This baked salmon and asparagus recipe is the definition of easy dinner! Throw it all on a sheet pan with lemon, and the flavor is unreal.

Salmon and asparagus

We’ve got a new solution to an easy dinner that pleases everyone: this baked salmon and asparagus recipe! It’s simple, it’s elegant, but it tastes like something you’d order at a restaurant. Roasting it up on a sheet pan with lemon slices and fresh herbs adds effortless flavor that feels fresh yet refined. Somehow in all our years of home cooking we’d never made a sheet pan meal exactly like this…and now it’s solidly in our repertoire! Alex and I made it for a healthy weeknight dinner on the patio with a wedge salad and it was perfection.

Important: thin asparagus is key!

Here’s a tip for working with asparagus: buy thin asparagus if you can find it! Thin, young asparagus spears are much more tender and tastier than large stalks, which can be very tough. When you roast thin asparagus, it comes out sweet and beautifully cooked! We were able to find some very thin bunches at our local grocery store, and after this recipe we decided to always look for thin asparagus. It tastes so much better!

Another tip for working with asparagus: always trim off the tough, woody bottoms of the stalks. Here’s how to trim asparagus…fast!

Salmon and asparagus recipe

What to look for when buying salmon

The other important part of this salmon and asparagus recipe is the quality of the salmon! There’s a wide variety of salmon quality at the store (vs shrimp, which has less variation). Here’s what to look for when shopping for this sheet pan meal:

  • Fresh salmon is best. You can find decent frozen salmon. But for the very best salmon, buy it fresh from your local seafood counter.
  • Buy wild caught salmon. Fish that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.
  • Coho is a good choice. We tend to like Coho salmon for its mild flavor: it’s a good middle of the road option in terms of price. Of course, King salmon is incredible but more of a splurge. Atlantic salmon is typically farmed salmon, so it’s a less desirable choice.

How to tell when salmon is done

The only difficult part about cooking salmon? How to tell when it’s done! For this salmon and asparagus recipe you’ll be cooking both at the same time. The asparagus should cook in about the same time as the salmon here, but you should base the timing on the salmon itself. Here’s what to know about how tell to know when salmon is done:

  • Use a food thermometer to measure 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, making sure to measure at the thickest part of the fish. This is the most accurate way to assess doneness and results in medium salmon.
  • Or, cook until the salmon just starts to flake when pricked with a fork.
  • Be careful not to overcook. We prefer our salmon cooked to medium: to us, there’s nothing worse than a dry piece of fish. Keep an eye on it and don’t overdo it!
Baked salmon and asparagus

Top with lemon and herbs

The fun part about this salmon and asparagus is the seasoning! Fresh lemon and fresh herbs is simple, but classic. Here’s what to know about adding these seasonings to your sheet pan meal:

  • Place lemon slices on the asparagus, not the salmon! Don’t place the lemon on top of the salmon because it makes the top gooey, not crispy! But it’s perfect right on the asparagus: it infuses the perfect lemon flavor.
  • Use fresh herbs like chives, thyme, mint, basil, or whatever you have on hand! It’s just for a garnish, so you don’t have to measure. But it adds great flavor! We used chives and thyme from our garden.

Sides to serve with salmon and asparagus

How to make this tasty baked salmon and asparagus recipe into a healthy meal? Add a salad and you’re golden! Or add a whole grain to make it filling and satisfying. Here are some easy sides we’d pair with it:

Salmon and asparagus

More sheet pan meals

Everyone loves meals on a sheet pan! Here are a few more we love to make on regular rotation:

This salmon and asparagus recipe is…

Gluten-free, dairy-free, and pescatarian.

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Salmon and asparagus

Salmon and Asparagus (Sheet Pan Meal!)


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This baked salmon and asparagus recipe is the definition of easy dinner! Throw it all on a sheet pan with lemon, and the flavor is unreal.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound thin asparagus*
  • 1 pound salmon, wild caught if possible
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Lemon
  • Minced fresh herbs (like chives, mint or thyme), for garnish

Instructions

  1. Allow salmon to come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  3. Trim the asparagus. Place it on the baking sheet and toss it with 2 tablespoon olive oil (this also oils the foil). Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  4. Pat the salmon dry and place it on the foil. Drizzle it with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sprinkle the salmon with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Place asparagus around the salmon. Slice the lemon into wheels and place them on top of the asparagus (but not the salmon). Squeeze juice from the two ends of the lemon onto the tray. Then add the chopped fresh herbs on top of everything. 
  5. Bake 9 to 12 minutes until the asparagus is tender at the thickest part, and the salmon is just tender and pink at the center (the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130F in the center for done, or 10 degrees less if you’re broiling). If the salmon is done before the asparagus (the asparagus is thick), remove it from the tray and continue cooking just the asparagus until tender.

Notes

*Thin asparagus is best, so try to find the thinnest you can when shopping. If all you can find is thicker asparagus, you may need a little longer to roast (up to 15 minutes). Just remove the salmon from the tray if it’s already done and finish the asparagus by itself. 

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Salmon and asparagus

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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