How Long Does Cooked Salmon Last in the Fridge

How Long Does Cooked Salmon Last in the Fridge

If you have bought or cooked too much salmon for you to feast on, can you still eat that the next day? Either you baked a salmon filet with lemon or had it to go, sometimes it’s more than you can chew. So should you just throw it into the bin?

No, not yet! You can still enjoy the cooked salmon leftovers the next day. And that would make up for a quick lunch or dinner. All you have to do is reheat. And to make leftover salmon still safe to eat, you have to keep it in the fridge. But how long does cooked salmon last in the fridge?

How Long Can Cooked Salmon Be Kept In Fridge

Cooked fresh salmon can last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. The fresher the fish before it’s cooked, the longer it will last. That’s why while cooking, you have to choose fresh salmon. But even if you used fresh salmon, there’s a time frame. 

Like any other cooked fish, storing cooked salmon in the refrigerator will slow down the growth of bacteria. Take note that placing it in the fridge doesn’t necessarily kill the bacteria. It, instead, prevents rapid growth. And the storage conditions of your refrigerator should be optimum as well. It should be kept at a minimum of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Also, it’s better to eat leftover cooked salmon in the fridge as soon as you can. You don’t want a good fish to go to waste, do you?

But what if you bought a salmon filet from a restaurant? You don’t have an idea how fresh the fish is. So to be safe, it’s better to consume the cooked fish 2 days after you bought it. 

How Long Can Cooked Salmon Be Kept In Freezer

Freezing cooked salmon will extend its shelf life beyond 4 days. When properly stored, cooked salmon can last up to 2-3 months in the freeze. And it will still be able to maintain its quality and taste.

How to properly store cooked salmon in the freezer? Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, container, or freezer bags and toss it in the freezer. 

You may also like: How Long Does Cooked Shrimp Last

Can I Refreeze Previously Frozen Salmon?

Yes, you can refreeze it easily if you’ve thawed the previously frozen salmon. But in order to maintain its flavor, quality and texture; you need to take the moisture away from the salmon as much as possible. You can eliminate the moisture by covering salmon with salt and let it rest for around 30 minutes. The salt will absorb the sweatiness. Or you can also use a paper towel to dry it out.   

 How To Know If Cooked Salmon Has Gone Bad

Notice 3 things:

  • Texture
  • Smell
  • Color

Eating spoiled fish can make you really sick. We’ll dabble on the consequences later. But in the meantime, you have to be able to determine if the cooked salmon you have stored in the refrigerator is still fit for consumption.

So, if you notice any of these signs, it’s better to throw the fish in the bin.

1. Texture

One of the ways to tell if your cooked fish is still edible is by touching it. The texture should be flaky and a bit thick. So if it developed a slimy layer on top, it’s rotten already. The flesh should also be firm to touch and not mushy. 

2. The Smell

Salmon and other fish will naturally have a slight fishy smell, but it should not be off-putting or too strong. If the fish has developed a strong fishy smell that’s quite arid and has an ammonia-like scent, you have to throw it out to the trash immediately.

3. The Color

Cooked salmon should still have that pinkish tone. And if it’s starting to turn gray, bacteria are thriving in it already. 

What Happens If You Eat Spoiled Cooked Salmon

You can get food poisoning and bacterial infection after eating spoiled cooked salmon. That’s why it’s important to know if cooked salmon is still edible, whether you keep it in the fridge or the freezer. 

Food Poisoning

 And there are two types caused by eating spoiled fish.

  1. Ciguatera Poisoning

Initially, you’ll feel numbness on the skin around your lip, mouth, and tongue. You can also develop a metallic taste in your mouth. And it can be followed by feelings of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. As the symptoms progress, there will be muscle pain, headaches, and numbness of the skin. 

  1. Scombroid Poisoning

Symptoms of Scombroid poisoning include nausea, hives, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Your face might also flush and turn reddish. These signs are also similar to an allergic reaction, but it doesn’t mean that Scombroid poisoning causes allergy. 

The symptoms can be experienced within 30 minutes to an hour of eating spoiled salmon. The symptoms can last for days. And this is the most common type of fish poisoning.

Bacterial Infection

Spoiled cooked salmon can be a breeding ground for harmful microorganisms. As harmful organisms thrive in the fish, it will release histamine. That’s why you experience symptoms like that of a food allergy. 

How to Reheat Cooked Salmon Properly

Reheating cooked salmon may be easy. Just toss it in the microwave right? But here are hacks on how you can reheat your cooked salmon better. This will result in a piece of salmon with better moisture.

  1. Skip the Microwave

The microwave may be a handy dandy for reheating leftover food. But reheating cooked salmon in it can dry it out. It may also develop a strong fishy aroma.

  1. Use the Oven

A better way to reheat cooked salmon is by using the oven. But before you pop it into the oven, drizzle olive oil and lemon onto the fish filet and rub it in. This will add moisture and preserve the flavor of the fish. 

  1. Wrap it with Aluminum Foil

Don’t forget to cover your fish. Cover the cooked salmon with tin foil. Then preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and reheat for 15minutes. The key is to reheat the fish at a lower temperature for a longer time. This will prevent it from drying out. 

  1. Or Use the Pan

Alternatingly, you can use your trusty pan to reheat cooked salmon. Drizzle a bit of water first before you place it on the pan. This will prevent it from losing moisture. Also, remember to use low heat. 

Clever Meal Ideas for Salmon Leftovers

You can always spruce up your cooked salmon leftovers! And here are some of our favorite recipes.

Salmon Patties

These salmon patties are very easy to make. It also comes together nicely.

We need the following ingredients:

  • Leftover salmon
  • Panko Bread crumbs
  • Egg
  • Onion
  • Mayo
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper
  • Your choice of herbs and veggies
salmon patties with sliced lemons served in a plate
Image credit: Shutterstock


  1. Flake the leftover fish.
  2. Add the panko bread crumbs, egg, chopped onion, mayo, and tabasco sauce. 
  3. Using a spoon, mix all the ingredients well.
  4. Form into small balls.
  5. Flatten out the salmon balls. You can place them between your hands and lightly press them.
  6. Heat olive oil in a pan. And when it’s hot enough, toss in the patties.
  7. Cook both sides until golden brown.
  8. Serve with your choice of greens.

Salmon Fried Rice

This meal is perfect for a quick breakfast! Spruce up your usual fried rice by adding chunks of salmon filet.

We need the following ingredients:

  • Leftover salmon
  • Old cooked rice
  • Garlic
  • Frozen peas
  • Egg
  • Soy sauce
  • Olive oil


  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add in the garlic and lightly saute.
  2. Toss in the cold rice. Use a wooden spoon to break the rice and mash it well with the garlic. 
  3. Add the peas and salmon. Heat for 3-5 minutes then push aside to one side of the pan. 
  4. Using the other side of the pan, crack the egg and beat it. Then scramble the egg until it’s fully set.
  5. Mix and sprinkle with soy sauce.


Can you refreeze salmon? 

You cannot refreeze salmon if you have thawed it already. Doing so will make the salmon susceptible to foodborne illnesses. However, if you transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator but it hasn’t thawed yet, you can still return it to the freezer.

Can you cook frozen salmon? 

If you don’t have time to thaw salmon, yes you can directly cook frozen salmon. Just take note that it will take longer to cook.

How to defrost frozen salmon?

There are two ways. One, you can transfer it to the refrigerator overnight. And two, you can toss it in the microwave and press the defrost function.

Is it to submerge frozen salmon in hot water to thaw it? 

Unfortunately no. Doing so can cause foodborne illnesses. On the other hand, you can place the salmon in plastic wrapping and then submerge it in the hot water. 

Can I eat cooked salmon After 5 days?

It’s not safe to eat cooked salmon after 3 days. 

Last Word

Storing leftover cooked salmon can extend its shelf life. So you can enjoy it for the next day. But remember the tough cooked salmon last in the fridge for some days, you have to consume it immediately within 3 days. Otherwise, eating spoiled salmon can really end up bad.

And remember the basics of food safety, never let cooked salmon or any food stay at room temperature for more than two hours. Salmon has a lot of health benefits so why you don’t want this fish to go to waste.

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