These Salmon and Asparagus Parchment Packs require minimal ingredients, are easy to assemble, and even meal prep friendly! They’re perfect for someone who loves salmon, but struggles with how to cook it perfectly at home! These parchment packs are fool proof and result in moist, flaky salmon every, single single time.
The evolution of the salmon parchment pack started when a private chef client of mine asked for seafood on her weekly meal prep menus. The problem is, seafood reheated isn’t always the best. It’s often dry, tough, and a texture that I just couldn’t be a part of.
The solution had to be one where the seafood meal was already flavored and assembled so that all my client had to do was cook it. That left me with sheet pan, marinades to saute or grill, or parchment solutions. I knew that the marinade route might not fly because it requires a little bit more attention while cooking the seafood. Sheet pan meals, although convenient, aren’t the most practical when meal prepping without cooking.
Parchment packs it was.
Since introducing these Salmon and Asparagus Parchment Packs, they have been requested every week afterwards by multiple clients.
The method to these parchment packs are really more of a formula. You can mix-and-match different vegetables, types of fish and herbs/aromatics to make them different each week.
These Salmon and Asparagus Parchment Packs can be assembled ahead of time and baked on demand, resulting in a fresh and flavorful seafood dinner with minimal effort!
Here are the components you need for these Salmon and Asparagus Parchment Packs:
- Lemon slices
- Vegetables (preferably some that are long and skinny to make it easier to seal the parchment): asparagus and green beans work well
- Individual portions of fish: I have used salmon, halibut and red snapper. Each is delicious, however, salmon is my favorite. It is full of healthy fats, and is moist and flaky every time. I’ve got to be honest – I get the question of wild vs. farm-raised a lot. Although wild is the better choice, I just can’t get behind the drier texture and fishier taste, so I often choose farm-raised salmon from the best sources I can find.
- Fat: This is to top the salmon so that as the fish cooks, it melts over the top while keeping it moist. In this particular recipe I’m using grass-fed butter (or you could use a dairy-free butter, like Miyoko’s), but you could also use olive oil or avocado oil.
- Herbs/aromatics: If you are using butter, you will want to soften the butter and mix the herbs/aromatics into it with a fork. This is called a “compound butter”. If you are using oil, you can just add these on top to garnish. Italian parsley, thyme, basil, dill, cilantro, grated garlic, minced shallot and lemon zest all work well here.
Cooking tip: Depending on the thickness and density of the fish you choose, you may need to adjust the cooking time. Farm-raised salmon will cook for about 18 minutes; wild salmon might only need about 12 minutes.
To seal the parchment paper, you will gather up either side of the parchment and roll it towards the fish. Then, working at either end, you will want to twist and secure the parchment paper like you would a tootsie roll.
I’ve included a 1-minute cooking tutorial video here (originally posted on Instagram):
- 2 lemons, sliced
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
- 2 individual portions of salmon
- 2 tablespoons grass fed or dairy-free butter, softened
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
- 3 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped (dill, thyme, parsley and basil all work well)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- To make the compound butter, place in a small bowl and add the grated garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Lemon zest would also be delicious. Using a fork, mash the herbs and spices into the butter. Set aside.
- Tear of two large pieces of parchment paper (about double the length as it is wide). Layer four lemon slices in the middle of each sheet of parchment paper in alignment with the paper horizontally. Divide the asparagus in two and place on top of the lemon slices. Next, layer the salmon filets, then divide the compound herb butter in half and spread on top of the fish.
- To secure to parchment packs, grab the longer ends of the parchment paper and pull them up, meeting in the middle. Roll the paper tightly as you work your way towards the bulk of the filling. To secure each side, continue rolling the parchment paper to secure, twisting as you would a tootsie roll.
- Place both parchment packs on a baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through.
- Open up the parchment packs and transfer to a plate. Serve immediately.
You could substitute the asparagus for green beans and the salmon for a different kind of fish, such as red snapper or halibut. Depending on the thickness of the fish filets, you may need to adjust overall cooking time.
Keywords: salmon parchment packs, salmon, seafood, parchment packs, anti-inflammatory, gluten-free, meal prep, make ahead, entertaining
Loved this recipe? Check out @fitlivingeats on Instagram for even more healthy inspiration!