Best Easy Baked Salmon

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When you need something warm and comforting, without weighing you down, that is easy and fresh – you can’t beat baked salmon. This healthy main dish is a perfect easy family meal done in less than 40 minutes!

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We add lots of tips in our recipe – so you can make this dish, understand why it works and what each ingredient means to the flavor of a recipe. I also answer questions my friends and family have asked about my recipes, to help home cooks of any skill level better understand the processes we use and why!

salmon filet baked with lemon slices and herb slices on top

Baked Salmon Recipe

A simple, easy, and delicious salmon should be a go-to in any home cook’s kitchen – salmon is heart healthy, low calorie, tastes great – and is SO easy to make at home. This easy lemon baked salmon cooks in foil – so it’s easy to cleanup, and ready in a flash with less than 5 ingredients.

If you aren’t sure you can make show-stopping salmon, this recipe is for you – it is so simple and foolproof, it is perfect for beginner cooks. Baked Lemon Salmon goes from your fridge to your fork in under 20 minutes – with NO fishy smell! This recipe is sure to become one of your new favorites!

Baking salmon is a great easy technique that produces flavorful results for several reasons.

Firstly, baking allows the salmon to cook evenly and thoroughly, ensuring that the flesh is fully cooked and tender.

Secondly, baking allows the salmon to retain its natural juices, resulting in a moist and flavorful fish.

Finally, baking salmon is a versatile technique that can be adapted to suit a variety of flavor profiles, from savory herbs and spices to bright citrus and tangy sauces. Baking salmon is a simple and foolproof way to enjoy this nutritious and delicious fish, making it a go-to technique for home cooks of all skill levels!

We hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

baked salmon filet on a baking sheet with slices of lemon, butter, and rosemary

How To Bake Salmon

To make this recipe, we will need the following ingredients:

  • Salmon filet: The star ingredient of the recipe, it provides a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, and essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Butter: Provides flavor and moisture to the salmon as it bakes. Butter adds richness and a slight nutty flavor, while olive oil provides a lighter taste and a healthier option.
  • Garlic powder: Adds a savory flavor and aroma to the salmon.
  • Italian seasoning: A blend of herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme, this seasoning adds depth and complexity to the flavor profile of the salmon.
  • Adobo Seasoning: adobo is one of my favorite go-to for recipes. You can omit this is you want.
  • Lemon: Provides a bright, citrusy flavor that complements the richness of the salmon.
  • Celtic sea salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the dish and helps to season the salmon.
  • Fresh cracked pepper: Adds a touch of heat and spiciness to the dish.
  • Rosemary, optional: Adds an earthy, woodsy flavor to the dish and complements the other herbs in the Italian seasoning. It also provides a beautiful aroma and presentation to the dish.

Baking salmon in the oven is super simple and easy – I like to use aluminum foil pouch, sprinkle generously with seasonings, salt, and pepper – lay lemon slices (or lemon zest + lemon juice) in the pouch with the salmon, bake, and it always turns out great!

  • Preheat oven. Salmon does taste better when cooked quickly, however – so fully preheating your oven before baking your salmon will help ensure a perfect never-dry salmon fillet!
  • Wrap In Foil Or On Parchment. For easy nonstick salmon fillets, bake in a foil pouch or on a piece of parchment paper. While I prefer to make a foil pouch for salmon (it gives the most reliable results), parchment paper is a perfect easy way to protect your salmon from sticking to a baking sheet.
  • Use lots of lemon slices. Lemon gives flavor and eliminates fishy smells!
  • Cook for about 15 minutes. Plan on around 15 minutes cook time for a large salmon filet in the oven. Check your salmon for doneness at 10 minutes, and continue to cook until done.
  • Use a rimmed baking sheet. Salmon gives off moisture as it cooks – and so do lemons and butter! To prevent burns from cooking liquid, cook this salmon on a rimmed baking sheet.
baked salmon filet on a baking sheet lined with foil topped with butter, rosemary, and lemon slices

Tips and Tricks to the Best Baked Salmon & FAQs

What Salmon To Use in Baked Salmon. You can use a large salmon filet and cut it into individual portions after it is cooked,  or you can use smaller steak-style filets. Whichever is available is fine – but cooking time for salmon will differ slightly for a large, long fillet compared to smaller, fatter, individual steak-style filets.

How Much Salmon to Buy. It can be hard to tell how much salmon to buy when getting a large piece of salmon instead of individual salmon filets – but it is just as easy to cook. This recipe works with either a large side of salmon, or individual salmon filets – feel free to use whichever is available to you!
Plan for about ½ pound of salmon per person – salmon is healthy and won’t weigh you down, but it is pretty filling and packed with protein and healthy fats.

How To Tell When Salmon is Done. One of the biggest questions I always get is how to tell when salmon is done when baking in the oven. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to tell right away by the color of the salmon fillet – but there is an easy trick to find out when salmon is done cooking!

  • Check With a Knife: Salmon will change from translucent, darker red or pink to opaque light pink and white as it cooks through. After about 10 minutes in the oven, check for doneness. Take a sharp knife and cut a small hole into the top of the thickest part of the salmon filet, and slightly pull back to peek inside. If salmon is beginning to flake, but is still a tiny bit red in the middle, it is done! Salmon shouldn’t look RAW, but slightly translucent in the very middle.
  • Check With a Thermometer: I try to not check salmon with a thermometer if it is a very thin fillet, but if you’d like to check if your salmon is done with a meat thermometer, it’s pretty easy! Carefully insert thermometer into middle of salmon filet (make sure to not touch the bottom of the pan and make sure its inserted into the salmon enough). Salmon is fully cooked at 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

How To Bake Salmon With No Fishy Smell. Salmon is the perfect dinner to make for a dinner party or romantic evening, because you can easily make it without a fishy smell. Follow the tips below to make salmon that smells and tastes fantastic:

  • Use fresh salmon. Fresh caught salmon, or freshly thawed salmon (frozen is fine, and often allows people who don’t live near salmon waterways to get fresher fish that is frozen immediately at the source.)
  • Salmon that smells fishy isn’t fresh – and will only smell more as it bakes! Salmon should have a slightly sweet, meaty smell, not a strong fishy smell.
  • Bake in foil. Baking salmon in a foil pouch is the perfect way to keep moisture in and help speed up cook time – and it also cuts down on cooking smells.
  • Bake with lemons. This lemon salmon is perfect because baking salmon with lemons is one of the easiest ways to keep fishy smells far away… and it tastes great!

How To Freeze Cooked Salmon. Cooked salmon can be frozen for four to six months, if stored in an airtight container. Thaw cooked salmon in its freezer container in the refrigerator overnight (the best method), or by submerging frozen salmon in a plastic bag in cold water. You can easily use cooked, thawed salmon in salads or as a substitution for canned salmon in casseroles or pasta dishes.


What temperature should I bake salmon at?

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

How long should I bake salmon?

Bake the salmon for about 12-15 minutes per inch of thickness.

Should I cover the salmon when baking it?

You can cover the salmon with foil for the first 8-10 minutes of baking to help it cook evenly and retain moisture. Then remove the foil and bake for another 5-7 minutes to allow the salmon to brown on top.

Can I use other types of fish instead of salmon in this recipe?

Yes, you can use other types of fish such as trout, cod, or halibut instead of salmon. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the thickness of the fish.

Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh herbs in this recipe?

Yes, you can use dried herbs if fresh herbs are not available. Just use half the amount of dried herbs as you would fresh herbs.

Can I use a different seasoning blend instead of Italian seasoning?

Yes, you can use any seasoning blend that you like. Cajun, lemon pepper, ranch, adobo, or chili powder are all great options that would work well with salmon. You can also check out our Easy Baked Everything Salmon Recipe.

How can I tell if the salmon is fully cooked?

The internal temperature of the salmon should reach 145°F (63°C) when fully cooked.

baked salmon filet on a baking sheet lined with foil topped with butter, rosemary, and lemon slices

What to Serve With Baked Salmon

If you’re looking for a delicious side dish for baked salmon, please visit the Sweet C’s side dish recipe archives.

Some of my favorites to serve with salmon include rice pilaf, cauliflower rice, oven roasted asparagus, or french onion soup!

Salmon is also lovely with a crunchy parmesan salad, or you can use this salmon as the base for our Salmon Ceasar salad. For a seafood dinner with even more dishes from the sea, pair with broiled lobster tails!

Find more of our recent favorite side dishes below:

baked salmon filet on a baking sheet lined with foil topped with butter, rosemary, and lemon slices

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baked salmon filet on a baking sheet lined with foil topped with butter, rosemary, and lemon slices

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baked salmon filet on a baking sheet lined with foil topped with butter, rosemary, and lemon slices

Best Baked Salmon Recipe

The Best Easy Lemon Baked Salmon Recipe – delicious lemon garlic butter salmon baked in foil for a delicious seafood dinner everyone loves!
Course Seafood
Cuisine American
Keyword butter, keto, keto main, lemon, low carb, main dish, salmon, seafood
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 179kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell


  • 1 salmon filet about 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons butter divided into small pats (can substitute 2 tbsp olive oil)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • ½ tsp Adobo seasoning
  • ½ lemon sliced into half-rounds
  • 1 teaspoons celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 sprig rosemary optional


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Lay down large piece of foil on a baking sheet.
  • Place salmon fillet (or individual filets) on foil.
  • Arrange pats of butter around the top of the salmon.
  • Season generously with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, adobo, salt, and pepper.
  • Arrange lemon slices around the top of salmon.
  • Top with rosemary, optional.
  • Fold foil into a pouch so steam is contained.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, check with a knife for doneness. Salmon should be just slightly opaque in the middle of the thickest part of the filet when done, or should read 140 degrees when tested with a digital thermometer.



This is a base recipe – meant to give you a firm starting point to layer your own flavors on top of. After you've mastered the basics, you can start experimenting with different flavor combinations, different sauces, glazes, herbs, and spices – add your own creative twist to this dish!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 611mg | Fiber: 1g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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  1. Katherine says:

    These tips are so helpful! I moved to a land-locked state years ago, so now I have to get all my salmon online but these tips really make the experience worth it. Thanks for posting.

  2. Jocelyn says:

    My husband just recently started liking salmon, so I will be using all these tips to learn how to cook it at home!!

  3. Anna says:

    I could eat this salmon every day! Love how easy it is to make!

  4. Ashley F says:

    I love how simple this is to make!