Baked Salmon

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Baked salmon seasoned with garlic, roasted lemons, and fresh herbs. A healthy family dinner ready in a snap. Cooking in the oven at a moderate temperature and then broiling at the end ensures moist and flaky fish.

Baked salmon on a serving platter with roasted lemon wedges

An easy, healthy seafood dinner is just minutes away! When I’m looking for a nutritious entree, baked salmon is one of my top choices. Fish has protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, so I try to incorporate it into my weeknight meal rotation at least once a week.

Baking fish in a consistent heated environment ensures that the flesh doesn’t dry out. To make preparation a breeze, I keep the fillet whole, with the skin on. The salmon cooks on a tray with melted butter, garlic, salt, pepper, and slices of lemon. It’s a stunning one-pan dish perfect for sharing.

person brushing melted butter on top of a salmon fillet

How to prepare baked salmon

  • Purchase a salmon fillet with or without the skin on. If intact, I find it easier to remove the skin once fully cooked.
  • Remove any remaining tiny bones, then clean and dry the surface.
  • Line a sheet pan with foil and then lightly grease with oil.
  • Brush melted butter over the surface (olive oil or ghee can also be used).
  • Season the salmon with salt, pepper, and minced garlic.
  • Arrange lemon slices around the fillet. These will roast and become super juicy and less tart in flavor. They make a great sauce to squeeze on top when serving.

You can also prepare the salmon into individual servings by cutting into equal-sized portions. The baking time may be a few minutes shorter as there are more exposed edges that will cook faster.

close up photo of crushed garlic pieces on top of a salmon fillet

What oven temperature do I use to bake salmon?

Bake the salmon at 375ºF (191ºC) for the first 10 to 12 minutes, until it reaches 125ºF (52ºC). Using a moderate temperature will ensure that the salmon stays moist. To add some extra browning and flavor to the surface, broil the salmon for 3 to 4 minutes. Make sure that the garlic does not entirely burn. Keep a close eye on the fish after the first 2 minutes of broiling.

How long does it take to bake salmon?

The cook time depends on the thickness. The tail end cooks faster than the thicker body portion of the fillet. It takes about 5 minutes of cook time for every half-inch thickness of salmon. For example, for a 1-inch thick fillet, you’ll need at least 10 minutes of cooking, more or less time depending on the temperature of the oven.

To test for doneness I like to use a fork to gently separate a few layers of flesh in the thickest part of the fish. The salmon should be opaque unless you like it medium-rare, and be easy to flake with a fork. Another way is to use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness in the thickest part of the salmon. If you like a slightly rare center, shoot for 125ºF (52ºC). For medium target 140º (60ºC), above 145ºF (63ºC) the fish will taste dry.

baked whole salmon fillet with lemon wedges on aluminum foil

More salmon recipes

Bake the salmon low then high

Salmon cooks very quickly since it’s flesh is high in moisture and fat. Within minutes, the texture can go from a firm and silky to tough and dry. To prevent this, the fish is first cooked at a gentle moderate temperature to just about medium-rare. Then the last few minutes the salmon is exposed to the top heating element of the broiler to lightly brown the surface. This step can be skipped if you prefer a more rare texture.

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Baked Salmon

Baked salmon recipe seasoned with garlic, roasted lemons, and fresh herbs. A healthy family dinner ready in just 30 minutes. 
Pin Print Review
4.04 from 125 votes
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings 4 people
Course Entree
Cuisine American

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pound salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 8 lemon wedges
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill

Instructions 

  • Set the oven rack to the center position. Preheat to 375ºF (191ºC).
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
  • Place salmon on the sheet, skin side down (if still intact).
  • Brush half of the melted butter over the salmon fillet. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the rest of the butter over the salmon.
  •  Sprinkle the minced garlic evenly over the salmon. Place lemon wedges around the sides.
  • Bake until the thickest part reaches an internal temperature of 125º (52ºC), about 12 minutes.
  • Change the oven setting to broil on high. Broil until the surface is a light golden color and garlic just begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the skin from the salmon and transfer fish to a serving platter.
  • Garnish with parsley and dill, serve with roasted lemon wedges.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • MAKE IT WHOLE30: Ghee or extra-virgin olive oil can be substituted for butter. Substitute kosher salt for sea salt. 
  • Larger salmon fillets can be used, adjust cooking time until the 125ºF internal temperature is reached. 
  • Salmon can be cut into individual sized pieces and baked according to recipe directions.

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Nutrition Facts
Baked Salmon
Amount Per Serving
Calories 292 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 108mg36%
Sodium 366mg15%
Potassium 833mg24%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 245IU5%
Vitamin C 1.1mg1%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Reader Interactions

47 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Judy says

    Looks absolutely delicious. I do love salmon. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time. Lovely that you can see the world and experience other cultures. Thank you for all you share and for ‘taking me along with you’ through that.

  2. Anna Leah says

    This dish is delicious and I often bake salmon already so the addition of the minced garlic was really nice (and I did not burn it!). We eat it skin and all. Served it with a carrots and dill recipe and not a morsel was left behind. I appreciate the cooking temperature tips.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      High five on not burning the garlic! So happy to hear you guys enjoyed the recipes. The sides sound like a perfect combo!

  3. Christine says

    I almost always do salmon on Mondays and so this was a perfect recipe to try something new to add to my salmon recipes! It was so flavorful and tender and easy to make. Thank you!

  4. Patty says

    Ms Gavin
    Your recipe for baked salmon was right on. I did not have parsley so I used cilantro. But the cilantro is not what made it…it was the garlic, lemmon and dill. Very good!

  5. Cherry says

    Wow. Looks delish. I’m trying to avoid the use of aluminium foil in my kitchen. Can u suggest another alternative? Or can I bake the salmon in a Corning Ware casserole?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Cherry- For the least mess use some parchment paper. Otherwise you can use a casserole dish, but make sure to grease the bottom of the pan so that the skin doesn’t stick too bad to the bottom. You can also put some herbs like thyme sprigs on the bottom to help reduce sticking.

      • Kevin Masson says

        I’ve just put a whole cleaned 6lb trout in the oven at gas mark 5. After following your guide,how long should I cook it for please? Ps. Love the idea but just hope I cook for the right time🙄🎣xx

  6. Fior Jones says

    This is my very first time giving a review, but i have to say this one is well deserved!!! So delicious and light LOVE IT!!!!

  7. Susan says

    During the summer when our college-aged kids are home we have a cooking rotation. Well, my daughter made this tonight for our family. It was wonderful! Perfectly cooked and delicious! Love the roasted lemons! Thank you for a great recipe. Five Stars!

  8. Dreighton Rosier says

    Charcoal grill hot fire aluminum foil fish (salmon or rainbow or steelhead)

    Spice as desired, I might use any of allspice or garlic with any Creole or Cajun for example along with salt and white or black pepper, olive oil on the foil then flesh side down.

    Soak wood chips of choice and roast over hot part of fire about 12 to 15 minutes. Check for doneness, I prefer a bit under cooked, there will be some caramelization on the tail and other thin places which is all the better.

    Off the grill the skin lifts off easily and can be eaten as is if desired.

    Lay a platter over the fish then flip it for an easy serve. Do be careful to not lose any of the juices.

    Essentially your baked fish but the heat is out of the kitchen with any number of variations easily done.

  9. Nicole C says

    I needed a quick recipe to make the piece of salmon that was left from a different recipe and this was perfect! I’m not a big fan of foods cooked with lemon, though I love lemons 🤷🏾‍♀️. Mom asked for lemon and herbs. Two recipe books later, I found this one online. My mom enjoyed it so much and so did I. Adding this to my favorites. Thank you!

  10. Ardean P Armitage says

    Delicious and easy. No lemons, so sprinkled with lemon juice before and after cooking. Butter and garlic combination added flavor without overpowering the salmon. Hubby loved. A good recipe for those who think they don’t like salmon. SIL makes recipes with special rubs which are delicious, I need my own signature recipe…this is it.

  11. Connie says

    I just finished making this salmon. It was one of the best dishes I’ve ever made!!! So simple to make. I was surprised it was so delicious!!!! I plan to make it for my parents. The presentation is also elegant!!! Thanks Jessica!

  12. Abbie says

    Made this last night and it was delicious. It did not take much time at all and the salmon was the perfect texture. I will be making this again!

  13. T says

    Made this with roasted zucchini and tziki sauce on the side. I love tziki sauce on many things, but on salmon it is awesome! My husband loved it and so did I!

    • Laura says

      That’s a great idea! I’m a fan of a tangy tater sauce but Tziki sounds amazing and I just happen to have some on hand…. making this salmon and a bit of halibut tonight!

  14. Kristen Vang says

    My son cooking salmon for his diets this week and he needed help so I use this bake salmon recipe for him and it turns out great, he loves it and appreciate mom for helping him

  15. Bobby says

    Thank you for your Baked Salmon recipe! I have never cooked a salmon fillet until today and thanks to your clear instructions I was able to successfully pull it off! It turned out perfectly cooked and tasty! Mmmmmmmmm! I will be cooking this more thanks to you! I will be checking out many more of your delicious recipes.

  16. Brad says

    Hi Jessica,

    For a novice like myself you made this incredibly easy and, it was incredibly delicious. I looked at ten different sites with recipes and none made it a easy or, as complete in terms of instructions. The video was a very nice touch as well. Thank you!

  17. Terri says

    Loved this recipe. The salmon was so moist and delicious! I loved the roasted lemons. What a great idea! 🍋

  18. BuncheBaker says

    Thank you ever so much, this was the easiest recipe EVER > even I couldn’t mess it up > it is so very moist, thank you kindly Jessica :*

  19. Maggie Angelo says

    Jessica,
    Thank you for another easy to follow, yummy recipe! Your recipes always have easy to find ingredients ( most of them already in my pantry) and are major crowd pleaser creations. Your passion for cooking and sharing of your knowledge is evident, and so much appreciated. I consistently receive rave reviews from my family and friends!

  20. Diana Wilson says

    My family loves this recipe. This is such an easy meal and tasty as well.The directions are easy to follow. This is on a regular rotation in our house.

  21. Grace says

    Best salmon I have ever made! My family loved it. I have struggled making salmon and was losing the will to try. Thank you for this simple but delicious recipe.

  22. Tom says

    Made this last night with some garlic mashed potatoes, and it was delicious! This is my salmon recipe from now on, and I’m looking forward to devouring the leftovers tonight.

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