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Spice Rub Baked Salmon with Avocado Salsa

Paleo Baked Salmon is rubbed down with a sweet and spicy spice blend and seared in the oven for that perfect flaky bite! This tender salmon is topped with a creamy avocado salsa and is done in less than 30 minutes for the ultimate weeknight dinner.

Is baked salmon your thing? If so, you need to make my 20 minute garlic butter baked salmon or my easy chili lime grilled salmon with mango avocado salsa.

My Favorite Spice Rubbed Baked Salmon With Salsa

Guys, I cannot even describe to you how excited I am for you to try out this recipe!

This meal is a powerhouse on flavor and nutrients! It has a whopping 50 grams of protein in each serving, good fat from both the salmon and the avocado, omega-3’s and 8 grams of fiber. It’s the perfect meal to fill your body up after a long day AND a work out. (Cuz I know you’re working out now … right?)

Here’s the good news. I know hearing all the nutrients may not get you excited to eat this … hmm… omega-3’s don’t sound good? How about a center cut salmon filet that’s rubbed down with a sweet and spicy spice blend, then baked in the oven until the fish flakes off with a slightly crispy sear on top?

But we don’t stop there. Oh no, now we top that flaky salmon with a homemade avocado salsa that is creamy and zesty. The salsa totally takes this dish over the top and makes it completely irresistible. If you don’t like salmon, here’s a chicken version of this same dish. Psst.. it’s been pinned almost half a million times. So, I’d guess that you’ll like it! 🙂

How to make spice rub baked salmon.

What You’ll Need

Spice rubs are where it’s at. Sure, salt and pepper are fine. But, rub a spice blend on your salmon and you’re sure to have a cash money end product. Here’s what you’ll need to make this salmon recipe (you can find the exact amounts in the recipe card below):

  • Salmon: You can bake this in portioned salmon filets or the long filet and then slice it yourself.
  • Spices: Your pantry will be your best friend here. I use a combo of cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  • Olive Oil: Just one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil is all you’ll need here.
  • Avocado: You can’t go wrong with this one -fresh whole avocado are key.
  • Cilantro: Fresh is best. You’ll be using this in the avocado salsa.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic cloves will add the zing this dish needs. Can I get an amen from all those garlic lovers! 
  • Lime: What is salsa without lime juice? Plus it keeps those avocados from turning burn.
  • Red Wine Vinegar: I love the acid the red wine vinegar brings to this dish and helps cut through the fat from the salmon and avocado. Just a little goes a long way here.
Baked salmon topped with avocado.

How to Make Spice Rubbed Baked Salmon

This recipe comes together so fast, as in 20 minutes and you’re eating. You can’t get better than that!

  • Preheat Oven: Set oven to 400°F.
  • Prep Salmon: Pat salmon dry with a paper towel. This helps the spices that you season it with stick better.
  • Make Spice Blend: In a small bowl, add garlic powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, salt and olive oil.
  • Season Salmon: Rub seasoning blend on the flesh side of the salmon. Place on baking sheet skin side down.
  • Place in Oven: Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Broil: Remove from oven and turn the broiler on. Place salmon back in oven under broiler for another 2-3 minutes, or until the top is just crispy.
Homemade avocado salsa in a bowl.

How to Make the Avocado Salsa

The key to avocado salsa is fresh ingredients and 5 minutes. Here’s how to make it and, believe me, you don’t want to skip this part of the recipe!

  • Cut Avocado: This is not guacamole. It’s salsa, so instead of mashing the avocado, you’re going to cut it into medium size chunks.
  • Mix Ingredients: In a small bowl, add avocado, cilantro, red wine vinegar, lime juice, red pepper flakes, garlic clove, and salt to taste. Gently stir to combine.
Salmon with spice rub on it that's topped with avocado salsa.

Tips for Success

I have just a few more quick tips and tricks to share with you on this salmon with salsa before you begin:

  • Which temperature should I bake salmon at? There’s a couple theories here on what temperature to use. I’ve seen 325°F, 350°F, 400°F and even 425°F. I have tried just about all of them and, in my opinion, the best temperature is 400°F. I even cook my salmon in the air fryer at 400°F. The high heat sears the outside of the salmon and gives you that crunchy texture, while the inside is perfectly flaky. I even like the place my salmon under the broiler for 2 minutes or so to really lock in that sear. Trust me, the sear is where the flavor is at.
  • How long should I bake my salmon? This will depend on the thickness of your salmon. It can range anywhere between 6 minutes or 12 minutes when baked in the oven. This also assumes an oven temperature of 400°F. 
  • How to tell when your salmon is done. The best way to tell if your salmon is done is by gently pressing down on the top with a fork. If the salmon flakes, meaning it easily breaks along the white lines that run across the salmon, then it is done.

What Goes With Salmon With Salsa?

So many things! Here are a few of my go-to side dish options for this meal:

Spice rub oven baked salmon with avocado on top.

More Salmon Recipes

Looking for more easy salmon recipes? Check out these ones!

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baked salmon in foil with avocado salsa on top

Spice Rubbed Salmon with Avocado Salsa

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 9 reviews
  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Seafood
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This baked salmon is rubbed down with a sweet and spicy spice blend, and seared in the oven for that perfect flaky bite! Top it with a creamy avocado salsa, and it’s the best weeknight dinner.



Spice Rubbed Salmon:

  • 1.5 pound salmon filet
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Avocado Salsa:

  • 3 avocados, diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Pat salmon dry.
  3. In a small bowl, add garlic powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, salt and olive oil.
  4. Rub seasoning blend on the flesh side of the salmon. Place on baking sheet skin side down.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and turn the broiler on. Place salmon in oven under broiler for another 2-3 minutes, or until the top is browned and crispy.
  7. In a small bowl, add avocado, cilantro, red wine vinegar, lime juice, red pepper flakes, garlic clove, and salt to taste. Gently stir to combine.
  8. Top the salmon with with avocado salsa. Serve!


  • Serving Size: 6 oz. + salsa
  • Calories: 491
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 315 mg
  • Fat: 28 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Protein: 50 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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44 comments on “Spice Rub Baked Salmon with Avocado Salsa”

  1. Hi. I’m not seeing the amount of honey listed in ingredients for the rub . Anxious to make. Looks great

    1. Hmm… this recipe didn’t have honey in it. There is another recipe I have that’s Blackened Salmon Bites with a Honey Butter and that one does. 🙂

  2. Avatar photo
    Mike Montpetit

    I see that most of the respondents are ladies, so I thought that I would throw out a comment from a guy. Make no bones about it, I am the cook in our household. (Sorry ladies, I am spoken for!!) I like experimenting with different flavors and techniques. I look in the refrigerator and see what is ready for use. All of these ingredients, even the red onion was on hand. So, this was dinner. It was amazing, to say the least. I cooked it for about 8-9 minutes and put it in the microwave to sit and finish cooking as we like the fish more on the medium rare side. Served with chive garlic mashers and roasted broccoli with olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese. Oh, and a bottle of pinot gris. Thanks, Krista


  3. Avatar photo
    Griff Neilson

    How is it that avocado salsa can take something already delicious and then launch it into the next level of deliciousness? My God! Great stuff…thank you!

  4. Holy smokes this looks tasty! I like the idea of putting a rub on the salmon to get a flavor boost. I cook salmon in the oven a lot, usually oven poaching with some aromatics, but haven’t utilized a spice rub as much. Thanks!

    1. Yes! Adding the spice rub packs the flavor! I love the freshness the Avocado Salsa adds! So glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Avatar photo
    Christel Delétang

    As I baked it a few days ago, I can tell that it is really an easy and quick receipe you need to know because it is just so delicious ! I added red onion slices on top and everything was so flavourful, I really appreciated, thank you so much, Krista !!!!

  6. Love! Love! Love! Tonight will be my second time making this winner for my fiance and me. The perfect amount of sweet, slightly spicy, and definitely refreshing! The ultimate beginning of summer dish! Thanks for sharing this recipe with the world!

  7. Avatar photo
    Emily Palmer

    Every time I bake salmon, I keep coming back to this recipe. It’s delicious, fresh and simple, and never looses it’s flare. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe!

    1. hurray!! Well if you like this one you’ll like my new honey mustard one.. my 6 year old is obsessed!

  8. Avatar photo
    The Foodie Journey

    This looks absolutely delicious! The combination of Salmon and Avocado is always a winner 🙂

  9. This was amazing. We made the mango couscous salad to go with. My husband is not a cilantro fan but loved both of these recipes. Thank you! Love your blog/recipes.

    1. Ohh you just made my day Tamara! I’m so honored both of my recipes were on your dinner plate. EEk!! And that you loved them! Hurray!

  10. Avatar photo
    Bethany @ athletic avocado

    I’m going googly-eyed all over these salmon pictures while drooling at the same time! I cannot tell you how much I love both salmon and avocado! This dish looks super flavorful!

  11. oh my, this looks SO incredible! Just stumbled across your site and I’m loving your gorgeous and healthy recipes! xo, Tiffany

  12. Avatar photo
    Renee - Kudos Kitchen

    This is one of the best looking salmon dishes I’ve seen in a long time. The topping of the avocados and onions is seriously making my mouth water. I can’t wait to make this! I know my husband will love it too!

  13. Avatar photo
    Maryanne | the little epicurean

    This looks delicious! But then again, I’m such a sucker for anything with avocado!

  14. Avatar photo
    Patricia @ Grab a Plate

    9:30 p.m. and this post is KILLING ME! I love every little thing about it, and really can’t wait to try it. Just beautiful, too!

    1. haha… I’m with ya girl! I hate pulling up recipes or working late at night because it’s all food and then I’m hungry! 🙂 Late night snack?

  15. Avatar photo
    Erin @ The Speckled Palate

    EVERYTHING about this salmon just makes me so happy. The spices. That salsa. The way it’s cooked. I have no doubt this is going to be a HUGE hit in my household!

  16. Avatar photo
    Amy @ Little Dairy on the Prairie

    My family is currently addicted to avocados! This will be a perfect way to eat them!