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A friend of mine introduced me to what inspired this lemon garlic baked salmon many years ago, long before I even cared that it’s a keto baked salmon recipe. Her process was super simple – season salmon, slather with mayo, top with lemon slices, and bake. While it’s not the traditional way to bake salmon, it’s a mayo lover’s dream and is surprisingly delicious. I’ve since experimented with her original version and settled on the perfect garlic parmesan oven baked salmon: swap the mayo with lemon garlic aioli for more flavor and add parmesan on top.
My kids go crazy for this salmon, my friends love it, and even their kids enjoy it, too. With just a few simple ingredients and lemon garlic flavors everyone adores, it’s the perfect baked salmon fillet recipe.
How To Season Salmon For Baking
We’re keeping the seasonings simple and bright for this salmon with garlic lemon aioli sauce. The lemon and garlic flavors pair perfectly with salmon, and slathering the aioli on top keeps the moisture locked inside the salmon as it bakes.
After seasoning the salmon with salt and pepper, top the salmon with the lemon garlic aioli, sprinkle with parmesan, and top with lemon slices. It makes for one of the best salmon keto recipes ever!
If you want to change it up, here are a few other seasoning ideas:
- Simply salt & pepper – Can’t go wrong with simple. Salmon is a flavorful fish on its own.
- Use mayonnaise instead of the aioli – Similar result, but more mild in flavor.
- Butter or olive oil – If you don’t have aioli, brush with olive oil or butter instead.
- Lemon pepper – For an extra lemon-y fish.
- Seasoning salt – These come in many varieties, but almost anything in your spice cabinet would work for salmon.
How To Bake Salmon In The Oven
This oven baked salmon recipe is ready in just 15 minutes! Here’s how to make this keto salmon recipe:
- Season salmon. Pat salmon dry with paper towels, then season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper.
- Top with lemon garlic aioli. Spread the lemon garlic aioli onto the salmon fillets. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and top with lemon slices.
- Bake. Place the lemon garlic salmon in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through and flaky.
What Temperature To Bake Salmon?
The baked salmon fillet cooks quickly in a 450 degree F oven, which is one the reasons I love it so much! The high heat means quick cook time, and quick cook time means less time to dry out.
How Long To Bake Salmon At 450
Remember this rule of thumb: oven baked salmon at 450 degrees will take about 4-6 minutes per half-inch of thickness. Most fillets are about 1 inch thick, so it comes out to about 8-10 minutes.
Salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork. If you have a larger fillet, you can also insert a fork or knife into the center and twist to see if it flakes there.
Preferences for salmon doneness can vary from medium rare to well done. If you want to be exact, use an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish.
The FDA recommends that baked salmon internal temp should reach 145 degrees F [*]. But, many people also enjoy salmon a little rarer than that, so many baked salmon fillet recipes will cook it until it reaches 135 degrees F. I usually aim for 135-140 degrees.
Tips For Perfect Baked Salmon
Oven baked salmon is delicious when lightly seasoned and flavored – in order to let the salmon flavor shine. Here are a few tips for the best baked salmon:
- Choose the best quality salmon you can. I recommend wild caught, sustainably harvested salmon, like the wild Alaskan salmon you can get here. That being said, buy what you can afford – this keto baked salmon recipe is delicious with any salmon you can get.
- Buy skin-on salmon. Even if you don’t like the skin, salmon with the skin is less likely to dry out and will be more flavorful. You could just not eat the skin.
- Pat salmon dry before baking. This will prevent the skin from sticking to your pan.
- Let salmon come to room temperature. This is not absolutely required, but helps the salmon bake more evenly in the oven.
- Fold any thin edges underneath. If you have a very thick fillet and thin edges, folding them under helps prevent overcooking those edges by the time the center is done.
- Fillet size affects cook time. This recipe was written for one or two large salmon fillets. If yours are cut into individual servings, they will likely cook more quickly. Sometimes cutting into individual pieces can be a good idea for more even cooking.
- Don’t overcook salmon. This is especially important with wild salmon, which is more lean and dries out more easily. I highly recommend cooking to 135 degrees for moist, tender baked salmon. Fortunately, baking salmon with lemon garlic aioli really helps to lock in that moisture.
Is This A Keto Salmon Recipe?
Yes, this is a low carb keto salmon recipe! Each serving has just 1 gram net carbs. Baked salmon fillets are naturally keto friendly anyway, and the aioli on top helps add some healthy fats.
But, you don’t have to be keto to enjoy this meal. The whole family will love it – even my picky children do.
How To Store Baked Salmon Fillets
Can you make lemon garlic salmon ahead?
Yes, you can make the best baked salmon ahead. Because it takes just 10 minutes or so to bake, I recommend waiting to bake until right before serving.
To prep ahead, you can either just make the aioli ahead of time, or top the salmon with everything, cover the pan, and store raw in the fridge for 1-2 days before baking.
How to store leftover baked salmon
Store leftover baked salmon fillets in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can use them cold in salads, or reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F. The microwave works in a pinch to reheat, but is more likely to dry out the fish.
Can you freeze baked salmon with lemon and garlic?
Yes, you can freeze this oven baked salmon recipe. Even though aioli does not freeze very well, it should be fine when used as a topping for salmon that will be baked, anyway.
You can store the fish raw with all the toppings (the better option), or if you really want to, freeze leftovers of the lemon garlic salmon baked recipe. Freeze uncovered on a sheet pan first, to prevent anything from sticking to the aioli, then transfer to a freezer bag once solid. It will last about 3 months in the freezer.
Thaw frozen salmon in the fridge overnight. If it was pre-cooked, you can serve cold flaked lemon and garlic salmon over salads, or reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F. Be careful not to overheat, or it will dry out. If it was frozen raw, you can bake according to the original instructions at 450 degrees F like the original recipe says.
Side Dishes For Baked Salmon
Here are some great keto low carb side dishes to serve alongside this lemon garlic salmon recipe:
- Oven Baked Asparagus – A natural side for baked salmon fillets. You can even roast them on the same pan!
- Sauteed Radishes – These have a surprising resemblance to potatoes. They make for a satisfying meal when paired with keto friendly salmon recipes.
- Sauteed Broccoli – Easy keto salmon served with broccoli?! Sounds like a superfood meal to me!
- Roasted Garlic Cauliflower – If you like this lemon garlic salmon, clearly you’re a garlic lover. Can’t go wrong with this one then.
- Caesar Salad – Skip the chicken and serve the salad on the side.
Tools To Make The Best Oven Baked Salmon:
Click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Sheet Pan – These are the best sheet pans. Nonstick, high quality, and made in the US.
- Instant Read Thermometer – Check the salmon internal temp for perfectly baked fish every time. I recommend 135 degrees F, but you can go up to 145 degrees F per FDA recommendations if you want it well done.
- Fish Spatula – The best tool to transfer baked salmon fillet from pan to plate.
Reader Favorite Recipes
The recipe card is below! Readers also made these similar recipes after making this one.
Lemon Garlic Baked Salmon Recipe
The best oven baked salmon recipe, in just 15 minutes! This 4-ingredient, naturally keto lemon garlic salmon fillet with creamy aioli and parmesan makes a quick, flavorful dinner.
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Get RECIPE TIPS in the post above, nutrition info + recipe notes below!
Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C).
Pat salmon fillets dry with paper towels. Season both sides sea salt and black pepper. Place them skin-side down onto a baking sheet (you can line it for easy cleanup if you'd like).
Spread aioli over the salmon. Sprinkle with parmesan and top with lemon slices.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it flakes easily with a fork. Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.
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Serving size: 8 oz salmon, or 1/4 entire recipe
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Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Net carb count excludes fiber, erythritol, and allulose, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. (Learn about net carbs here.) We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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