Sheet Pan Salmon

Weekight Dinner: Spicy Salmon and Crispy Garlic Kale

A quick and easy way to make sheet-pan salmon for the family – it comes out delicious every time.

Every weekend I work on the posts and watch cooking shows. A few months ago there was an episode of The Kitchen that focused on easy family friendly dinners that could be made in less than hour. The hosts emphasized that it would take less time and could easily be made on a weeknight. I am always up for that! What also appealed to me were the new ways to cook items I have been making all through the pandemic. Let’s face it we are all a bit tired of cooking…. even Liz and I are feeling the fatigue.

Alex Guarnaschelli is a co-host of the The Kitchen and also has kids, so I trust that her recipe for Sheet Pan Blackened Salmon with Garlicky Kale is well tested. You can find the full recipe and directions on the Food Network website. One of things I love about this sheet-pan salmon with garlicky kale is that both are easy to find at most grocery stores. You can also easily scale the recipe up or down. I made 2 pieces versus the 4 and saved the extra spice mix.

In New Orleans, nearly every restaurant has blackened fish on their menu. It’s classic Louisiana cooking technique. The original technique of blackening comes from a Louisiana icon: Chef Paul Prudhomme where the fish is melted butter rubbed with blackened fish spices and fried on a piping hot pan to make a dark crusty coating. In fact it often smokes up your whole house in the process. This recipe packs flavor without the smoke.

My tips and changes on this recipe:
  • I bought pre portioned, center-cut fillets of salmon from Whole Foods, but you can certainly make a full fillet of Salmon (it may be more economical)
  • I followed the recipe exactly the first time and made 4 portions. The second time I made 2 and saved the extra spice mix, which you can sprinkle on other fish or shrimp another night.
  • Do not skimp on the spice mix. It makes the dish but if you want to have it less spicy simply make the full amount and sprinkle less on the fish.
  • Definitely use her technique “sifting” the spices over the fish, it makes a very even layer.
  • Use Lacinato or Tuscan kale it cooks more evenly than the curly kind. I also prefer the flavor.
  • I added extra garlic to the kale.

Looking for more salmon recipes? Now that it’s grilling season again, you can try my cedar plank salmon.