Simple Garlic Butter Salmon Recipe

You will love how simple and delicious this Garlic Butter Salmon recipe is! It is the perfect weeknight dinner recipe as it is ready in 30 minutes or less! It’s a no-fuss, no-muss recipe as the tin foil makes clean up super easy. Make this family-favourite recipe tonight for dinner!

Tender, flaky, and packed with flavour, this simple garlic butter salmon recipe is going to be a hit with your family. It’s a hands-off recipe that only takes a couple of minutes to throw together and is a delicious healthy dinner option. Even better, this salmon recipe is gluten-free, keto-friendly, and low-carb. Enjoy it on its own or add it to a salad like this Easy Salmon Salad Recipe.

wild salmon fillet with lemon slices and garlic butter

Salmon is a delicious fish packed with heart-healthy Omega 3 fats. Using garlic butter and lemon to create the sauce adds an amazing depth of flavor. We’ll show you how to make this baked salmon recipe easy for clean up by wrapping the fish fillets in foil packs and baking them in the oven!

What do you need to cook salmon?

  • Salmon fillet — Take your pick of fillets! See down below to see which your should pick. If you only have small fillets, try making my Spicy Salmon Sweet Potato Skillet instead.
  • Lemon juice — Fresh lemon juice is best. Skip the bottled stuff.
  • Garlic – Minced.
  • Melted butter or melted ghee — Be sure to use unsalted butter.
  • Seasoning — I used salt, black pepper, dried oregano, crushed red pepper.
  • Garnish — Chopped parsley and lemon slices to garnish.

How to cook garlic butter salmon in the oven?

Prepare the equipment and sauce

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet that is large enough to fold over and seal the fish.
  • In a small bowl, add lemon juice, garlic, and melted butter or melted ghee and whisk until combined.

Prepare the salmon

  • Place the salmon on the prepared baking sheet and then pour the butter mixture over the salmon, careful to keep as much as the butter mixture on the salmon.
  • Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

Bake the salmon

  • Fold the sides of the foil over the salmon so that the salmon is fully sealed and the butter mixture cannot leak out.
  • Place the sheet pan into the oven, and bake until cooked, about 12-16 minutes.
  • Open the foil, and broil the fish for 2-3 minutes until the tops are golden. Be careful not to burn the fish by keeping a close eye on it.
  • Remove the sheet pan from the oven. Then, using a spoon, pour some of the butter sauce left in the foil onto the salmon and garnish before serving.

Which type of salmon is best for you?

This topic comes up for discussion a lot, especially when comparing the wild salmon fillets from Alaska and the farmed Atlantic salmon.

Farmed salmon:

  • are raised in fish farms, also known as aquacultures
  • eat a diet of processed feed
  • contain Omega-3 fatty acids as well as Vitamins A and D

On the other hand, wild salmon:

  • are raised in a natural habitat, such as rivers and oceans
  • eat organisms and other food found in their natural environment
  • have a color that is more vibrant and intense than farmed salmon
  • pack more nutritional benefit per ounce than farmed fish

If given the option, I would pick wild-caught salmon varieties such as coho, sockeye, or king salmon. They are a little more expensive but I feel like the extra nutrition that the fillets have is worth it. A cheaper alternative is purchasing frozen wild-caught salmon instead of fresh. All you have to do is thaw it overnight in the fridge.

wild salmon fillet with lemon slices and garlic butter

Is fresh salmon better than frozen for this recipe?

You can make this salmon recipe using either fresh or frozen salmon. I normally use fresh salmon fillets because they are easier to find at my local grocery store.

Most seafood is flash-frozen, meaning that it is frozen at its prime peak of freshness. Technically, the quality will be the same with fresh and frozen fish; there’s just the issue of whether or not to thaw frozen salmon.

You can cook frozen salmon in a pan, in the oven, and even on the grill, but you will need to add a few minutes to the cooking time. Remember to pull the frozen fillets from the freezer in the morning and put them in the fridge to thaw. They’ll be perfect to use for making this salmon recipe at dinnertime.

Can I use parchment paper instead of aluminum foil to make this salmon recipe?

Yes and no. Let me explain. For this salmon recipe, we’ll steam the salmon fillet, and then we’re going to broil it.

If you want to skip the broiler step, you can use parchment paper. Just remove the salmon from the oven and make sure it reaches the internal temperature of 145ºF. Please, remember to always insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the salmon.

If you prefer to bake and broil the salmon, you need to use aluminum foil. Foil is more resistant to high temperatures.

The steaming step is great to keep the salmon moist and flavourful. That’s why this is the most important step. And, the broiling step gives this salmon recipe a crisp and caramelized crust. Yum!

Should I cook the salmon with or without the skin on?

There’s no need to remove the skin before you cook it! The skin actually helps keep the moisture locked in when it is baking. If you’re not a fan of the skin, it comes right off once it’s been cooked.

How do I store and reheat salmon?

  • Leftovers — Transfer leftover salmon to an airtight glass container and keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Or, portion them out into meal prep containers to have for lunches throughout the week. Alternatively, see the recipes listed down below to see what you can make with leftover salmon before storing it!
  • Freezer — You can freeze cooked salmon by placing completely cooled salmon in an airtight freezer-friendly container or freezer bags. Keep in the freezer for up to 4 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
  • Reheating —  You can heat the leftover salmon in the microwave. Add a splash of water if you’re worried it will dry out. You can also reheat this on the stovetop. Add some olive oil to a hot pan and add the salmon to it. Cook until heated through.

wild salmon fillet with lemon slices and garlic butter

What is the best seasoning for this salmon recipe?

I think salmon goes really well with almost any spice blend for fish that you like to use.

My favourite seasonings to use for this garlic butter salmon in foil are garlic, salt, and black and red pepper. If you want to switch things up, these seasonings are also delicious on fish:

  • Italian seasoning
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh dill.
  • oregano
  • tarragon

Mmm… The best! Simply delicious!

How long do you cook salmon in the oven at 375ºF?

It depends on the size and thickness of your salmon fillet. If your fillet is very thick, I would say about 15 minutes in the oven at 375ºF. But if it is a normal size, I would say about 12-13 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.

How do you know when salmon is fully cooked?

The FDA states that once the salmon has reached an internal temperature of 145°F as its thickest part, it is fully cooked. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can check when your salmon is fully cooked, by using a fork to check if the fillet flakes apart easily.

What is that white stuff that comes out of salmon? Is it normal?

Sometimes while salmon cooks, there might be a white liquid that will come out of the salmon fillets. It looks a little weird but it’s perfectly fine to eat. The white stuff is called “albumin” and it’s just protein that solidifies as salmon cooks. If it bothers you, you can scrape it off.

What vegetables go well with salmon?

When it comes to salmon, or any other type of fish, there are a lot of tasty options for vegetable side dishes. A few favorites of mine are:

Ways to use leftover salmon

If you have leftover salmon and want to change things up, here are some ways to enjoy the salmon:

  • salmon tacos: shred the salmon up and serve it in a taco
  • salmon pasta: roughly chop up the leftover salmon fillet and add it to a pasta
  • salmon salad: break up the salmon with a fork and toss it in a leafy salad or greek salad. This Salmon Chopped Salad is also really good.
  • salmon fried rice: break up the salmon or roughly chop it and toss it in some fried rice
  • You can make salmon meal-prep for your lunch week since salmon stays go in the fridge for up 4 days.
  • You can also make salmon patties. These patties are delicious and easy to make, give it a try this weekend!

Other salmon recipes to try:

wild salmon fillet with lemon slices and garlic butter

Garlic Butter Salmon in Foil

This Garlic Butter Salmon in Foil is an ultra-easy and flavourful dinner to make during your busy weeknights. It’s ready in less than 30 minutes and is delicious with salads and roasted veggies.
4.02 from 256 votes

Ingredients

  • pounds salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or melted ghee
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼  teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley - to garnish
  • lemon slices - to garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet. The piece of foil should be large enough to fold over and seal the fish.
  • In a small bowl, add lemon juice, garlic, and melted butter or melted ghee. Whisk everything together.
  • Place the salmon on the prepared baking sheet. Pour the butter mixture over the salmon.
  • Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
  • Fold the sides of the foil over the salmon. Make sure it is well sealed so that the sauce does not leak. Place the pan into the oven, and bake until cooked, about 12-16 minutes. The cooking time depends on the thickness of the fillet.*
  • Open the foil, and broil the fish for 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn the fish!
  • Remove from the oven. Using a spoon, pour some of the butter sauce left in the foil onto the salmon before serving. Then, garnish with parsley.

Video

Notes

*Cook the salmon until it reaches an internal temperature of 145ºF.
If you have salmon leftovers, make this Salmon Chopped Salad recipe. So good!!
And if you love salmon recipes, I have a  list of other delicious salmon recipes for you to try.
Serving: 1/4, Calories: 250kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.5g, Protein: 29.6g, Fat: 18.1g, Saturated Fat: 6.9g, Cholesterol: 105mg, Sodium: 201mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.1g

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You can also watch the Web Stories about How to Cook Salmon in the Oven HERE.

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overhead view of wild salmon fillet with lemon slices and garlic butter