Citrus Baked Arctic Char With Asparagus (Done In One Pan & 30 Minutes)
Recipe type: gluten-free, paleo
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
  • 1 large fillet of arctic char (you can also use other fish like trout or salmon. Look for the freshest fish you can find, and if the fillets are small, use two. My fillet was approx. ½ inch thick x 13 inches long.)
  • 1 lb. asparagus, woody ends trimmed off
  • 2-3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 meyer lemon, cut into thin slices
  • 1 blood orange, cut into thin slices
  • a few sprigs fresh thyme, or ½-1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F., and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Spread the asparagus on the baking sheet, drizzle with 1-2 TBSP olive oil, season well with salt and pepper, and toss around the pan to coat evenly. Spread the asparagus into an even layer around the edges of the pan, and lay the fish in the middle, skin-side down.
  3. Drizzle the fish with the remaining TBSP olive oil, and season evenly with salt and pepper. Arrange the slices of citrus on top of the fish, alternating lemon and blood orange slices. scatter the fresh thyme on top.
  4. Roast on the middle rack for about 12-15 minutes. Your time will vary depending on how thick your fillet is, and how well done you like your asparagus. I like mine crisp-tender, and using a fillet about ½ inch thick works perfectly for this. To test the fish, prod it gently with a fork in the thickest part. If it flakes and is opaque all the way through, it's done. If necessary, you can remove the fish to a serving patter and return the asparagus to the oven for another minute or two -- or vice versa, if the asparagus is done before the fish. They should be done at about the same time, but again, it will vary depending on the size of your fillet.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve immediately. You can eat this as-is, or serve it over a salad (I like arugula here, with it's mild peppery flavor) or with a side of rice or other grain for a more filling meal.
As I mentioned in the recipe, you can use salmon, trout, or other fish in place of the arctic char. I recommend using whatever's fresh and looks good at your fish market. See the rest of my blog post for tips on buying and cooking seafood.

I like how colorful the combination of meyer lemons and blood orange are, but you can certainly use all of one instead of both. And of course, regular lemons work fine, too.

Asparagus is one of the first veggies I crave when spring hits, but if you're not a fan you can swap them here for green beans. They cook in about the same amount of time.

If you'd like to double this recipe to serve more people, I recommend putting all of the veggies on one tray, and all of the fish on another (lay the fillets side-by-side, thick end of one next to the thin end of the other). This way if the veggies are done before the fish, or vice versa, it's easy to remove one and keep cooking the other.

This recipe was adapted / inspired by this blood orange and thyme trout my friend Sue made over at her blog The View From The Great Island. If you want more healthy, easy, flavorful recipes, definitely check her out!
Recipe by Will Cook For Friends at