Paleo Oven Roasted Salmon with Spaghetti Squash

By Amanda Paa – Updated May 2, 2023
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This oven roasted paleo salmon recipe is a healthy dinner idea, served with spaghetti squash and leeks.

To be spontaneous is almost a skill. It’s easier to say, “we should” or “there’s not enough time” or “that costs a lot of money”.  For some people it comes natural and creates a thrill inside, for others it’s nerve-wracking and uncomfortable. I’d say for me, I decide to take the jump into unknown territory 30% of the time, and rarely am I disappointed. Yet it’s so hard.

In fact, some of my greatest memories, and meals were born out of spontaneity. Like the time I decided to hop on a plane with Brian and go to Maui for 10 days for our 2nd date. I mean, what?! 

That was nearly 6 years ago, and I’m as in love with him as I’ve ever been. New Year’s Eve this year played out similar, sitting on the couch together with a glass of bubbly and all of sudden we were booking a trip to Belize to escape the cold. And wow, was it amazing (post coming soon). Those types of things keep the energy alive, don’t they?

Sometimes I feel like it can be hard to embrace spontaneity around food too, which may sound odd considering that I spent every day creating and brainstorming with it. Recently I got to thinking about this after having the same dinner three days in a row. Whether this be what we’re grabbing at the market, cooking techniques, what we order at restaurants, timing of meals….. It feels “safer” to know exactly how things are going to turn out and taste, a sure bet that you’ll enjoy what you’re putting onto your plate. Or knowing the nutrition values of what you’re choosing.

Oven Roasted Paleo Salmon Recipe with Spaghetti Squash

These weren’t leftovers, or anything that needed using up. And when we went out for breakfast at a neighborhood spot, I couldn’t remember the last time I had ordered something other than the Farmhouse Classic.

And then I thought about an internal debate I’d had in the grocery store over trying a new type of whole milk, cream on top grassfed yogurt. I knew I wanted it, but I went with my usual.

Something I’ve come to recognize with myself is that a sense of “control” can dictate my actions, in ways that limit me and my creativity. And reflecting on these examples told me I needed to open up a little, let more food related things happen out of spontaneity.

Oven Roasted Paleo Salmon Recipe with Spaghetti Squash
Gluten-Free Sesame Salmon with Spaghetti Squash & Roasted Leeks {via heartbeet kitchen}

So instead of having a salad with poached egg and toast, that is often my late dinner because little thought is involved, I made this bright and beautiful glazed Sesame Salmon.

Taking the “sheet-pan” advantage in step, I marinated the lush fish (wild-caught Copper River coho) and baked it on top of grassy leeks and chopped bok choy. There was leftover roasted spaghetti squash in the refrigerator, so I added that to the plate too.

And with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, here was this stunning meal that made me feel happy in more ways than one.

Sesame Salmon with Spaghetti Squash & Roasted Leeks {via heartbeet kitchen}

I’m trying to implement that spontaneity a little more, each week, and when I do, I spend a little more time thinking about what’s on my plate, and the gratefulness I have towards it.

And enjoy it, for everything it’s worth, in health and happiness. xo

{Big thanks to my friends from Alaska (you can read more about my experience here), Rich and Sena of Sena Sea Fishing who sent me this beautiful Coho Salmon they caught in the Copper River. One look at that magenta color, and you’ll understand why you need to taste this. Without a doubt, it is the most lush, meaty, salmon you will ever experience. There is no comparison.}

More Salmon Recipes:

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Paleo Oven Roasted Salmon Recipe with Spaghetti Squash

Wild salmon is brushed with a sesame glaze and oven roasted with spaghetti squash.
No ratings yet
Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :30 minutes
Total Time :45 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
Author: Amanda Paa




  • Mix tamari, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey and sesame oil in a small bowl. Put salmon fillets in a ziploc bag and pour marinade over.
  • Let sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Toss bok choy with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then rub leeks with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Put onto a oiled sheetpan, and place salmon on top of the vegetables. Bake for about 10-2 minutes, or until salmon flakes, and is still “bouncy” in the thickest part.
  • Divide leeks, bok choy and spaghetti squash between plates, then top with salmon. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, sesame seeds, and dash of salt.

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March 9, 2016


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  1. Becky Winkler (A Calculated Whisk)

    I love your thoughts on spontaneity, and this salmon looks perfect! I’m feeling inspired to be a little more spontaneous with my food now that it’s spring–which is good because I got into such a rut this winter of just roasting a whole chicken every week or so and eating leftovers in between. I’m more able to carpe diem when it’s warm out, I think…

    • amandapaa

      oh thanks Becky! i also love how new seasons bring a change on our plate. it helps brighten moods and we get different nourishment which is so cool. i do like your idea of roasting a whole chicken though, i should do that more often. xo!

  2. Cassie

    I am so weak when it comes to being comfortable with the unknown. I LOVE routines and structure. Sometimes I have to embrace change so that I can prepare myself for the real world and learn to be more flexible for others.

  3. Sherrie

    The last thing I need is another self-help book. The stack on my desk is currently toppling over, but the one you suggested on this comment thread sounds right up my alley! You have a way with words that speaks directly to my soul. Thanks for being such a vibrant presence in this food blog world. Also, this salmon is like mega-pretty. I cannot get over that color! xx

  4. CakeSpy

    OMG, this looks to die for!! A perfect springtime dinner. I love the photos too – so inviting!

    • amandapaa

      aw, thank you! isn’t the magenta color of that salmon gorgeous?

  5. genevieve @ gratitude & greens

    I like to think of myself as a spontaneous person but I really am someone who discovers what I love and then stick to it. But just like you said- rarely am I disappointed when I do something spontaneous! I think spontaneity is something I should strive for more often- thank you for the nudge! <3

  6. aida mollenkamp

    This is a gorgeous salmon dish. And I CANNOT wait to hear about Belize!

    • amandapaa

      Thank you! And belize, you need to go, but yes – I need to get those pictures up!

  7. Danae @ Recipe Runner

    I love that you wrote this post on being spontaneous. I tend to be much more spontaneous that my husband especially when it comes to trying new food or going to a new restaurant. He always makes the same suggestions on where to go eat and then orders the same thing. I know he does it because he knows what he likes and doesn’t have to worry about it not tasting good, but it can get so boring sometimes. Anyways it was nice to read another perspective on spontaneity. This salmon is absolutely gorgeous! I just saw wild caught COHO was on available at our Whole Foods last weekend, I’m definitely picking some up tomorrow and giving this a try!

  8. Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet

    I really struggle with being spontaneous sometimes because I am SUCH a planner. I am also working on integrating spontaneity into my days little by little. This beautiful salmon dinner is a great place to start. I especially love the marinade! :D

  9. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles

    This salmon is glorious – such a deep, rich color (very reminiscent of sockeye) – and I love how you’ve presented it here with leeks & squash; high quality nourishment. Beyond this though, it’s your words that take hold – although we are talking about food here, the theme of fear generally as an obstacle to growth and creativity is very relatable. We don’t always talk about these things on our blogs but in the end, we are all very human and there’s great comfort in sharing. Loved reading, thank you.

  10. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Girl! This dish just screams “eat me”. The colors are absolutely gorgeous. And I totally feel you about wanting to be in control. I’m the same way. Even as a little kid, I was a bit of a control freak (my mom has some hilarious stories to share!). Yet, I never regret those moments of spontaneity – so that certainly means I should do them more often! Thanks for the inspiration and for the reminder! XOXO!

  11. Faith (An Edible Mosaic)

    You are so right about spontaneity! I’m trying to get more of that in my life too. And this salmon…whoa, it looks amazing, lady! That color blew my mind. Love the fact that it’s a sheet pan meal and the combo of flavors you used. xoxo

    • amandapaa

      thanks Faith, it can be easy to stay in routines. but feels good to let go! xo

  12. Linda | The Baker Who Kerns

    WOW that wild caught coho salmon looks just incredible! The deep red color is so beautiful, I wish I lived in Alaska where I could catch these fresh every day!! Spontaneity is always great but when you’ve had a really bad and tumultuous couple of years where your whole life was turned upside down, you just want to feel grounded for a change. I think once I feel my life is back on track I can bring spontaneity back as well!

    • amandapaa

      oh linda, i’m sending good vibes to what may be putting a little stick in your way right now. i’ve been there.

      and i totally wish i could be in alaska all the time to go and catch these beauties as they swim in the river. they’re flavor just can’t be matched. xo

  13. Sheri

    Love this post! As a 60 year old woman I wish I’d listened less to the “we should” and “there’s not enough time” messages…the true message is this…”there’s not enough time to listen to the we should’s!” <3

    • amandapaa

      Isn’t that the truth? I’m reading this really great book right now, about that exact thing. It’s been the best thing that could have ever landed in my hands.

      More power to all of our instincts, xo.