This easy, sheet pan baked salmon dinner is packed with flavor and couldn’t be easier. Packed with healthy, omega-3 fats from the wild salmon, as well as garlic, fresh herbs, butternut squash and kale, makes a healthy and quick dinner or lunch. Grain and gluten free.
Two of the top recommendations I make to most of my Holistic Nutrition Coaching clients are to eat at least 50% plant foods and to eat wild caught fish and seafood at least twice each week.
This easy baked salmon one dish is the perfect way to do that, and it’s easy to boot!
Why Is Salmon Good For Us?
- Wild salmon is rich in anti inflammatory omega-3 fats – I prefer sockeye salmon which has a deeper red color, but this wild Alaskan salmon was the only variety available and did the job just fine (didn’t hurt that it was on sale either!)
- Has muscle building protein
- Has a good dose of vitamin B12, important for energy metabolism and neurological function
- Is a great source of selenium, which is important for thyroid health and decreasing harmful effects of mercury
- Contains phosphorus, which is important for bone health and tissue repair
The Veggies In This Dish Are Just As Good For You Too…
- The butternut squash is an excellent source of beta-carotene and prebiotic fiber for gut health.
- Kale and other cruciferous vegetables are great for fighting cancer and are helpful for hormone balance. Kale is also a good source of vitamin.
- Plus, this dish is allergy friendly – grain free, gluten free, nut free, soy free, and easily adaptable for dairy free.
How To Make Easy Baked Salmon With Roasted Butternut Squash And Kale
I love that some of the kale turns a little crispy and it adds so much flavor and just a little crunch! The roasted vegetables with fresh rosemary and sage are wonderful and satisfying enough to be a meal all by themselves, but the flaky baked salmon adds a hearty finish is both lovely and delicious!
Easy Prep + Easy Cleanup = Happy Mom
Cooking healthy meals from scratch has a reputation for being labor intensive and cumbersome to clean up, but that isn’t always the case.
Here are my tips for making this simple one-dish a cinch to make and clean:
• Buy pre-cubed squash (I got mine from Trader Joe’s but I’ve also seen it at Costco)
• Buy pre-cut kale (again, TJs, but also at other local grocers)
• Have the workers behind the fish counter cut your salmon into 3 oz portions (this saves you time cutting them, and will speed up the cooking too!)
• Line your roasting pan with foil (I prefer a double layer). When dinner’s over, simply discard the foil and return the pan to the cabinet.
Add to that list the fact that I served this dinner on paper plates with plastic utensils, and this was truly one of the easiest meals I’ve cleaned up after in a while!
Cutting down on the dish washing gives me a little extra time with my family….and for occasionally whipping up a quick batch of homemade hot chocolate after dinner! No one complains, I assure you! 😉
- 4 Tbsp pastured ghee divided (can substitute pastured lard for dairy free)
- 3 Cloves fresh garlic pressed
- 2 tsp chopped sage
- 2 Tbsp chopped rosemary divided
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 pounds butternut squash cubes I used a little less due to the size of my roasting pan
- 5 oz chopped kale about 3 large handfuls
- 1 pound wild Alaskan salmon cut into 3 oz portions
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a roasting pan with foil.
- Melt 3 Tbsp of the ghee in a glass bowl in the microwave. Stir in the garlic, sage, 1 Tbsp of the rosemary, and the salt and pepper.
- Use clean hands to toss the melted ghee mixture with the butternut squash cubes on the foil lined roaster. Spread the cubes evenly to create a single layer in the pan. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Remove from oven and turn the heat down to 375 degrees.
- Gently toss the chopped kale with the roasted squash in the pan using a spatula. Spread the squash-kale mixture evenly across the pan, then lay the salmon pieces over the top (skin side down).
- Melt the remaining 1 Tbsp ghee and use a pastry brush to brush over the surface of the salmon pieces. Sprinkle the fish with additional sea salt and black pepper, then with the remaining 1 Tbsp chopped rosemary.
- Place in 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until salmon is flaky and opaque in the center.
Some of the kale pieces will have a slight crisp around the edges when the dish is cooked (similar to kale chips). We love the texture contrast of the lightly crisped kale to the soft squash but, if you want your kale to soften, just add an extra tsp or two of melted ghee when you toss the kale and squash together.