Tender baby broccoli with a little crunchy char: check check.
Baked salmon, simply salted, peppered, brushed with olive oil, and baked to flaky perfection: absolutely.
And enter -> the herby, creamy, lemony lemon sauce. Yes, yes, and y-e-s. Everything else is delicious, but if we’re being honest, it really just serves in the supporting role for this sauce.
This lemon sauce is a showstopper. It’s creamy and rich and light all at the same time. It starts with shallots and gets infused with a few sprigs of fresh thyme and finished with a little sizzle of lemon juice, and it feels like there should be more to explain but really, that is the beauty of it. It’s simple and it’s got really beautiful, gentle, universally delicious flavor and just MWAH.
Anyone Can (and Should) Make This
Bjork, God bless him, doesn’t cook at all, like, ever. He has made dinner maybe twice in ten years. He does so many things for our family; cooking is just not one of them. But as of this last month, that same Bjork has now been making this baked salmon for dinner. THIS IS MAJOR HEADLINE NEWS.
Bjork’s dinner night = we get flaky, buttery baked salmon, roasted broccoli, crispy potatoes, and that amazing lemon sauce.
And me = happy, happy, happy.
If you can just block out the bibs and highchairs, pauses to cut broccoli, incessant toddler questions, occasional baby giggles, and multiple trips back to the fridge for just one more thing, it *almost* feels like a fancy restaurant. Add a glass of wine and put us out on the deck, and I’m 95% sure I’m dining at a neighborhood bistro. More crispy potatoes! Another piece of salmon. Pass the lemon sauce, please.
How To Make The Best Baked Salmon
If Bjork can make this, so can you! Here’s how easy this is.
First: bake your potatoes, broccoli, and salmon on a sheet pan. (They each have separate cooking times so we’ll just add them at various intervals. NBD. And for what it’s worth, I love baking salmon because I find it cooks more evenly and more predictably than on the stovetop where I’m always left wondering if it’s over or underdone.)
Secondly, and ideally while things are roasting since you’ll have a little time on your hands, get out a pan and make a quick but (have I mentioned) AMAZING lemon sauce.
The herbs, the shallots, the creaminess with the zip of lemon. UGH I could cry. Try not to eat spoonfuls of it while waiting for your salmon. Or just give in. It’s so good.
Finally: pile your roasted goodness onto a plate or shallow bowl and liberally cover with sauce. Notice I did not say drizzle. I said cover. Words matter.
The lemon sauce is intended for the salmon, mostly, but let me tell you: potatoes and broccoli straight up dunked in leftover sauce is next-level.
This is me raising my glass to you as we eat salmon smothered in lemon sauce with bites of crispy potato and broccoli in our home kitchens / pretend fancy restaurants together. It’s just such a treat and I hope you love it. Enjoy!
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Baked Salmon with Amazing Lemon Sauce: FAQs
I’m new to making salmon. Do I eat the skin?
Salmon skin is technically edible, but I personally don’t eat it. I like to just slide the skins off the filets before plating it, since they come off very easily after baking.
How do I prevent sad, dry salmon?
Overcooking your salmon will cause it to dry out! And, sad news: it doesn’t taste good. You can use a meat thermometer if you want to get very precise with your temperature – but I usually don’t use one and I just go off of how it looks and feels. I’ll often flake apart one piece to see how it looks before deciding if it’s done or if it needs another minute or two in the oven, even though it messes up the presentation slightly. I find that regardless of size of filets or oven variations, somewhere between 10-15 minutes is usually the right amount of time for the doneness that I like.
I have some extra sauce. Can I save it as leftovers?
The sauce might thicken and/or separate as you let it rest, so I think it is best served fresh; however, it is still delicious the next day if you just reheat and whisk it back together, maybe adding a little water as needed. Works great on leftover potatoes with an egg for breakfast!
Delicious baked salmon with crispy potatoes, broccoli, and the most amazing life-changing lemon sauce smothered on top of it all. This is restaurant bistro-style eating!
For the Sheet Pan:
1lb. small gold potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
olive oil + garlic powder, salt, and pepper
2–3cups of broccoli florets(I’m using baby broccoli in the photos)
1–2 lbs. salmon(cut into 2-4 filets)
Lemon Herb Sauce:
6–8 tablespoons butter
1–2 cloves garlic, minced
2–3 sprigs of fresh thyme
juice of 1lemon
chopped fresh parsley or basil
salt and pepper to taste
Roast the Potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Add the potatoes to the pan and toss with a little bit of olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes until lightly browned and delicious.
Make the Life-Changingly Delicious Sauce: While the potatoes are roasting, make your sauce. Melt the butter over medium low heat (I usually start with 6 tablespoons and add the last two if needed once the sauce is cooked). Add the garlic, shallot, and thyme sprigs; sauté for 3-5 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add broth and cream; bring to a low simmer. Let the sauce hang out over low heat until it starts to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the thyme sprigs. Whisk in the lemon juice, stir in the herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Give it a taste. Yes, you’re in heaven now.
Bake the Salmon and Broccoli: Add the broccoli and the salmon to the potato pan (keeping the potatoes on there). Toss or brush with a little more oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the salmon is fully cooked – I like it to be *just* past the point of translucent where it flakes apart very easily but isn’t dried out.
You’re Done: Serve salmon, potatoes, and broccoli with big spoonfuls of sauce, more herbs, and more lemon wedges. This is living. ♡