The other night, I had some salmon filets that I had thawed, but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to cook them. I also had a LOT of veggies in the fridge waiting to be eaten. When I got home from work, I putzed around trying to figure out what to do. I wanted something healthy, without a lot of fuss. I was tired of washing the skillet every night, so the fewer the dishes the better. Suddenly, it came to me: foil packets. Honestly, I can’t recall specifically cooking with them before, but I’m sure that I have. A quick Google search told me temperature and cook time, and voila – dinner was ready within 30-45ish minutes.
The ingredients: salmon, shallot, garlic, red bell pepper, zucchini, asparagus, lemon, olive oil, cooking spray, salt and pepper. And you’ll also need foil. You could use different veggies, and definitely adjust amounts to your liking, but this is what I used, and what I like.
I cut the ends off of the asparagus and cut the pepper and zucchini into similarly sized sticks. I only used a handful of asparagus (about 12 of the skinny ones per packet), and about half the pepper. I cut my zucchini a little thicker because it cooks faster, and I didn’t want it to be too mushy. Then I minced the garlic and sliced the shallot thinly -I had a very large shallot and only used about a quarter of the whole thing, just enough to cover the fish. If you have a smaller one, or really like shallots, use half or the whole thing! You could also use onion if you don’t have any shallots.
Then I put the salmon on a piece of foil that was sprayed with cooking spray, rubbed some olive oil, lemon zest, and garlic on top, then piled half the veggies around it, and drizzled the veggies with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, salt & pepper. In retrospect, I might have tossed the veggies with oil, lemon zest, salt, pepper, garlic, and shallots before I put them into the foil packet, but it turned out just as well. A little basil would be good, I think, or some other herbs, and also some red pepper flakes. I wished I had used a bit more garlic and lemon zest, and so in the recipe below I upped the amounts a bit.
When they were finished, just pulled them out and served on a plate with the foil. My fish was pretty thin, so they were slightly overdone at 17 minutes, so I would recommend between 15-16 minutes. The salmon had some white stuff on the top, which was not very attractive, but it tasted good! Served with some lemon wedges, and it was a very easy, healthy meal.
Salmon and Vegetable Foil Packets
2 salmon filets
1/4-1/2 shallot, depending on size, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch asparagus
1/2 bell pepper, any color
1 small zucchini, or half large
1 lemon – zest and juice
4 tsp. olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Rinse and pat dry your salmon.
- Lay out 2 sheets of foil, each a little larger than double the size of the fish, on a baking sheet. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cut off the tough ends of the asparagus.
- Cut the veggies into similarly sized pieces (either sticks or chunks).
- Zest the lemon.
- Place one salmon filet, skin side down, on the foil.
- Pour 1 teaspoon of oil on top. Rub about a quarter of the minced garlic and lemon zest onto the salmon and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Add half the shallots and veggies around and on top of the fish.
- Pour another teaspoon of oil on top of the veggies, and sprinkle another quarter of the garlic and lemon zest on top of the veggies.
- Cut the zested lemon into four wedges, and squeeze the juice from one wedge over the fish.
- Fold the foil up so it meets in the middle and fold it together. Then fold the edges up so the packet is fully closed. Make sure to leave a little room for heat to circulate within.
- Repeat with second piece of fish and remaining veggies.
- Bake on a baking sheet for 15-18 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Length will vary depending on thickness of fish; mine were fairly thin and were slightly overdone in 17 minutes.
- When done, carefully remove from oven and open packets, being careful to avoid the steam. Transfer to plate, or serve with the foil, with lemon slices.