The joy of a sheet pan meal is its simplicity. It’s an ideal solution for a weeknight dinner when you’re short on time, and it makes for easy cleanup with few dishes to wash because the sides cook right along with the main dish, in the same pan. You get a nutritious, well-balanced meal that’s easy to assemble in the time it takes the oven to preheat. What’s not to love?

Sara Parrish  wears a black shirt and smiles.
Sara Parrish

The star of this sheet pan dinner is salmon. Fresh or frozen works equally well because freezing fish does not reduce its nutritional benefits. And those benefits are plentiful, said Sara Parrish, a wellness dietitian at Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

“Not only is salmon a great source of protein, but it is also rich in an essential fat known as omega-3 fatty acids,” Parrish explained. “Omega 3 fats cannot be created in our body, but are required for life, and therefore must come from out diet.”

Omega 3s in the diet:

  • Support brain and heart health.
  • Decrease inflammation.
  • May reduce the risk of some forms of cancer, including breast cancer.
  • Fight age-related macular degeneration.
  • Help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

The recommended amount of fatty fish to include in your diet each week is 6 to 8 ounces, Dietary Guidelines for Americans states, and salmon is a great option. One serving is 4 ounces, or about the size of a deck of cards.

“One serving of salmon also provides more than enough of our daily need of vitamin B-12 as well as 75% to 85% of our need for selenium, a mineral that protects bone health, improves thyroid function, and is protective against certain types of cancer,” Parrish said.

Sheet pan salmon and veggies

Recipe adapted from The Real Food Dieticians


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 fresh lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill (or 1/2 teaspoon dried dill)
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound salmon fillet
  • 1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced
  • 1 crown broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced


Heat the oven to 425℉. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, dill, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Place the salmon fillets in a shallow dish and pour half of the marinade over the salmon. Place the salmon in the fridge to marinate.

Wash and peel the sweet potato. Using a knife or mandolin slicer, thinly slice the sweet potato into rounds about ⅛-inch thick. Chop the broccoli crown into small florets. Thinly slice the red onion.

Place the veggies on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the other half of the marinade. Spread the veggies in an even layer on the baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, stir the veggies, and push them to the outer sides of the pan to make room in the middle for the salmon.

Place the salmon in the center of the pan. (Discard the marinade from the raw fish.) Top each salmon fillet with a lemon slice or two and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the baking sheet back into the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork. The veggies should be fork-tender.

Yield: 4 servings. Per serving: 301 calories; 12.9 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat); 11 mg cholesterol; 345 mg sodium; 41.2 grams carbohydrates; 10 grams sugar; 11.1 grams protein.