Sheet pan salmon with tomatoes and red onion is pretty effortless to whip up but tastes like so much more. Covered with lemony, garlicky gremolata and cooked with piles of red onion and cherry tomatoes, the whole dinner is bursting with flavor.
Adapted from Ruthy Kirwan | Easy Sheet Pan Cookbook | Rockridge Press, 2021
The best part about this salmon dish is that it’s both pretty enough to serve at a dinner party and easy enough to throw together on a weekday. Gremolata is an herb-based Italian condiment similar to pesto, but it’s typically prepared as a rough mix, as opposed to the classic smoothness of pesto.–Ruthy Kirwan
WHAT IS GREMOLATA?
One of the boldest and brightest condiments in Italian cuisine, gremolata traditionally accompanies osso bucco (braised veal shank) but it works well on nearly anything that needs a little boost.
Basically, it’s a pretty simple mixture of parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. It can be used dry or with the addition of lemon juice and a little olive oil. It can also be used as a sauce, as in this recipe. Gremolata can be made ahead of time, especially with the addition of olive oil, and will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Sheet Pan Salmon with Tomatoes and Red Onion
For the gremolata
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest preferably organic
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves pressed through a garlic press or minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salmon
- 4 (4-ounce) salmon fillets pin bones and skin removed
- 1 (8 oz) red onion diced
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the gremolata
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- In a medium bowl, combine the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook the salmon
- Arrange salmon fillets on one end of a rimmed baking sheet. Divvy the gremolata among them, using a spoon spread it around and coat the tops of the fish.
- In the same bowl used to make the gremolata, toss the onion and tomatoes, stirring to lightly coat with leftover gremolata. Drizzle in olive oil and toss, making sure the last of the gremolata has coated the tomatoes and onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spread tomatoes and onions on the other end of the baking sheet. Roast until the onions and tomatoes are soft and the salmon is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
☞TESTER TIP: If your tomatoes and onions are still more firm than you prefer once the salmon is cooked through, move the salmon to a plate and return the tomatoes and onions to the oven for 5 minutes more.
- Serve immediately.
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Sheet pan salmon with tomatoes and red onion is a great weeknight recipe. A little bit of chopping and the oven does the rest.
We prepared the recipe as written and were pleased, but thought that the onions could have cooked for a few more minutes. Next time, I’ll prep the onions and tomatoes separately and put the onions in the oven 5 minutes before everything else.
This one’s going in the rotation but we’ll be doubling it up. We served it with cauliflower rice and I can think of all kinds of ways to enjoy this salmon at breakfast and at lunch (think salmon cakes or salmon tacos!).
In the heart of summer, this light and fresh sheet pan salmon with tomatoes and red onion is a welcome delight. Altogether, the roasted grape tomatoes and gremolata create a rustic texture that compliments the velvety, mild salmon. Its bright red and green colored vegetables are so pretty and enticing.
After prepping the fish (removing the skin and pin bones before roasting), the dish takes only a few steps to whip up. The gremolata and tomato side dish ingredients are easily procured either from your own garden or bought at your local corner store. It’s also adapted to whatever is fresh and local at your market.
I was initially put off by the task of removing the skin and pin bones from the fish as prep. I had done it before and had had pretty disastrous results. Because my knife was too dull, I made a mess of the finished fillet, wasting valuable fish in the process. This time I decided to embrace sharpening my knives–then reviewed a quick video on how to remove skin cleanly. I edged out a small piece of skin at the outside edge of the fillet that I held firmly in my left hand while using the sharp and honed edge of my chef’s knife in my right hand to gently glide/push away the skin from the fillet.
Overall, the task was easy and my plated fish was pristine inside and out. Because the fish is portioned in smaller fillets, I started checking after 9 minutes and decided to pull the fish. I’d roast the tomatoes for another minute or two then re-plate the components on your best platter and enjoy this great effort-free, summer entertaining dish. I served alongside a salad of crunchy greens dressed with lemon and fruity olive oil and grilled focaccia wedges.
Add this easy and satisfying recipe for sheet pan salmon with tomatoes and red onion to your arsenal of quick salmon dinners. The gremolata comes together in a flash and is delicious on the sweet salmon. The roasted red onion and tomatoes are mellow with the fish.
Next time I will probably give the onions and tomatoes a five-minute head start in the oven before adding the salmon, just to get a little bit extra char. I also grilled a steak and served it topped with some schug and the onions and tomatoes on the side and my husband loved it. The salmon was delicious cold the next day and there were enough onions and tomatoes to put on crostini. This is a winner and is so quick and easy.
Despite the fact that this sheet pan salmon with tomatoes and red onion is baked, it’s a wonderful summer meal. And since the bake is quick, it doesn’t heat up the kitchen. It’s a breeze to pull together-I was excited to not have to mince the parsley!-and can be on the table in no time at all. The tart pop of the roasted cherry tomatoes and the sweetness of the red onion is a perfect match for the buttery salmon, and the gremolata adds a really nice, earthy kick to the dish.
My only gripe is that the recipe calls for four 4-ounce fillets and it says it serves four. I would have a hard time eating just one four-ounce fillet of this delicious dish. When I went to my fishmonger and asked for one pound of salmon cut into four fillets, he showed me what that would look like and so I took home two half-pound fillets. Can’t wait to make this one again!
This recipe for sheet pan salmon with tomatoes and red onion was very easy and also very quick which is a great help when the weather is so hot. And best of all, it was so delicious.
I made half the recipe since I live alone and would have enough left over to try for a cold salmon dinner tomorrow. There was not nearly enough of the gremolata to really cover the salmon to the degree I would have liked. After tasting, I decided next time I make it I’ll use more garlic and lemon.
I removed the salmon from the pan after 12 minutes because it was done, but the tomatoes were not soft yet and took another 7 minutes to really soften and burst. That may be because I did not use the very small cherry tomatoes. Mine were the next size up. I couldn’t resist the multi-colored cherry tomatoes I found, and it was worth the extra time because they were delicious. I served the salmon with vegetable fried rice.
Originally published August 27, 2021
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Easy, delicious and impressive. Our whole family loved this sheet pan salmon with tomatoes and red onion and I plan to serve it for company before the summer is over. We served it with chickpea flour orzo which went lovely with the tomatoes. We also roasted some broccolini to go on the side.