Easy Lemon Salmon

Photo of author
Written By Omph impha

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur pulvinar ligula augue quis venenatis. 

com com com com com com com

This easy baked lemon salmon is roasted until tender with tangy lemon, garlic, and dill, delivering a burst of freshness in just 20 minutes. Dinnertime solved!

As two cookbook authors, we’ve found we could write a million and one salmon recipes and still not get bored. And this new easy dinner idea has captured our heart: meet this lemon salmon recipe! The salmon is roasted right on top of actual lemon slices and butter, which bakes into a sauce that you can spoon over the tender fish. Seasoned with a little dill and garlic powder, you can broil the top to get it lightly crisp after baking. It’s so simple and one of our new favorite ways to cook up this tasty fish!

Jump to the recipe—now.

What you need for lemon salmon

This lemon salmon recipe qualifies as truly simple recipe: one where you don’t need to think too hard to get dinner on the table. (This is what we’re looking for, in our busy household!) The most important thing when it comes to salmon is a quality piece of fish. Everything else is just secondary!

  • Salmon fillets, wild caught if possible. We find the best salmon is fresh purchased at a fish counter. Frozen salmon can have more of a fishy flavor, and also tends to get more of the “white stuff”. Fillets that are 1 to 1 1/2-inch thick have great flavor: you might find this type labeled “center cut” at the store.
  • Lemon: A fresh lemon is key. There’s really no other way to do it! No shortcuts. If you prefer a recipe with lemon pepper seasoning, try this Salmon with Lemon Pepper.
  • Salted butter: Salted butter brings out a savory flavor; if you don’t have it, add another pinch of salt.
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, and dried dill: The dried dill in particular is what carries this recipe! Make sure to stock up (you’ll use it for more recipes, like ranch dip).
Lemons

Tips for baking lemon salmon

There are lots of people who claim to have “cracked the code” when it comes to baking salmon. But everyone has a different idea of the ideal temperature! We based this lemon salmon on the method in our baked salmon recipe, but it has different seasonings and calls for broiling at the end.

  • The best temperature for baked salmon? 400°F. High heat makes for a tasty, tender piece of fish.
  • Bake the fillets over sliced lemons and pats of butter. This creates a sauce while baking, which you spoon over once the fish is done.
  • How long to bake salmon? Bake the salmon for 10 to 16 minutes, depending on thickness, until just tender and pink at the center (the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130°F in the center). A 1-inch thick fillet should cook in about 15 minutes total.
  • For a crispy top, broil the salmon. When the salmon is at 115°F, broil for about 2 minutes (about the last 2 minutes of the cook time). We like our salmon with a hint of texture on the top, and this is the perfect touch.
Lemon Salmon

How to avoid the white stuff

Have you ever cooked a fillet of salmon, then had gooey white stuff ooze to the surface while cooking? It’s called albumin. This is a coagulated protein that seeps to the surface when roasting. It’s safe to eat, but it does look less than appetizing on top of a beautiful fillet.

The biggest tip for avoiding the white stuff? Buy the right fish! We’ve found salmon we buy fresh at the fish counter at certain grocery stores has less white stuff than what we get from other stores, though there’s no labeling difference. Another thing you can try is to brine the fillets before baking. It makes for perfectly moist and evenly cooked salmon, and it can help reduce the albumin, too. Here’s how to brine the fillets before making this lemon salmon recipe:

  • Mix up a salt water solution. You’ll use 4 cups of water to 3 tablespoons salt to make a salt water solution.
  • Place the fish in the water for 15 minutes. Just set the fish in the water for 15 minutes. You can do this in the time it takes to preheat your oven: so there’s no time lost.
Lemon Salmon recipe with lemons and parsley

Side dishes for lemon salmon

What are the best sides to make salmon into a meal? Since this is baked lemon salmon, you’ll want to avoid the oven. Go for fresh and simple sides like salads, grains, and sauteed vegetables. Here are some of our favorite ideas:

  • Salads like Caesar salad, kale salad, pear salad, arugula salad, chickpea salad, radicchio salad
  • Grains like orzo, couscous, quinoa, farro, or rice
  • Sauteed vegetables like easy peas, sauteed spinach, sauteed kale, sauteed carrots or sauteed broccolini.

More salmon recipes

Here are a few more of our top salmon recipes that home cooks love:

This lemon salmon recipe is…

Gluten-free. For dairy-free, use vegan butter.

Print

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Description

This easy baked lemon salmon is roasted until tender with tangy lemon, garlic, and dill, which delivers a burst of freshness in just 20 minutes.


  • 1 1/2 pounds or 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, wild caught if possible
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lemon, cut into rounds
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into thin pats
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Allow the salmon to come to room temperature (or brine it in Step 2). 
  2. Brine the salmon (optional): While the oven preheats, in a shallow dish mix together 4 cups room temperature water and 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Place the salmon in the water and wait for 15 minutes (this should be about the time it takes to preheat).
  3. Brush a medium baking dish with olive oil. Place the lemon rounds on the bottom of the baking dish. Place the butter pats on top of the lemons rounds. Place the salmon filets on top of the lemon rounds and butter. Sprinkle the salmon with the kosher salt evenly divided among the fillets.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the garlic powder, onion powder, and dill. Sprinkle the mixture evenly on top of the fillets. 
  5. Bake the salmon for 10 to 16 minutes, depending on thickness, until just tender and pink at the center (the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130°F in the center). A 1-inch thick fillet should cook in about 15 minutes total.
  6. For a crispy top, when the salmon is at 115°F, broil for about 2 minutes (about the last 2 minutes of the cook time). Spoon the melted butter over the salmon before serving. Leftovers last refrigerated for up to 3 days. 

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Lemon salmon recipe, lemon salmon

SOURCE

Leave a Comment