How to Bake Salmon in the Oven

Tired of overcooked, dry salmon? Learn how to bake salmon perfectly in the oven with this tutorial. Makes 4 filets, though the recipe can be halved, doubled or tripled easily.

After you’re done baking your salmon, pair it with something like Toasted Pine Nut Green Beans, Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts or a Wild Rice Salad.

Three salmon filets on a metal platter on parchment paper, surrounded with fresh dill and garnished with lemon rounds

Salmon is one of my favorite fishes to eat at any time, BUT I do not like overcooked salmon.

Like, to the extent that I had a while there where I didn’t even attempt it at home because it made me so frustrated.

Maybe you feel the same way.

Why I love this recipe:

No more overcooked salmon for us, friends!

I’ve written this easy, tasty way for perfectly cooked salmon every time.

It still requires a little effort on your part—you have to keep an eye on it, after all, to make sure it doesn’t overcook—but I am providing all the tips and tricks I’ve learned about cooking salmon properly in the oven for you here.

And yes, before you ask, it’s delicious and versatile. Now let’s go forth and make this baked salmon recipe!

Looking for other awesome and easy dishes to make for dinner? Try Broiled Steak, Cranberry Chicken Thighs, Cast Iron Ribeye, Perfect Every Time Scallops and Cinnamon Pork Chops.

Need mealtime inspiration? Check out my Dinner Recipe Index for more ideas!

Salmon filets on a white plate lined with paper towels, surrounded by fresh dill, lemon rounds, melted butter and containers of salt and pepper

What you’ll need to make this recipe:

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  • Silicone Basting & Pastry Brush
  • Sheet Pan
  • Parchment Paper
  • (while some people use aluminum foil, I do not like it with fish)

    In addition to these tools, you’ll also want your salmon (defrosted!), a fresh lemon, as well as some fresh herbs.

    I’ve used fresh dill because that’s what I had on hand, but you could easily use rosemary, oregano, sage, etc. The flavor profile of the salmon will change, but it’ll still be delicious!

    blotting salmon dry with paper towels

    How to Bake Salmon in the Oven

    First and foremost, preheat your oven and prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. (You can also use a nonstick baking mat if you’d like, but I like parchment better for fish.)

    Next, pat the fish dry with a paper towel.

    Place the salmon skin side down on the parchment.

    Use a pastry brush to brush the meat of the salmon with melted butter. Alternately, you could use a high heat oil, like avocado oil, if you don’t eat dairy. Season with salt and pepper, too.

    Garnish the raw salmon filets with lemon rounds and fresh dill fronds. Squeeze some lemon juice on them, too.

    How long does it take to bake salmon?

    Bake in the preheated oven for 6-9 minutes depending on the size of the fish.

    This baking time is dependent on the thickness of your salmon filets. A thinner filet will cook faster while a thicker one will take longer. So be sure to keep eye on it!

    Test the salmon’s doneness by gently sticking a knife into the thickest part of the fish. If it it begins to separate along the white flesh lines on the filet—which is called flaking—it’s done. You can also take its temperature with an instant read thermometer and confirm the internal temperature is 145°F.

    Remove it from the heat ASAP.

    Serve warm with an additional squeeze of lemon juice and with your favorite side dish.

    steps to make roasted salmon

    Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

    Baked salmon looks and sounds really impressive, even if it’s a pretty quick and easy dish to make!

    Don’t be intimidated by the sound of it because you can absolutely do this!

    Here are a few things to do to make it easier:

    • This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled without needing to add extra time to the cooking. Keep your eyes on the salmon as it bakes, though, because the thickness of the salmon will determine how long it bakes.
    • Serve it alongside easy, make-ahead side dishes, like Spinach Madeline or a simple salad. This way, you won’t have to fret about the salmon being perfect while also cooking a side dish.
    Four salmon filets sit on a baking sheet, garnished with lemon rounds, over a dark grey and white striped towel

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What type of salmon do I use for this recipe?

    Our family is partial to wild caught Alaskan salmon because my husband spent a month up there and swears it’s the BEST, but you can use any type of salmon on this recipe so long as you use a decent sized fillet.

    How do I cook frozen salmon?

    You defrost it first, then cook as instructed in the recipe card below.

    How do I tell if the salmon is cooked?

    Look at the white lines that run across the salmon fillets. Poke a knife into the thickest part of the salmon and see if these lines separate easily. If they do, your fish is done.

    If you want to learn more about cooking salmon, I really liked this article from Bon Appetit.

    How long do I cook salmon at 425?

    This is going to depend on the thickness of your salmon. Mine took around 7 minutes and were about 1” thick. It could take anywhere between 6-9 minutes, so keep an eye on yours!

    Can I use another fish in this recipe?

    If you don’t have salmon but want to swap another fish for it here, absolutely! I think this recipe would be delicious with various types of fish. Lemon and dill on any type of fish is delicious, and this process translates well.

    I will note that the cook time might be different, though, so you will need to look into that.

    A baked salmon filet garnished with a lemon round and served with a kale salad on a white plate

    Quick tips for baking salmon

    • If your salmon was previously frozen, let it defrost in the fridge. You can remove it from its packaging and let it defrost on a plate lined with with paper towels.
    • Use whatever herbs you have on hand. Personally, I think dill and salmon go together wonderfully, but if you don’t have dill, use fresh rosemary, oregano or even parsley on the fillet for both color and flavor.
    • If entertaining, fit as many salmon filets as you can on your baking sheet! This recipe is easily doubled for a crowd without the need to change the cooking time.
    • Don’t eat dairy? Brush the salmon with an oil that has a higher smoke point, like avocado oil.

    Love seafood? Here are some more recipes to try:

    A salmon filet garnished with a lemon round is served on parchment paper over a silver platter
    Yield: 4 servings

    How to Bake Salmon in the Oven

    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 6 minutes
    Total Time: 11 minutes

    Tired of overcooked, dry salmon? Learn how to bake salmon perfectly in the oven with this tutorial. Makes 4 filets, though the recipe can be halved, doubled or tripled easily.

    Ingredients

    • 4 salmon filets
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
    • Salt and pepper
    • Fresh herbs, for garnish
    • Lemon wedges, for garnish

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel.
    3. Brush the tops of the salmon with unsalted butter. Season with salt and pepper.
    4. Add lemon rounds and fresh dill. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, too.
    5. Bake for 6-9 minutes, depending on thickness. (Keep an eye on it.)
      Test the salmon’s doneness by gently sticking a knife into the thickest part of the fish. If it flakes—meaning it begins to separate along the white flesh lines on the filet—it’s done, and you should remove it from the heat.
    6. Serve with an additional squeeze of lemon juice with your favorite side dish!

    Notes

    You can easily double or half this recipe, depending on how many people you need to feed. The cook time should not change.

    Substitutions you can use in this recipe:

    • Use avocado oil or another high smoke point oil to brush onto the salmon if you don't eat dairy products.
    • If you're out of fresh dill, you can use the dried kind. Use a light hand when sprinkling it on, though, since dried herbs have a more intense flavor, and you don't want to overwhelm the fish.
    • If you don't have fresh dill, you could also use other fresh herbs like rosemary, sage, basil, oregano or even parsley. The flavor profile of the salmon will obviously change, but these herbs will add a nice pop of brightness to the final fish.
    • You can use this same cooking method with another type of fish. The cooking time might change, though, so keep an eye on it while it bakes.

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    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    4 servings

    Serving Size:

    1 filet

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 502Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 151mgSodium: 214mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 51g

    Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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