Dairy Farmers of Canada

Scottish Oat & Leek Pilaf with Salmon

Our dietitians' favourite

Oats move to the savoury side in this skillet supper. It’s truly a one-pan meal with all four good groups. Cooking the oats in milk makes them creamy and tender and infuses the good nutrition right in. The salmon steams on top of the oats, and the asparagus, dill and lemon add a fresh punch.

  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cooking: 45 min
Yields 4 Servings
scottish oat leek pilaf with salmon


  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 2 leeks (white and light green part only) chopped
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup (250 mL) steel-cut oats rinsed
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups (500 mL) milk
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cups (500 mL) chopped asparagus or green beans
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh dill or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried dill
  • 4 piece (125 g) skinless salmon fillet about ½ inch (1 cm) thick
  • Additional chopped fresh dill (optional)
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In a large, deep skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté chopped leeks, salt and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper for 2 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until leeks are soft and starting to turn golden. Stir in oats.

Stir in broth and milk and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring once, for 15 minutes, or until oats are slightly tender.

Meanwhile, finely grate zest from lemon; cut lemon into four wedges.

Stir lemon zest, asparagus and dill into oats. Nestle salmon fillets in oats, spacing evenly around the pan. Season with pepper. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until white juices are released from salmon and it is just opaque. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Spoon portions onto plates and serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over top. Sprinkle with additional dill, if desired.


This recipe works best with salmon fillets that are about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. If you can only find thicker fillets, broil them on a baking sheet for 5 minutes before adding to the skillet with the oats to be sure they cook through in the same time as the oats and vegetables.

A gentle simmer, with small bubbles breaking the surface of the liquid, is important to keep the pilaf from sticking to the pan. If you have a smaller or “simmer” burner on your stove top, be sure to use that one to cook this recipe. If the pan seems to be boiling when cooking the oats, set the lid very slightly ajar to slow down the cooking. Be sure to put the lid on tight after adding the salmon to make sure it steams properly.

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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 547 Calories
Protein: 39 g
Carbohydrate: 41 g
Fat: 25 g
Fibre: 6.5 g
Sodium: 389 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 21 % / 226 mg
Phosphorus: 62 %
Selenium: 70 %
Vitamin B12: 237 %
Vitamin D: 303 %