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This unbelievably easy recipe for canned salmon impossible pie is healthy, economical and takes just 10 minutes to put together! Made with pantry staples, it’s ideal if you’re stuck at home with few ingredients on hand or need to get dinner on the table fast.
Similar to a frittata or a crustless quiche, it ingeniously creates its own crust while baking, saving a lot of fuss.
Light and airy canned salmon pie is a variation of Impossible Pie, a recipe popular in the fundraising cookbooks printed for schools, churches and community organizations in Canada and the US in the 1990s.
The original recipe featured Bisquick, a packaged biscuit mix. If you don’t have Bisquick, our variation offers a home-made substitute.
Although I love cooking spicy Mexican and Guatemalan cuisine, this salmon dish is a kid-friendly, comfort food. It’s got a mild flavour, is easy to digest and features dill (anethum graveolens), a herb known for its soothing properties.
However, it’s also versatile enough to serve to company. Posh it up by adding some sliced black olives or sprinkle it with goat cheese and you’ve got an impressive dish for brunch, lunch or dinner.
Canned Fish is One of the Best Foods to Stock in Your Pantry
According to nutritionists, high-protein salmon is one of the best canned foods in your pantry. It’s versatile, resists spoilage and is relatively economical. Especially if you look for healthy, quality brands.
How long will tinned food last in your pantry? Although canned foods aren’t required to display a best before date, review these food safety guidelines when it comes to storage and use of canned goods.
Also pay attention to BPA. Bisphenol A is a synthetic compound used in the lining of canned foods. Although most manufacturers have stopped using BPA to make their cans, it’s worth being extra safe by choosing canned foods labelled BPA-free.
Some canned fish might even be better for you than fresh! According to Berkeley Wellness, canned salmon is an excellent source of heart-healthy omega-3 fats and other nutrients such as calcium. A USDA study even found higher levels of two omega-3s in canned pink and red salmon than in fresh salmon.
Modern Methods Mean Today’s Canned Salmon is High Quality
If you haven’t tried canned fish lately, you might be surprised to see that the quality has really improved from when you were a kid.
The process of canning food to preserve it from spoilage dates back to 1809 when Nicolas Appert of France invented a way to cook food inside a jar to preserve it for military purposes. Since then, improvements in production methods have really made a difference to the texture.
The quality of European canned seafood is especially good. Whenever I travel to Portugal or Spain, I always stock up on tinned sardines, tuna and other seafood.
It’s so good you can enjoy canned fish in recipes such as Cream of Sardines appetizer by Spanish Chef Martín Berasategui. or simply enjoy it topped on crackers or salads straight out of the can.
If the selection of tinned salmon in your local supermarket is small, it’s possible to purchase high quality tinned fish online.
One option is to buy a case of 12 cans of Canned Wild Sockeye Salmon, that’s hand-packed, low-salt, skinless and boneless caught in the Pacific Northwest, from St. Jean’s Seafood Online. Sign up for their newsletter and get 10% off your first order!
Pink Salmon vs Red Salmon – The Best Canned Salmon to Use
When shopping for canned salmon there are a few things to consider. One is the source. If a can of salmon is labelled Alaskan pink or sockeye salmon, it contains wild-caught salmon. Almost all Atlantic salmon is farmed.
According to research cited by Consumer Reports, wild salmon contains less mercury than farmed, is safer when it comes to pesticides and is less likely to contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
Women of childbearing age, pregnant women, young children and people who eat a lot of salmon should look for wild-caught salmon.
Another important consideration is cost. Canned red sockeye salmon is generally much more expensive than pink salmon. And boneless, skinless salmon is generally more expensive than canned salmon containing bones and skin.
Canned salmon with bones and skin has a higher nutritional value — more omega-3 fats and calcium than the boneless/skinless brands.
While red sockeye salmon is best for finger sandwiches at a fancy Afternoon Tea, as the centerpiece of a summer salad or in recipes where you want its brilliant red colour, this recipe calls for pink salmon and gets its boost of colour from fresh red pepper. This means you can happily use economical boneless, skinless pink salmon and still have an attractive dish.
To make this recipe even more budget-friendly, you can substitute the boneless/skinless pink salmon for pink salmon with bones. Just be sure to crush the soft, chewable bones with a fork and removing most of the dark-coloured skin before using it in the recipe. Not only will you save money, but you’ll get a boost of vitamin D from the bones.
If you’re looking for a no-mayo recipe, you’ll be happy to hear this canned salmon recipe gets its moisture from milk, eggs and low-fast sour cream.
How to Make Canned Salmon Impossible Pie
Dinner can be ready in less than one hour with this easy recipe. There are just six main ingredients in total!
- Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9 inch deep-dish glass pie plate or quiche dish with cooking spray.
- This recipe calls for one cup of original Bisquick Mix, New Bisquick (without palm oil) or a bulk store generic brand. You can also make your own substitute at home. Just sift together one cup all-purpose white flour, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cut 1 Tablespoon butter or shortening into the flour with pastry cutter or two knives.
- Beat Bisquick (or homemade flour mixture), milk, sour cream, eggs and dill with an electric mixer in a small bowl until well-blended.
- Fold in red pepper, salmon, grated cheese, green onions, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Pour into a 9-inch, deep dish pie plate. Don’t worry if you think the mixture looks runny. It will thicken as it cooks.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Garnish with fresh parsley or dill and lemon wedges. Serve with fresh asparagus, green beans or green salad.
Tips and Serving Suggestions
- If your oven temperature is uneven, you may need to turn the pie plate a few times while it’s cooking so it cooks evenly.
- If you’re using salmon with bones, the bones are edible. Just crush them with a fork. But try to remove as much of the skin as possible for aesthetics.
- If you’re using a deep-dish pie plate, the mixture won’t run over while cooking. So it’s best not to substitute a different size plate.
- Allow the cooked salmon pie to rest a few minutes before serving. It’s delicious served with Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho Soup or topped with a fresh Tomatillo and Tomato Salsa.
- This is a very easy kid and family-friendly dinner. To switch this recipe up a bit, add sliced black olives to the mixture and top it with a scattering of goat cheese. You can also boost the flavour quotient by arranging thinly sliced tomatoes on the top midway through the cooking process.
- If you’re cooking exclusively with pantry and basic ingredients and don’t have fresh red pepper, substitute 1/2 cup of chopped roasted red bell peppers from a jar.
- This dish is also easy to freeze. Just allow it to cool, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place within a freezer bag with all the air remove. Freeze flat and store for up to three months. When ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator, remove from the plastic and reheat in the oven until warm.
- It’s also wonderful with a Greek salad or other delicious recipes with Kalamata olives.
Easy Canned Salmon Impossible Pie
- 9-inch, deep-dish, pie plate
- mixing bowl
- 1 cup Bisquick Or home-made substitute: Sift together 1 cup all-purpose white flour, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cut 1 Tablespoon butter into flour with pastry cutter or two knives
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1/2 cup low fat sour cream
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp dried dill Or 3 teaspoon fresh dill finely-chopped
- 2 tsp green onion chopped
- 1/2 large red pepper chopped finely
- 2 6 oz cans of boneless, skinless salmon drained
- 1 cup Havarti, Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese grated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
- fresh parsley and lemon wedges garnish
- Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9-inch, glass, deep-dish pie plate with vegetable oil.
- Beat Bisquick (or homemade flour mixture), milk,sour cream, eggs and dill with an electric mixer in a small bowl untilwell-blended.
- Fold in chopped red pepper, salmon, grated cheese, green onions, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Pour into pie plate and bake 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
- Garnish with sprigs of fresh parsley or dill and lemon wedges. Serve with fresh asparagus, green beans or green salad.
- If your oven temperature is uneven, you may need to turn the pie plate a few times while it's cooking so it cooks evenly.
- If you're using salmon with bones, the bones are edible. Just crush them with a fork. But try to remove as much of the skin as possible for aesthetics.
- If you're using a deep-dish pie plate, the mixture won't run over while cooking. So it's best not to substitute a different size plate.
- Allow the cooked salmon pie to rest a few minutes before serving.
- To switch this recipe up a bit, add sliced black olives to the mixture and top it with a scattering of goat cheese.
- You can also boost the freshness by arranging thinly sliced tomatoes on the top midway through the cooking process.
- If you're cooking exclusively with pantry ingredients and don't have fresh red pepper, substitute 1/2 cup of chopped, well-drained, roasted red bell peppers from a jar.
You Might Also Like These Seafood Recipes:
- Smoked Trout Platter with Creamy Horseradish Dressing
- Shrimp Ceviche – An Easy Guatemalan Appetizer
- Cream of Sardines with Smoked Salmon and Capers – An Easy Appetizer by Basque Chef Martin Berasategui
- Tahitian Poisson Cru
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Dividing her time between Canada, Guatemala and Mexico (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is the founder of A Taste for Travel. Her award-winning travel and food writing has appeared in Lonely Planet’s cookbook Mexico: From the Source, National Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s and 100+ other publications.
Read more about Michele Peterson.
My kids have been asking me to make it again! They really loved it!
Canned salmon isn’t utilized as much as it should be and this impossible pie recipe shows that! Perfect for weekend brunch.
I’ve got plenty of canned salmon at home and was wondering what to do with it. Not anymore. This recipe is perfect 😉
Lisa | Garlic & Zest
I’ve got everything I need for this delicious recipe! I think this will be a great lunch for me and my “co-worker” today!
Enjoy! We’ve got to keep our “co-workers” well fed and happy! The recipes makes great leftovers too!
I loved how easy this was to make. And so tasty, too! Thank you for the recipe!
It’s pretty much fool-proof! Glad you liked it!
What a great way to use up that can of salmon In my cupboard I’ve had forever, can’t wait to try making this!