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Today, we’re going to make an easy sheet pan salmon recipe. The ingredients in this recipe (veggies, salmon, honey, seasonings, and bacon) come together to create an easy weeknight meal that is sure to please everyone. This meal takes me back to our Alaska trip, where we dined on fresh-from-the-river salmon…
A couple of years ago (in September) Dustin and I went to Alaska for a fishing trip with his 96 year-old grandfather. We landed in Anchorage and then traveled via prop plane (which if you know about my travel anxiety issues, you know that it took a whole lot of courage to make that trip!) to a tiny fishing camp with no electricity in the Aleutian Islands.
The fishing camp gave a whole new meaning to the phrase “middle of nowhere.” The nearest town was 200 miles away, and the only way to get in and out of the camp was via boat (down a river leading to the Bering Sea) or prop plane. Yes, the same Bering Sea where the Deadliest Catch show is filmed. Keep in mind, Dustin’s 96 year-old grandfather planned this entire trip and joined us! #lifegoals
We spent 7 quiet days at the fishing camp with one goal in mind: to catch salmon. It was honestly the most relaxing 7 days. So relaxing that I completely forgot about being in the middle of nowhere and also the fact that I had to climb back on a prop plane and take another 5 hour plane ride back to Anchorage. Well, there was the close bear encounter with a mama and her two cubs, but other than that the trip was super relaxing.
Anyway, I tell you all of this because for the first time ever, while in Alaska, I experienced fresh salmon. I’m talking about literally catching coho salmon and then cooking that very same salmon over a fire, on the sandy shore, just an hour or two later. Talk about farm to table, or river to table in this case. We were able to bring home 25lbs of salmon, which we slowly rationed out over 2018.
My Favorite Place to Buy Salmon
When we got back from Alaska, I craved the freshness of that Alaskan salmon. Recently, I learned about Sitka Salmon Shares, a fisherman-owned seasonal fishing company out of Sitka, Alaska. I purchased my first seasonal share of fish last year (a box of fish arrives monthly over a 9-month period) and have been dining on salmon, cod, sablefish, and more ever since. I’ve been looking for new ways to cook salmon and recently Chardea introduced me to today’s delicious and easy-to-make sheet pan salmon meal.
(This is the share I get from Sitka (the 4.5-5lb box). Sitka has graciously shared a coupon code that you can use too: Livesimply takes $25 off your share.
Chardea works with me part-time here at Live Simply. She’s a mom, wife, and lover of good food. She works in-office with me twice a week, testing out recipes, helping with photography projects, and now helping with Pinterest (Pinterest is a full time job these days–so much work!). A few months ago, she told me about a sheet pan meal that she makes regularly for her family, particularly when Brussels sprouts and butternut squash are in season. She sent me the recipe on a Friday morning…
And I made this sheet pan salmon meal for dinner that night and my family loved it. The smokiness of the bacon pairs perfectly with the veggies, salmon, and simple honey drizzle.
Before I share the sheet pan salmon recipe, let’s talk about a few notes…
Tips for Making Sheet Pan Salmon
First, if you’re opposed to using bacon in this dish, or you just don’t have any bacon available, you can skip it. If you do this, I would drizzle olive oil over the salmon filets before roasting/baking. Also, realize that you’re missing out on some major flavor by skipping the bacon. Just sayin’.
Remember, bacon is simply a cured meat, which in the past was (and still is) a wonderful way to preserve meat. Opt for a bacon that’s been cured with real ingredients (for example: salt) and from a company you feel confident purchasing from. Also, I think the bacon makes the fish appealing to everyone, even people who don’t particularly love fish. Cheese and bacon have a way of doing that to any food ;). It also helps with adding appeal to Brussels sprouts.
Second, the recipe calls for herbs de provence. This is an herb blend that’s made by combining thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley, oregano, tarragon, marjoram, and lavender flowers. I use Simply Organic or Frontier brand. There are a number of brands that make and sell this blend. This particular spice is delicious on any roasted meat and also a great addition to homemade salad dressing.
Typically we stay away from using speciality products in recipes. While this ingredient qualifies as more of a specialty herb blend, I think it’s a great addition to your spice cabinet because it can be used beyond today’s sheet pan salmon meal. It’s a great capsule pantry spice to have on hand.
Finally, this recipe calls for butternut squash and Brussels sprouts, but it’s easy to change up the veggies based on the season. I think sliced leeks and white potatoes would be lovely, or try all sweet potatoes. Cauliflower florets would also be great. Maybe even try radishes? (Roasted radishes are AMAZING!!) There are quite a few veggies that would work well here (hard veggies). Use the recipe as a guide and change up the veggies when desired based on what’s seasonally available.
Sheet Pan Honey-Salmon with Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash
An easy-to-make sheet pan meal featuring salmon, bacon, and vegetables. See the notes (above) for other veggie options and also a variation without bacon.
- 2.5 lb butternut squash
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts
- 1-2 tsp salt * and extra for sprinkling on the salmon
- 2 tsp herbs de provence **
- 1/2 tsp black pepper and extra for sprinkling on the salmon
- 1-2 TB extra virgin olive oil
- 4 salmon filets totaling 2lbs, all salmon varieties work
- 4-5 slices bacon chopped
- 2-3 TB honey
Cut the Brussels sprouts in half.
Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut the squash into 1-inch cubes.
Place the veggies in a large bowl and sprinkle with all the seasonings: salt, herbs de provence, and pepper. Toss the veggies with the seasonings. Pour the olive oil over the veggies and toss again.
Spread the veggies on a large sheet pan. Roast the veggies for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the sheet pan from the oven and use a spatula or wooden spoon to push the veggies to the perimeter of the pan. Add the salmon filets to the center of the pan. Sprinkle some of the bacon over the salmon filets and sprinkle with salt and pepper (not too much, just a few pinches over each filet). Scatter the remaining pieces of bacon throughout the veggie mixture.
Return the sheet pan to the oven and bake for another 18-20 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through (it will be flaky) and the bacon is slightly crispy. <--The crispiness of your bacon will depend on the thickness of the slices. I find that the thinner Applegate bacon works well.
Remove the sheet pan from the oven and drizzle the honey over the top of the salmon and veggies. Serve warm.
*Bacon can vary in saltiness, so if you know your bacon is on the saltier side, I would decrease the amount of salt used to 1 or 1 1/2 teaspoons. You can always add more salt later. It's always best to add less salt in the beginning and add more if needed.
**This is a "speciality" herb blend that's made by combining thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley, oregano, tarragon, marjoram, and lavender flowers. I use Simply Organic or Frontier brand. There are a number of brands that make and sell this blend. While this ingredient qualifies as more a specialty herb blend, I think it's a great addition to your spice cabinet because it can be used beyond today's recipe. I love adding this herb blend to homemade vinaigrette--try it with a splash of Dijon mustard and honey-- and sprinkled over roasted veggies and meats. If you don't have herbs de provence or can't find it, try using 1 tsp thyme and 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary.