This easy Baked Salmon recipe is a simple sheet pan dinner to add a favorite vegetable, like asparagus, right alongside in the oven. Coated in a buttery lemon garlic sauce, this healthy and delicious recipe is the epitome of a no-fuss dinner!
Salmon is a healthy protein that provides us with beneficial Omega 3s, Vitamin B, and potassium, and lucky for us it’s a deliciously flavorful fish. It holds up to all kinds of different seasonings which is why easy salmon recipes like Maple Soy Salmon and Pan Seared Salmon are also crowd-pleasers around here. Even the kids love them!
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The Best Healthy Oven Baked Salmon Recipe
Sheet pan salmon is one of my favorite ways to prepare this tasty fish for so many reasons! During the week it’s easy and convenient because I can bake everything at once and on the weekends it can easily be turned into an elegant and impressive dinner for company.
The salmon filets are flaky and the asparagus is tender and juicy with just the right amount of bite. Both are glazed with a delicious lemon garlic butter sauce and finished off under the broiler to get a beautiful crispy char. Salmon is a favorite fish that doesn’t need much to enhance it so I like to use fresh simple ingredients. Serve with white, brown, or coconut rice and you’ve got a healthy and delicious dinner idea in minutes.
- Salmon Fillets – I used 2 8 oz pieces of atlantic salmon with the skin on. Use any type of salmon you’d like, wild salmon, king salmon or sockeye salmon as well.
- Asparagus – A bunch of asparagus stalks usually come wrapped in a plastic band. I say ¾ of a pound, but however many are in that little bundle is about right. Trim the ends!
- Lemon garlic sauce – Butter (melted), olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, and fresh thyme.
How to Bake Salmon
This easy recipe is so versatile. As you can imagine you can swap the salmon for any other protein and maybe add a few extra minutes in the oven!
Step 1: Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and place salmon pieces (skin side down) on one end and the asparagus lined up on the other end. Be sure to leave room in between each fish fillet.
Step 2: In a small bowl mix together the melted butter, oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, and thyme. Brush the mixture overtop the salmon and asparagus.
Step 3: Bake for 15 minutes making sure to flip the asparagus after 10 minutes. Then, broil for 2-3 minutes until the top of the salmon is crispy and golden brown.
Serve over white or brown rice, mashed potatoes, or along with a side of pasta. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and garnish it with fresh parsley. Enjoy!
How to Tell if Salmon is Done
The most common way of testing is by taking a fork and gently pulling away at the thickest part of the salmon flesh. If it flakes easily and isn’t too dark in color it’s ready! On the other hand, if it’s quite light and slightly dry, it’s probably overcooked. So, don’t walk too far away while it’s in the oven!
- Substitute other veggies like broccoli, green beans, Brussel sprouts, or zucchini wedges.
- You can use heartier vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, and butternut squash in addition to the asparagus. These all need a bit longer to cook, so bake them first and then add the salmon and asparagus to the tray afterward.
- Substitute 1 teaspoon of garlic powder in place of fresh minced garlic.
- Use other seasonings like lemon pepper or Italian seasoning, honey garlic, lime, ginger, honey mustard, sweet chili sauce, maple syrup, pesto, rosemary, or other fresh herbs, you name it!
- If serving a crowd and you need to make more, use one baking sheet for salmon and a whole other sheet for the other for the veggies.
- Keep the skin on the salmon. This isn’t a recipe that’s going to get you a nice crispy skin, but it will still help to keep the salmon intact and will be easier to handle. Plus, removing the skin is easier once it’s been cooked.
- Leave enough space in between everything in the baking dish so that the heat circulates evenly and to avoid soggy veggies or unevenly cooked salmon.
Keep leftover salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
For a quick reheat of a single serving, the microwave will do the trick. If you’re reheating a few pieces, pop them back in the oven at 300 degrees F until heated through.
There are a couple of ways. If you’re not interested in keeping all of your stalks even in length, you can grab a few at a time and bend them until they naturally snap. They will break where the woody ends meet the tender stalk.
The other way is to lay them across a cutting board in a row and use a sharp kitchen knife to cut about 1.5-2″ off of the end. For presentation when serving a crowd, many people opt for this way just to ensure even looking asparagus.
You can technically, but when it’s not salty, crispy, and delicious, it’s not the most pleasing bite. When it’s done its job of making sure the salmon fillet doesn’t fall apart, most people discard it.
Sheet Pan Salmon
- 2 salmon filets 8 ounces each
- ¾ pound asparagus ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Place the salmon and asparagus on the baking sheet in separate sections .
- In a small bowl, add the melted butter, olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, and thyme and mix together well.
- Brush the butter mixture onto the salmon and asparagus and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 10 minutes
- Turn the asparagus over and bake for an another 5 minutes.
- Turn to oven to high broil and broil for 2-3 minutes until the top of the salmon is crispy and golden brown.
- Serve over white or brown rice.
- Top with additional lemon juice and garnish with fresh parsley if desired.