Sheet Pan Salmon and Broccoli Rabe

5 from 2 votes

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A simple salmon sheetpan supper saves the day, and this one-pan wonder with broccoli rabe and herb mayo is a gorgeous weeknight dinner.

Plate with broccoli rabe, herbed mayonnaise, and salmon.

Getting more fish on the table is a shared goal amongst many home cooks. Coercing your kids to eat more fish is also a common aim, and sometimes feels slightly Sisyphean in nature. But a beautiful fresh fish dinner is too fantastic to shove to the back burner for another time. This salmon itself is very simply prepared, roasted with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, so hopefully a good “beginner fish” for any skeptics at your table. And the fact that this is a salmon sheetpan dinner means only one pan to wash, so bonus.

But the sauce…this is where things get interesting. I have been making various renditions of herbed mayonnaise all spring and summer long, inspired by a jumping-off recipe in Joshua McFadden’s wonderful book Six Seasons: A New Way With Vegetables. And I’ve been using it in any possible way I can think of — from chicken salads to a dip for roasted potatoes, and here I’m using it to slather up some pieces of lush salmon. The pink and the green look pretty terrific together, don’t they?

And while you might think that fish is hard enough to get your kids to embrace, so fish with sauce would be harder…likely not the case. This sauce is so appealing that it might just become a gateway condiment for more fish or seafood dinners (it would also be great with anything from chicken to pork to steak). Try serving it over quinoa or Saffron Couscous, or serve it with Wild Rice and Sweet Potato Salad for something a bit heartier.

Salmon and Broccoli Rabe on a plate.

Sheet Pan Salmon and Broccoli Rabe: A simple sheet pan supper saves the day, and this one pan wonder is a gorgeous weeknight dinner.

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Ingredients 

  • Broccoli rabe – A bitter green to complement the herbs in the mayonnaise and salmon. Feel free to use regular broccoli if the bitter taste of broccoli rabe isn’t for you!
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic – Helps imbue the broccoli with a delicate taste. Slice thinly to enhance the garlic’s flavor in the dish.
  • Red pepper flakes – To taste.
  • Salmon – Choose from farmed salmon, which is fattier and milder in flavor, or wild salmon, which is leaner and more assertive in flavor.
  • Herbs – The types and quantities of herbs are just guidelines: use the herbs you like best, the herbs that are in your garden, and the herbs you have hanging out in the fridge. Don’t even think about using a dried herb here. I’m sorry, but it’s just not the place for them. Save those for your cooked dishes.
  • Mayonnaise – Provides a rich base for the herbed mayonnaise sauce.
  • Lemon juice Lemon juice adds a nice acidity and tang to an otherwise creamy sauce.

Variations

  • If spicy isn’t your family’s thing, you can leave out the red pepper flakes in the broccoli rabe side.
  • You can also use small spears of regular broccoli instead of the broccoli rabe.
  • Or try asparagus, which will take about the same time to cook as the broccoli rabe if thick, or only the amount of time it takes for the salmon to roast if the stalks are skinny.
  • Skip the cilantro if you have cilantro-haters in your house; it’s a great herb to use, but it’s not for everyone.
  • Try lemon butter sauce instead of the mayonnaise-based sauce. You can still add herbs, it’s just not as creamy.
Salmon topped with herbed mayonnaise.

How to Make Sheet Pan Salmon and Broccoli Rabe

  1. Preheat oven: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Roast broccoli rabe and salmon: Toss the broccoli rabe with oil and salt, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and shove the broccoli rabe to one side of the baking sheet. Place the salmon filets skin side down on the baking sheet, seasoned with oil, salt and pepper. Roast everything for 8 to 10 minutes more, until the broccoli rabe is tender and the salmon flakes easily.
  3. Make herbed mayonnaise: Pulse the parsley, basil, cilantro, dill, and oregano in the food processor. Pulse in the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and several grinds of pepper. Scrape down the sides and blend again. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  4. Serve: Slide a thin spatula under each piece of fish, separating it from the skin, and place each piece on a plate. Distribute the broccoli rabe amongst the plates next to the fish. Spoon the Herbed Mayonnaise over the salmon, or pass it on the side as desired. Sprinkle the top of the fish with slivered fresh basil if desired
Salmon and Broccoli Rabe on a plate with a small bowl of herbed mayonnaise.

FAQS

Why serve salmon?

When I am thinking about fish for dinner, more often than not, I choose salmon. Salmon is the most popular fish in this country and for good reason. It’s moist, it’s versatile, and it’s delicious.
It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help support brain function by improving memory, reducing heart disease, and alleviating joint pain, according to WebMD. And it’s a great source of protein and provides a nice dose of vitamin D. Not bad for a piece of fish.

And properly sourced, it’s high on the list of sustainable fish, according to SeafoodWatch.org. Make sure it’s wild-caught (another shout out for Alaska) or farmed in sustainable ways.

What is the difference between broccoli and broccoli rabe?

Visually, the difference between broccoli and broccoli rabe is very apparent. Broccoli rabe has long, skinny stems, and thin leafy greens at the top. Broccoli is known for its tree-like shape, with a thick base and larger bundles of florets at the top.

In terms of taste, broccoli rabe is known for its more bitter, horseradish-like taste. It’s certainly not for everybody. Broccoli, however, has a more earthy and sweeter taste. Either works in this dish, it’s up to your family’s preference.

Can you eat the leaves on broccoli rabe?

Yes! The entire thing is edible!

Pro Cooking Tips

  • The salmon and the broccoli rabe share a baking sheet in the oven, so just one sheet pan to clean (other than the food processor). The broccoli rabe gets a head start, and then the salmon is added to the baking sheet so that everything finishes at the same time.
  • The internal temperature of the salmon should be at least 145 degrees in the thickest part.
  • When making the mayonnaise, with the motor running, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil through the feed tube on top or with a slow and steady hand until the mixture is completely incorporated and — if things went well — somewhat fluffy.
Spoon in a glass bowl of Herbed Mayonnaise.

What to Serve With Sheet Pan Salmon and Broccoli Rabe

Sheet Pan Salmon and Broccoli Rabe on white plate with herb mayonnaise.

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5 from 2 votes

Sheet Pan Salmon and Broccoli Rabe

A simple salmon sheetpan supper saves the day, and this one-pan wonder with broccoli rabe and herb mayo is a gorgeous weeknight dinner.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 People
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Ingredients 

For the Broccoli Rabe:

  • 1 pound broccoli rabe (trimmed)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)

For the Roasted Salmon:

  • 4 (6-ounce) fillets of salmon (skin on)
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

For the Herbed Mayonnaise:

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Roast the broccoli rabe and the salmon: Place the broccoli rabe on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle over 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon of the salt, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat well, then spread out on a baking sheet. Place in the oven, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, shove the broccoli rabe over to the side of the baking sheet to make enough room for the 4 salmon filets. Place the salmon filets skin side down on the baking sheet and drizzle about 1 teaspoon of olive oil over each piece and rub to coat the top and sides. Season with salt and pepper. Roast everything for 8 to 10 minutes more, until the broccoli rabe is tender and the salmon flakes easily. The internal temperature of the salmon should be at least 145 F in the thickest part.
  • While the salmon and broccoli rabe are roasting, make the Herbed Mayonnaise: Place the parsley, basil, cilantro, dill and oregano in the food processor and pulse to chop. Add the mayonnaise and pulse several times to blend. Pulse in the lemon juice, salt and several grinds of pepper. With the motor running, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil through the feed tube on top or with a slow and steady hand until the mixture is completely incorporated and — if things went well — somewhat fluffy. Scrape down the sides and blend again. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Slide a thin spatula under each piece of fish, separating it from the skin and place each piece on a plate. Distribute the broccoli rabe amongst the 4 plates next to the fish. Spoon the Herbed Mayonnaise over the salmon, or pass it on the side as desired. Sprinkle the top of the fish with slivered fresh basil if desired.

Notes

  • If spicy isn’t your family’s thing, you can leave out the red pepper flakes in the broccoli rabe side.
  • You can also use small spears of regular broccoli instead of the broccoli rabe.
  • Or try asparagus, which will take about the same time to cook as the broccoli rabe if thick, or only the amount of time it takes for the salmon to roast if the stalks are skinny.
  • Skip the cilantro if you have cilantro-haters in your house; it’s a great herb to use, but it’s not for everyone.

Nutrition

Calories: 594kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 47g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 19g, Monounsaturated Fat: 19g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 105mg, Sodium: 731mg, Potassium: 1117mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 3534IU, Vitamin C: 30mg, Calcium: 178mg, Iron: 5mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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