket (arugula) is rich in vitamins A and C, while cucumber adds hydration and fiber. Avocado contributes healthy fats and creaminess.

alternative ingredients

Salmon: Can be substituted with trout or halibut for similar nutritional benefits.

Saffron: Turmeric or paprika can provide colour, though the flavour will differ.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Avocado oil is a good alternative.

Potatoes: Sweet potatoes can be used for a different nutrient profile.

Lime: Lemon can be used as a substitute.

Arugula: Spinach or mixed greens can replace arugula in the salad.

Preparation Tips for Baked Salmon Pockets with Shaved Fennel and Cucumber Salad

  • Ensure the salmon is marinated well to absorb the flavours.
  • Seal the parchment paper properly to keep the steam inside for even cooking.
  • Thinly slice the vegetables for quick and even cooking.

Serving Tips for Baked Salmon Pockets with Shaved Fennel and Cucumber Salad

  • Serve the salmon packets directly to preserve the aroma and moisture.
  • Dress the salad just before serving to maintain freshness.

storage tips

  • Refrigerate any leftovers in airtight containers to maintain freshness. The salmon is best consumed within two days.
  • Store the salad dressing separately and add just before serving to keep the salad crisp.
  • If you have leftover uncooked ingredients, store them separately and assemble them just before cooking to ensure freshness.

Baked Salmon Pockets with Shaved Fennel and Cucumber Salad

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 4x 200g salmon fillets
  • a pinch of ground saffron
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp paprika powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper powder
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 whole potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • a handful of fresh dill
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced

Shaved Fennel, Cucumber, and Avocado Salad

  • 100 g rocket leaves
  • 100 g fennel, finely sliced with a mandolin
  • 100 g cucumber, finely shaved with a mandolin
  • 200 g avocado, cut into cubes or slices (depending on plates)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • black pepper, freshly ground


  • Prepare the marinade. In a large bowl, combine the lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, paprika powder, black pepper, saffron, and ground turmeric. Stir to mix well. Add the salmon fillets and toss until they are thoroughly coated. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare 4 sheets of parchment paper and fold them in half.
  • Evenly distribute and place the sliced potatoes on the bottom half of each parchment sheet. Lightly season them with salt. Add equal portions of red onion slices, and fennel slices over the potatoes. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the vegetables and sprinkle with dill.
  • Place a salmon fillet on top of the vegetables on each parchment sheet. Drizzle the remaining marinade over the salmon and top with lemon and orange slices.
  • Fold the parchment paper over, starting at one corner, and pinch the edges to seal the packet.
  • Bake the fish packets for 15 to 18 minutes on the centre rack in the oven. Remove and unwrap or cut open the top of each packet. Serve the salmon in the paper.
  • In a small bowl, prepare the lemon vinaigrette by mixing lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. In a medium-sized bowl, toss the rocket, fennel, and cucumber with the lemon vinaigrette. Add some freshly ground black pepper and top with avocado cubes or slices.
  • Serve the salmon packets with a side of the shaved cucumber and fennel salad. Enjoy your delicious meal!

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