Slow-Roasted Salmon With Kale, Chickpeas & Fried Lemons

January 28, 2019

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

Meet my new favorite way to cook salmon. The low oven temperature means it's just about impossible to mess up. And the sides—tender kale, plump chickpeas, and caramelized lemons—all come together in the same pan. In other words: a pretty dang impressive meal for something that's mostly hands-off and totally weeknight-friendly. Just don't forget the dollop of Greek yogurt on top.

Emma Laperruque

Food52 Review: This is one of our Big Little Recipes. Read more here: This One-Pan Salmon With Lemony Kale & Chickpeas Is Impossible to Mess Up.The Editors

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 40 min


  • 3 lemons, preferably organic, divided
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for the salmon
  • 3 pinches kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 small bunches Tuscan kale (about 1 1/2 pounds), de-stemmed and chopped
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
  • 4 (6- to 8-ounce) salmon fillets
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (I like whole-milk)
In This Recipe


  1. Heat the oven to 275°F.
  2. Fry the lemons: Chop off the lemons' ends, then cut lengthwise into quarters. Use your knife to remove the white pith running down the center, then use your hands to remove the seeds. Thinly slice each lemon quarter crosswise into triangles. Blot these with a paper towel to remove excess juice. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a very large, oven-safe, non-reactive skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s shimmery and hot, add the lemons. Fry, stirring every so often, until deeply browned—about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Cook the kale: Wipe out the skillet with a damp cloth to remove any remaining lemon char or grease. Add another 2 tablespoons oil and set over medium heat. When the oil is shimmery and hot, add the kale. Sprinkle with salt and sauté for a couple minutes until just wilted. Cut the heat.
  4. Add the drained chickpeas to the kale, plus the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and another pinch of salt. Give a quick toss. Halve the remaining lemon and squeeze some juice on top. Toss and taste. Add more lemon juice if you want, or not. (Remember, that fried lemon will be sprinkled on top!)
  5. Rub the salmon fillets with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt (and black pepper, if you want). Set them on top of the kale-chickpea mixture.
  6. Stick the skillet in the oven and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 120°F. Even when it’s done, it may still look slightly “raw”—this is a result of the slow roasting. Other cues: a fork should meet no resistance, the fish should be starting to flake, and the flesh should separate easily from the skin.
  7. To serve: Spoon some chickpea-kale mixture onto a plate. Top with a salmon fillet. Dollop with Greek yogurt and sprinkle with fried lemon pieces. Add a pinch of flaky salt.

More Great Recipes:
American|Chickpea|Kale|Lemon|Salmon|Yogurt|5 Ingredients or Fewer|Weeknight Cooking|Weekend Cooking|Winter|Gluten-Free|Dinner

Reviews (8) Questions (0)

8 Reviews

Gabrielle February 4, 2019
This one belongs in the "genius" category. It was simple and excellent. I smeared some harissa on the salmon before everything went in the oven, which I recommend if you like heat!
Author Comment
Emma L. February 5, 2019
Thanks so much, Gabrielle!
M S. January 30, 2019
Very nice dish. Perfect meal. But, cooking time for kale off the walls. Black Kale might have a chance of cooking as you suggest, but regular kale would have to be boiled for six or minutes first. Just saying
Author Comment
Emma L. January 31, 2019
Hi there, thanks! I used Tuscan kale for this recipe and added that clarification to the ingredient list. Hope that helps!
jackie D. January 30, 2019
I was looking for a light and healthy dish to make this coming Friday night as I invited 3 of my girlfriends over. This looks perfect and so no-fuss. Thanks for sharing. I'll be serving a vegetable cream soup as an entree first. Sounds like the perfect dish for afterwards.
Author Comment
Emma L. January 30, 2019
Thanks, Jackie—hope y'all enjoy!
Rhianna M. January 29, 2019
Do you use fillets that still have the skin on?
Author Comment
Emma L. January 29, 2019
Hi Rhianna—yes! (It doesn't become crisp, but I don't mind that.)