Lemon-Pepper Salmon

published Sep 5, 2022
Lemon Pepper Salmon Recipe

All you need is one baking dish, 10 minutes to mix a marinade, and 20 minutes of bake time to make satisfying and flaky lemon pepper salmon.

Serves6

Prep10 minutes to 12 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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Credit: Maria Do

Baked salmon is one of those dishes that stays on repeat in my kitchen. It’s quick and goes with any flavor combination you can whip up — and this lemon-pepper salmon is no exception. All you need is a baking dish, 10 minutes to mix a marinade, and 20 minutes of bake time to make satisfying and flaky lemon-pepper salmon. 

Lemon-Pepper Salmon Ingredients

You’ll need the following:

  • Salmon fillet 
  • Unsalted butter
  • Lemon
  • Garlic 
  • Olive oil
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Herbs 

I used dill for the herbs in this recipe because I love how well it pairs with lemon and salmon, but if dill is not your thing, feel free to use any of the alternatives listed in the ingredient list.

Tips for Perfectly Baked Salmon

Covering the salmon in foil helps ensure an even, moisture-retaining bake. Then a quick broil uncovered at the end adds color and a little flavor to the top of the salmon. I like to broil my salmon for a little longer, 6 to 7 minutes, so it gets as dark as a pan-seared salmon. 

To get salmon baked to your exact preferences, use a food thermometer. I recommend starting the broil when the salmon registers 120ºF in the center for medium-rare so the final salmon is between 125º to 130ºF. If you prefer well-done, start the broil at 130ºF so the final salmon is between 135º to 140ºF. 

Your salmon can be a whole 2-pound fillet or several small fillets, skin-on or skinless. I prefer skin-on, as there is a layer of fat in between the skin and flesh that keeps the salmon moist. If you prefer skinless, however, your salmon will still be moist using this recipe, as it is baked with butter. Simply remove the skin after baking, or just purchase a skinless salmon fillet. 

Credit: Maria Do

What to Serve with Lemon-Pepper Salmon

Lemon Pepper Salmon Recipe

All you need is one baking dish, 10 minutes to mix a marinade, and 20 minutes of bake time to make satisfying and flaky lemon pepper salmon.

Prep time 10 minutes to 12 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2

    large lemons, divided

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 3 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 bunch

    fresh dill

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1

    (2-pound) salmon fillet, skin-on or skinless

Instructions

  1. Arrange one rack in the middle of the oven and another rack about 6 inches from the broiler. Heat the oven to 425º F.

  2. Cut 1 of the large lemons into 6 to 8 slices. Cut 3 tablespoons unsalted butter into 5 pieces.

  3. Prepare the following, adding each to a 9x13-inch baking dish as you complete it: Finely grate 2 garlic cloves (about 2 teaspoons). Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1 tablespoon), then juice the lemon (about 1/4 cup). Finely chop 1 bunch fresh dill until you have 1/3 cup; set aside 2 tablespoons for garnish, then add the remaining to the baking dish.

  4. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Tilt the baking dish so all the liquid pools in one corner, then mix with a fork until combined.

  5. Pat 1 (2-pound) salmon fillet dry with paper towels. Place in the baking dish and rub marinade into both sides until evenly coated. If your salmon is skin-on, arrange skin-side down. Scatter the lemon slices and butter over the salmon. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.

  6. Bake on the middle rack until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 120°F for medium-rare or 130°F for well-done, 12 to 15 minutes (it will continue to cook under the broiler).

  7. Uncover and move the baking dish to the upper rack. Set the oven to broil and broil until the top is golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Let the salmon cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Garnish with the reserved dill before serving.

Recipe Notes

Herb substitutions: Feel free to substitute the fresh dill in the recipe with any of these herbs:

    • Fresh Parsley or Cilantro: Finely chop leaves until you have 1/3 cup and add to the lemon mixture. Reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish.
    • Fresh Thyme or Rosemary: Finely chop leaves until you have 1/4 cup and add to the lemon mixture. Reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.