Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Salmon and Asparagus is a light, delicious, and easy dish bursting with lemon and garlic flavor!
If you're looking for a delicious, easy, and incredibly flavorful meal your family won't complain about, this simple, delicious dinner is for you.
We're cooking a light, delicious salmon and fresh, flavorful asparagus on one baking sheet - reducing cleanup time, so you can get straight to dinner and out of the kitchen away from chores.
This dinner is simple, easy, and delicious - it works in a keto or low carb diet, and doesn't use any complicated or fussy ingredients.
This meal is so simple, there is no excuse NOT to make it.
We hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
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How To Tell When Baked Salmon Is Done
As it cooks in the oven, salmon will change from translucent (dark red, sometimes almost purple, or a bit grey-silver depending on the variety of salmon) to a bright pinkish white and turn opaque.
After about 6-8 minutes of baking in the oven, check your salmon for doneness by taking a sharp knife to peek into the thickest part - if it is still deep red and raw looking, keep cooking until the middle is only just red.
If the salmon meat is beginning to flake, but still has a little translucency in the middle of the deepest part of the filet, your salmon is done. It shouldn't look very red and raw though, and it should be hot to the touch, not cold.
Once you cook salmon more and more, you'll know how done it is by the look of the salmon, and won't need to check the middle.
What Temperature To Cook Salmon To
As salmon is frequently used in sushi and cooked similarly to a steak (some love rare, some love well done), the temperature you cook salmon to is a bit of a personal choice.
Some people will prefer a more-rare salmon - but as I live in a very landlocked Northern Colorado and often rely on seafood flown in or fresh-frozen, I prefer to cook my salmon to be fully cooked in the middle.
If I was closer to off-the-boat-fresh fish, I would cook to more medium rare.
The easiest way to tell if salmon is overdone? Simply look for spotted white globs all over the salmon - that is the albumin, or fat, from the fish which has released.
This will cause your fish's lovely texture to seize up a bit - and dry the meat out since the fat has cooked out.
While it might sound ideal to cook the fat out of a fish, remember that the omega 3 fatty acids found in high concentration in salmon are extremely healthy, and contribute to salmon's great texture and flavor.
The easiest way to avoid overcooking salmon is to watch for when your salmon turns pinkish-white - but remove before the white dots begin to appear.
What Types of Salmon Are There
Salmon can be tricky for home cooks just starting to get used to the fatty fish, because it can vary wildly in color, thickness, and appearance.
There are also considerable differences in wild vs farmed, coho vs sockeye salmon - making it even more confusing!
The handy guide below will help you pick a type of salmon that will fit your budget and flavor preferences:
- Opens the Alaskan fishing season
- Shortest season of all wild-caught salmon, making demand high
- Largest at 11-18 pounds
- Most Omega 3 fatty acids
- Buttery flavor and texture
- More abundant
- More available in grocery stores across the United States
- Deep bright red orange color
- High fat and omega 3 content
- Smaller, less colorful salmon
- Later salmon season than King and Sockeye salmon
- Milder flavor
- Less oily
- Can vary wildly in quality and flavor
- Often used for canned salmon
- Most widely available
- Small - only 2-3 pounds
- Lighter color
- Less fat
- Often smoked or canned
Which Salmon To Use For This Recipe
While any type of salmon would work for this recipe, I reccomend Sockeye salmon or Coho salmon filets - sockeye and coho have a good flavor, and are a little less expensive than a Chinook salmon.
Since this salmon does use a sauce with a strong flavor, you can get away with a less expensive filet - sockeye or coho salmon will be fabulous.
If choosing a coho salmon filet, you might want to reduce cook-time slightly as they tend to be smaller and thinner filets that cook a bit faster than Chinook or Sockeye salmon filets.
Watch to see how your salmon cooks, and pull from the oven when it turns opaque and pinkish-white, rather than going off a cook time.
Other Easy Salmon Recipes You'll Love
If you love easy, simple salmon recipes, please check out some of our favorites below:
What to Serve With Salmon and Asparagus
We love serving this dinner with soft butter dinner rolls, whole roasted onions, cauliflower rice, air fried broccoli, garlic roasted potatoes, and no knead bread - but have tons of delicious, easy, and family pleasing side dishes.
Of course if you're looking for a heartier dinner option to add to round out a meal, try some of our favorite main dishes like our knockout pork tenderloin, air fryer chicken drumsticks, thai chili scallops, baked lemon garlic chicken breasts, or even a juicy prime rib!
This dinner is one of our favorite easy meals in part because the side dish cooks right along side our main - but if you're looking to feed a hungry family, we're rounding out some of our other favorite easy side dishes to serve with salmon and asparagus below:
Salmon is done cooking at 125-130 degrees, when the meat has become lighter pink and opaque and is no longer translucent.
Salmon and asparagus can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Salmon and Asparagus
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Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Salmon and Asparagus is a light, delicious, and easy dish bursting with flavor! Healthy and great for a family.
- 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed off
- Salmon filet, ½ lb - 1 lb
- 1 large lemon, sliced into rounds or wedges
- 2 tbsp garlic paste or fresh minced garlic
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp celtic sea salt
- 2 tbsp fresh cracked pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add salmon and asparagus to sheetpan, spreading out so nothing is too crowded.
- In a small bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, and garlic and mix well.
- Drizzle oil, lemon juice, and garlic mixture over salmon and asparagus.
- Layer lemon on top.
- Season well with salt and pepper.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, until salmon is opaque and asparagus is soft.
- Serve immediately, either on its own, or alongside roasted potatoes, rice, or a nice salad.
Amount Per Serving Calories 383Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 22gCholesterol 71mgSodium 1493mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 2gSugar 1gProtein 26g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.
Sweet C's Favorites
If you love this easy recipe, be sure to find more of our favorites - like our famous garlic pork tenderloin!