Why you’ll love this apricot salmon:
Tender yet flaky, this sweet & spicy salmon comes together in a snap! Salmon feels fancy enough for a Saturday but easy enough for a Tuesday. It’s a nutrient powerhouse packed with omega-3 fatty acids and plenty of protein! Here’s why you’ll love it:
- Only five ingredients (plus salt & pepper!)
- Easy to prep and fewer dishes
- The perfect combo of sweet and spicy
- Rich in high-quality protein
Apricot salmon provides a healthy dinner with bold flavors in under 30 minutes. No marinade, no fancy equipment, no pan-frying – just an easy recipe with simple ingredients and mouth-watering results.
Key Ingredient Notes:
Five-ingredient salmon recipes make things easy! I used to equate a long list of ingredients with lots of flavor, but this isn’t always the case. Some of the best dishes I’ve had are only 5 ingredients – including this salmon.
- Veggies – Asparagus and mushrooms pair well with salmon and they cook quickly too! They should be tender just in time for the salmon to cook all the way through.
- Olive oil – Heart-healthy olive oil prevents the salmon from sticking while encouraging the veggies to roast. Any neutral oil will work.
- Salt & pepper – Don’t forget to season! Salt enhances food so it doesn’t taste bland. If a dish is lacking, it may just need a sprinkle of salt.
- Salmon filets – If possible, purchase two high-quality skinless salmon filets. Wild-caught salmon have a more robust flavor than farm-raised salmon.
- Spicy apricot jam – If you can’t find spicy apricot jam, simply stir red pepper flakes or siracha into the apricot jam until you reach the desired heat level.
How to make this recipe:
This is a one-sheet-pan meal. I advise to line your baking sheet with a foil for an easy clean up.
- Trim the bottoms off the asparagus spears. The bottoms tend to be stringy and tough to chew. Sharp kitchen shears come in handy for this.
- Drizzle olive oil onto the foil and then sprinkle with half of the salt and pepper. This ensures the salmon and vegetables don’t stick!
- Place the salmon fillets in the center of the pan and surround them with the vegetables. Season with the remaining salt and pepper.
- Spread the entire surface of both filets with the apricot jam. This way you taste in with every bite!
- Bake the salmon until cooked through. I like to cook the salmon until an internal temperature reaches 135°F for a tender but well done filet.
Salmon baking time varies depending on the thickness of your salmon. It takes about 5 minutes per half-inch thickness.
- If you’re unsure if it’s done, temp it! This will prevent you from overcooking it on accident. Alternatively, you can use a fork to see if it easily flakes.
- The USDA recommends cooking salmon to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Most people find this temperature too high. Once you remove the fish from the oven, the temperature will continue to rise.
- A thick filet will take longer than a thin one. To prevent overcooking, check the apricot salmon at 10 minutes. If it still needs time, let it cook longer.
If you’re short on time, follow these time-saving tips!
- Serve with microwaveable rice – If dinner isn’t the same without carbs, ready-to-eat rice is a great option. Buy the microwaveable pouch and follow the directions on the package.
- Prep vegetables ahead – Slice the mushrooms and trim the asparagus the night before. Then all you have to do is assemble and bake! Or you can buy the mushrooms pre-sliced.
- Assemble sheet pan – If you want to pop the salmon in the oven and nothing more, assemble the day before. Prep the veggies and salmon together then wrap the sheet pan in plastic wrap. Once ready, remove the wrap and bake as directed.
Salmon is perfect if you like to meal plan. You can double the recipe and enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day! Here’s how to store it:
- Spicy baked salmon can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat the salmon in the microwave or a skillet on low heat. It’s important not to overheat it or it will dry out.
- Homemade salmon is easy to freeze too! I like to double the recipe and freeze half of it for another time. Place the filets and asparagus in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
You can also enjoy apricot salmon cold or room temperature. Here are a few ideas for leftover salmon:
- Top a salad with it – It’s an easy way to get your greens! Serve with a simple vinaigrette.
- Eat it for breakfast – Break it into pieces and stir it into scrambled eggs and cheese!
- Serve it with rice – Break it into pieces and stir it into fried rice.
- Combine with pasta – Combine the salmon with cooked pasta or pasta salad for an easy lunch.
The short answer is: it depends on how you like it. Salmon is done when it flakes easily and the exterior of the fish is opaque however, you can cook it medium-rare to well-done. The most precise way is to temp it. Medium-rare is an internal temp. of 120°F, medium 130°F, and well-done 145°F. Above that, and you are risking a dry piece of salmon.
Yes! Overcooked salmon is dry and flavorless. Perfectly cooked salmon should have a moist interior that easily flakes. The best way to prevent this is to pull the salmon out of the oven just before it’s done.
Spicy salmon bakes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This achieves a tender and moist filet that cooks quickly.
It’s not necessary to cover the salmon with foil while baking it. This will create a steaming effect and cause the vegetables to steam instead of roast.
Busy nights don’t have to mean takeout! This homemade, healthy meal is perfect for a hectic weeknight.
Spicy Apricot Salmon
Spicy Apricot Salmon (Sheet Pan Dinner)
- 16 spears of asparagus
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 (4-6oz) salmon filets skinless
- 2 tablespoons spicy apricot jam
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with an aluminum foil.
- Trim asparagus about 2 inches from the bottom.
- Drizzle olive oil on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle half of the salt and black pepper.
- Place salmon filets in the middle of the pan and arrange the vegetables around the fish.
- Sprinkle the remaining salt and pepper all over the fish and vegetables.
- Spread apricot jam on both filets.
- Bake for about 15 minutes. Depending on the thickness of the fish, it’ll take more or less. I prefer to cook the fillets until internal temp reaches around 135°F.
- Spicy baked salmon can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Reheat the salmon in the microwave or a skillet on low heat. It’s important not to overheat it or it will dry out.
- Homemade salmon is easy to freeze too. Place the filets and asparagus in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
* Disclaimer: All nutrition information are estimates only. Read full nutrition disclosure.
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