The Secret to an Epic Sheet Pan Salmon Dinner? Your Broiler!
The broiler is one of my favorite weeknight cooking secret weapons. It gives everything from carnitas to chicken cacciatore irresistible char & flavor with very little fuss. I especially love using the broiler in the summer when I don’t feel like lighting the grill; it creates similar results with even less effort. You know I’m obsessed with that!
The secret to a perfect sheet pan salmon dinner is baking then broiling it. This method seriously cooks the salmon perfectly – the broiled salmon fillet ends up being tender & flaky with a beautifully golden crust. For an easy, built-in side dish, pop some veggies right on the salmon sheet pan to cook alongside the fish. I like to use end-of-summer veggies like zucchini, onions, gives cherry tomatoes, which char & burst under the broiler. SO good!
Serve the sheet pan salmon and veggies alongside rice or a fresh green salad with a generous drizzle of a creamy & bright capered lemon dill sauce to take the whole meal to another level. A fun, feel-good, & seriously low-effort dinner – exactly what we need on busy summer nights, right?
Salmon Sheet Pan Recipe Highlights
You’ll love this simple recipe for sheet pan salmon and veggies because it is…
- FEEL-GOOD FOOD. A sheet pan dinner loaded with seasonal veggies & flaky salmon, creating a well-balanced meal. Every bite is super satisfying & seriously feel-good.
- EASY END OF SUMMER COOKING. Late summer veggies like zucchini, cherry tomatoes, & onions are perfect for simple weeknight cooking. Pick from your garden or CSA basket, & on the sheet pan they go!
- TOTALLY HANDS-OFF. This sheet pan salmon is a fantastic no-fuss weeknight recipe. Sit back & relax while the oven does all the work!
Summertime’s one-pan wonder. ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make this Broiled Sheet Pan Salmon and Veggies, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!
Key Components for a Summery Sheet Pan Salmon and Veggies Dinner
There are a couple of key components at play in this recipe, but don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients! Everything is super simple to prep & it all comes together to create a great balance of flavors & textures – super important, especially for one-pan cooking!
To build a perfect salmon sheet pan dinner, you need…
- Salmon fillet – A whole fillet of fresh, skin-on salmon is the centerpiece of this salmon sheet pan dinner. As is the case with any seafood recipe, use the best quality fish you can find. I suggest looking for wild-caught salmon with firm, pink flesh & nice marbling throughout.
- Summer veggies – I suggest zucchini, cherry tomatoes, & red onion, which all cook really nicely alongside the fish.
- Lemon honey butter – A simple mixture of lemon, honey, & butter creates the perfect glaze for the sheet pan salmon as it broils.
- Capered lemon dill sauce – A kinda non-negotiable bonus, this creamy, tangy, & totally delicious sauce is perfect for spooning over the broiled salmon and veggies when they come out of the oven.
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
Prepping the Salmon Sheet Pan for the Oven
As is the case with any one-pan meal, there is a little prep involved to assemble the salmon sheet pan for the oven. But after that, everything is pretty hands-off! A quick overview of what you’ll do…
Salmon prep. Pat the salmon fillet dry, then place it skin side down on a foil-lined baking sheet & season generously with salt. Why? ⇢ Salt draws out excess moisture from the salmon, helping ensure it browns nicely as it bakes. As a bonus, this quick step also helps prevent albumin from releasing as the salmon cooks. Albumin, the white substance you sometimes see on cooked salmon fillet, is a totally safe but not super pretty protein that appears when you cook salmon in high heat.
Make lemon honey butter by whisking the melted butter, honey, & lemon juice in a small bowl. Keep it nearby for glazing the salmon before it goes in the oven!
Veggie prep. Thinly slice some onion & dice a zucchini into bite-sized pieces. Meal Prep Tip! ⇢ To make dinnertime even more low-effort, feel free to prep the veggies up to 5 days in advance, storing in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. Check the Recipe Notes, below, for more guidance!
Salmon sheet pan assembly. Once the components are prepped & ready to go, build the sheet pan. Use paper towel to pat any excess moisture off the surface of the salmon fillet, spoon lemon honey butter over top, & arrange the seasoned zucchini around the fish. At this point, the sheet pan is ready for the oven!
Bake Then Broil: The Perfect Combo for Sheet Pan Salmon!
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
While broiled salmon is seriously the best, the broiler doesn’t do all the work in this recipe. Since the different components on the sheet pan require different cook times, use of the broiler alone causes some of the veggies to burn well before the salmon is ready to serve. Instead, a 2-phase bake-then-broil method yields perfect results for this particular sheet pan salmon and veggies recipe.
- Phase 1. ⇢ First, par-cook the salmon & zucchini together in an initial 10-minute bake. Why bake? ⇢ This phase partially cooks the fish with gentler heat, keeping it beautifully tender, while the hearty zucchini reaches a perfect tender-crisp texture.
- Phase 2. ⇢ After 10 minutes, the broiler takes over. Take the salmon sheet pan out of the oven, add the tomatoes & onions alongside the salmon, & finish with another drizzle of lemon honey butter. Turn the broiler on high & pop the sheet pan right underneath. Why broil? ⇢ The high heat of the broiler caramelizes the sugars in the glaze, giving the salmon a beautifully golden crust. The veggies also take on some irresistible char – if you’re lucky, a few cherry tomatoes will burst under the high heat!
The broiler moves fast, so it’s best to keep your eye on the broiled salmon & not stray too far from the kitchen here. For beautifully tender salmon, I typically let the sheet pan salmon and veggies broil for about 5 minutes.
If the broiled salmon is done but you want more char on the veggies, transfer them to a second sheet pan to avoid drying out the fish & pop it under the broiler until they’re as charred as you like.
The Perfect Finishing Touch: Capered Lemon Dill Sauce
While the salmon sheet pan cooks, I highly recommend whipping up a homemade capered lemon dill sauce. This creamy & briny sauce adds a bright tanginess to the equation, & it’s simply irresistible. It’s a great complement to the sweet lemon honey butter glaze on the broiled salmon & it’s super easy to prepare!
Capered Lemon Dill Sauce. ⇢ Simply add sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon zest & juice, chopped capers, fresh dill, & garlic powder to a small bowl & mix to combine. Give it a taste & adjust seasoning as needed. Pretty sure you’ll just want to keep licking it right off the spoon – it’s that good!
Meal Prep Tip!
To cut down on active prep required at dinnertime, feel free to prep the capered lemon dill sauce up to 5 days in advance, storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. As a bonus, the longer the sauce sits, the more its flavors meld & develop – delicious! When you’re ready to serve, simply grab a spoon & drizzle it over everything. Check the Recipe Notes, below, for more guidance!
How to Serve Sheet Pan Salmon and Veggies (Hot or Cold!)
There are so many ways to enjoy this salmon sheet pan dinner. The ease & infinite versatility is one of the reasons we love it so much! Once the sheet pan salmon and veggies come out from under the broiler, grab a plate & pile everything together (along with a generous drizzle of capered lemon dill sauce, of course!). If you’re craving more, here are a few side dish ideas to get you started…
- Create a base of rice or another grain like couscous or quinoa. I love how the grains soak up all the sheet pan juices & creamy dill sauce!
- Make a simple green salad to double down on fresh veggies. Toss it in PWWB’s All-Purpose Vinaigrette for a bright & zingy pop of flavor!
- With pita bread or naan, both of which are great for wrapping a bite of salmon & dipping in dill sauce. Store-bought options work well & are super convenient!
Most of the time I prefer leftover sheet pan salmon and veggies cold. The leftovers are great with crostini for a fun snacky lunch. I also really love to pile flaky salmon & capered lemon dill sauce on a toasted bagel for breakfast. You really can’t go wrong – feel free to enjoy leftover sheet pan salmon and veggies pretty much any time of day!
We can’t wait for you to try this Broiled Sheet Pan Salmon and Veggies recipe! The salmon cooks up like a dream, & that lemon caper dill sauce takes everything over the top. We have a feeling you’re going to love it as much as we do!
If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!
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Easy Sheet Pan Dinners
Sheet pan lovers, this one is for you! With perfectly cooked salmon, tender-yet-charred end-of-summer-veggies, & an irresistible lemon caper dill sauce, this Broiled Sheet Pan Salmon and Veggies is a one-pan dinner dream!
In order to cook all of the components of this salmon sheet pan perfectly, it’s important to take a two-phase bake-then-broil approach. Arrange seasoned salmon fillet on a sheet pan with diced zucchini & bake to gently par-cook before adding juicy tomatoes and thinly sliced onion & finishing everything under the broiler. The high heat of the broiler creates a gorgeous golden brown crust on the salmon, while the summer veggies char & burst. So good, & the oven does all the work!
What you’ll love most about this easy recipe, though, is its versatility. You can enjoy the sheet pan salmon and veggies on its own, served over rice, alongside a salad – whatever you happen to be craving! Whatever you do, though, don’t skip the lemon caper dill sauce – it’s creamy, bright, tangy, & a little briney, & it’s really the perfect finishing touch!
- nonstick cooking spray
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh salmon fillet
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 lemon, juiced (approx. 2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise & cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 16 ounces cherry tomatoes
- for serving, as desired: cooked rice or grains of choice, capered lemon dill sauce (below)
for the capered lemon dill sauce:
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 lemon, zested & juiced
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained & roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
A little prep before you get started:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, arranging the oven racks such that one is in the center of the oven & one is 6-8 inches under the broil.
- Salmon prep: Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean up, lightly spritz with cooking spray. Use paper towels to pat the salmon as dry as possible, then place the salmon fillet skin-side down in the middle of the prepared baking sheet. Season the surface of the salmon fillet with 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Set aside.
- Prep the lemon honey butter: Add the melted butter, honey, & lemon juice to a small bowl. Mix to combine well. Set aside.
- Prep the veggies: Slice & dice the veggies according to the Ingredients List, above. Place the zucchini in a large bowl, drizzling 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over top. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Toss to combine. Set aside. (You’ll use the same bowl to season the tomatoes/onions in a moment!)
- Prepare the salmon sheet pan: Once the butter & veggies are prepped, use paper towel to pat the surface of the seasoned salmon as dry as possible. Spoon half of the prepared lemon honey butter over the surface of the salmon & season with ground black pepper as desired. Arrange the seasoned zucchini around the salmon.
- Bake the salmon & zucchini: Place the sheet pan on the center rack in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, remove the sheet pan from the oven & turn the oven’s broiler on its highest setting.
- Broil the salmon & veggies: Place the tomatoes & onions in the same bowl used to season the zucchini – drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over top, then season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired & toss to combine. Arrange the seasoned tomatoes & onions around the salmon & spoon the remaining lemon honey butter over the salmon. Place the sheet pan on the high rack under the broiler. Broil 5-6 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked to your liking & the veggies are tender. Remove from the oven & set aside for serving. (Note: If you’d like the veggies to take on a little more color & char, transfer them to a second sheet pan & pop it under the broiler for another few minutes – doing so gives them a little more char without overcooking the salmon. Easy!)
- Prepare the capered lemon dill sauce: Meanwhile, as the salmon bakes & broils, prepare the capered lemon dill sauce. Combine all listed ingredients in a bowl. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Stir to combine well. Set aside for serving, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Serve: Portion the broiled salmon & veggies on plates alongside rice or a nice green salad. Dollop the capered lemon dill sauce over top. Enjoy!
- Storage & Reheating: Store leftover broiled salmon & veggies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I like leftovers best cold (the salmon & caper sauce is amazing on a bagel crisp or crostini for a fun lunch!), though you can reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop & serve as desired, as well.
- 15-Minute Meal Prep: Much of this recipe’s active prep time comes preparing the veggies & making the capered lemon dill sauce. Prep either or both in advance to get a head start on your broiled salmon sheet pan dinner – it takes 15 minutes, tops!
- Veggie prep: Thinly slice 1/2 red onion & quarter 2 zucchini lengthwise before chopping into 1-inch pieces. Store in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Prepare the capered lemon dill sauce according to Step 4 of Recipe Directions, above. Store in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (10 minutes active prep)
Recipe and Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.