This Baked Salmon recipe is “the best salmon I’ve ever had” (foodie friend) and is an easy, versatile, healthy, meal-in-one, on your table in 35 minutes! The salmon is perfectly juicy every time (thanks to my tips and tricks) bathed in a bright, garlicky, herbaceous lemon sauce – no bland salmon here! This baked salmon can be made with or without the sheet pan veggies and served in salmon bowls, wraps or salads that will have everyone licking their plates!
Watch How to bake salmon
salmon and veggies
wet rub marinade
Baked Salmon in Oven FAQs
Salmon is typically baked uncovered to allow for even cooking and to develop a delicious exterior crust. It will emerge splendidly juicy without being covered as long as it is not overcooked.
Salmon doesn’t need to be flipped in the oven because it cooks through evenly from both sides due to the heat circulation. The skin side acts as a protective barrier, and baking without flipping helps retain moisture and ensures juicy tenderness.
It is better to bake salmon with the skin side down. This helps protect the delicate flesh and retain moisture so the juices don’t evenly flow out the bottom of the fish, keeping it extra juicy. It also makes it easier to remove the skin after cooking.
Look for salmon that is bright pink in color, smells fresh but not fishy, and, if possible, is wild caught. I prefer wild caught salmon (king, coho, and sockeye) because it has a richer flavor, but if you want milder flavor, then farm-raised Atlantic salmon might be the way to go. Atlantic salmon can cook up watery or mushy due to the artificial diet but I have had success with farm raised salmon from Costco (fresh and frozen), they seem to have higher quality suppliers.
Purchase salmon with the skin on. Cooking salmon with the skin on traps in moisture and prevents juices from running out the bottom of the salmon, keeping it extra juicy. If you purchase skinless salmon fillets, they will still be delicious. The skin easily peels off after cooking.
Purchase salmon at the seafood counter of your local market or grocery store to ensure the freshest salmon. Costco also has a good selection of fresh and frozen salmon.
Absolutely! Frozen fish is a great option because it is packaged at peak freshness in individual filets so you can use just what you need. It’s also easy to keep stocked. To thaw, either transfer the packaged filets (or place in a sealable bag) from the freezer to the refrigerator to sit overnight (it can take 12 to 24 hours to thaw) or let the salmon (packaged) rest in a large bowl of cold water for 30-60 minutes, changing the water occasionally if it’s gone tepid.
Salmon is be a low-calorie protein source that is rich in heart-healthy omega-3s, and low in saturated fat. It is also an excellent source of several B vitamins, antioxidants and potassium. Studies show that salmon can help lower inflammation, which may reduce the risk factors for several diseases and may help skin retain moisture. A growing number of studies also suggest that including salmon in your diet might improve brain function and even reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and the risk of age-related memory problems. All great reasons to eat more salmon this year!
The most accurate way to tell if your salmon is done is with an instant read meat thermometer, (this digital one is my fav) but if you don’t own one, you can also pay attention to appearance. As salmon cooks, 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, a moist coral color, but not raw. If the salmon is completely opaque all the way through, it won’t be as juicy and tender.
Cooked salmon will also easily flake with a fork along the muscle fibers. Take care not to overcook your salmon because it will only remain buttery, juicy and tender as long as it isn’t overcooked.
Tools Used in This Recipe
Best Recipe for Baked Salmon
Save This Recipe To Your Recipe Box
You can now create an account on our site and save your favorite recipes all in one place!
- 5 salmon fillets or 1 large fillet cut into 2-inch pieces (skin on preferred)
- 1-2 fresh lemons, for finishing
WET RUB "MARINADE"
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons freshly minced flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp EACH salt, onion powder
- 1/2 tsp EACH paprika, pepper, dried dill (or ½ TBS fresh dill)
TOMATOES AND ASPARAGUS (OPTIONAL)
- 1 bunch asparagus (medium thickness), ends trimmed
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- Prep Pan: Line a large/full size baking sheet with sides (15×21-inches) with foil and spray with cooking spray for easy cleanup.
- Prep Veggies: Add asparagus to the prepared baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon Wet Rub, push to one side of the pan. Add tomatoes and toss with ½ tablespoon Wet Rub, push to the opposite side of the pan.
- Prep Salmon: Line the salmon fillets, flesh side up, down the middle of the pan. Evenly drizzle fillets with the remaining Wet Rub, then brush it evenly over the top and sides of the salmon. Marinate while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Don't marinate longer or the fish can become mushy.
- Bake: Bake uncovered at 400 degrees F for 12-16 minutes (depending on salmon thickness), or until the salmon registers 125-130 degrees F at the thickest part on an instant read thermometer (this one is my FAV), and easily flakes with a fork.
- Add Lemon: Let rest for 5 minutes. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice to each fillet. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired and season with freshly cracked salt, pepper to taste – always taste first!
Did You Make This Recipe?
Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs
Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!