Baked Salmon with Dill Sauce is wonderfully healthy, gloriously flavorful and deeply satisfying!
This Baked Salmon with Dill Sauce is a delightful symphony of Greek flavors you will have to taste to believe. The Dill Sauce for the salmon is beautifully creamy AND healthy made with Greek yogurt spiked with fresh dill, lemon juice, garlic, oregano and parsley. It slathers the juicy salmon that has “marinated” while you prep the dill sauce with kisses of balsamic, lemon juice, lemon pepper, oregano and garlic for complex flavor upon on flavor YUM. The whole meal comes together very quickly for a simple salmon recipe that never disappoints!
This “Greek” salmon is inspired by my crazy popular Greek chicken recipe, and I couldn’t be more excited to bring it to you today!
This Mediterranean inspired Baked Salmon with Dill Sauce is rich, buttery tender, seeping with flavor and requires just 12 minutes of HANDS OFF cooking time! So, while this Greek Salmon might look gourmet, it’s easy enough for every day but is SO unbelievably delicious, you can impress all of your dinner guests.
MORE Reasons to love this Baked Salmon with Dill Sauce:
- Oven Baked Salmon. I love baking salmon because it emerges buttery juicy (without butter!), bakes evenly, is hard to overcook, and requires no hand’s on babysitting. It is the perfect method when you want tender, juicy salmon dripping with flavor. And this Baked Salmon with Cream Dill Sauce is dripping with fresh, bold flavor.
- Quick and Easy. The salmon rests in a simple “marinade” while you prep the Dill Sauce and Cucumber Tomato Salsa, so there is no extra prep time and dinner can be served in less than 45 minutes start to finish!
- Healthy. This easy salmon recipe tastes richly indulgent but is secretly a nutritious, protein-packed powerhouse. The salmon is healthy by nature and the cooking method and the creamy dill sauce for the salmon is made with nonfat Greek yogurt with just touch of mayonnaise so you get to enjoy lusciously creamy sauce AND buttery rich salmon without any guilt!
- Dill Sauce for Salmon AKA Creamy Flavor. The Creamy Dill Sauce for the Salmon is reminiscent of Greek tzatziki minus the chunky cucumber, which we instead use in our Tomato Cucumber Salsa/Salad. It is lusciously creamy, garlicky, punchy, tangy and adds that something-something to take your baked salmon over the top.
- Cucumber Tomato Salsa AKA Fresh Flavorful Texture. The Tomato Cucumber Salsa is optional, but it’s vibrant flavors and textures are intoxicating so I implore you not to skip it! You will be blown away at the hypnotic dance of bright citrus, herbs and salty feta in the Cucumber Tomato Salsa piled on silky, tangy Dill Sauce, giving way to juicy, richly seasoned salmon. The trifecta is perfection.
- Versatile. Now, the ingredient list for the salsa is a little lengthy but I promise it is super quick an easy to throw together BUT even if you just have cucumbers and/or tomatoes, you can combine them with whatever elements of the salsa you have on hand and load them on top of the Baked Salmon with Dill Sauce and be met by cheers from the whole table.
Ingredients for Dill Sauce for Salmon
- Greek yogurt: you can use nonfat or any fat Greek yogurt – it all works great! Just take care to use GREEK yogurt because it is much creamier than traditional yogurt.
- Mayonnaise: you can use nonfat, or any fat or even avocado mayonnaise. It adds extra creaminess.
- Dill: fresh dill is optimal because, after all it is DILL sauce, but you can substitute 1 teaspoon dried. Use more or less dill to taste.
- Garlic: garlic and dill belong together! It is essential to round out the flavors. You can use 1 finely minced garlic clove or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder.
- Lemon juice: it complements the dill and adds a bright citrus tang.
- Red wine vinegar: beautifully deepens the tangy factor. You can substitute with white vinegar.
- Herbs. just ¼ teaspoon dried oregano and dried parsley add an earthy flavor.
- Salt and pepper to taste. salt and pepper are essential to make this Cream Dill Sauce come alive!
WHAT SALMON IS BEST for BAKED SALMON?
Baked Salmon with Dill Sauce is a little pricier than chicken dinners, but it can serve your entire family for a fraction of the cost of dining out – and tastes 10X better! If you’re going to the expense of baking salmon at home, I believe it is better to spend a few extra dollars on quality salmon because you can literally TASTE the difference.
- So, what is quality salmon? You want to look for wild-caught salmon which is usually king, Coho or sockeye.
- King salmon also known as Chinook or blackmouth salmon. It is literally KING of the salmon species because is the largest and therefore the thickest and most expensive. It has a higher-fat content which means it tastes the richest and considered the most delicious of all your salmon choices.
- Coho salmon is also known as silver salmon. It still has a high fat content, though leaner than king salmon, but is similar in flavor. It is considered second only to king salmon in desirability. It is always a great, less expensive option than king salmon.
- Sockeye salmon is also known as red salmon. It has the strongest flavor of the bunch but is not overly fishy. It is rich and flavorful, and many prefer it over king salmon. It is leaner than both king and Coho salmon so take extra care not to overcook it.
- What size salmon is best? You can use either 4-5 6 oz. skinless salmon fillets OR 1 wild Alaskan salmon fillet. I prefer individual fillets because I feel like the flavor of the “marinade” gets more evenly distributed, but that is just my preference.
- Where to purchase salmon? I purchase my salmon at the seafood counter of my grocery store so then I know they are fresh and can select fillets of uniform size. The butcher weighs my salmon fillets but prices them as one single salmon fillet because it is less expensive. I don’t know if your butcher will do this for you, but it costs half the price!
- Can I use frozen salmon? If your store doesn’t carry fresh wild-caught salmon but carries FROZEN wild caught salmon (like Costco) – that is fine! Just make sure to thaw it before baking. Wild caught salmon is always better than farmed salmon – fresh OR frozen.
- What Salmon should I Avoid? Always look for wild caught salmon (preferably Alaskan) and avoid farm-raised Atlantic salmon. Farm raised Atlantic salmon are particularly fatty and often fed an artificial diet which means they are far less nutritious, waterier and can bake up mushy- gross!
How to Make Baked Salmon with Dill Sauce
- Do NOT rinse and dry fillets. See HERE for my explanation.
- Make salmon marinade. The word “marinade” sometimes sounds intimidating because it usually entails having to prep ahead – but fear not! This marinade doesn’t require any prep-ahead and is only for 30 minutes while you prep your Creamy Dill Sauce for the salmon and the Salsa.
- The salmon marinade (more like a thick wet rub) infuses our baked salmon with flavor through and through instead of just on the surface. It also helps bring the salmon to room temperature because salmon should NEVER be cooked cold straight from the refrigerator otherwise it will cook unevenly. So, instead of just sitting on the counter idly waiting, our salmon is soaking up flavor.
- To make the marinade, simply whisk together, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, lemon pepper, dried oregano, garlic power, sugar and salt in a 9×13 baking dish. If you are using one large salmon fillet, you will want to whisk together in a large piece of foil. Take care to bring up the edges of the foil to create a wall so the marinade doesn’t escape.
- Marinate salmon. Add salmon and turn over a few times in the marinade. I like to drag my salmon through the marinade on each side so it gets thoroughly coated. Line salmon fillets in a single layer in same 9×13 pan or foil and let rest while you prep the Creamy Dill Sauce and Salsa.
- Make Dill Sauce for Salmon. The Dill Sauce couldn’t be any easier! Simply whisk together all of the ingredient in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate.
- Make Cucumber Tomato Salsa. Combine all of the ingredient in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate. By making the Dill Sauce and Salsa while your salmon marinates, you can have dinner on the table as soon as your salmon comes out of the oven!
- Bake Salmon in oven. Bake salmon for approximately 12 minutes or until cooked to desired temperature.
- Serve! Serve salmon by spooning Dill Sauce on top followed by Salsa. I think its extra fabulous with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
how to cook salmon in the oven?
This Bakes Salmon in Dill Sauce requires 12-15 minutes baked at 400 degrees F. The cooking time will depend on how thick your salmon is and what temperature you like your salmon.
You can accurately check the temperature of your salmon with an instant-read thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the salmon.
The FDA advises salmon should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, HOWEVER, if you cook your salmon to this temperature it will be overdone because the temperature will continue to rise after baking.
Instead, America’s Test kitchen suggests cooking your salmon to about 125 degrees F (52 degrees C) to avoid dry, overcooked salmon. I usually cook my salmon to just 130 degrees F and the results are always perfect after a 5-minute rest.
Take care not to overcook your salmon because it will only remain buttery, juicy and tender as long as it isn’t overcooked. It is better for salmon to be under-cooked than overcooked in my opinion.
How do you know when salmon is done?
The most accurate way to test your salmon is with a meat thermometer. Alternatively, check your salmon for doneness after 12 minutes of baking. As salmon bakes, it changes from bright pink (raw) to opaque pink. The outside of the salmon should be completely opaque but the center should still be a bit translucent, but not raw. Cooked salmon will also easily flake with a fork along the muscle fibers.
How do you keep salmon warm after cooking?
Baked Salmon is always best hot out of the oven, so If your salmon is all cooked but you aren’t quite ready to eat, you can warm it in your oven. Transfer salmon to a wire rack placed on a baking sheet. Place in a 200-degree oven for up to 30 minutes.
TIPS FOR salmon with dill sauce
- Do NOT rinse salmon before marinating: You should NOT rinse your fish before baking! The USDA cautions: “do not rinse raw fish, seafood, meat, and poultry. Bacteria in these raw juices can splash and spread to other foods and surfaces. Cooking foods thoroughly will kill harmful bacteria.”
- Don’t over-marinate the salmon. Salmon can become mushy if marinated for too long, so stick to 30 minutes.
- Cook room temperature salmon: Salmon should NEVER be cooked cold straight from the refrigerator otherwise it will cook unevenly. If marinating for 2 hours, remove the salmon from the refrigerator the last 30 minutes so it can come to room temperature.
- Customize the add-ins. You can bake vegetables, tomatoes, etc. with the salmon. See recipe variations below for some ideas.
- Don’t over-cook salmon: Take care not to overcook your salmon because it will only remain buttery, juicy and tender as long as it isn’t overcooked. It is better for salmon to be undercooked than overcooked in my opinion. Make sure to check your salmon at the early part of the doneness window, especially if your salmon is on the thin side. If you have different size salmon fillets, you may need to remove one fillet before the rest are done.
- Don’t skip dill sauce! The dill sauce is a key component in this salmon recipe. Its bright, zippy, fresh flavor and creamy consistency is needed to marry all of flavors together.
- Serve CAVA style: You can create a serving bowl bar and let everyone build their own Greek salmon bowls.
This salmon with dill sauce can be made a number of ways as long as you keep the salmon marinade the same. You can add sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, artichokes and roasted bell peppers like I do in my Greek chicken recipe directly to the 9×13 baking dish then add the salmon on top. Here’s what to know:
- Sun-dried tomatoes: Add ½ cup rinsed, chopped sundried tomatoes packed in oil in a jar. They are usually located near the olives or pickles at your grocery store.
- Kalamata olives: Add ¾ cup pitted Kalamata olives. They boast rich intensely fruity, salty flavor.
- Artichokes hearts: Use a 12 ounce can artichoke hearts, chopped in half. They are tender, slightly sweet and nutty and divine paired with sun-dried tomatoes.
- Roasted red bell peppers: Add a complex roasted sweetness that compliments the tangy dish. You can roast bell peppers yourself, if desired, but I just picked up a 12-ounce jar at the grocery store located near the jarred sandwich fixings such as pepperoni. Make sure to drain the jar of bell peppers before using.
What sides should I serve with Baked salmon?
This Baked Salmon with Dill Sauce is a fabulous medley of flavor and texture so it doesn’t need many sides, however, I love to serve it with my reader’s favorite Greek Lemon Rice, brown rice or couscous and add some sliced almonds. You could also add pickled onions, hummus, spinach, etc. to create a salad bowl.
If you’re looking to make this Dill Salmon a Mediterranean feast, you can also serve it with a warm bowl of Tomato Basil Soup, Greek Pasta Salad, Perfect Fruit Salad, and of course flatbread/naan/roti.
fun ways to serve salmon with dill sauce
There are many delicious ways to serve this baked salmon with dill sauce (and leftovers!) from salads, to pizza, to pasta, to wraps!
- Salad: add salmon to a big bowl of greens along with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, thinly sliced red onions, sliced almonds, feta etc. Thin the dill sauce for salmon with some olive oil to make a dressing.
- Pasta: break up the salmon and add it to pasta along with dill sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, bell peppers, artichoke and olives. Heat over low so the dill sauce doesn’t split. Add olive oil if needed to thin the sauce.
- TikTok Feta Pasta: whip of a batch of this sensationally easy, viral pasta by baking a block of feta, tomatoes, pesto and olive oil together to create an irresistible, cheesy, creamy, tangy, tomato sauce then stirring in garlic, basil and cooked pasta. Now just stir in your salmon and serve!
- Risotto: use my Greek Chicken Risotto recipe as a guide and I promise you’ll be obsessed!
- Lemon Orzo Soup: add the salmon to this Lemon Orzo Soup in place of the shredded chicken. You may need to adjust the seasonings in the original soup recipe because the chicken is so wonderfully flavorful.
- Greek Pizza or Flatbread: use my Gyro Pizza for a guide and top store-bought pizza dough, homemade pizza dough, flatbread or sliced French bread with a layer of sundried tomato basil humus mixed with a couple tablespoons Greek yogurt, then top with shredded mozzarella cheese, salmon, thinly sliced red onions and feta and bake until the mozzarella is melted (the feta will not melt). Top the baked pizza with chopped tomatoes and chopped lettuce and drizzle with dill sauce
- Baked Potatoes. bake potatoes until tender then slice open and top with mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven to melt. Top with chopped salmon, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, artichokes and bell peppers and other desired toppings such as dill sauce, tomatoes, feta, chives, etc.
- Burgers: Place salmon between two toasted buns with all your favorite toppings: sun-dried tomatoes, pickled red onions, lettuce, bacon, fresh tomatoes, sprouts, etc. along with hummus and dill sauce.
- Panini: spread dill sauce on each side of sliced ciabatta bread then layer the bottom slice with mozzarella cheese, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, pickled red onions, feta, and salmon. Top salmon with bread and grill in a greased grill pan, placing a heavy pan on top of the sandwich. Grill panini for 3 minutes per side or until cheese is melted.
- Wraps: spread a layer of dill sauce and hummus down the middle of a tortilla and top with salmon, tomatoes, artichokes, olives, thinly sliced red onion, fresh tomatoes, feta and lettuce and drizzle with tzatziki.
CAN I PREP THIS RECIPE IN ADVANCE?
Yes, you can make the marinade up to three days in advance and store in the fridge until you’re ready to marinate and cook the salmon. The dill sauce for salmon can be made up to two days in advance, covered and refrigerated.
HOW TO STORE
Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. The dill sauce can be stored separately for up to five days. You can enjoy the baked salmon with dill sauce warm or cold in salads, rice bowls, sandwich, wraps etc.
HOW TO FREEZE
You may freeze the salmon but the dill sauce should not be frozen because it will become an unpleasant texture when thawed. To freeze the salmon, let it cool to room temperature, then flash freeze by lining the fillets on a baking sheet without touching; freeze for 1 hour. Transfer the fillets to a freezer size, bag, squeeze out excess air to preserve freezer burn, and freeze for up to 3 months.
HOW TO REHEAT
- From the fridge: You can gently reheat the salmon in a nonstick skillet, covered, or in the microwave at 30-second intervals. You can also warm in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 275 degrees F, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F to 130°F. Take care not to overcook the salmon or it will become dry.
- From frozen: Thaw salmon in the refrigerator overnight then reheat per any of the above methods.
LOOKING FOR MORE SALMON RECIPES?
- Cajun Salmon with Pineapple Mango Salsa
- Asian BBQ Salmon
- Baked Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon with Crispy Parmesan Panko
- Cashew Honey Soy Salmon
- Sheet Pan Fajita Salmon
- Asian Salmon with Blueberry Pineapple Salsa
- Blackened Salmon in Creamy Cajun Sauce
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Greek Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce
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- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt nonfat works great
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise nonfat works great
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill
- 1 minced garlic clove or ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp EACH dried oregano, dried parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
Greek Salsa (optional but RECOMMENDED)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- 3 tablespoons kalamata olives (or regular) halved
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 2-3 tablespoons crumbled feta
- ½ -1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined, minced or a pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped dill
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1/2 TBS EACH olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk the olive oil, balsamic, lemon juice and seasonings listed under “salmon” together in a 9×13 baking dish (or large piece of foil with sides folded up on a baking sheet if using a large fillet). Add salmon and turn to coat (I drag the salmon across the dish to coat thoroughly). Brush any remaining wet rub onto the salmon. Line salmon in a single layer and let sit at room temperature while you prepare your Dill Sauce and Salsa, up to 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- For the Dill Sauce, whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate.
- For the Salsa, combine all of the ingredient in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
- Bake salmon at 400 degrees F for approximately 12-15 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork (cooking time may vary depending on thickness of salmon).
- Serve salmon with Dill Sauce, Salsa and fabulous with extra freshly squeezed lemon juice.
HOW TO STORE and REHEAT
- To store: Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. The dill sauce can be stored separately for up to five days. You can enjoy the baked salmon with dill sauce warm or cold in salads, rice bowls, sandwich, wraps etc.
- To freeze: You may freeze the salmon but the dill sauce should not be frozen because it will become an unpleasant texture when thawed. To freeze the salmon, let it cool to room temperature, then flash freeze by lining the fillets on a baking sheet without touching; freeze for 1 hour. Transfer the fillets to a freezer size, bag, squeeze out excess air to preserve freezer burn, and freeze for up to 3 months.
- To reheat from the fridge: You can gently reheat the salmon in a nonstick skillet, covered, or in the microwave at 30-second intervals. You can also warm in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 275 degrees F, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F to 130°F. Take care not to overcook the salmon or it will become dry.
- To reheat from frozen: Thaw salmon in the refrigerator overnight then reheat per any of the above methods.
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