Baked Salmon

Who doesn’t love easy, healthy recipes and main dishes? In just minutes, you will have your healthy seafood dinner. How long to bake salmon at 375 degrees Fahrenheit? Believe it or not, your fish will be fully cooked and ready to eat after about 15 minutes!

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baked salmon

Salmon is loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and protein, so it’s a good fish to include in your weekly meal rotation. Best of all, this baked salmon recipe is an easy sheet pan salmon dinner.

When you bake it, you have a consistent and controlled environment that will keep the fish from becoming overcooked salmon. Your slow baked salmon cooks gently on a baking sheet with garlic, melted butter (or olive oil), freshly ground black pepper, kosher salt, and lemon wedges.

How to Select Salmon

At the supermarket, there are lots of different types of fresh salmon filets, and you can choose whichever one you like. Some favorites are King salmon, Atlantic salmon, and Scottish farmed salmon. All of these have a rich, buttery taste and texture. For a deeper red color, look for wild-caught salmon. The downside is that wild salmon can be drier. If you use frozen salmon, thaw it before cooking salmon.

raw salmon

Checking Salmon for Bones

You want to be sure you remove all of the bones from the salmon fillets. Before you season the fish, look for long white pin bones. These run down the center of the fish. You can use tweezers or needle-nose pliers to remove the bones. To keep the fish’s flesh from tearing, pull the bones out in the same direction.

Slicing Salmon or Keeping it Whole

If you buy large salmon fillets, the center bone will have already been removed. You can keep your fish whole for a stunning dish and less work, or you can cut the fillets into smaller pieces so you can serve portions individually. Individual portions will weigh between 4 and 6 ounces.

Is Removing the Skin Important?

One thing we love about this oven baked salmon recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile. Once the fish starts to cook while baking, the skin is easier to remove. You can use a spatula to separate the skin from the fish gently. The skin on oven baked salmon is soft and chewy, so it’s not great for eating. When you pan-sear salmon, the skin is perfectly crispy and delicious.

Customizing the Seasonings

  • Spices: You can use garlic powder or onion powder to give your fish a concentrated earthy allium flavor. If you would like a reddish hue to your fish, sprinkle it with sweet paprika or smoked paprika. Some lemon zest will add a pop of citrus flavor.
  • Fat: If you prefer not to use butter, you can use extra virgin olive oil. You can also use browned butter.
  • Herbs: For even more flavor, add some dried oregano, thyme, or rosemary. You can also use Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning. Herbs de Provence has marjoram and lavender, and it’s a wonderful quick herb blend. You can also place whole sprigs of herbs, such as fresh dill, on top while baking to infuse the fish with aromatics. Fresh parsley or chopped green onion is also a nice touch.
  • Heat: Want to add some spiciness to your fish? Use chipotle or dried chili powder.
  • Sauce: One thing you can do is slather your fish with pesto. Want a more luxurious main dish or brunch meal? Serve your fish with hollandaise sauce. Some brown sugar gives you a whole new layer of flavor.

How to Cook Salmon in Oven

To cook baked salmon, use a rimmed baking dish lined with tin foil. Be sure to spray the foil with cooking spray so that it doesn’t stick. Place salmon in the pan’s center, then evenly season the fish with kosher salt, melted unsalted butter, minced garlic cloves (or garlic powder), and black pepper.

cook salmon in oven

Lemon wedges added along the edges are a nice touch because the lemon juice will cook as the fish is baked. This mellows out the tartness and acidity in the lemon juice. For a delicious and simple sauce, you can squeeze a lemon slice or some lemon juice on top of the fish. Nothing beats lemon butter or garlic butter sauce flavor when you’re cooking fish!

Bake the fish until it reaches an internal temperature of about 125 degrees Fahrenheit (52 degrees Celsius). Once you finish baking the fish, set the oven to broil and broil the fish for about 3-4 minutes. This will complete the process of cooking the fish and give it a deeper flavor. You’ll also get a nice, golden brown color for your fish.

Baking Time and Temperature

Bake your fish at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (52 degrees Celsius) to get fish that’s medium rare. Baked salmon temp should be approximately 125 degrees Fahrenheit (52 degrees Celsius) when it’s done. When you bake fish at a moderate temperature, it will stay moist. Oven baked salmon doesn’t hold heat well, so there won’t be any carryover cooking that you have when you cook red meat. Your fish will continue cooking during the broiling process.

For a 1.5-pound salmon fillet, you need to cook the fish for 10-12 minutes. The cooking time will depend on how thick your fish is. The tail end of the fish will cook more quickly than the thick body portion. It takes approximately 5 minutes for every 1/2 inch of thickness. As an example, a fillet that’s 1 inch thick will take about 10 minutes to cook.

Finish the Fish Recipe with Quick Broiling

Broiling your salmon fillet for 3-4 minutes after you bake it will add tons of extra flavor to the fish’s surface. When you broil the fish, watch it closely after the first two minutes. Be sure that the garlic turns brown but doesn’t become burned. The broiling step is optional, but it’s the secret to deepening the fish’s flavor. If you don’t want to do the broiling step,  just add about 3 more minutes to the cooking time of the fish.

Make Sure Your Salmon Is Done

To see if your salmon is fully cooked, separate a few of the fish’s flash layers with a fork. Put a fork into the fish’s thickest part, and see if it flakes easily. The color of the fish should be opaque pink. However, if you like your fish to be medium rare, it will be a little glossier in the center.

We recommend using a meat thermometer to check your fish. To use a thermometer, put the probe into the salmon’s thickest part. For medium-rare fish, the center should be about 125 degrees Fahrenheit (52 degrees Celsius). For fully opaque fish or medium doneness, the internal temperature should be about 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). If the fish’s internal temperature gets above 145 degrees Fahrenheit, it will become too dry.

What to Serve with Baked Salmon

Oven-baked salmon is delicious with any of these side dishes.

baked salmon temp

FAQ

How long to cook salmon at 375 degrees Fahrenheit? 
A whole 1.5-pound salmon filet baked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit will be cooked to medium rare in approximately 10-12 minutes. If you cook smaller fish portions, your fish will cook faster. If you want to skip the broiling process, you can cook your fish for longer to get it to medium doneness. For every half inch of thickness, you can estimate adding approximately 5 minutes to the cooking time.

What is the best temperature for cooking baked salmon? 
The salmon is baked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (191 degrees Celsius), then broiled to allow it to finish cooking and become light golden brown in color.

Do you eat salmon skin?
The skin of the fish has the highest amount of beneficial omega 3 fatty acids, so you get all of those wonderful heart-healthy benefits. However, the skin on baked salmon is harder to chew because it’s rubbery, so you may want to remove it. Salmon skin is easier to eat when the fish is pan-seared, grilled salmon, air fryer salmon filet, or roasted salmon until it’s crispy.

How do you know when the salmon is fully cooked?
Raw salmon is translucent orange in color. Once it’s cooked, it will turn to an opaque pink. Cooked salmon will easily flake when you place a fork in the center. Also, use a meat thermometer to test the doneness. In the thickest part, the cooked fish should reach an internal temperature of between 125 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit (52-60 degrees Celsius).

baked salmon

Baked Salmon

This baked salmon is seasoned with roasted lemons, garlic, and fresh herbs. You can have this seafood recipe cooked and ready to eat in only 30 minutes.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 292 kcal

Equipment

  • Baking pan
  • Instant-Read Thermometer

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 lb. salmon fillet
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 8 lemon wedges or lemon slices
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic minced
  • 1 tsp. dill chopped
  • 1 tsp. parsley chopped

Instructions
 

  • Place the oven rack to the position in the center. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (191 degrees Celsius).
  • Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with cooking spray.
  • Put the salmon on the baking pan with the skin side down. Brush 1 tablespoon of melted butter over the fish. Season as desired with black pepper and kosher salt. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of butter on top of the fish.
  • Spoon the garlic over the salmon evenly. Line the lemon wedges around the sides of the fish.
  • Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until the thickest part of the fish reaches a temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit (52 degrees Celsius). This will take about 12 minutes.
  • Turn the oven to high to broil the fish. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, just until the surface of the fish becomes light golden brown in color and the garlic starts to brown.
  • Remove the fish's skin carefully and discard it. Transfer the fish to a serving platter.
  • Garnish your cooked fish with dill and parsley, then serve the fish with the roasted lemon wedges.

Notes

Larger Salmon Fillets: If you cook a larger piece of salmon, the cooking time will need to be adjusted until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit (52 degrees Celsius).
Whole30 Salmon Fillets: If you're following a Whole30 diet, use extra virgin olive oil or ghee instead of butter. You can also use sea salt instead of kosher salt.
Storing Cooked Salmon: To store leftover salmon, put it into an airtight container. It will keep well in the fridge for up to five days.
Cooking Individual Salmon Fillets: To cook individual salmon fillets, cut the fish into pieces of about 4-6 ounces. Follow the recipe instructions to cook the fish. Check the fish after a few minutes to see if it's done. Avoid overcooking the fish.
Reheating Cooked Fish: To reheat your fish, microwave it in intervals of 30 seconds until it's warm. You can also reheat your fish in the oven. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and cook it at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 15-20 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 292kcalProtein: 33gFat: 16g
Keyword Baked Salmon
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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