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This oven baked salmon recipe has been a dinner staple at our house for years. Pan searing salmon is the best way to get crispy skin, but you’ll want to know how to cook salmon in the oven for those times that you want a hands-off option. Like baked cod, sea bass, and rainbow trout, it’s a quick and easy fish recipe that comes out tender and flaky, with plenty of flavor.
This simple baked salmon is a basic way to cook this fish and great for beginners. Not only is baking salmon easy, but it’s made with simple ingredients — and totally delicious. It doesn’t need any sauces, either.
Why You’ll Love This Oven Baked Salmon Recipe
- Bright and fresh taste from lemon, olive oil, dill, and parsley
- Tender, flaky salmon texture
- Just 6 simple ingredients
- Only 5 minutes to prep, ready in 15!
- Quick and easy healthy dinner
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for baked salmon recipes, what each one does, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
Choosing The Salmon:
Healthy baked salmon recipes will work with pretty much any salmon you buy, but here are some things to look for if you want the best baked salmon:
- Salmon variety: King salmon, coho salmon, or pink salmon are the best varieties for baking, but sockeye is also delicious. Atlantic salmon is always farmed so I typically avoid it. Learn more about the different varieties in my pan seared salmon post.
- Skin on vs. skinless: Salmon with skin is very important for pan seared salmon, but when you’re baking salmon, it doesn’t matter as much. I still find that getting skin-on salmon leaves you with the best flavor, so get that if you can, but skinless is just fine as well. If you get salmon with skin, remove the scales with a knife if they are present.
- Thickness: For baked salmon, the thickness of your salmon doesn’t really matter, just keep in mind that it will affect cook time. I try to buy salmon that is about an inch thick and uniform in thickness, so that it cooks evenly.
- Appearance: Look for firm, fresh fish that’s a shade of pink-orange in color, though exact color will vary depending on the variety.
- Whole vs individual fillets: You can bake a whole salmon fillet or individual ones, but I think individual fillets are the best way to cook salmon in the oven, because they cook more evenly. You can use this same baked salmon recipe for a large fillet as well, but will need to cook it on a sheet pan and it will take longer.
Baked Salmon Seasonings:
- Olive Oil – Oil ensures that the fish stays moist and flavorful. You can also use avocado oil, or even melted butter.
- Lemon Juice – Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor, or bottled for convenience.
- Garlic – Crushed or minced. Use fresh garlic cloves if you like them crushed, or for minced garlic, you can mince it fresh or use the jarred kind. If you don’t have garlic on hand, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Fresh Herbs – I used fresh dill and fresh parsley for this baked salmon recipe, but thyme would also go nicely. Dried herbs are not recommended, but if you really want to use them in a pinch, use 1/3 the amount of fresh.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Lemon slices – Optional, but adds a nice flavor and presentation.
How To Cook Salmon In The Oven
This section shows how to cook salmon in the oven, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Mix marinade. In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and fresh herbs. We’re not actually going to marinate it for this baked salmno recipe, but just brush this on and bake right away. (Alternatively, you can make my other salmon marinade recipe instead and marinate it.)
- Season salmon. Place the fish in a baking dish (or on a rimmed baking sheet), with space between the fillets. Pat salmon dry with a paper towel. Brush with olive oil mixture on both sides (you can also just drizzle it on, but brushing coats the fish more evenly). Season with sea salt and black pepper, and top with the lemon slices, if using.
- Bake salmon. Cook salmon in the oven until it flakes easily with a fork. (For best results, see below for the ideal internal temperature.) If you like, sprinkle more fresh herbs on top for serving.
How Long To Bake Salmon?
Salmon bake time will depend on the thickness of your salmon, but a good estimate is 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees F. This is the optimal salmon oven temp because it’s high enough to cook the fish quickly without drying it out, but low enough to prevent burning.
For the perfect baked salmon recipe, you’ll want to check the internal temperature using an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the salmon, rather than simply testing if the fish flakes with a fork. Here is a temperature guide to know when it’s done to your liking:
|Medium rare||120-125 degrees F (48-52 degrees C)|
|Medium||130 degrees F (54 degrees C)|
|Medium well||135 degrees F (57 degrees C)|
|Well done||140-145 degrees F (60-63 degrees C)|
Tips For The Best Baked Salmon Recipe
- Let the salmon fillets come to room temperature if you have time. Just set them on the counter for 30 minutes before cooking. This will help them cook more evenly.
- Pat dry before seasoning. This helps to lock in moisture during cooking.
- If your salmon has skin, be sure it ends up skin side down. You’ll brush the mixture on both sides, but bake with the skin against the baking dish.
- Don’t overcook. The key to moist, flaky salmon is the right cook time. An internal temperature of 135 to 140 degrees F is ideal.
Can You Bake Frozen Salmon?
Yes, you can bake frozen salmon! Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes, then uncover and cook for another 5-10 minutes. The total cook time is 20-25 minutes.
- Store: Keep any leftovers of this easy oven baked salmon recipe in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Meal prep: Mix the olive oil mixture ahead and bake the day-of, OR bake salmon in the oven and then portion into individual containers to simply reheat later.
- Reheat: Reheating salmon in the air fryer is my favorite method to avoid drying it out (about 3 minutes at 325 degrees F), but you can also use the oven. Place salmon in a baking dish covered tightly with foil and reheat in the oven at 325 degrees F, until warm. It’s also delicious chilled or at room temperature. Microwaving fish is not recommended, but can be done in a pinch.
- Freeze: You can freeze baked salmon fillets by wrapping them in plastic wrap, then placing in a freezer bag or airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
What To Serve With Baked Salmon Recipes
This easy baked salmon recipe goes perfectly with simple side dishes, such as:
- Vegetables – Try roasted asparagus (the most classic pairing), green beans almondine (pictured above!), roasted brussels sprouts, zucchini noodles, or roasted broccoli.
- Salads – Baked salmon works well with fresh salads, like tomato cucumber avocado salad, Caprese salad, or Mediterranean quinoa salad.
- Rice – White rice, brown rice, or cauliflower rice.
- Potatoes – For a more filling meal, add roasted potatoes to baked sweet potatoes to your baked salmon recipe and vegetable side dish. Or make Instant Pot baked potatoes while cooking salmon in the oven.
More Healthy Salmon Recipes
If you like this baked salmon recipe, you’ll love these other ways to prepare this fish:
How To Cook Salmon In The Oven
Oven Baked Salmon Recipe (Easy & Flaky!)
Learn how to cook salmon in the oven perfectly! This easy oven baked salmon recipe is fresh, flavorful, healthy, and ready in 15 minutes.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dill, and parsley.
Arrange salmon fillets in a stoneware baking dish, with space between them. Use paper towels to pat them dry.
Brush the salmon fillets on both sides with the olive oil mixture. Season both sides with sea salt and black pepper. If desired place a thin lemon slice over each piece of salmon.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the salmon internal temperature reaches your desired doneness: 120-125 degrees F (48-52 degrees C) for medium rare, 130 degrees F (54 degrees C) for medium, 135 degrees F (57 degrees C) for medium well, or 140-145 degrees F (60-63 degrees C) for well done.
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Serving size: 1 salmon fillet
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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