Whew! The last week has been a whirlwind of utter chaos and uncertainty! One thing IS for sure…I’m not going to tell you to wash your hands, or any of the other mantras that you’ve heard and read 5000 times by now. I do know that when you’re having to cook at home more than normal, knowing how to bake frozen salmon and make dinner from your pantry is a skill that will help you TODAY, but will also take you well beyond the COVID – 19 Chaos.
What Are the Secrets to Bake Frozen Salmon?
Hopefully frozen fish was part of your stockup purchase. This ultimate sheet pan dinner features frozen fish and any fresh or frozen veggies you have on hand and can all be completely cooked in under 30 minutes. If you like your fish, especially salmon or tuna, a little rare in the middle, it can even be 20 minutes. The two keys are preheating your oven to 425 degrees while you’re prepping everything and then staying close by to add items as you need to. Other than that, you simply remove any wrapping around the fillets, brush with oil and season with Magic Salt or salt and pepper.
What to Bake with Frozen Salmon?
Since most veggies (uncooked potatoes and winter squash excepted) roast within 20-30 minutes, any fresh veggies will work. If you only have frozen veggies on hand, follow these guidelines:
- Preheat your pan with fat – this is good for the frozen fish, too, so it won’t stick.
- Toss the veggies with at least a tablespoon of oil
- Season after roasting since the water in frozen veggies will cause flavors to condense quite a bit when roasting so you could overseason if doing before roasting.
As for fresh veggies, here are some cook times so you will know when to add to sheet pan.
- Asparagus roasts 5-10 minutes (depending on how crunchy you like it)
- Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots or Brussels sprouts roast in about 15-20 minutes. Cauliflower won’t be that caramelly brown that many like, but it will be lightly browned and cooked through. The same with sprouts. You can always put them back under the broiler (watch closely) for a few minutes after removing salmon.
- Fresh onions, zucchini, peppers or any other veggie that cooks quickly only take about 10 minutes.
- For starchy veggies such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and winter squash, use either leftover cold versions or buy them frozen. They will crisp up and warm while roasting.
How to Make Dinner from Your Pantry?
We all are depending on our pantries and freezers more than ever to get us through the next 3 weeks or even further. Here are a few of my favorites that you can make easily with what you have on hand.
Tostadas – Whether you have frozen salmon or canned beans, you can easily make these tostadas if you keep corn tortillas in your fridge or freezer. Prep the toppings while you are baking salmon (recipe below) or while you are heating beans. Feel free to use any leftover shredded chicken or roast (seasoned with chili powder and salsa) you may have instead of the salmon or in addition to the beans. Note: If you bought and have cooked beans, 3 cups of cooked pinto beans = two cans. Oh and if you are watching carbs, use Siete Tortillas which you can order online in 6 packs for cheaper than you can buy them at most stores.
Dutch Baby – This can be made sweet or savory, gluten-free or even grain free. Basic ingredients come together in the blender in 5 minutes and bake in 15 minutes. Prepare your toppings while they are baking.
Blackened Fish – This mahi mahi recipe can be made with any kind of fish and if it’s not grill season where you are, use a hot cast iron skillet or broiler. Salsa can be chopped while fish is cooking and serve with rice, quinoa and lots of fresh, roasted or steamed veggies.
Hashes – A hash is all about prep and then it comes together quickly and with an egg on top, you don’t need meat. Use frozen or leftover baked or steamed potatoes or sweet potatoes to make it even quicker. Use this recipe as a template and see all the variations to use what you have on hand.
Fish Cakes – Fish cakes are great because you can use canned salmon (or crab or tuna) and make them and the majority of the ingredients are pantry or fridge staples. I have two recipes on my site that are both grain-free, Whole30 and Paleo-friendly. Hatch Chile Salmon Cakes use almond flour and eggs as binders with southwestern flavors (use canned green chiles instead of fresh Hatch green chiles) and this recipe is Thai inspired using potato and egg whites as binders. Feel free to sub in any canned fish or seafood in place of the salmon and switch around the flavors, too.
Frozen Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner
This freezer to table dinner can be scaled easily depending on how many people you have. I made it for 2 when I shot this recipe. If you are meal prepping for leftovers, this is all very good cold so feel free to make extras for this purpoase. I usually serve with a salad with a punchy vinaigrette or simply lemon and olive oil but on this particular night, we had pea shoots so I cooked them for one minute with garlic, olive oil and the sprinkled with lemon juice.
2 6-oz salmon fillets
Avocado or olive oil (can use spray oil)
Magic Salt or salt and pepper
1 bunch asparagus or 4 cups Fresh or frozen veggies of choice (see above for cooking time info)
- Optional Lemon Caper Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
zest of 1 lemon
1-2 tbsp lemon juice (to taste)
1/2 tsp each dill and tarragon
2 tbsp capers
lots of black pepper
Sea salt to taste
- Preheat sheet pan and oven at 425 degrees
- Spray sheet pan liberally with oil or pour 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil in pan and brush to coat.
- Brush salmon with oil and sprinkle with Magic Salt or sea salt and black pepper. Toss vegetables (fresh or frozen) with at least 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil.
- Lay salmon skin side up on hot, oiled pan and add any longer cooking vegetables in an even single layer around fish.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily on the edges. If you want the vegetables more brown, turn on the broiler, toss vegetables around and broil for 5-7 minutes (watching carefully) until they are the color you are seeking. Season veggies after they are done roasting.
- Optional Sauce
- While sheet pan dinner is roasting, mix together all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.