Easy Oven-Baked Salmon With Herbs

whole salmon filet with lemon and herbs
Ronnie Kaufman/Larry Hirshowitz/Blend Images/Getty Images
Total Time: 25 min
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Servings: 3 (4 ounces salmon per serving)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

236 calories
8g fat
1g carbs
28g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 (4 ounces salmon per serving)
Amount per serving  
Calories 236
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 98mg 33%
Sodium 1000mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 28g  
Vitamin D 15mcg 75%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 630mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

This recipe for oven-baked salmon is incredibly simple and delicious, an ideal way to get a healthy dinner on the table with minimal prep. This recipe is focused on teaching you the technique and gives you a blank canvas to work with based on what other ingredients you have on hand and what else you are serving. You can serve the salmon immediately after it is done or you can refrigerate it and use the cooked salmon in other recipes such as salmon cakes or salmon salad or as an add-in protein for a salad or grain bowl.

Cooking time will vary considerably based on the thickness of your fillets so you will have to use your judgment here and take it out when it is cooked to your preference. There is no hard and fast recipe for baked salmon, you can even use a lower oven temperature and just increase the cooking time or use a higher temperature and decrease the cooking time. The best rule of thumb is to take it out as soon as it starts to flake in the thickest part but is still moist and flavorful from the healthy fats. (Keep in mind that the fish will continue to cook for a few minutes after it comes out of the oven as it cools). Be careful to not overcook the fish as it tends to get very dry and tough and not nearly as flavorful.

Ingredients

  • 1 small bunch fresh dill
  • 1 small lemon, sliced into rounds
  • 12 oz salmon (3 4-oz filets)
  • 1.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Coarsely ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.

  2. Lay sprigs of fresh dill onto a sheet tray or baking dish. You can line the bottom with parchment or aluminum foil if you have it on hand for easier clean up. Lay the lemon slices on top of the dill sprigs.

  3. Place the salmon fillets on top of the lemon slices and drizzle the olive oil over the salmon, gently rubbing it all over the flesh so it evenly coated with a thin layer of oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the salmon flakes.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Replace dill with other herbs such as thyme, tarragon, parsley or cilantro or a combination of several. Or if you don't have any herbs or citrus on hand, it is also delicious just baked with olive oil and can always be served with a flavorful sauce or vinaigrette.
  • Brush with a thin layer of Dijon mustard for an alternative flavor boost. If you have some extra dill or other fresh herbs, chop these up and mix with some Dijon mustard and a drizzle of olive oil and brush on the salmon before baking. Keep in mind there is salt in the mustard, so you can omit the salt in the recipe if you use the mustard.
  • Go global and make a marinade using different flavors from around the world. For example, use a marinade from another recipes such as this one for Miso Marinated Steak and pour it on the salmon before baking.

Tips

  • Depending on the cut of salmon you get, you may need to remove some pin bones that run down the center of the fillet. Run your hand over the fish and if you feel a bone, gently bend the fillet so the bone protrudes and can easily be removed with fish tweezers.
  • The key to cooking fish successfully with this method is primarily about not overcooking it so feel free to keep checking the fish after it has been in the oven for 12 minutes or so if you have thin pieces.
  • If you see a white foamy substance on the surface of the fish, this is normal, it is the albumin protein in the fish that comes out once it is cooked. You will see even more if the fish is overcooked or cooked at a high temperature.

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