Easy Baked Salmon
Easy Baked Salmon

This easy baked salmon side is cooked in a foil wrap with lemon garlic butter and tender herbs for an easy and foolproof weeknight dinner.

This easy whole side of salmon with butter, garlic, and fresh herbs is flavorful and foolproof thanks to being roasted in a foil wrapper.

If you don’t have these on hand, you can use any fresh soft herb of your choice like tarragon or cilantro. This Middle Eastern yet flavorful combination is sure to be a crowd pleaser and once you master the method, the flavor variations are endless.

Because salmon cooks so quickly, it’s a great option for a weeknight dinner. If you ever cook more than one or two fillets at a time, searing a whole side of salmon is the way to go. Not only does it look impressive, but it’s also deceptively simple.

The key to cooking a full side of salmon is using a foil pack! This method ensures your salmon is super juicy, absorbs any flavors you use to flavor it, and cooks evenly.

types of salmon

With its accessibility, health properties, and delicious taste, it’s no wonder salmon is one of the most popular fish in America.

The other category you are likely to see is Pacific Salmon. Chinook (aka “king”), sockeye (aka “red”), and coho (aka “silver”) are all Pacific salmon. While most Pacific salmon on the market are wild, some can also be farmed. Due to various concerns surrounding farmed salmon, you can now find options that have been sustainably farmed, with no antibiotics and other considerations.

There are a number of differences between farmed and wild salmon. The first thing you will notice is the color. Farmed salmon is light pink and wild salmon is a darker shade of reddish-orange.

Nutritional profiles also vary, most notably that wild salmon has a lower fat content. This leads to differences in cooking. Because wild salmon has less fat marbling, it dries out more easily and should be cooked less than farmed salmon. Finally, or maybe the first thing you’ll see, is the price difference. Wild salmon is usually much more expensive than farmed salmon.

You can choose farm grown or wild for this recipe, either will work. And if you only have frozen salmon available, you can still get started. In fact, most fresh salmon at the supermarket has previously been frozen straight off the boat. Just make sure it’s been handled properly by looking for any visible ice crystals or signs of freezer burn.

You should use skinless salmon for this recipe. The best thing about salmon skin is that it gets nice and crispy. Since we prepare this salmon in a foil pack, this crispness is not achieved and is therefore best avoided.

How to prepare the salmon

In order for the salmon to cook evenly, we need to “defrost” it before putting it in the oven. So the first step is to let the salmon sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes while the oven preheats.

Meanwhile, pat the salmon dry with a paper towel, removing excess moisture. Then run your finger along the center line to feel for bones. If you find anything, use fish tweezers or your fingertips to pull it out firmly and slowly.

Tips and tricks for perfectly baked salmon

While a single fillet might benefit from a hard sear in a hot pan, we don’t want such intense heat for this large portion of salmon. The best temperature for this is 375°F.

Besides temperature, the other key to this recipe is cooking the salmon in a foil wrapper. By wrapping all the ingredients in foil we create steam and ensure a gentle cooking environment where the fish retains moisture and flavor.

This extra moisture also makes the salmon a little more forgiving should you leave it in the oven a minute or two longer than the cook time. Not to mention that cooking in a foil pack makes cleanup a breeze.

You’ll know your salmon is done when the surface is opaque (as opposed to translucent) all over and comes off easily with a fork. Overcooked salmon is tough and dry and should be avoided at all costs! Aside from affecting the flavor, what appears to be white “goose bumps” will also come out of overcooked salmon. This is a protein called albumin found in salmon.

During cooking, the liquid albumin turns into a solid, and if the fish is overcooked, the albumin will be squeezed out and pushed to the surface. This solidified pulp is not harmful in any way, but is a sign that your salmon has been overcooked too aggressively.

What to serve with salmon

Since we already have the oven on, other roasted foods besides the salmon like broccoli, asparagus, or potatoes are a natural pairing. Starches like rice, couscous, or quinoa are great for soaking up the salmon’s buttery juices. A lighter side dish like a salad would also be a delicious addition.

Ways to use leftover salmon

Leftover salmon will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you want to remix it, try salmon patties, stir it into pasta, or stir it up with eggs!

More quick and easy salmon recipes

  • Quick and easy jerk salmon
  • Simple salmon foil packets with vegetables
  • Simply grilled salmon
  • Baked salmon with hoisin glaze
  • Grilled salmon with dill butter

Simply Baked Salmon

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
23 minutes

total time
33 minutes

6 (5 to 6 ounces) salmon pieces

Be aware of whether you’re using farmed or wild salmon and adjust your cooking time accordingly, following the instructions below.


  • 2 lb all salmon filletskinned

  • 1 teaspoon Salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon floor pepper

  • 4 tablespoon unsalted buttermelted and cooled

  • 4 cloves garlicgrated or finely chopped

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon honey

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoon fresh herbs (basil, chives or parsley), chopped


  1. Arrange the grid, preheat the oven and prepare the baking tray:

    Place the grate in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a wide-rimmed baking sheet with foil, making sure to leave a few inches of overhang on both long ends to make your foil packet.

  2. Prepare the salmon:

    While the oven is preheating, remove the salmon from the fridge to bring to temperature for 15-20 minutes. Place the salmon on the prepared pan and pat both sides dry with a paper towel. Feel the flesh for bones and remove them with fish tweezers or your fingers.

  3. Season the salmon:

    Season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper.

  4. Make the butter sauce and pour it over the salmon:

    In a small bowl, combine melted butter, garlic, honey, and lemon juice. Fold up the edges of the foil to absorb the liquid and pour the butter mixture evenly over the top of the salmon.

  5. Seal the salmon with foil:

    Bring the two long sides of the foil together, then fold down a few times to close the top of your package. Then tuck each end underneath to close the sides. If your piece of foil isn’t large enough, take a second sheet of foil and cover the salmon, pinching the foil to seal the edges.

  6. Bake the salmon:

    If you’re cooking farmed salmon, it should be ready in 18 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness. If using wild-caught salmon, check after 10 minutes for doneness. If you open the packet and see that the fish isn’t done cooking, it should be opaque on top and peel away easily with a fork, reseal the foil packet, return to the oven and check again after another 2-3 minutes.

  7. Grill the salmon:

    Carefully open the foil wrapper to fully expose the salmon by sliding the foil down and out of the way.

    Set the oven to high heat. If you have an electric stove, place the salmon back in the oven, still on the middle rack. Fry the salmon for 2-3 minutes. You’ll see that it only turns slightly golden with some charred spots, but be careful not to burn the garlic.

    If you have a gas range, you may want to reduce the grill time to 1 minute or skip it all together.

  8. Surcharge:

    Let the salmon rest for about 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped herbs. Transfer to a serving platter or serve straight from the pan!

nutritional information (per serving)
390 calories
26g Fat
3g carbohydrates
34g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!