You know those nights when you need an easy dinner on the table as soon as possible? Oven-baked salmon to the rescue! This salmon recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make, yet it makes for an impressive meal that's packed with flavor and nutrition.
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 comes out transformed into something you will savor. You know what I’m talking about.
It’s all about easy and simple when you have some beautiful salmon on hand.
Easy, quick, tasty and healthy. What more could you ask for? Let's cook some up!
Tips for Cooking Salmon in the Oven
- It always best to use fresh wild-caught salmon whenever possible. Farmed fresh salmon will also work, but wild-caught salmon tends to have more nutrients.
- The thinner tail end will cook more quickly than the thicker part of the salmon, so you can tuck it under to make them a similar thickness.
- Leave the skin on the filets and easily remove it after baking.
- Salmon can also be cooked in a similar way outside in your grill. Depending on the size and thickness of the salmon, you will grill it for about 5-6 minutes on each side.
- You can also wrap salmon in foil and bake it, but lower your oven temperature to 375 (as opposed to 400). This will seal in all the flavors and will produce perfect results every time. Try adding some veggies like asparagus, tomato or zucchini to the foil packet.
Baked Salmon Seasoning
One of the great things about baking salmon is that you really don't need much seasoning to have a delicious dish. You can even just simple salt and pepper and call it done. That's usually how basic I keep it to really bring out the wonderful salmon flavor. Here are some other seasoning ideas that work great if you want to jazz things up a bit:
- For classic salmon use garlic powder, salt and black pepper seasoning with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Add paprika and cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.
- Use fresh herbs like parsley and/or dill to enhance the flavor of the salmon without overpowering it.
- Top with pesto for an awesome way to add tons of flavor.
- Curry powder is a tasty variation.
How to Bake Salmon
- Preheat the 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. Just 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, then season evenly and fairly liberally with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and lemon zest.
- With the skin side down on the sheet pan; place it in the 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 (affiliate) 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. Enjoy immediately.
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.
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), then the salmon is ready to eat.
Be careful not to overcook your salmon as it can get tough and dry really quickly.
Baking Frozen Salmon
Salmon thaws pretty quickly when soaked in cold water (while the salmon is still 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 cooking process will be a bit slower, but it will still result in a delicious meal.
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.
Slow-baking the salmon takes it to a whole new level. It gives it an amazing texture similar to sous vide salmon because it is cooked so slowly in a low-temperature oven. It takes a little longer, but it is still totally hands-off. This slow-roasted salmon recipe from Bon Appetit is fantastic if you want to try your hand at slow baking some salmon.
To slow-bake salmon; season the salmon with your favorite fresh herbs, salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice. Fresh thyme leaves, dill, parsley, and cilantro all make tasty choices. Using this slow baking method, you'll want to cook the whole large salmon filet, not individual slices of salmon.
To slow-bake salmon:
- Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees F.
- Allow salmon to come to room temperature. Pat dry and season.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
Is Salmon Healthy?
Salmon is very nutrient-dense and an excellent choice for a healthy diet. It’s high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Salmon is full of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin B12, potassium and selenium. Salmon is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which have numerous health benefits. My family enjoys some type of salmon dish at least once a week.
Delicious Sauces for Baked Salmon
What Wine to Pair with Baked Salmon?
Rich, oily fish like salmon pair best with a full-bodied white wine like oak-aged Chardonnay, Viognier, Marsanne, White Rioja, White Burgundy and White Pinot Noir.
If you prefer red wine, go with a nice Pinot Noir from the northwest coast.
What to Serve with Baked Salmon
- Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Simple Sauteed Broccolini
- Heirloom Tomato Salad
- Crispy Fingerling Potatoes
- Bright Fresh Arugula Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes
More Delicious Salmon Recipes
- Simple Smoked Salmon
- Grilled Salmon with a burst tomato sauce
- Creamy Lemon Vodka Salmon Pasta
- Sous Vide Salmon with Lemon Farro Risotto
- Crispy Skin Pan-Seared Salmon
- Crispy Salmon Cakes with Sauce Gribiche
- Copper River Salmon: A journey from Alaska to your dinner plate
- 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 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.