February 19, 2021
A delicious and easy way to serve up salmon on a busy weeknight. This Garlic Butter Salmon recipe is going to become your next winner-for-dinner recipe!
Healthy Salmon Bowls with Garlic Butter
In an effor to make meals our families will enjoy, we often forget that the simplest of ingredients can make delicious meals. These healthy salmon bowls with garlic butter are just that, easy to make with fresh ingredients.
That said, if a drizzle of garlic butter is not part of your definition of healthy, I understand. Mine includes the use of fresh and real ingredients that bring lots of nutritional benefits like this recipe.
Salmon tends to be a hit or miss with my kids so the garlic butter really helps me get them to eat it and get the benefits of omega 3s, healthy fats, and protein. When the salmon isn’t high quality and it tastes “fishy” it can also go uneaten.
Choosing your Salmon
Recently, I started ordering salmon online from Fulton Fish Market and wow, it’s been a game-changer! They offer portioned pieces or the entire fillet, which I find to be very cost-effective and easy to slice into the portions I need.
The salmon has an epic texture, freshness, and taste that is second to none. You can see it up close in today’s video, which you’ll find before the recipe card below.
Side note: the photos in this post were taken on a different day using store-bought frozen salmon, and as you can see, there’s a significant difference from the salmon in the video.
Garlic Butter Sauce for Salmon
Making the garlic butter sauce for this salmon is easy. All you have to do is combine butter, garlic paste, and your favorite seasoning.
I often keep one of those tubes of crushed garlic or garlic paste in my fridge to whip this up quickly -it also helps when I don’t feel like chopping- but you can also take a whole garlic clove and push it through a garlic press.
On a pinch, you can use garlic powder too. For this recipe, I kept it simple by using Italian seasoning but if you want to go the spicy direction, simply swap it for a creole seasoning or your favorite all-purpose seasoning.
What Veggies go Best with Salmon bowls?
The truth is that there isn’t a veggie that goes best in these salmon bowls. It’s all about what you and your family enjoys eating. Some of the veggies that I mix and match to build salmon bowls include:
How to Bake Garlic Butter Salmon
I love a good sheet pan recipe that I can throw in the oven at once without a lot of stirring and mixing or supervising the ingredients in a pan.
The key to baking salmon without drying it is to make sure your salmon pieces are of equal thickness since the thinner parts will cook faster than the thicker. Generally, it’s a good idea to cook by internal temperature of the food, in which case salmon, when probed with a meat thermometer, should read 145F.
If not using a thermometer, you’ll want to look for the salmon color to change to a pinkish-white and when poked with a fork, the meat separates easily, almost flaking off.
Related: What Temperature to Bake Salmon
If you have white stuff oozing out of your salmon, that’s not a problem. It’s call Albumin and can happen when baking salmon.
The garlic butter sauce will not only flavor the salmon but also keep it moist. As a general rule, skin-on salmon will often retain more moisture than salmon without the skin, so I recommend you purchase skin-on salmon.
To bake the garlic butter salmon you’ll want to line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. This is especially helpful if you are using skinless salmon.
Making the Salmon Bowls
One of the reasons I know you’re going to love this recipe is because the oven is going to do most of the hard work for you. I saved time by using frozen broccoli and simply steaming it in the microwave; although you could chop it small and bake that too!
Here are the step by steps:
- Make the garlic butter
In a medium bowl, combine the butter, crushed garlic, and seasonings.
- Prep the salmon and veggies
Place the salmon fillets on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with garlic-butter sauce. Next to the salmon, distribute the yellow squash, red onion, and grape tomatoes. Season veggies with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Bake the salmon and veggies in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until the salmon separates easily with a fork and is cooked through. If using a meat thermometer, the salmon temperature at the thickest part should be 145F.
- Make the rice and steam the broccoli
While the salmon cooks, cook the rice according to package directions and steam the broccoli in the microwave or stovetop.
Assemble a layer of rice in a bowl, top with cooked salmon, veggies, and steamed broccoli.
They say that the best way to learn how to cook something is to see how it’s made. for that reason, here is a video showing you how easy these garlic butter salmon bowls are to make!
How to Meal Prep the Salmon Bowls
Another reason to make rice bowls on the regular is that a lot of the items can be prepped ahead and assembled on-demand or also cooked and stored in glass containers and become a delicious recipe as part of your lunch meal prep.
To prep ahead you can either:
Prep the Ingredients and Refrigerate Separately
Cook the rice, make the garlic butter, and prep your veggies by washing, peeling and slicing when directed. Refrigerate everything in separate airtight containers for up to 2 days.
This method allows you to assemble a delicious meal, in less than 20 minutes, even on the busiest of weeknights. When ready to eat for dinner, all you have to do is cook the salmon and bake the veggies, heat the rice, and build your salmon bowl.
Cook, Assemble, and Store
Along with other meal prep recipes, sometimes I like to prepare this entire recipe from start to finish, assemble the bowls in individual meal prep containers, and refrigerate them for the week.
That way, a healthy meal is on hand for me to grab and pack in a lunch bag or to the office. Just be sure to enjoy it within 3 days.
Related: Miso Glazed Salmon
Can you Reheat Cooked Salmon?
You can absolutely reheat cooked salmon. However, if you overcook your salmon in the oven it will dry out when heating it up for a long time -especially in the microwave.
Hands down, the best way to reheat cooked salmon, if you can do it, is to steam it. You can also steam salmon in the microwave by adding a coupld of tablespoons of water to your dish when heating up the salmon, covering it tightly, and disgarding the water before serving it on a plate.
If you are meal prepping this salmon bowl for the week in individual containers, simply add some water to the bottom of the meal prep container, place the lid, and heat. The water will be absorbed by the rice and you’re good to go!
If you want to heat the salmon on a pan, you can add a little water to it, cover it with a lid, and heat it through as the steam builds in.
Garlic Butter Salmon Bowls
- 4 4 oz salmon pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste or, minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 large yellow squash or zucchini, cut into ½-inch thick rounds
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 small red onion, diced into 1-inch chunks
- 1- pint grape tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups cooked rice, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400F and place the oven rack in the middle position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, and Italian seasoning.
- Place the salmon fillets on a baking sheet, drizzle with garlic-butter sauce.
- Place the yellow squash, red onion, and grape tomatoes onto the baking sheet next to or around the salmon. Season veggies with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the salmon, separates easily with a fork and is cooked through. If using a meat thermometer, the salmon temperature at the thickest part should be 145F.
- Meanwhile, cook the rice. Right before serving, steam the broccoli.
- To serve, layer the rice, salmon, and veggies in a plate or bowl.