Main DishesQuick and EasyRecipesSalmon

Baked Salmon

Baked salmon is a straightforward recipe that uses simple, fresh ingredients for a flavorful meal. This one is a super easy dinner option that’s quick to make and perfect for busy weeknights!
By August 26, 2019 No Comments
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You can never go wrong with salmon for dinner! We often enjoy smoked salmongrilled salmon, or this easy baked salmon recipe.

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.

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 to eat. 
Easy. Quick. Tasty. What more could you ask for? Let’s cook some up!

Tips for cooking salmon in the oven

  • It is a good idea 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. 
  • Oven baked salmon can also be baked 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 to bake. It seals in all the flavors and produces perfect results every time. Try wrapping the salmon in foil with any favorite veggies – onion, zucchini, tomato and/or mushrooms.
seasoning salmon for baking

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 use a bit of salt and pepper and call it done. Here are some other baked salmon seasoning ideas, if you want to jazz things up:

  • 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 easy way to flavor salmon.

How to bake salmon

  • The first step to baking salmon is to preheat the oven to 425 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.
salmon filets on baking sheet
  • 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. 
salmon baking in oven horizontal
  • 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.
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How long to bake salmon

All salmon is different in terms of thickness, fat content, cut size of the filet, so there’s no definitive bake time to follow. It’s really about when the temperature is reached

Salmon is cooked through when the flesh is opaque and flakes easily from the fillet. If you’re not sure that the salmon is done, you can use a digital 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. You want to be sure not to overcook your salmon as it can get tough and dry.

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 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 baked salmon

Slow baking the salmon gives it an amazing texture. It takes a little longer, but it is still totally hands-off. This slow roasted salmon recipe from Bon Appetit makes a great choice, if you want to try your hand at slow baked 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:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Allow salmon to come to room temperature. Pat dry and season.
  3. 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

Beurre blanc, chimichurri, lemon butter sauce, garlic butter, cilantro lime, honey glaze, creamy dill.

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, Pinot Noir is a great match.

What to serve with baked salmon

More Delicious Salmon Recipes

oven baked salmon on sheet pan horizontal 1

Baked Salmon

Print Pin Rate
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 19 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Justin McChesney-Wachs

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon filets (preferably wild-caught)
  • olive oil
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon zest (optional)
  • lemon wedges
  • chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or chives

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 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.

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