I am, of the belief, presuming many of you are in congruence with the fact that the traditional roast turkey bird is abhorrently the worst part of the whole Thanksgiving feast. While I will always place one piece of dark meat and one piece of white meat on my initial plate of food, the turkey solely serves as the base for the accretion of side dishes and tastes that are truly the vehicle for a satisfying and hearty Thanksgiving meal. I only find turkey digestible when I incorporate cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts into a single uniform bite. I find it dry and tough — bluntly, it sucks. How did turkey become a Thanksgiving staple over other tastier birds like duck or chicken? That being said, I sought to make a Thanksgiving main dish that incorporates complex flavors and is everything turkey is not: something with moistness and rich flavor that still feels ceremonious and special without needing to tend to it for hours upon end. Fish is delicate and rich, a strong pescatarian alternate to the bird. When treated en croûte with layers of vegetables and cream, it is amplified to a main holiday dish worthy of being at the center of the table. Easy to make in three steps and delectable to eat, give my Salmon Wellington recipe a try this Thanksgiving or holiday season! 

Layers of puff pastry, spinach, mushrooms and salmon constitute this meatless Thanksgiving main dish. Joey Sable / Daily Nexus

*Cooking Tip* 

Seasoning with salt is crucial in every step! You’d rather have an over-salted wellington than an underwhelming, under-flavored wellington. Salt and sodium can always be diluted by other measures while the lack of salt during crucial moments of cooking cannot be compensated in any way. That being said, I usually eyeball measurements for salt and pepper and did the same for this recipe. If you’re making this recipe, I assume you know how to season food properly. 


  • 1 pound boneless salmon filet 
  • 2 sheets of store-bought puff pastry
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan 
  • 1/2 cup white mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup crimini mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 egg


1) Preheat the oven to 425 F. 

2) First, make the creamed spinach. Chop the onion and mince the garlic cloves. Place 2 tablespoons of the butter into a small pot on medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Adding salt, cook the onion and garlic until fragrant and translucent. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Once wilted, remove the pot from the heat and add in the cream cheese and parmesan. Season and adjust with salt and pepper. 

3) Then, make the mushroom duxelles. Finely chop the white and crimini mushrooms. Using a cheesecloth or any sort of cloth available to you, drain the moisture out of the finely chopped mushrooms. After draining the mushrooms, finely mince the shallots. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a small pan and add the mushrooms and shallots as well as salt and pepper. Cook for around 5 minutes until all moisture has evaporated from the mixture. Add another tablespoon of butter to the pan as well as the white wine, cooking until all the liquid has evaporated again. Adjust with salt and pepper. 

4) Assemble the layers of the wellington. On a cutting board, season the salmon filet with salt, pepper and lemon on both sides. Place and spread the puff pastry onto another cutting board. Spread the mushroom duxelles on the horizontal center of the puff pastry from top to bottom, leaving the edges of the puff pastry bare. Place the fish on the bed of duxelles, then layer the top of the salmon with the creamed spinach mixture. Take the puff pastry edges and lift them up to cover the top. Since the edges of the puff pastry keep some of the mixture exposed, take another sheet of puff pastry and layer it over the top of the exposed puff pastry. Make sure the puff pastry is covered so it doesn’t leave any exposure to the filling. 

5) Prep the wellington for the egg wash, scoring and baking. Cover the sheet tray with parchment paper. Place the puff pastry creation onto the sheet tray and brush the top and sides with egg wash. Score the puff pastry diagonally and apply another layer of egg wash. Bake the salmon wellington in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. 

If you make this for your family, the potential nostalgia or craving for turkey will not even be an afterthought.