The Protein You're Not Cooking but Should Be: Simple Salmon Dinners

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If you’re in a dinner rut or if you’re looking for ways to make a simple dinner your whole family will love, try salmon. Hearty, with a distinctly non-fishy flavor, salmon is such a crowd-pleaser that it’s hard to believe it’s so good for you, too.

Make It Fast: Salmon with Sweet & Spicy Rub (pictured above)

What happens when you blanket fresh salmon with sweet brown sugar, chili powder and smoky cumin? Take the 17 minutes needed to cook this gem and find out! (Hint: Very, very good things happen.)

Let the Kids Help: Salmon Baked in Foil

I love recipes where kids can help create their own dinner, like this 5-star idea from Giada De Laurentiis. Just sprinkle the tomatoes and herbs, and roll the foil. Just 25 minutes from start to “ta-da”!

Fan Favorite: Asian Grilled Salmon

A top-rated salmon recipe, with more than 700 reviews — you know this one is going to be great. Ina Garten’s recipe has only five ingredients, including the fish, and is ready to eat in less than 35 minutes.

Tried-and-True Flavors: Baked Salmon with Honey Mustard Sauce

Valerie Bertinelli’s salmon combines two of my kids’ favorite flavors — honey and mustard — in one delicious pan.

Full-Meal Deal: Salmon with Lentils

Leave it to Ina to come up with not just a deliciously seared salmon but also the perfect lentil side dish to go with it. It’s satisfying, flavorful and easy to make.

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Budget Friendly: Salmon Cakes

Want a fresh-tasting fish dinner without breaking the bank? You’ll need only one can of salmon for Melissa d’Arabian’s wallet-friendly take on salmon-not-crab cakes.

On a Bun: Grilled Salmon Sandwiches

Ina smears the bottom half of the buns with a tangy herb mayo to give these hearty sandwiches a boost of flavor.

Charity Curley Mathews is the mother of four small salmon converts. She’s a contributor to eHow, Huffington Post and InStyle and blogs about making family recipes faster, healthier and sometimes cuter at Foodlets.com.