Here’s a confession: for all the cooking I do, I’m still sometimes a little leery of cooking seafood. I grew up in a landlocked area, so the wealth of seafood we have here on the coast still sometimes astonishes me. Here’s what we did have where I lived: salmon. The best salmon in the world, actually; but still – salmon, and salmon alone. For years, I avoided it, because I was tired of it. Why have salmon when there’s so much else out there?? But eventually I came back around, and this recipe is a big reason why. It is so easy, and practically foolproof. If you’re afraid of screwing up fish, try this. It’s a great confidence booster.


My favorite place to buy salmon is (of course) Costco; I usually buy large fillets that are about 2 pounds, sliced from one side of the salmon. When it goes on sale, I buy several and stick them in the freezer. Right now, one┬ápackage is enough to feed our family, but leftovers are growing scarcer as the babies’ appetites grow!

Easy Roasted Salmon

  • 1 fillet salmon, 2-3 pounds, cleaned and de-boned (skin on is fine)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika*
  • 2 teaspoons very coarse sea salt such as Maldon

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with nonstick spray. Combine the brown sugar, paprika, and sea salt in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Lay the salmon skin side down on the baking sheet and cover it completely with the brown sugar mixture; pat gently to adhere. Roast for 15-18 minutes, until cooked through.

That’s it! Super easy, super moist salmon.

For those of you who are using my recipes to feed kids, be aware that this can be spicy! The smoked paprika is a little too hot for our babies’ palates at full strength. I just scrape off the top crust before I give it to them and they’re fine, though I make sure to have water or milk ready just in case!

*Smoked paprika is literally the only thing I buy at Williams Sonoma, though I ogle everything. My regular grocery stores don’t have it, and I really like the quality of the one they have there. And yes, you want smoked paprika specifically! Regular paprika has a whole different flavor, and won’t combine with the brown sugar to make barbecue-y smokiness.