Pacific Salmon vs. Atlantic Salmon: A Tasty Nutritional Difference

Salmon swimming against river current. Norway, Europe. Stavanger region, Rogaland, Ryfylke scenic route. Salmon in these rivers is a very significant part of the worldwide stock of Atlantic salmon.

Pacific Salmon vs. Atlantic Salmon: A Tasty Nutritional Difference

Did you know there's a difference between Pacific salmon vs. Atlantic salmon? While they may both be salmon, they have unique things about them regarding nutritional value and overall taste. They also have a lot of similarities that make them one of the best fish to eat.

Pacific and Atlantic salmon are cousins that live in saltwater and eventually migrate to freshwater. Some of the things that differentiate them are their body features. For example, Atlantic salmon are a bit smaller than the Pacific salmon. Other unique features are the different colors, humped backs, and more prominent teeth found in the Pacific Salmon.

In this guide, we'll explore further what makes the Pacific and the Atlantic salmon different. You'll specifically see how these kinds of fish are unique regarding nutrients, taste, and biology. You'll better know what to eat between these kinds of fish for dinner.

Pacific Salmon vs Atlantic Salmon
Pacific salmon vs. Atlantic salmon have a lot of similarities and differences.


Uncovering the Nutritional Difference Between Coho and Sockeye Salmon

As the name suggests, Atlantic salmon is often found around the Atlantic Ocean near Iceland and Greenland. You can also find them near Russia as well as around Europe. Atlantic salmon also don't live long after spawning, living between five and eight years. Before these fish migrate to the ocean, they are born in rivers in the spring. The diet of the Atlantic salmon consists mostly of insects, particularly mayflies and stoneflies.

Pacific salmon is found around California, Washington, and parts of Alaska. One of the unique things about these fish is that they develop around streams and wetlands and eventually migrate to the ocean. They also have a lifespan of around two to five years of age. Their diet also consists of insects, mostly zooplankton.

Regarding nutrition, Pacific salmon has slightly more calories than Atlantic salmon. The nutritional value also depends on if the salmon is farmed or wild. Farmed salmon tends to have more fat and calories because it has a strict diet.

With either Pacific or Atlantic salmon, they both have an abundance of nutritional value. For instance, they are both protein-rich and have B12, which keeps your body's blood and nerves healthy. Each fish also has potassium, phosphorus, and selenium, which is a great source for reducing cancer risk.

One of the best health benefits of either fish is the high omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are great for regulating blood clotting, lowering blood pressure, and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke risk.

While both kinds of fish have nutritional value, you might be wondering what the best way to consume this nutrition in your body. There are different ways to prepare Atlantic or Pacific salmon, whether grilling, baking, or deep frying. Depending on your food tastes and preferences, you can also make various hot or cold dishes with either kind of fish. They also blend well as a side dish.

A deeper dive into the recipes shared between Atlantic and Pacific salmon can give you a better idea of what to eat.

Pacific Salmon vs Atlantic Salmon Nutritional Facts
Pacific and Atlantic salmon have similar nutritional values.


What Can You Cook With Either Coho or Sockeye?

Pacific and Atlantic salmon offer more than nutritional value. They also provide some of the best-tasting fish recipes. They have very similar tastes. They tend to be of a mild taste with a firm texture. Atlantic salmon typically has a lighter color and softer consistency. Pacific salmon will typically have a slightly bolder flavor.

You'll discover that either fish offers a variety of ways to make a meal. Some of the best include grilling or baking. Here are some of the best dishes to make with either fish.

  • Pacific or Atlantic salmon soup
  • Pacific or Atlantic salmon tacos
  • Buttered and garlic Pacific or Atlantic salmon pasta
  • Honey garlic salmon
  • Pan-fried salmon

Each of these meals is not only nutritional, but they give you options on what to eat for dinner. They offer a variety how to prepare either Atlantic or Pacific salmon.

Delicious fried salmon fillet, seasonings on blue rustic concrete table. Cooked salmon steak with pepper, herbs, lemon, garlic, olive oil, spoon. Grilled fresh fish. Fish for healthy dinner. Close-up
There are a variety of delicious ways to cook salmon.

©Elena Eryomenko/Shutterstock.com

There's a Difference Between Atlantic and Pacific Salmon

While Atlantic and Pacific salmon are different, they are only marginally different. You'll discover that each fish offers an abundance of nutrition. They also provide many of the same meal recipes, with only slight differences in taste, especially around texture. There's ultimately no wrong choice when it comes to choosing either one. Pacific or Atlantic salmon offers a delicious meal in whatever you choose.

You may not necessarily think there is a difference between Pacific and Atlantic salmon. However, it's not just their regions that make them differ. Here are some contrasts between the two:

  • While both are similar in nutritional value, Pacific salmon has slightly higher calories than Atlantic salmon.
  • The consistency and tastes of these fish are generally the same; Pacific salmon is known to be softer in texture, while Atlantic salmon is considered more firm.
  • Atlantic salmon is typically smaller in size compared to Pacific salmon.

A Delicious Lemon Crusted Salmon Recipe

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Lemon Crusted Salmon

Lemon Crusted Salmon

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  • Author: Moms Who Think


  • 4 salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each)
  • 4 teaspoons lemon and herb seasoning
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Season both sides of the salmon with salt, pepper, and the lemon and herb seasoning. Place the salmon on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the salmon is fork-tender.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the orange juice, thyme, and oregano in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, until the sauce reduces slightly. Serve the salmon with the orange sauce spooned over the top.
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