I’m not sure why but salmon seems to win over many people who otherwise don’t like fish – especially kids!
Preparing salmon in an tray bake (or ‘traybake’ as my spellcheck is insisting) is easy as long as you follow the sequence of cooking to get everything done at the same time. Oven cooking generates less of a fish cooking smell than frying, if you’ve got issues with that at home.
While you can use any combination of vegetables here, I’ve included roasted broccoli as it tastes and smells very different to steamed or boiled versions and can be a good way to expand the family’s attitude to this much maligned veg! It may look a bit limp by the end but it will taste great: a bit nutty, a bit sweet.
The creamy sauce is listed as optional because you can just as easily serve without it, but if you have hands free while you wait for the baking stages, it’s a beautiful combo with no cooking required. If you can’t get fresh dill, I’d suggest using any other fresh herb rather than dried dill. Chives would be good, or just parsley. You want that brighter flavour shining through (but then again, hey, it’s a weeknight so you do you sweetie x).
Serves 4 and easily increased to more. If you have leftovers, break up the salmon and mix through the cooked veg with a dash of mayonnaise or extra lemon for a beautiful lunch the next day.
Kids in the kitchen tips
- Read the recipe together – why do some things take longer to cook than others?
- Set the timer on the oven or phone and remind adults when to add more to oven.
- Lay out the baking paper on the oven tray
- Spread the first (cold) layer of vegetables out in patterns and sprinkle with the salt and oil.
- Measure and mix the sauce ingredients – be the taste tester for any adjustments.
Salmon and potato tray bake with easy creamy sauce
- Large bowl
- Low sided baking tray
- Baking paper or silicon pan sheet
- Aluminium foil
- Small bowl for sauce
- Fork or whisk for sauce
- 1 medium orange sweet potato (about 400g)
- 1 small head broccoli
- 4 fillets boneless salmon (or a single piece about 600g)
- 1 lemon
- 8 small potatoes eg chats
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise or aioli
- 1 tbsp fresh dill chopped
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 tsp honey
- 2-3 tsp milk
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 200C.
- Line a low sided oven tray with baking paper or foil.
- In a mixing bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt with the juice of half the lemon.
- Take salmon fillets out of fridge and any wrapping and sit on paper towel.
- Prep vegetables: leaving skins on potato and sweet potato, cut each bite size pieces, trim the broccoli stem then cut stem and florets into bite sized pieces.
- Toss all vegetables in the bowl then spread out on oven tray and cover with foil. Start baking. Set timer for 25 minutes.
- While the vegetables bake, cut the other half of the lemon into four smaller wedges and add them to the bowl with another tablespoon of oil. Put the salmon fillets in the bowl and move around to pick up the oil, juice and salt. Set aside.
- When timer goes off, take the tray out of the oven and remove the foil. Push the potatoes towards the edges. Lay the salmon fillets in the centre of the tray with the onion and small lemon wedges. Set time to bake for another 10 minutes, uncovered.
- If you're looking for time-efficient cooking, make the sauce while the vegetables bake and before the salmon goes into the oven.
- Combine everything except the milk, salt and pepper in a small serving bowl or jug and mix well. Now add the milk one teaspoon at a time until the consistency feels right. Season with salt and pepper and leave in fridge until serving.
- Serve immediately from the tray or tumble the lot onto a large plate for the table. Don’t forget the sauce if you made it! It's great with the vegetables too.
- If you must, you can peel both the potatoes and sweet potato before cooking.
- Getting the potatoes to cook through is the biggest challenge of a one-tray bake. Make sure the pieces are quite small as this will help them cook through faster.
- If you think the potatoes need longer to cook by the end, cover the salmon fillets loosely with a folded sheet of foil to stay moist and set timer for another 5 minutes.
- If your oven is truly dodgy and hateful, pull the potatoes off the tray and microwave them in a covered bowl for a couple of minutes and all should be well (it happens!)
- Use any combination of vegetables you like, but adjust when you add them based on size and tenderness. For example, use asparagus instead of broccoli but add it with the salmon towards the end for a shorter cook.