Cali Salmon Bowl (Grain & Gluten Free!)- Danielle Walker

The unofficial start of summer is here, and this recipe for a Cali Salmon Bowl will be on rotation for all of the hot days ahead. This bowl is full of fresh California flavors and produce. While the sauces and the pickled veggies are all optional, I highly recommend not skipping these components! This sheet-pan dinner is an easy weeknight meal that can be made in under 30 minutes, or double the recipe and use it to meal prep lunches for the week! 

These Cali Salmon Bowls use a base of mild curry-roasted cauliflower florets to give the bowl a hearty base. Roasted, wild salmon is topped with a dairy-free pesto and a deliciously creamy tahini sauce. To finish, you can add crunchy pickled veggies for added texture and balance of flavors. I love to garnish this dish off with some pepitas and cilantro for even more crunch.  You can serve this recipe hot, or cold for leftovers the next day. This recipe also received the stamp of approval from my kids!

A serving of Cali Salmon Bowl sits on a table in a gray bowl on a light blue table

The sauces

My favorite way to dress up any bowl is by combining two different sauces, each with their own flavor profile and texture. For this Cali Salmon Bowl, my dairy-free pesto and a creamy and tangy tahini sauce are the stars.

While they are optional, I never skip making them as a double batch so I can use them to jazz up other meals and salads throughout the week. If you don’t have time to make the sauces, you can use whatever you have on hand. My dairy-free ranch would be great as well.

When storing the pesto, add a thin layer of olive oil on top each time you use it to keep it from oxidizing and replace the thin layer every time you breakthrough.

The pickled veggies

For the pickled veggies, you can use whatever you’d like here! I always grab a jar of local organic pickled veggies or fermented veggies from Sonoma Brinery when I am at the grocery store. If you are new to pickled veggies and fermented foods, you can start small with just a jar of kraut and just add a small spoonful. 

Servings of Cali Salmon Bowl sit on a table on gray plates on a light blue table

If you are in need of more recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less,  below are some of my favorites from the blog: 

Roasted Veggie Meal Prep Bowls

Beef Bulgogi

Shrimp and Sausage Stew

California Stuffed Avocado Rolls 

Short Rib Pasta with Butternut and Arugula 

Roasted Chicken with Honey Thyme Stone Fruits

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs 

Hawaiian Ceviche

Shop this Recipe! 


Cali Salmon Bowl

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Danielle
  • Prep Time: 12 mins
  • Cook Time: 11 mins
  • Total Time: 23 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 11/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 4 (6-ounce) pieces skin-on salmon fillet
  • 1 cup pickled vegetables (omit for Whole30 or ensure pickling liquid is sugar-free)
  • 2 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup Pesto
  • 1 tablespoon Tahini Dressing (omit maple syrup from dressing for Whole30)
  • Chopped green onions or cilantro leaves, for serving
  • Toasted pepitas, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Pile the cauliflower on the prepared sheet pan, top with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the curry powder, and toss to coat. Spread the florets into a single layer and roast for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, rub the salmon fillets with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and push the cauliflower to the edges. Place the salmon pieces, skin side down, along the center of the pan. Roast for 6 to 7 minutes, until the salmon flakes slightly in the center.
  5. Divide the salmon and cauliflower evenly among four individual bowls. Add the cucumber and radish salad and avocado slices to the bowls, dividing them evenly. Spoon the pesto over the salmon and cauliflower, then drizzle the tahini dressing over the entire bowl. Top with the green onions and pepitas and serve warm.


Make It Ahead: This bowl also tastes wonderful chilled. You can prepare all of the elements in advance and store them separately in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days


Cali Salmon Bowl


  1. Kathy says:

    Oh my gosh — I have wanted to make this since it was posted and finally got the chance tonight, except with Shrimp. We even had used up our Kraut/Kimchi and I substituted pickles and it was STILL delicious! I made the Shrimp prior, and making the tahini dressing and pesto was very easy.

    It’s a festive-looking bowl and would be great for guests to make buffet-style for a dinner party with choices of Salmon, Shrimp, Lobster, Tuna steak or even Cod.

    The fact that this has creamy-crunchy-salty-slightly sweet makes it such a win. Definitely a huge hit and we’ll be making it again. I already forwarded to several friends and family members.

  2. Susan Murphy says:

    This sounds amazing. Do you make your pickled vegetables (a link would be great) or buy?

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