5 Ingredients or Fewer

Slow-Roasted Salmon With Kale, Chickpeas & Fried Lemons

January 28, 2019
8 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 4
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Slow-Roasted Salmon With Kale, Chickpeas & Fried Lemons
  • 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)
  1. Heat the oven to 275°F.
  2. Fry the lemons: Chop off the ends of 2 lemons, 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • boulangere
  • Gabrielle
  • M Stuart Itter
    M Stuart Itter
  • Jackie De Sordi
    Jackie De Sordi
  • Rhianna
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

14 Reviews

pamela February 23, 2023
This is a FABULOUS recipe! It will definitely go in the rotation.. and perfect to use with TJ salmon. It goes together easily in the same pan you roast in... You could even do it in the am, put in the fridge and roast according to your evening schedule. Even my husband who detests kale ate this. Amazing melange of flavors and textures. I served w/ brown rice. A total win win.
NXL July 15, 2020
This method of cooking salmon is wonderful - nearly impossible to overcook it. Regular lemons are definitely too tart for me, but when eaten with a little bit of everything else they were okay. Meyer lemons are a must next time. I also think one can of chickpeas would have been sufficient, but I'm not a huge fan of them. And the addition of yogurt seems weird to me as I wouldn't normally put dairy with fish. Loved the ample use of olive oil, which made everything nice and moist.
boulangere March 15, 2019
I would do this a bit differently, and use some of the chickpea water (before draining the can) to deglaze the pan after frying the lemons. Why throw away a nice flavor base?
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!
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
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!
pamela February 23, 2023
actually I chopped the kale very small.. and found it kind of crisped up in the roasting process which was great and my husband (who never eats kale), ate it all.
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.
Emma L. January 30, 2019
Thanks, Jackie—hope y'all enjoy!
pamela February 23, 2023
this is very filling.. might want to re-think adding soup.
Rhianna January 29, 2019
Do you use fillets that still have the skin on?
Emma L. January 29, 2019
Hi Rhianna—yes! (It doesn't become crisp, but I don't mind that.)
pamela February 23, 2023
it keeps it very moist. I used Trader Joe's BBQ cut. OMG.. this is a food memoryh.