The ultimate makeover: Salmon en croûte

The ultimate makeover: Salmon en croûte

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(13 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 6
Angela Nilsen makes a super healthy version of the classic pastry wrapped fish parcel without losing the wow factor

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze unbaked (but only if salmon has not been previously frozen)
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal331
  • fat20.2g
  • saturates4.1g
  • carbs11.6g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre1.1g
  • protein26.6g
  • salt0.47g


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 140g chestnut mushroom, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • juice ½ lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 100g packet watercress, chopped



    With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of…

  • 2 tbsp snipped dill
  • 1 tbsp snipped chive
  • 2½ tbsp half fat crème fraîche
  • 6 sheets filo pastry each about 38 x 30cm (125g total weight)
  • 2 x 350g skinned salmon fillets


  1. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Tip in the shallots and fry for 2-3 mins to soften, then add the mushrooms and garlic, and stir-fry over a high heat for another 3-4 mins, or until the mushrooms and shallots are golden and any liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated. Pour in the lemon juice – after a few seconds, that should have evaporated too. Remove from the heat, then stir in the watercress so it wilts in the warmth from the pan (see step 1). Stir in the dill and chives, and season with a little salt and pepper. Leave to cool.

  2. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. When the mushroom mix is cool, stir in the crème fraîche. Lay one of the filo sheets on the worktop with the short end facing you. Brush all over with a little of the remaining oil. Layer up 4 more of the filo sheets in the same way, brushing each with a little of the oil.

  3. Lay one of the salmon fillets, skin-side up, across the width of the filo, positioning it about one-third of the way up. Season it with pepper. Spoon and spread the cooled mushroom mix over the top of the fillet (see step 2). Lay the other salmon fillet on top, skin-side down. Season again. Fold the short end of pastry nearest to you over the salmon, then bring the other end over to completely enclose the salmon (see step 3), lifting it so the join can tuck under it. Fold both pastry ends over as neatly as you can.

  4. Brush the outside with a bit more of the remaining oil. Scrunch up the last sheet of filo, pressing it lightly on top in big folds (see step 4), then carefully brush with the last of the oil. Can be prepared 3-4 hrs ahead up to this point and chilled. Transfer the salmon parcel to the baking sheet. Bake for 25 mins until the pastry is crisp and golden. Check while it cooks and if the top starts to brown too quickly, lay a sheet of foil very loosely over it. Remove from the oven and let the salmon sit for 2-3 mins before slicing.

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Comments, questions and tips

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30th Mar, 2015
Delicious! Have made it twice- second time round made some substitutions as I didn't have all the ingredients and still good!
23rd Jan, 2015
Had to put back in the oven for another 5 mins as not quite cooked. Very nice though!
1st Jan, 2014
I made this last night for our New Year's Eve supper. It was really quite easy to make and my guests were ever so impressed. I cooked it from fresh for the amount of time stated and the salmon was just cooked through and beautifully moist. If I was to dislike anything about this recipe it's that the filo didn't seem to colour very much so you could say it was a bit pale (especially served on white plates). Non the less I will definitly be making this again!
28th Dec, 2013
We had this as our christmas dinner in 2013, great alternative as neither of us a keen on turkey, as easy recipe to follow and not too much time prepping Tasted great but loads left over could have fed 4 more easily and that was after halving the quantities, 25 minutes just cooked it. I've frozen the rest and would repeat the meal as so much lighter using filo pastry that normal puff pastry and the watercress with the mushrooms nicely offset against the salmon
26th Dec, 2013
Just had this for Christmas dinner. Thoroughly enjoyed by myself and my husband. Plenty of flavour and so easy to follow. Good combination, I'd cook it again and so much lighter with the filo pastry than normal pastry used.
21st Mar, 2012
If using separate salmon fillets and doing separate parcels like sunshine-fairy, can anyone tell me how this alters the timings? Am in the same predicament of not having a single bit piece of fish but would love to make it for dinner.
27th Jan, 2012
I used this recipe to make individual filo parcels, as I only had fillets in the freezer, not one big piece of fish. I had to use spinach instead of watercress, but it was absolutely delicious. I made a mushroom and tarragon cream sauce to go with it, and it ended up being fairly posh! Everyone loved it. I've made it again since, using sea bream fillets instead of salmon and that was just as nice.
14th Jan, 2012
This is delicious, will definately be making it again. I used spinach instead of watercress and had salad with mustard pots. to accompany. This is first time I have used filo pastry and I was delighted with how easy it is. If frozen, perhaps it needs to be left out the night before!.
4th Jan, 2012
I made this for a post Christmas dinner and froze it as instructed. I defrosted it for some 6 or 7 hours at room temperature and cooked it according to the instructions. It took about 10 minutes longer to brown and when we cut into it, the fish was not entirely cooked through, so we had to put porions in the microwave. Our guests enjoyed the dish anyway and I would certainly like to do it again - could recipes be more explicit about timings after freezing perhaps? Thanks Lesley Gallagher
Gilly Williamson
22nd Dec, 2011
I am making this for Christmas Day and have frozen it unbaked as suggested but the recipe doesn't say whether you need to defrost it before cooking or if you can cook it from frozen and also how long to cook it from frozen.
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