How to Cook Salmon in the Oven

Find out how to cook salmon in the oven with this super simple baked method. Quick, easy, healthy and delicious!

I’ve been cooking salmon for years as you can see on my salmon category recipes. Here you’ll find lots of salmon recipes that are great for weeknight dinners. Salmon recipes with melted butter, olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, fresh herbs and lots of seasonings.

How to Cook Salmon in the Oven

Some of my favourite baked salmon recipes are: Garlic Butter Salmon in Foil Recipe, Blackened Salmon Recipe and Easy Chopped Salmon Salad. Or if you prefer, you can make this delicious Grilled Salmon too.

Today, I’m sharing with you my easy, simple tips on how to cook salmon. If you want a delicious, healthy and easy meal for dinner during the week, this baked salmon recipe is perfect for you.

But first, I want to answer a few questions that are often asked about how to bake salmon and how to cook salmon.

Preparing salmon

How can salmon be cooked?

When it is raw, salmon has very firm flesh. As a result, it holds up well under almost any type of cooking. It is possible to cook salmon using any of these cooking methods:
  • Steaming — this method is the easiest way to keep your salmon moist with no added fats to cook it up. All you need is the salmon in a steamer basket.
  • Poaching — this method is similar to steaming that there’s no added fats or oils to cook the salmon. This method is great for infusing flavour to the salmon.
  • Grilling — if you love the smoky flavours of a bbq, grilling your salmon will get you that result!
  • Broiling — this is super quick and easy as well. It’s a great method if you want to cook a lot of salmon at once as you can fit a lot on a sheet pan if needed.
  • Pan frying — this method will give you delicious crispy salmon but you’ll be using a lot of oil or butter.
  • Pan searing — this method is quick but again, will require oil or butter.
  • Baking — this method of cooking salmon is super hands off. Great for if you’d like to prepare side dishes as you can do both at once!

How to cook frozen salmon

  • Fresh fish can be difficult to find, especially if you live in a remote area, away from oceans and lakes. In situations like these, buying frozen salmon filets is the best option.
  • The good news is, even in its frozen state, salmon cooks very quickly. If you have time, you can thaw it in the refrigerator before cooking. Otherwise, season the fish according to your recipe, and increase the cooking time by 5 minutes.
  • If you plan to baste the salmon with any type of sauce or glaze, wait to apply it until after the fish thaws. Otherwise, it won’t stick to the filet.

How do you know when salmon is done?

Salmon is ready to eat when it flakes easily. Pierce the end of a filet with a fork and gently pull away. If you meet resistance, the fish needs to cook longer.

What should I serve with salmon?

Like other types of fish, salmon pairs well with sides like potato salad, roasted cauliflower, mashed butternut squash, Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes, risotto, and even pasta. It’s best to avoid heavy, starchy dishes like mashed potatoes.

Should I cook salmon with the skin off or on?

For most cooking methods, it is best to cook salmon with the skin on. The only exception might be if you are stir frying salmon, but even then, you can leave the skin on if you want to.
Salmon skin is edible, although most people prefer not to eat it. It doesn’t have much flavour anyway. However, if you plan to eat the skin, try to purchase wild caught salmon. As a result, you can be sure that it will be free of any unnatural chemicals.

How to reheat cooked salmon

When salmon is cooked, it is very delicate. As a result, you will want to be sure to reheat it gently to prevent it from over cooking and becoming dry.

Here’s a great way to reheat salmon without over cooking it.

  1. Place the leftovers in a zip top storage bag and remove any excess air before sealing it.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the burner.
  3. As soon as the water stops boiling, carefully place the bag of leftovers into the water. To prevent water from entering the bag, try to keep the zipper top above the surface of the water.
  4. Allow the bag to sit in the hot water for 8 to 10 minutes. As it sits there, the water will gently reheat the fish!

Baked salmon recipe

Because it’s so versatile, this is the kind of recipe to keep in your book for any occasion. Season with your favourite kinds of seasoning and bake at 375˚F for 10 to 15 minutes! Serve with delicious salad, roasted veggies, rice or mashed potatoes/cauliflower and make some dips and spreads. Wow so good!

Salmon seasoning

Salmon is already a very flavourful fish and for this reason all seasonings you use to cook salmon in the oven will enhance even more the flavours.

My favourite seasonings to cook salmon with are: coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, paprika, Cajun seasoning and some fresh herbs like fresh parsley, oregano, or dill. Mm… Delicious!

How long to bake salmon

It depends on the size and thickness of your salmon fillet. If your fillet is 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 to Cook Salmon

How to cook salmon in the oven

I make this oven baked salmon recipe for weeknight meal very often. We all love it especially my little one. I love making this recipe because it’s very simple to make and it takes about 10 minutes to cook, depending on the thickness of your salmon. So, here is how I make it:

1.    Preheat the oven to 375°F and place a rack in the middle of the oven.  Then, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or if you prefer just use a cast iron skillet like a did. Remove salmon from the fridge and pat the salmon fillets with a paper towel to dry. This way olive oil will stick easily on top of the salmon as water and oil don’t mix.

Patting the salmon fillets with a paper towel to dry

2.    Place salmon (skin-side down – this is very important) in the baking sheet or cast iron skillet. Next, drizzle some oil over the top of each salmon fillet. Here you can use a pastry brush or your fingers to rub the oil all over the salmon.

drizzle some oil over the top of each salmon fillet

3.  Season the salmon filets with salt, pepper and paprika (or Cajun seasoning) and transfer to the oven.

season salmon with salt, black pepper and paprika

4.    Bake for 10-15 minutes. It’s hard to say a precise cooking time, because it all depends on the thickness of your filets. So, check it after 10 minutes . If it’s not done cook for more 3 or 5 minutes.

5.    Salmon is done when it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145˚F. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. You also know if it’s ready when the salmon flakes easily with a fork. Before serving top with some fresh parsley.

salmon flakes

How do you know when salmon is fully cooked?

The FDA states that once the salmon has reaches an internal temperature of 145°F at 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 it the fillet flakes apart easily. Once it flakes, it’s fork tender and ready to be eaten.

What is that white stuff that comes out of salmon?

Sometimes while your salmon fillet cooks, there’s some white liquid that comes out of them. The white liquid might look a little weird but not to worry, 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 the salmon as it appears or at the end.

How Do I Store Cooked Salmon?

Transfer leftover salmon fillets 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. For best results when reheating, heat leftovers in a pan on the stove so the salmon stays crispy. You can also heat in the microwave along with some salad for a full meal at once. These Easy Salmon Recipes also will give you some inspiration on how to use your salmon leftover.

Other ways to cook salmon:

  • Easy Salmon Salad Recipe: This salmon salad is super light, fresh and healthy! The veggies are tossed in tangy lemon and Dijon dressing and it has the best ingredients
  • Spicy Salmon Sweet Potato Skillet: This Spicy Salmon Sweet Potato Skillet recipe features perfectly seasoned and crispy salmon that is a great partner for the sweet potato and milted kale.
  • Low-Carb Salmon Burgers with Avocado Coleslaw: This Low-Carb Salmon Burgers with Avocado Coleslaw recipe is an easy, quick, healthy and delicious meal that’s ready in 20 minutes!
  • Spicy Butter Salmon in Foil Recipe: This Spicy Butter Salmon in Foil is made with melted butter and lots of spices. It’s cooked in 20 minutes, then broiled for the crispy finish!

How to Cook Salmon in the Oven

Find out how to cook salmon in the oven with this super simple baked method. Quick, easy, healthy and delicious!
4.5 from 8 votes

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°. Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or just use a cast iron skillet. Remove salmon from the fridge and pat the salmon fillets with a paper towel.
  • Place salmon (skin-side dowin the baking sheet or cast iron skillet. Drizzle some oil over the top of each salmon fillet. Use a pastry brush or your fingers to rub the oil all over the salmon.
  • Season with salt, pepper and paprika (or Cajun seasonin and transfer to the oven.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes. Time depends on the thickness of your salmon. So, check it after 10 minutes in the oven. Salmon is done when it gets at the minimum internal temperature of 145˚F. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. You also know if it’s ready when the salmon flakes easily with a fork.

Video

Serving: 1/3, Calories: 283kcal, Protein: 28g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 79mg, Sodium: 451mg, Potassium: 719mg

If you make this recipe, follow @primaverakitchen on Instagram, snap a photo and hashtag it #primaverakitchen. I'd love to see what you're making!

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How to Cook Salmon in the Oven