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 Creamy 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.
What should I make 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.
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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