A Simple, Healthy Salmon Dinner
Not only is maple BBQ salmon with cauliflower rice & black beans the simplest weeknight dinner you’ll ever make, but it’s also super delicious — and it includes a perfect blend of lean protein, vegetables, and healthy carbs. It’s sure to become a regular meal in your household.
Ingredients for your simple salmon dinner
You’ll need just five ingredients to prepare this meal:
- Fresh salmon, 5 oz per serving
- Maple BBQ sauce
- Steam-in-bag herbed cauliflower rice
- Canned black beans (BPA free and reduced sodium)
- Cooking spray
How to select perfect salmon
For this meal, you’ll use 5 oz per portion of fresh salmon. I like to ask the seafood counter to cut the portions for me, because they do it much more easily than I can.
Here are a few tips for selecting the freshest salmon for your meal:
- Look for a smooth appearance. It shouldn’t look mushy, and the flesh should not be separating or pulling apart at the white lines running through the fish.
- If you touch the flesh, it should spring back.
- Do a quick sniff check. The salmon shouldn’t smell too “fishy.”
How to prepare the maple BBQ salmon
As with all seafood, ideally you’ll eat your salmon the same day you purchase it. If you can’t eat it that day, either freeze it right away or eat it within a day or two.
When you’re ready to prep your meal, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a baking pan and set the salmon inside. For a quick and perfect topping, drizzle the fish with roughly a teaspoon or more of maple BBQ sauce.
We’ve tried pretty much every maple BBQ sauce we can find, and our favorite is Butternut Mountain Farm Maple Barbeque Sauce. If you can snag a bottle, you need to do it!
Regardless of the brand you pick, be sure to select a BBQ sauce that uses real maple syrup, rather than maple flavoring. It makes a world of difference in both taste and nutritional content.
For a variation on this recipe that’s even lighter and healthier, try this: instead of BBQ sauce, simply add lemon juice to the salmon, followed by a light sprinkling of garlic salt. It’s just as quick, easy, and delicious.
Once your salmon is prepared, bake for 17 minutes at 375 degrees or until cooked through.
How to prepare the side dishes
Toward the end of the salmon’s baking time, heat the cauliflower rice in the microwave. Our favorite is Birds Eye Steamfresh Made™ Riced Cauliflower with Savory Herb. Just pop it in the microwave for about 4 minutes and you have a perfectly prepared side dish.
If you’d like to keep this dinner simple (which is the whole point!), I recommend using a riced cauliflower variety like Birds Eye that includes the herb flavoring already in it, which reduces steps for you.
Also open a (non-BPA) can of reduced sodium black beans, rinse in a colander, and heat for your second side dish. Heating beans requires very little time, either on the stove, or in the microwave to save yourself from dirtying another pot.
How to assemble your easy weeknight meal
Serve the salmon alongside the cauliflower rice and black beans, and you’re done! For the portion of beans, I use ⅔ of a cup for each plate. For the cauliflower rice, it’s so light and delicious that you can’t have too much on a plate. I basically serve as much as I can get away with — usually about a cup per person.
That’s all the effort this meal requires, and it provides you with perfect blend of protein, vegetables, and healthy carbs. I hope you enjoy this easy dinner!
More healthy seafood recipes
If you enjoyed this dinner, here are some more healthy seafood recipes you may like to try:
Maple BBQ salmon with cauliflower rice and black beans
- 4 portions of salmon 5 oz each
- Cooking spray
- 4 tsp Maple BBQ sauce such as Butternut Mountain Farm Maple Barbeque Sauce, divided
- 2 10 oz bags steam-in-bag herbed cauliflower rice such as Birds Eye Steamfresh Made™ Riced Cauliflower with Savory Herb
- 2 2/3 cups Canned reduced-sodium black beans 4 portions of ⅔ cup each
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray baking pan or baking sheet with a light coating of baking spray and place salmon on top.
- Drizzle salmon with maple BBQ sauce.
- Cook salmon for 17 minutes or until heated through.
- Toward end of salmon cooking time, steam cauliflower rice in microwave according to package instructions.
- Heat black beans, either in microwave or on stovetop, and portion out to ⅔ cup for each plate.