You know those nights when you need an easy dinner on the table as soon as possible? Oven-baked salmon to the rescue! This recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make, yet it makes for an impressive meal that’s packed with flavor and nutrition.

With all the ways to cook it, you can never go wrong. Whether it’s smoked, grilled, pan-seared, deep-fried or even raw in a poke bowl, but there is really no easier way than to bake it right in the oven. Easy, quick, tasty and healthy. What more could you ask for? Let’s cook some up!

One of the best ways to become a better cook is to get comfortable cooking in the oven. It can be a pretty magical thing. You heat it up, place your food inside and it becomes something you will savor.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Salmon – Preferably wild salmon. You can cut into individual portions or bake the entire filet.
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Lemon zest – Optional, but adds a bit of zesty freshness

How to Bake Salmon in the Oven

salmon filets on baking sheet
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prep the salmon – while the oven preheats, pat the filets dry with paper towels, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle a little olive oil onto all sides, then season evenly and fairly liberally with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and lemon zest.

Tip: Use fish tweezers to remove any pin bones from the filet.

salmon baking in oven horizontal
  1. Bake the Salmon – With the skin side down on the sheet pan; place it in the oven and bake until the internal temperature reaches 125° to 130° F for medium doneness, or 140° F for well done, about 10 to 14 minutes depending on the size of the filets.

Tip: Use a probe thermometer to check and verify internal temp for doneness.

oven baked salmon on sheet pan vertical 3
  1. Serve – Transfer the salmon to plates and drizzle with a little more extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, a sprinkle of sea salt and some fresh herbs for garnish. Enjoy immediately.

Top Tips for Cooking Salmon in the Oven

  • Use fresh wild-caught salmon whenever possible. Farmed fresh salmon will also work, but wild-caught salmon is leaner and more nutritious.
  • The tail end is thinner and will cook more quickly than the thicker center of the filet. To even it out, you can tuck the tail under to make them a similar thickness.
  • Leave the skin on the filets for easy removal after it after baking. It also helps keep the salmon moist and tender as it cooks.
  • Be careful not to overcook your salmon as it can get tough and dry really quickly.
  • You can also wrap salmon in foil and bake it. Just lower your oven temperature to 375° F (as opposed to 400). This will seal in all the flavors and will produce perfect results every time. Try adding some veggies like asparagus, tomatoes or zucchini to the foil packet.

Seasoning Options

One of the great things about baking salmon is that you really don’t need much seasoning to have a delicious dish. You can go as simple as salt and pepper and call it done. That’s a great basic way to really bring out all the wonderful salmon flavor. Here are some other seasoning ideas that work great if you want to jazz things up a bit:

  • For classic flavors, use garlic powder, salt and black pepper seasoning with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Fresh chopped garlic can also be used.
  • For a spicy kick, add some paprika and cayenne pepper.
  • Use fresh herbs like parsley and/or dill to enhance the flavor of the salmon without overpowering it.
  • Top with pesto, make chimichurri grilled salmon or add some BBQ sauce while it grills for BBQ salmon for an awesome way to add tons of flavor.
  • Honey and soy sauce for a sweet and salty option similar to teriyaki salmon.
  • Miso Salmon – Salty-sweet umami flavors are wonderful with the salmon.
seasoning salmon for baking

How Long to Bake Salmon

It takes about 10 to 14 minutes at 400 degrees F to cook salmon filets in the oven. However, all salmon is different in terms of thickness, fat content and cut size of the filet, so there’s really no definitive bake time to follow. It’s really about when the desired internal temperature is reached.

Salmon is cooked through when the flesh is opaque and it flakes easily from the fillet. If you’re not sure that the salmon is done, you should verify with a probe thermometer to measure the internal temperature.

The salmon is cooked if the temperature of the salmon is at least 125 to 130 degrees F for medium or 140 for well done, about 10 to 14 minutes (depending on the size of the filets).

Delicious Sauces to Pair it With

Adding a sauce to the salmon will really bring it to another level and complete the dish. A simple beurre blanc, chimichurri, burst tomato sauce, lemon butter sauce, garlic butter, teriyaki, or a honey glaze are all great pairings. You could even go bright and fresh with a lemon vinaigrette with a salad.

Baking Salmon from Frozen

Salmon thaws pretty quickly when soaked in cold water (leaving it in a plastic bag), but if you don’t have time for thawing, no worries. You can bake salmon right from a frozen state. The cook time will be extended a bit, but the results will still be delicious.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season as you would and place salmon skin side down in a casserole dish or baking pan that is lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 30 minutes and until salmon is flaky and internal temperature measures at least 125 degrees F.

What to Serve with Baked Salmon

oven baked salmon on sheet pan horizontal 1

Simple Baked Salmon

Simple, quick and straightforward with just 4 ingredients. Baking salmon in the oven is flavorful and nutritious meal perfect for a weeknight that cooks up in under 15 minutes.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 19 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 241kcal


  • 4 Salmon Filets (preferably wild-caught)
  • olive oil
  • Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Lemon Zest (optional)
  • Lemon Wedges
  • Chopped Fresh Herbs Such as Parsley or Chives


  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  • While the oven preheats, let the salmon sit out to come to room temperature. This will help promote even cooking. Don’t leave it out for longer than needed.
  • Pat the filets dry with paper towels, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle or brush olive oil onto all sides. Season evenly with kosher salt & freshly ground pepper and lemon zest.
  • With the skin side down on the sheet pan; transfer to the oven and bake until the internal temperature reaches 125 to 130 degrees F for medium or 140 for well done, about 10 to 14 minutes (depending on the size of the filets). Always use a probe thermometer to check for doneness.
  • Carefully transfer the salmon to plates and drizzle with a little more extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, a sprinkle of sea salt and some fresh herbs for garnish.


  • Use fish tweezers to remove pinbones in the salmon filet.


Calories: 241kcal | Protein: 34g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 75mg | Potassium: 833mg | Vitamin A: 68IU | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

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  1. 5 stars
    First off I am not the best chef, but this recipe made me appear like one. Super simple, easy and delicious- I’ll be making this one again for sure!

  2. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe for a mid week meal! We got lucky to score some copper river Salmon and had to try this recipe. Following the instructions to a T delivered a quick and delicious Salmon dish. We also cooked asparagus (as recommended in the post) along side the Salmon in the oven. I appreciated this blog and highlighting all the different variations that can be done to create a dish specific to your individual taste. One of the best (and easiest) Salmon recipes, it will not disappoint! Thank you for this awesome recipe Justin, well done as always!