This one-pan baked salmon recipe is a dinnertime problem-solver
Flavorful salmon is healthy, delicious and quick-cooking: Perfect for a weeknight meal that doesn’t compromise on taste or nutrition. This genius baked salmon dinner for two cooks all together on one baking sheet, complete with vegetable sides. It can easily become a dinner for four on two sheet pans if you double the quantities. Line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper for fast cleanup.
The key technique here is to stagger cooking times - the longer-cooking potatoes go into the pan first, tossed in olive oil with a few grinds of black pepper. The more delicate asparagus and salmon are placed on the pan later. This salmon recipe also allows you to adjust cooking time to the thickness of your particular salmon fillets: Potatoes and asparagus, unlike the fish, are forgiving of a few extra minutes in the oven. This way, you can concentrate on getting perfectly cooked salmon that is flaky but not overcooked.
The finishing touch is lemon juice squeezed at the table - lay a few lemon slices on top before baking if you want a yummy double lemon punch.
How to buy salmon
Buying salmon can feel like a high-risk proposition: It’s pretty pricey, so you want to get it right. Look for salmon that looks moist and doesn’t have brown spots or dried edges.
Wild salmon will be redder in color than farmed. Wild versus farmed continues to be hotly debated: Wild salmon is higher in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and generally leaner overall, so it’s arguably better for you. But it’s also usually more expensive.
Generally speaking, any salmon is healthy food, so if the farmed option looks good at the store, there’s no need to skip it for nutritional reasons. Many stores will slice you fresh fillets from the fish on request - if that’s an option, it’s the best way to get moist fillets.
Ask them to remove any bones for you, too. If your fillet comes with the bones in, you can remove them with tweezers: Just run your hands along the fish and pull out any bones you feel.
Is salmon sustainable?
This one goes in the “it’s complicated” category. There are many sustainable salmon sources, but not all are, so check the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch fish-sustainability page for the exact salmon you're considering: http://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations/groups/salmon.
If salmon is unavailable (or too expensive), keep in mind that both arctic char and steelhead are alternatives that cook and taste like similar. They can be swapped into this salmon recipe ounce for ounce; the same is true for any similar recipe.
Is salmon healthy?
Yes, salmon is healthy: it’s high in protein, as well as full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and bone-protecting selenium. LIke almost any fish, mercury contamination is a concern - but if you just don’t eat salmon every day, you’re in the clear. Pregnant or nursing women should look into this more carefully; ask your doctor about what fish to avoid, if any. Salmon is also gluten-free, paleo, and low-carb.
What does salmon look like when it’s cooked?
Cooking time depends on fillet thickness. The fish’s flesh will change from translucent red/pink and noticeably “raw-looking” to opaque pink and flaky in texture when cooked. You want to pull it out of the oven when the center is still red but the rest has cooked to lighter pink. It will keep cooking with residual heat, and since fish cooks quickly, and dries out when overcooked, it’s easy to overdo it. Be sure to preheat oven fully before you place salmon in; that will help you time more accurately.
Teriyaki glazed salmon is a classic, but you can also create your own new recipes by adding a few cloves garlic, fresh parsley, Dijon or ginger to the mix. A simple treatment of extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper is also delicious.
- Preheat the oven to 450F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Halve the potatoes lengthwise, and add them to a large mixing bowl along with the olive oil, salt, and garlic powder. Toss to combine.
- Spread the potatoes over the baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, trim the asparagus and finely chop the dill.
- Sprinkle the dill over the salmon, and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Place the salmon skin-side down on the sheet pan, followed by the asparagus. Bake for another 10 minutes.
- Squeeze the lemon wedges over the salmon, and serve.
PER SERVING *
|Calories500Calories from Fat100|
|% DAILY VALUE*|
|Calories from Fat100|
|% DAILY VALUE*|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.