This brown sugar baked salmon with veggies is a one-pan meal, perfect for busy nights. Rub our brown sugar spice blend over salmon fillets, bake until tender, and enjoy the caramelized brown sugar glaze. Add green beans or your favorite vegetables for a complete meal.
⭐️ Try this maple soy glazed salmon. It’s delicious!
Why we love this easy baked salmon recipe
When I’m short on time, I need recipes that are quick to prepare and taste amazing. This brown sugar baked salmon fits the bill! It takes minutes to prepare and rub our brown sugar spice blend over salmon and only 15 to 20 minutes to bake. If you’ve got some veggies in the fridge, scatter them around your salmon and watch as they roast to perfection, making this a delicious one-pan meal!
The star of this easy salmon recipe is our easy brown sugar spice rub. You only need four ingredients to make it.
- Brown sugar adds sweetness, and it lightly caramelizes in the oven. You don’t need a lot — one tablespoon for four large fillets is plenty.
- Salt seasons the salmon and makes it taste amazing.
- Lemon zest adds a pop of flavor. We use our microplane to zest the lemon. Then, we use the zested lemon for serving. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice just before serving is a must.
- Smoked paprika adds a smoky-sweet flavor to the salmon spice rub. It also adds color. For a spicier rub, try a little chipotle powder or cayenne (1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon should do it).
What’s the best type of salmon to use?
Any salmon fillet will work for this salmon recipe. I especially love salmon with higher fat content, like sockeye, king, and coho. Salmon with higher fat content stays soft and moist after baking them.
What veggies are best with this baked salmon?
Since we bake our salmon fillets on a large baking sheet, we have some space left for veggies. Salmon cooks in 15 to 20 minutes, so when choosing the vegetables for this recipe, look for varieties that tend to cook quickly. Here are some of our favorites:
- Green beans
- Zucchini or yellow summer squash
- Snap peas
- Bell peppers and onions
- Cherry tomatoes
If you want to add heartier veggies, you can, but partially bake them in the oven before adding your salmon to the baking sheet. You would add the salmon 15 to 20 minutes before your veggies are finished baking. Here are some suggestions, with baking times to help you out:
- Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts take 20 to 25 minutes.
- Root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and beets take 30 to 45 minutes.
- Winter squash (like butternut or acorn) cut into cubes takes 40 to 45 minutes.
Recipe overview. Delicious baked salmon in 3 easy steps!
Oven-baked salmon is tender, moist, and soft in the middle. Add our brown sugar spice rub, and the outside becomes lightly caramelized and ultra-flavorful. We love it!
- Rub salmon with our simple brown sugar spice blend.
- Add the salmon and veggies tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper onto a sheet pan.
- Bake until the salmon is cooked through. Serve!
When is salmon done?
For this recipe, we bake our salmon in a 400° F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The baking time depends on the thickness of your salmon fillets.
To tell the salmon is done, use an internal thermometer or visual cues. We cook salmon to 125° F, which means it will be soft, tender, and slightly pink in the center. For a visual cue, look for the flesh to be somewhat opaque. Also, when inserting a fork into the salmon, it should flake easily.
Brown Sugar Baked Salmon
This brown sugar baked salmon with veggies is a one-pan meal, perfect for busy nights. Rub our brown sugar spice blend over salmon fillets, bake until tender, and enjoy the caramelized brown sugar glaze. Add green beans or your favorite vegetables for a complete meal. See the article for more vegetable suggestions.
You Will NeedFor the Salmon
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, preferably wild-caught
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or substitute chipotle powder for a spicier version
Half of a lemon, quarteredFor the Beans
3/4 pound green beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the smoked paprika. Pat the salmon dry and rub with the olive oil.
3Scatter spice rub over the salmon and gently massage into the fish. Swipe the skin-side of the salmon through any spice rub that’s fallen onto the cutting board. (If you have the time, you can set the salmon aside for 10 to 15 minutes to marinate.)
4Add the green beans to a large, rimmed sheet pan (or baking sheet). Drizzle the olive oil over the beans and season with about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a generous amount of fresh ground black pepper. Toss the green beans around the pan. Push them to the outer edges of the pan, leaving space in the middle for the salmon fillets.
5Add the spice rubbed salmon fillets, skin-side down, to the sheet pan. Bake the salmon until it is cooked through and green beans are crisp-tender, 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. We cook salmon until an instant-read thermometer reads 125 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted into the thickest part. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the salmon.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- How to tell when salmon is cooked: Cook salmon to 125° F (51° C), which means it will be soft, tender, and slightly pink in the center. For a visual cue, look for the flesh to be somewhat opaque. Also, when inserting a fork into the salmon, it should flake easily.
- Baking time: Depending on the type and thickness of the salmon you are baking, cook time will vary. The cook times suggested above are for middle cut fillets, about 1-inch thick. For thinner fillets or end pieces, check the salmon a bit earlier. For thicker fillets, you may need an additional 5 to 10 minutes of bake time.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.