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Easy Instant Pot Citrus Poached Salmon on a white plate

Easy Citrus Poached Salmon – Instant Pot

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  • Author: Karen
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Bring to Pressure: 10
  • Cook Time: 6
  • Total Time: 21
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Fish & Seafood
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Classic
  • Diet: Low Fat


The Instant Pot perfectly cooks this 8-ingredient recipe for Easy Citrus Poached Salmon. The fast result is a tender, flakey salmon with bright citrus flavors using fresh or frozen fillets.


Units Scale
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 fresh lime
  • 1 fresh orange or tangerine
  • Zest of lemon, lime, and orange
  • 1/2 onion or 1 shallot sliced
  • 3/4 pound boneless, center-cut salmon fillet cut crosswise into two individual portions, skin on, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup cilantro and or parsley leaves and stems – reserve some leaves for garnish
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tajin seasoning* see note below


  1. Prep ingredients:– Zest lemon, lime, and orange and set aside; cut the lemon into thin slices. Wash, and dry cilantro and or parsley and leave stems intact. Roughly cut onion or shallots into wedges pieces.
  2. Prepare Salmon: Place fresh or frozen salmon on a plate skin side down. Cut orange and lime into four pieces. Use half the orange and lime slices and squeeze juice over the salmon. Reserve the remaining portions for garnish. Sprinkle filets with salt and pepper and half of the zest, reserving the remainder for garnish. Allow salmon to sit in citrus juice for a few minutes.
  3. Prepare Instant Pot and Poaching Ingredients: Place the trivet into the Instant Pot and pull the sides up and out of the way. Arrange cilantro and or parsley on top of the trivet, followed by onion, shallot (if using), and bay leaf. Top off with the lemon slices.
  4. Add Liquid to the pressure cooker: pour 1 cup of water into the cooker. It should just reach the bottom of the lemon slices and no higher. I generally use 2 cups because of the trivet height. The fish should sit above the water.
  5. Cook: Lock the lid in place and close the pressure release valve. Select the high-pressure cook function and cook fresh for 5 minutes and frozen for 6 minutes. Turn off the cooker and quick-release the pressure. Remove the lid and allow steam to escape away from you. Salmon is safe at 145º on an instant-read thermometer. I remove mine at 135 – 140, then let it sit in the Instant Pot to rest and reach 145º.
  6. Garnish: Remove salmon from the cooker by the trivet handles and place it on a cutting board, sheet pan, or heat-safe work surface. Use a fish spatula to transfer the fillets one by one to serving plates or a platter and garnish with chopped herbs, zest, and citrus wedges. I serve with the skin on (which is edible) and allow the individual to choose whether to eat or give to a pet. Sprinkle with Tajin* – see note below


* Note: final seasoning can be any favorite flavoring that pairs well with your dinner, such as fresh or dried dill, smoked paprika, or sea salt flakes.

When frozen fillets are cooking, it takes the Instant Pot o few more minutes to come to pressure than fresh salmon.

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