bbq pulled salmon sandwiches with brussels sprout fand ennel slaw

Quite tasty are pulled pork and pulled chicken, but you haven’t really lived until you’ve noshed on a “pulled” sockeye salmon sandwich. 

“Intrigued. What is this you speak of?” 


Glad you asked. This barbecue pulled salmon is my wholesome take on the very good, but by no means good for you pulled pork sandwich. Sockeye is my absolute favorite type of salmon and one of my favorite types of fish. Its rich, red flesh is packed with flavor and heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. I love it smoked, seared, broiled, baked and barbecued.

Of course because it’s the best salmon for you, health and taste wise,  it’s also the most expensive.  You can however enjoy it without breaking the bank completely. Chicken of the Sea, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods all make canned versions of sockeye salmon that are semi-affordable. I usually buy the 14.75 ounce can of Chicken of the Sea Red Salmon at Target, which sets me back about $7.  It’s what I use in this dish to accompany my homemade dried cherry barbecue sauce. 

Sweet dried cherries combine with tomatoes spices, vinegar and molasses to create a wonderful smoky barbecue sauce. Since the canned salmon is already fully cooked, once the sauce is made, this dish comes together in no time. I love it with my brussels sprout and fennel slaw which adds a nice crunch factor to the sandwich. Add a couple spoonfuls of the sauce drenched salmon to a whole wheat hamburger bun, top with brussels sprout and fennel slaw, and lunch or dinner is served. Voila!

barbecue pulled salmon sandwich with brussels spout and fennel slaw on a plate

Cherry Barbecue Pulled Salmon
Serves 5
A wholesome, heart-healthy pulled salmon sandwich served with homemade dried cherry barbecue sauce.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
For the Dried Cherry Barbecue Sauce
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1/2 cup chopped onion
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 10 ounce can diced tomatoes
  5. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  7. 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  8. 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  9. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  11. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  12. 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  13. 2 1/2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
  14. 1 tablespoon sugar
For the sandwich
  1. 1 14.75 ounce can of sockeye or red salmon
  2. Brussels Sprout & Fennel Slaw
  3. Whole wheat hamburger buns
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over low medium heat. Add the chopped onion and saute for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until a light caramel color.
  3. Stir the diced tomatoes into the pot and raise the heat slightly.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (dried cherries, spices, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, molasses, and sugar) and stir well.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40-45 minutes.
  7. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce or transfer to a standing blender and process in batches until smooth.
  8. Transfer the sauce back to the pot, but do not return to the heat. Allow it to stand for 15 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, flake and debone the canned salmon. It's okay if a few small pin bones remain, they are edible and packed with calcium, magnesium, and vitamins.
  10. Combine the salmon with the barbecue sauce and return to low heat, simmering for 10 minutes.
  11. Lightly toast the hamburger buns. Add about a 1/4 cup of the barbecued pulled salmon to each bun.
  12. Top with Brussels sprout and fennel slaw and serve immediately.
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