Melt in your mouth Baked Lemon Butter Salmon is ready in minutes in the convection oven. Tender and loaded with the great flavors of lemon, butter, and garlic. It will be the center of your easy and healthy dinner.
People sometimes don't think of salmon to cook at home. But it is simple with just a few ingredients and these easy step-by-step photo instructions.
Salmon is tied with tuna for the most widely consumed fish in the United States. And having an easy go-to salmon recipe is a must for a well-rounded home cook.
I'm a simple guy, and I want a simple baked salmon recipe. I didn't want a plank to smoke or anything with aluminum foil. I want to taste the salmon and not spend all day preparing it. A little lemon, a bit of garlic, and a little butter, and I'm good with lots of things, especially fish.
👨🍳How to Bake Lemon Butter Salmon
- Preheat oven to 400° convection or 425° if you don't have convection.
- Prep a baking dish with aluminum foil, a rack if available, and coat with PAM cooking spray.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, lemon juice, kosher salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Microwave the butter mixture to melt.
- Brush both sides of the salmon with the melted butter mixture.
- Bake until flaky with an internal temp of 145°—about 14-15 minutes.
Wild-caught salmon has a deeper, richer flavor but is significantly more expensive but has a deeper color and a bit more nutrition. The farm-raised version is a good choice and is what most people buy.
You can get salmon skin-on or off. Most believe skin on is a better choice for moisture, and if you have skin on, then seasoning the skin side is useless, and you should cook with the skin side down.
Most will buy whole filets, but this recipe works for smaller pieces since we are cooking to a final internal temperature and not (never) by time alone.
Frozen salmon is commonly available and convenient for a quick dinner. I suggest cooking it still frozen. See the next section.
The suggested temperature is 400° in a convection oven. Or if you don't have convection, then 425° conventional.
You can vary the cooking temperature and still get great results since we are cooking to a final internal temperature, but lower temperatures will tend to dry a bit more.
⏰How long to cook, and when is the salmon done?
Salmon filets will take 12 to 15 minutes to cook to a safe internal temperature of the salmon of 145°F. That is the suggested endpoint of cooking. The fish should be opaque and flake easily.
The time will vary by your salmon, especially the thickness, the pan, and the oven. So pay attention and watch for the final internal temperature of 145°.
Cooking Frozen Salmon
It is relatively simple to cook salmon while still frozen, and some feel it is the best way to avoid drying it too much. The instructions are the same, with one major addition.
Tightly seal the entire tray with foil before going into the oven. This will trap any steam. Cook for about 15 minutes at the suggested temperature, then remove the covering foil.
It will probably take another 8-10 minutes of cooking to reach the required 145° internal temperature. Remember that thickness is a variable with cooking times.
- Skip the rack if you don't have one—just use a well-oiled pan or parchment paper.
- You can use fresh garlic cloves crushed or minced, but this recipe cooks fast, so the fresh garlic could be a bit "raw." So you probably should cook it a bit ahead of time. I went with just some good powder.
- You can cut the salmon into serving-size pieces before cooking. Cooking time will decrease some. And if you do this, put the thicker pieces on the outer end of the rack and the thinner pieces in the center. That will help even out the cooking.
Yes. It will fit many diets like low-calorie, low-fat, gluten-free, low-carb, and keto diets. The present fats are generally healthier fats that most of us lack adequately in our diet.
Yes, but you will be happier with the butter taste.
Any fish, including salmon, is always better freshly cooked. But sometimes there are leftovers. Good in the refrigerator for only a day. It will dry out rapidly if you reheat so better cold on salad.
🍽️What to serve with baked salmon?
Garnish with some chopped fresh parsley or thyme and a lemon slice. Some fresh dill or other fresh herbs can be added along with more garlic butter or fresh lemon juice.
I like a nice tossed salad but a hot side dish like asparagus, rice, or a potato dish. Crusty bread is also a great addition. But use your favorite side dishes.
Oven Baked Parmesan Crusted Tilapia
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Start with about a 1-pound salmon fillet—preheat the oven to 400° convection or 425° conventional.
Prep a baking sheet with aluminum foil and a rack. Give it a coat of PAM baking spray. If you don't have a rack, just use the foil and spray.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Microwave the butter mixture until melted (about 20 seconds). Pat dry with paper towels, then brush both sides (skip the skin side of present).
Place on the baking rack.
Bake until flaky with an internal temp of 145°—about 14-15 minutes. But time may vary with the thickness, pan, and oven.
Baked Lemon Butter Salmon
- 1 pound salmon fillet
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Start with about a 1-pound salmon fillet—preheat the oven to 400° convection or 425° conventional.
- Prep a baking sheet with aluminum foil and a rack. Give it a coat of PAM baking spray. If you don't have a rack, just use the foil and spray.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Microwave the butter mixture until melted (about 20 seconds). Then brush both sides of the salmon. Place on the baking rack.
- Place on the baking rack.
- Bake until flaky with an internal temp of 145°—about 14-15 minutes. But time may vary with the thickness, pan, and oven.
Your Own Private Notes
- If you have skin on your salmon, don't put the butter on the skin and place the skin side down to bake.
- Skip the rack if you don't have one. Just use a well-oiled pan or parchment paper.
- The safe internal temperature of the salmon is 145°F.
- You can use fresh garlic, but this cooks fast, so the fresh garlic could be a bit "raw." You should cook fresh garlic a bit ahead of time.
- You can cut the salmon into serving-size pieces before cooking. Cooking time will decrease some. And put the thicker pieces on the outside end of the rack and the thinner pieces in the center. That will help even out the cooking.
- Fish is always better freshly cooked. But sometimes there are leftovers. Good in the refrigerator for only a day. It will dry out rapidly if you reheat so better cold on salad.
- TIME WARNING. Like many recipes, you should cook to a final internal temperature and not by time. Times are given for planning purposes only. You have variables of the pan and oven, but mostly the size and thickness of the salmon.
Cooking Frozen SalmonYou can cook salmon while still frozen, but you need to modify this recipe a bit. Tightly seal the entire tray with foil before going into the oven. This will trap any steam. Cook for about 15 minutes at the suggested temperature, and then remove the covering foil. It will probably take another 8-10 minutes of cooking to reach the required 145° internal temperature. Remember that thickness is a huge variable with cooking times.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editor's Note: Originally Published February 25, 2013. The text has been re-edited and expanded, the photos updated, and a table of contents added.
Really easy recipe that turns out tasty every time.
OMG! Where on earth is this place? Do they sell 'by the weight' throughout the year?
This recipie is pretty good i added old bay,rosemary,time and ms.dash garlic and herb, add 2 more tablespoons of butter into the pan and substituted the salt im for Larry season salt and it came out amazing😊😊❤️
Turned out very nice.
Delicious flavor with butter, lemon, garlic powder, s/p and I added fresh thyme sprigs from my garden! We used frozen salmon in small servings (about 120 to 130 grams.) Thick but not too long. Servings did not cook through to final temperatures for the 15 minutes covered / 10 minutes uncovered. I put filets in saute pan on stove top for 10 more minutes medium and that was almost too long. They went from 110F out of the oven to 150 - 155 F in the saute pan very quickly. Still delicious. I think the thickness of frozen filets is key to finish temp of frozen filets. 4 1/2 stars only because I am more likely to have frozen filets on hand and will have to adjust timing. Not terrible now that I know.
I appreciate that you gave estimated cook time, oven temp and internal temp, everything I needed as I was looking for a high temp oven roasted salmon recipe.
So easy, So Good. Thank you.
How about dredging the salmon in a light flour batter before cooking? It helps make a crispy outside.
Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan
Welcome to the blog.
I have some doubts that it would work well. The salmon takes at most 15 minutes or will be over cooked. A flour coating will probable still be mostly white and sticky at that point.
Should you let the salmon come to room temperature before cooking?
I'm trying this recipe tonight.
Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan
Not needed. If you do, it will shorten the cooking time by a few minutes. Remember, you are cooking to a final internal temperature of 145 which is the minimum safe temp per the FDA.