Sheet Pan Asian Salmon
Life is stressful – dinner shouldn’t be. Prep this gluten free sheet pan Asian salmon in the morning and bake when you get home. One pan and 12 minutes is all you need for a healthy dinner.
Okay, guys. Let’s talk about quick, easy dinners. Because no matter how much we (I) love desserts and baking, we all eat dinner a lot more than we eat dessert, right? Right.
The dinnertime struggle is real. I don’t know about you, but we have a serious time crunch around dinner. I usually get home from work or the gym around 7, and my toddler goes to bed at 9. (He does wonderfully on a late to bed/late to wake schedule and I seriously do not know how we would get by if he went to bed early like most toddlers!)
So that leaves me with 2 hours to cook, eat, play, pick up his toys, and go through the bedtime routine. I used to come home and cook every night, meaning that we’d eat around 8 and bedtime constantly kept getting pushed back a little later and later. How is a busy working mom supposed to get dinner on the table and still finish before bedtime?
For a long time, the answer was slow cooker dinners. Now, Instant Pot is all the rage. These are both great, great tools – but they also have limitations. Most slow cooker recipes don’t work well if you’re out of the house for 10 straight hours. Things dry out and get mushy if they’re left for that long, or you use a timer and food sits at room temperature for longer than technically safe.
The Instant Pot is a great way to cut down on cooking time, but all those “cook a chicken in 10 minutes!” recipes fail to mention that you also have to wait for the pressure cooker to achieve pressure, so 10 minutes still may be more like 30. Plus, the best IP recipes build on the ability to sauté food beforehand, which builds great flavor, but also adds to cooking time.
So now, I’m going to share my favorite weeknight dinner time saver: the sheet pan dinner. There are hundreds of recipes for sheet pan dinners out there (and even a whole cookbook!) but many of them require multiple cooking steps. Add the potatoes to the pan. 20 minutes later, add the meat. 10 minutes after that, add the vegetables. Or you have to prep a sauce or a side while the sheet pan roasts.
Here’s what I’ve been working on: a series of make-ahead sheet pan dinners. Prep everything in the morning before you leave for work. Cover the sheet pan with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. When you get home, take it out of the fridge while the oven reheats, pop it in the oven, and walk away. That’s it.
This works amazingly for our family, because my husband gets home from work before I do. When I’m getting ready to head home, I text him and he preheats the oven. The sheet pan is in the oven when I walk in the front door, leaving me with enough time to take off my bag, hang up my coat, and maybe read a quick book with our toddler. Then we eat – and we’re done with dinner with plenty of time to play or take a long bath.
There are a million things to stress over when you’re a parent – dinner shouldn’t be one of them.
(And don’t think this is just for parents! This would have been great for me when I was a grad student, not getting home from the lab until after 9pm every day. Since there’s no real “cooking” involved – just mixing a few ingredients and then putting a pan in the oven, it’s also perfect for people who don’t like to cook. I’ve been talking these sheet pan dinners up to my “I can’t cook anything” coworkers as the perfect non-cooking home cooked dinner!)
This sheet pan Asian salmon is my latest obsession. It’s healthy, low carb, and extremely filling. Can you chop some vegetables? Can you whisk? Congratulations – you can make sheet pan Asian salmon! It literally only involves chopping some vegetables, tossing them with a little oil, whisking together a sauce, and spreading everything on a pan. That’s it.
If, like me, you constantly forget to thaw things ahead of time – no worries! You can prep this with still-frozen salmon and leave it to thaw in your refrigerator all day. ?
The sauce comes together in 5 minutes. It’s a little sweet, a little spicy (hello, beloved sriracha!) and super flavorful. And we’re using it on both the salmon and the veggies, so you only have to make one sauce. It’s so easy, even my toddler can make it. Check out those whisking skills! ↓↓↓
Other reasons why I love this sheet pan Asian salmon: it cooks really fast – 12 to 15 minutes fast, to be precise. Everything cooks in the same amount of time.
Because the vegetables are piled on top of each other, they steam a little – meaning there’s no over-roasted blackened bits. But since the cooking time is so short, they don’t steam to the point of sogginess, either. Perfectly cooked – not too soft, not too crunchy.
I make mine with a whole lot of vegetables, so this is completely filling. We eat it as is – just the salmon and vegetables, and I don’t walk away hungry. You can absolutely serve it with rice as a side, but if you’re cutting out excess carbs, you won’t miss it. It reheats well the next day for lunch.
And most importantly for parents, this sheet pan Asian salmon is 100% toddler approved. (“More salmon, Mommy! More bok choy! More ‘shrooms, please!”)
Sheet Pan Asian Salmon
Prep this sheet pan Asian salmon in the morning and bake when you get home. One pan and 12 minutes is all you need for a healthy dinner.
- 1/4 cup honey
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 2-inch piece of ginger, minced
- 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 16 ounces (1 large) bok choy, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 ounces snap peas
- 7 ounces shiitake mushrooms, quartered
- 3 ounces oyster mushrooms, quartered
- 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 salmon filets, fresh or frozen
- Preheat oven to 450 °F.
- Whisk together the honey, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, Sriracha, and sesame seeds in a small bowl.
- Place the cut vegetables on a sheet pan. Drizzle the vegetable oil over the vegetables and toss to combine. Push the vegetables to the outside edges of the sheet pan.
- Season the salmon filets with salt and pepper. Place in the center of the sheet pan. Using a basting brush, brush the sauce over the salmon.
- Pour the remaining sauce over the vegetables.
- Bake until salmon is baked through and flakes easily with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes.
To prepare ahead of time: Complete up to step 5, then cover sheet pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate sheet pan for up to 14 hours before baking. Frozen salmon may be used – brush with marinade and let salmon thaw in the refrigerator until cooking.
Recipe idea inspired by Tasting Table