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Spring Salmon with Creamed Leeks, Potatoes, and Asparagus

6 reviews / 4.7 average

We’re bringing you a plate of sunshine for dinner! Perfectly golden-crisp salmon partnered next to oven-roasted asparagus and a buttery, rich, creamy leek sauce piled on crispy potatoes.

This dish is for everybody, but especially those of us who have been living in the hideous splotchy grey of winter’s end because it’s like, “Oh heeeeey! Remember color?! Look how beautiful and bright and warm! I am a gorgeous food painting for your eyes!”

The bright inexplicable pink of the tender flaky salmon, with golden olive oil-crisped edges. The deep green of the roasted asparagus calling us towards springtime. The pale yellow of the creamy leek drenched potatoes, speckled with bright pops of chives, an almost neon slice of lemon.

It’s like technicolor. It’s delicious. It’s bold and light and it’s serving up sunshine for dinner.

Bright, Fresh, and Happy Ingredients For This Spring Salmon

This one is such a stunner because ingredients like lemon and asparagus and bright fresh salmon sing like spring birds, but the star here is the roasted potatoes with those creamed leeks. They’re creamy, rich, and decadent but with zips of fresh lemon zest. You may want to eat just a whole pan of those, but we promise the whole plate is a song. Here’s what you’ll need to make it happen:

For the leeks:

  • leeks
  • butter
  • garlic
  • fresh thyme
  • heavy cream
  • chicken/veg broth
  • lemon zest
  • salt and pepper

For your sheet pan:

  • potatoes
  • asparagus
  • salmon (or you can cook separate in a skillet for extra golden crispiness, yum!)
  • olive oil, salt, and lemon juice

If you want to skip the oven or skillet for your salmon, we have a guide for all the delicious ways to cook salmon.

Let’s Make Springy Salmon and Potatoes

All things told, this is pretty easy to throw together. The leeks are the only diva here because it takes a few soaks to get them grit-free, and then you have to get them all creamy buttery soft, but again, this star is worth every darn step. So here we go:

  1. Prep your leeks. Leeks are really dirty! After thinly slicing, put them in a bowl of water and gently break them apart so that any dirt trapped between the layers releases to the bottom. Once the dirt settles, pull the leeks out from the top, discard water, and repeat as necessary until clean. (Don’t just strain or the dirt falls right back on them!)
  2. Cream your leeks. Melt some butter in a skillet and cook until the leeks are soft and yummy.  Add the garlic and thyme in with the leeks, then the broth and heavy cream. Let it simmer until it thickens a bit into a nice creamy sauce. Then remove from heat and add the lemon zest and season to taste. 
  3. Ready your sheet pan. Get your potatoes drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepp and start those first. After about ten minutes, add the asparagus to the pan with the same treatment and finish roasting.
  4. Cook your salmon. This is our preferred method here – heat a bit of oil in a skillet and add the salmon, skin side down. Cook for a few minutes until it release easily and then flip and cook for a bit more until you have a golden crispy exterior and it’s done to your preference. (Could also bake salmon on the sheet pan for ease, but you lose that golden-crisp which IS a real treat here.)
  5. Make potato & leek magic. Pour that creamy leek mixture over the roasted potatoes and bake until bubbly and browned at the edges.
Creamed leek sauce on a spoon over a saucepan

How To Cook Perfect Salmon

You have a couple of options for making the salmon here. We often gravitate toward baking salmon because it is our best no-fuss, no-brainer way to get a perfect cook on it. And you could definitely do that here by tossing it on the pan with your potatoes and asparagus! BUT, if you are willing to take one extra step and have one extra thing to clean, we really recommend crisping these fillets up in a skillet with olive oil.

The golden brown crispy edges that you get all over are a whole other level in terms of texture and taste in this dish. The salmon does cook pretty quickly, so you have to baby it a bit so it doesn’t dry out. Again though, that golden crisp…oof, worth the extra pampering.

Pan-fried salmon on a plate with asparagus, potatoes, and creamed leeks

This bright, colorful, super delicious, and deeply satisfying spring dinner is waiting for you. Please do answer its call, won’t you?

Prefer To Watch Instead Of Read?

Spring Salmon with Potatoes: Frequently Asked Questions

Will my salmon get crispy if I pop it in the oven instead of cooking it in a pan?

Baking sheet will be the easiest method, but it won’t get crispy and personally I love the crispy exterior! If you want the easy option, just throw your salmon on the sheet pan with the veggies and creamed leeks for the last ten minutes of cooking.

How do you get all of the dirt off of the leeks?

If you dump the contents of the rinsing bowl into a strainer, all the dirt at the bottom will just go right back over the top of the leeks, which is why it’s helpful to first pull them out with a skimmer, or just with your hands, and then discard the water.

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Spring salmon on a plate with asparagus, leeks, and potatoes square

Spring Salmon with Creamed Leeks, Potatoes, and Asparagus


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

We’re bringing you a plate of sunshine for dinner! Perfectly golden-crisp salmon partnered next to oven-roasted asparagus and a buttery, rich, creamy leek sauce piled on crispy potatoes. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Creamed Leeks:

  • 3 leeks, white and light green parts sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/41 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • a couple pinches of lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste

Other Stuff:

  • 1 pound potatoes, rinsed and halved
  • 1 pound asparagus, tough bottom stems trimmed
  • 1 pound salmon (1 small filet per serving)
  • olive oil, salt, and lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the sliced leeks in a bowl of water. Gently massage and break them apart so that any dirt trapped between the layers gets released. Let the dirt settle and then pull the leeks out of the bowl, discarding the water. Repeat as many times as necessary to get them clean. (My 3 year old daughter loves to help with this! Great kid activity.)
  2. Place your potatoes on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.
  3. After ten minutes, add the asparagus to the pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Return the pan to the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
  4. While everything is roasting, melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the leeks; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are soft and yummy. 
  5. Add the garlic and thyme in with the leeks; cook for a few minutes until it’s very fragrant. Add the broth and the cream; let the whole thing come to a low simmer until it’s comes together like a nice creamy sauce, about 10-15 minutes (I just leave it on the heat slowly bubbling while the other veggies are roasting). Remove from heat and add the lemon zest to the mixture. Taste and season. 
  6. Heat a bit of oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the salmon, skin side down, and cook for a few minutes until you can gently release and flip the salmon. Cook for a few minutes on the other side until the exterior is golden brown and the salmon is cooked to your desired level of doneness.
  7. Pour the creamy leek mixture over the roasted potatoes. Bake for 10 minutes or until the salmon is done and the creamed leeks and potato mixture is bubbly and browned at the edges. Serve straight off the pan with lemon wedges and extra herbs. YUMO!
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Roast
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: salmon, salmon with potatoes, leek recipe

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27 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Susan

    Can you make this recipe using full fat buttermilk and lemon zest instead of heavy cream and juice of a lemon?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Susan! We haven’t tested this recipe with buttermilk and lemon zest, but we think it’s worth a try! Let us know how it goes!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo
    elizabeth

    I thank you for creating a recipe that is an entire meal, so I don’t have to think of a main dish and a side dish! The responsibility of planning every single meal for a family is burdensome, and this helps!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Carol Weber

    This looks glorious, and I’m thinking I’ll make it for supper tonight. But, your recipe says it serves 4 while the nutrition information says 8. That’s a huge difference for those of us who count calories. Can you clarify??

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Carol! We’ve updated the nutrition information to 4 servings. Thanks so much for pointing that out!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Victoria L German

    Is there an alternative to heavy cream? I am allergic to .dairy. And if I don’t use the heavy cream will it change the recipe? Thanks!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Victoria! If you can find it at your grocery store, Silk and Country Crock make plant-based heavy cream. Otherwise you could try coconut milk!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Donovan

    This looks great and am definitely going to make it, but why nutrition facts for half a meal?

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Breanah

    Looks delicious! I love crispy salmon. What type of pan would you recommend to get a sear like that?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      We used a regular non-stick saute pan, but a cast iron skillet would also work!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Amy

    Looks fabulous! Do you remove the asparagus from the pan before putting the creamed leeks over the potatoes? Also, maybe I missed it, but which potatoes do you prefer for this? Thank you!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Amy! You can keep the asparagus on the pan along with the potatoes and leeks unless you think they’re getting a bit too browned. We used gold potatoes, but any will work well!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Julia

    This was delicious but the recipe needs some help!!

    Potatoes: What kind of potatoes? I used russet and sliced wedges and had to roast much longer than the directions.

    Leeks: I had 1 leek that was MASSIVE, I couldn’t imagine having 2 more. Some size reference would be helpful for recipe consistency or to know the actual quantity you’re attempting to get.

    Salmon: I would imagine cast iron is best here? Mine smokes up the house so I used a non stick pan and my salmon still got crispy but a type of pan would be helpful.

    The lemon zest made a magical difference and the creamed leeks could be eaten by the spoonful. It really was a delicious recipe but I couldn’t find the video to watch how you prepared it so I wasn’t sure the right consistency of the leeks. Mine also didn’t brown on the edges so I broiled them and that worked!






  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Allie

    Really yummy! Couldn’t get the potatoes/leek mixture to crisp up on their own but broiling them helped. Also may have had too many leeks compared to the potato despite using the three recommended – maybe would use one or two next time.






  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Maddie

    I’m super excited to try this recipe tonight, just wondering if it would be okay to make the creamed leeks a few hours ahead of time? Or should it all be cooked at the same time?

    Thanks!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Monica

    We enjoyed this as an easy weeknight dinner! Loved the crispy salmon and the creamy leeks. Thanks for the recipe.






  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Paige Young

    I made this last night and it was lovely. I’ve never cooked with leeks before and they were great! Also my husband’s work sent him home with crawfish and it went really well with all the spicy crawfish and fixings. It’s really balanced it all out. Yum!!






  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Katy

    Obsessed with this recipe! I used coconut milk instead of heavy cream and it was still a great consistency and flavor!