How big is a 3 oz salmon fillet?

A 3 ounce salmon fillet is approximately the size of a deck of cards or a bar of soap. This portion size provides a good amount of protein while keeping calories and fat intake moderate. Knowing the dimensions of a 3 ounce salmon fillet can help with meal planning and proper portioning.

Average Dimensions of a 3 Ounce Salmon Fillet

A fresh, raw 3 ounce salmon fillet generally measures around 4 inches long, 3 inches wide, and 1/2 inch thick. This varies slightly depending on the size and type of salmon. Here are some more specifics on the average size of a 3 ounce salmon portion:

  • Length: 3.5 to 4.5 inches
  • Width: 2.5 to 3.5 inches
  • Thickness: 1/2 to 3/4 inch

So a typical 3 ounce fillet is roughly the size of a smartphone or TV remote control. When cooked, the fillet will shrink slightly in size due to moisture loss.

Comparing 3 Ounces of Salmon to Other Foods

Here are some visual comparisons to illustrate the size of a 3 ounce salmon fillet:

  • It’s about the same size as a standard bar of soap, like Dove or Ivory brand.
  • Slightly smaller in size than a deck of playing cards.
  • Similar in dimensions to a 3.5 inch smartphone, like an iPhone 8.
  • Comparable to a medium sized smart TV remote control.
  • Approximately the size of a paperback novel or small notebook.

So if you can picture these common household items, it should give you a good idea of how big a 3 ounce portion of salmon is.

The Amount of Protein in a 3 Ounce Salmon Fillet

In addition to being a visual cue for portion size, a 3 ounce salmon fillet also provides an excellent source of protein:

  • A 3 ounce cooked salmon fillet contains about 21 grams of protein.
  • This amounts to 42% of the Daily Value for protein based on a 2000 calorie diet.
  • Protein from salmon contains all the essential amino acids needed by the human body.
  • High quality salmon protein helps build and maintain muscle mass.

So not only does a 3 ounce portion provide the right visual size for a healthy meal, it also packs over 20 grams of high quality, satisfying protein.

Calories and Fat in a 3 Ounce Salmon Fillet

Here is a breakdown of the approximate calories and fat in a 3 ounce cooked salmon fillet:

  • Calories: 175
  • Total fat: 8 grams
  • Saturated fat: 2 grams
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: 1.5 grams

The rich omega-3 fatty acids in salmon provide anti-inflammatory benefits as well as supporting brain and heart health. A 3 ounce serving contains a moderate amount of healthy fats and calories for the average adult diet.

Benefits of a 3 Ounce Serving of Salmon

Eating a 3 ounce portion of salmon provides many excellent health benefits:

  • High quality complete protein to support muscle growth and maintenance.
  • Long chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA for brain, heart, joint and immune health.
  • B vitamins niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and B12.
  • Minerals like potassium, selenium and phosphorus.
  • Vitamin D, an important nutrient many people are deficient in.
  • Astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant that reduces inflammation.

Salmon is one of the most nutritionally well-rounded foods you can eat. A 3 ounce serving packs a nutritional punch without too many calories or fat.

How a 3 Ounce Salmon Fillet Fits Into a Balanced Meal

A 3 ounce grilled or baked salmon fillet provides the perfect amount of protein for a balanced meal. Here are some examples of healthy meal combinations with a 3 ounce salmon serving:

Salmon Salad Meal

  • 3 ounces grilled salmon fillet
  • 2 cups mixed salad greens with vegetables
  • 1/4 cup chickpeas or beans
  • 1 tablespoon salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup nuts or seeds
  • 1 whole grain roll

Salmon Rice Bowl

  • 3 ounces poached salmon
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup roasted vegetables
  • Tumeric, garlic and lemon seasoning

Salmon Tacos

  • 3 ounces salmon, flaked
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • Shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes
  • Salsa, avocado
  • Lime wedge

As you can see, a 3 ounce serving of salmon provides about one-third of a well-balanced, nutrient dense meal without overload of calories, carbs or fat.

Purchasing 3 Ounce Portions of Salmon

When shopping for individual salmon fillets, look for portions labeled as 3 to 4 ounces. Here are some tips:

  • Check the seafood counter for freshly cut salmon fillets in the 3 to 5 ounce range.
  • Look for packaged salmon labeled with the exact weight or portion size.
  • Ask the fishmonger to cut or assist you with 3 ounce portions.
  • Buy a 1 pound salmon fillet and divide it into four 3 ounce portions at home.

Pre-portioning your salmon makes it easy to stick to proper serving sizes for meals.

Weighing 3 Ounces of Salmon at Home

If you buy larger pieces of salmon, you can easily weigh 3 ounce portions at home with a food scale:

  • Trim skin and any bones from the fillet.
  • Cut the salmon into rectangle shaped portions.
  • Place each piece on a food scale one at a time.
  • Weigh the fillets until you reach close to 3 ounces.

Use the tare or zero function to reset the scale between each piece. This will result in very precise 3 ounce portions.

Cooking a 3 Ounce Salmon Fillet

A 3 ounce salmon fillet cooks quickly, in about 10 minutes or less. Here are some cooking methods and tips:

  • Baking: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place fillet on parchment paper and bake 10-12 minutes until opaque in center.
  • Pan searing: Heat oil over medium high heat. Cook fillet skin-side up 4-5 minutes per side until browned and flaky.
  • Grilling: Oil grates and preheat grill. Cook over direct heat for 5 minutes, turn once, until internal temperature reaches 145°F.
  • Check for doneness by inserting a fork to check if salmon flakes easily.
  • Cooking times vary based on thickness and doneness preferences.

A 3 ounce fillet will cook fast, so watch it closely and remove it from heat as soon as it’s done to prevent overcooking.

Nutrition Information for a 3 Ounce Salmon Fillet

Nutrient Amount % Daily Value
Calories 175 9%
Fat 8 g 12%
Saturated fat 2 g 10%
Protein 21 g 42%
Omega-3 fatty acids 1.5 g N/A
Vitamin D 61% DV 61%
Selenium 41% DV 41%
Niacin 26% DV 26%
Vitamin B12 21% DV 21%

DV = Daily Value based on 2000 calorie diet

As you can see, a 3 ounce serving of cooked salmon provides an impressive amount of nutrition in a small fillet.

Benefits of Salmon for Weight Loss

Salmon is a great food to include for fat loss and managing hunger:

  • High in protein to help you feel fuller longer.
  • Contains healthy fats that stabilize blood sugar.
  • Rich source of omega-3s improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Nutrients support thyroid hormone which regulates metabolism.
  • Low mercury levels compared to other fish.

The combination of protein, fiber and healthy fats in salmon result in greater satiety so you eat less overall.

Precautions for Eating Salmon

Salmon is one of the best fish you can eat as part of a healthy diet. However, here are some precautions to keep in mind:

  • Check local advisories for safely consuming salmon from certain regions where pollution may be a concern.
  • Eat a variety of seafood, not just salmon, to minimize exposure to contaminants.
  • Limit consumption of raw and undercooked salmon due to potential parasitic infections.
  • Check with your doctor about fish oil supplement dosage if eating salmon regularly to avoid excessive bleeding risks.

Following basic food safety practices when handling, cooking and consuming salmon can minimize risks.


A 3 ounce salmon fillet provides about 175 calories, 21 grams of protein and 1.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids in a compact portion size. Approximating the dimensions of a bar of soap or deck of cards makes visualizing and meal prepping a 3 ounce fillet simple. Including this high quality protein source as part of a balanced diet provides fantastic health benefits with minimal risks.

Leave a Comment