Everyone needs a good go-to salmon recipe, and this Baked Salmon recipe is perfection. It's seasoned with butter, garlic, fresh herbs, and lemon juice, then baked in the oven until it's nice and flakey.
Though I have many salmon recipe on my site, this Baked Salmon is the first recipe I'm sharing using a whole 2 lb. salmon fillet!
See, my Whole30 garlic salmon and my honey soy salmon tend to be weeknight staples in our household, but this baked salmon is giving those a run for their money!
It's pretty fool-proof, and instead of being coated in dried spices, it's coated in fresh herbs, along with some butter (can you really go wrong when butter is involved?!).
- A light yet flavorful recipe that easily makes 4 servings, if not more
- A super easy, non-intimidating way to cook a whole salmon fillet
- Packs many health benefits, including but not limited to a good source of omega-3's, protein and healthy fats.
Salmon - A whole 2 lb. salmon fillet -- either sockeye, Atlantic salmon or the variety of your choice -- works best. But, you can also use pre-portioned salmon fillets if you prefer, just know that the bake time may be a bit different.
Butter - Softened; can use dairy-free butter to keep this recipe dairy free. Or, you can substitute olive oil if you prefer.
Garlic - No substitute.
Herbs - A combination of dill, chives and parsley work well.
Lemon juice - Optional, but adds even more flavor and pairs well with the garlic butter.
Step 1: Make the herb butter. First, make sure the butter is softened, then stir in the minced garlic, salt and pepper, along with the chopped herbs.
Step 2: Season the salmon. Pat the salmon with a paper towel to ensure it's completely dry, then sprinkle a small amount of salt over top. Spread the butter all over the salmon. This may take a minute or two, so be patient -- I recommend using the back of a spoon to do this.
Step 3: Bake the salmon. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, then carefully lift the salmon and place it on top. Bake it at 400° for 15 minutes, then switch the oven to broil and broil for 3-4 minutes.
Tips and tricks
- Don't want to use butter? No problem! If you want to lighten this up a bit, you can use olive oil instead. Simply brush it into the salmon, then sprinkle the garlic and herbs overtop.
- If you're eating this as leftovers, you may want to pour a little bit of melted butter over the salmon.
- To make this a bit more lemon-y, simply add a few lemon slices over the salmon before baking it.
What kind of salmon should I use?
Any variety of salmon will work. I used a whole sockeye salmon fillet from the seafood counter at the grocery store, but Atlantic salmon, Coho salmon or King salmon would be delicious.
If you prefer to use pre-portioned fillets, simply bake them for less time (probably closer to 12 minutes instead of 15, though bake time always depends on the thickness of the fish.
How do you know when salmon is done?
There are a few ways to check when salmon is baked:
1. Check the internal temperature using a food thermometer. Stick it into the thickest part of the fish and make sure it reads between 125-130°F.
2. Use a fork to see if the salmon flakes easily or not (it should!).
What sides pair well with baked salmon?
Any sort of veggies would be delicious. I'm thinking of my Sautéed Asparagus, Fried Brussels Sprouts, Instant Pot Broccoli or a simple side of green beans.
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Make ahead: If you want to prep this in advance, you can make the herb butter and store it in a small bowl, and make sure the fish is completely thawed. That way, everything is ready to go for when you want to make it (I don't recommend prepping more than 24 hours in advance).
Reheating: You can reheat salmon in the microwave, or bake it in the oven at 350° until it's warmed through.
More easy fish recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Baked Salmon Fillet
- 2 lb. salmon fillet (1.5 lb. works too)
- pinch salt
- 3 tablespoon butter softened
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tablespoon chives chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice or more to taste
- Preheat oven to 400° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set the salmon fillet on top of the parchment and use a paper towel to pat it dry, the add a pinch of salt on top.
- Next, add the softened butter to a bowl, then stir in the garlic, salt, pepper, dill, parsley, and chives.
- Use the back of a spoon to spread the softened butter over the salmon (be patient -- this may take a minute or two).
- Place the salmon in the oven and bake it for 15 minutes, then switch the oven to BROIL and broil it for 3-4 minutes. Remove it from the oven, then add the lemon juice. Enjoy!
OMG, Erin! Hands down, the absolute BEST sockeye recipe I've EVER made! WOW! Your pic drew me in, and fresh herbs make my eyes roll into the back of my head, so it went straight to the top of my salmon list, and we are so glad we found this! Can't say enough about how good it was! I used more herbs just because we love fresh herbs (the fresh dill reeled me in...okay, THAT was bad... :D), cooked it exactly as the recipe said and couldn't be more perfect! Our fillet was 1.5 lbs and we (two of us!) ate the whole thing and were wishing there was more and that we had room for it...THANK YOU!!!!
Wow Kim, thank you for this kind comment! I'm SO happy you both enjoyed the salmon so much -- it's definitely our favorite way to cook a whole fillet 🙂
Can I substitute dried herbs and if so, what is the ratio? I don’t have any fresh dill and the weather is keeping us indoors today 😳
Yep! If you're using dried herbs, I'd cut the amount in half.
I made this following the recipe as written. Thumbs up from the whole family, even my one that only sometimes likes salmon. Cooked perfectly and a nice balance of flavors. Adding the lemon after if baked was nice. Thank you for sharing. I will make it this way again.
I'm glad to hear everyone liked the salmon!