This Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon is made with a delicious marinade and you only need five ingredients. Just pour over the prepared marinade, bake, and it's ready in under 30 minutes!
This is my favorite go to dinner during the week since it's so easy and fast to prepare. Add an easy appetizer like these Dynamite Shrimp or this Hot and Sour Soup to make it fancy!
Also try these quick and delicious Crispy Breaded Chicken Cutlets, which are ready in under 30 minutes!
Why This Recipe Works
- Simple Ingredients: All you need is a handful of ingredients for the marinade, and a beautiful piece of salmon. With the freshly squeezed lemon juice, melted butter, and lots of coriander and garlic, the flavor is taken over to another level of fantastic. Even my picky 3 year old loves it! Love seafood? Try this 15 Minute Honey Garlic Shrimp too.
- Fast with Little Prep: This recipe comes together fast, and that's perfect for a quick weeknight dinner that's healthy and really delicious too. From start to finish this recipe takes less than 30 minutes. Clean up is also a breeze since this salmon is baked covered in foil. Pair it with this delicious Chickpea Rice, that also comes together in less than 30 minutes!
- This is a VERY forgiving recipe: most of the time I don't even properly measure all the ingredients, and it still turns out great every single time! Love easy recipes? Try this Creamy Garlic Pasta too!
- Covered and Baked in Foil: This lemon garlic butter salmon always, always turns out perfectly cooked because it's tightly covered with foil. Which means the fish retains the juices, and all that delicious flavor.
How to Pick the Right Salmon
- Wild Cut is caught in the wild, in places like Pacific Ocean, Alaska, or New Zealand. It has more flavor, and has less fat too. It's also more expensive. So that's one thing to keep in mind!
- Farmed Raised on the other hand is raised in a controlled environment and has a specific diet as compared to wild caught. It has a lot more fat content, and is easier to cook, as there are less chances of it drying out due to overcooking. It's also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is great! It's also more affordable, so that tends to be one of the reasons more people buy it.
How to Check For Freshness
- Skin: The scales should be shiny, adhesive and not flaky.
- Color: The flesh should be a nice bright orange (with no brown spots), and it should look moist.
- Smell: The salmon should not smell fishy. Instead it should smell very fresh and salty like the ocean.
- The Poke Test: Poke it with a finger, it should not leave an indentation in the fish.
What You'll Need
- Salmon: For this recipe I used a 1.5 pound side of fresh Norwegian salmon, but I've also used fillets. You may also use frozen salmon.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice works best in this recipe. I do not recommend using the bottled kind because it just doesn't have the same flavor.
- Coriander: I know a whole bunch of coriander sounds like a lot for for this recipe, but it really makes the fish turn out delicious. If, however, you don't like coriander at all you can omit it. The recipe will still turn out great.
- Butter: Lots of butter makes everything delicious! I like to use Kerrygold, but any good quality butter works great in this recipe. You can also reduce the amount of butter in this recipe if desired.
- Garlic: Yes, 8 cloves of garlic seems like a LOT. But it also makes the salmon taste soooo delicious! However if it seems like too much, you can reduce the amount.
Step by Step Instructions
- Make the Marinade: Mix together chopped coriander, melted butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Pour the marinade over the salmon on a prepared baking sheet.
- Spread over chopped garlic.
- Cover tightly with foil, and bake at 400F / 200 C for about 25 minutes or until the it is cooked through.
Success Tips & FAQs
I like to use fresh salmon for this recipe. You can use either a whole side, or fillets. Frozen salmon is great in this recipe too, just thaw it before marinating it.
The FDA recommends that fish should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 F (measure by inserting a cooking thermometre in the thickest part of the fillet). You can also check the salmon to see if it's properly cooked by checking the flesh with a fork. It should flake easily.
I highly recommend baking it with the skin on as it prevents the salmon from drying out while cooking. The skin is perfectly safe to eat, but you can remove it when serving it.
This results in a properly cooked salmon, one which is not dried out. Covering tightly with foil ensures that all the juices are retained, and the end result is a perfectly cooked salmon.
You can store the cooked salmon in an airtight container, for up to 1-2 days in the fridge.
Since there's lemon juice in the marinade, I do not recommend making it ahead because lemon juice can affect the raw fish. The good thing is that the prep time for this recipe is just 5 minutes!
Below are some suggestions on some of my favorite side dishes to serve with this salmon:
- Garbanzo Bean Salad or my favorite Greek Salad
- Smashed Potatoes or Rosemary & Cheddar Cheese Potato Gratin
- Lebanese Rice Pilaf or Easiest Ever Veggie Rice
Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon
- Baking Tray
- Cooking thermometer
- 1 bunch of coriander (finely chopped)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- Juice of one lemon
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 1.5 pound salmon fillet
- Preheat oven to 400 F / 200 c and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with foil.
- Place the salmon on the prepared baking tray.
- In a small bowl, mix together the chopped coriander, lemon juice, melted butter, salt and pepper.
- Pour over the prepared marinade and spread it evenly across the whole salmon.
- Spread over the minced garlic.
- Cover with foil and bake for about 20-25 minutes until the salmon is cooked through. A cooking thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the fillet should reach 145 F, according to FDA recommendations. Note: Cooking time can vary according to the thickness and size of the fillet.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Fresh or Frozen: I like to use fresh salmon for this recipe. You can use either a whole side or smaller fillets. Frozen is also great in this recipe, just thaw it before marinating it.
- FDA Recommendations: The FDA recommends that fish should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 F (measure by inserting a cooking thermometer in the thickest part of the fillet). You can also check to see if it's properly cooked by checking the flesh with a fork. It should flake easily.
- Keep the Skin On: I highly recommend baking with the skin on as it keeps the fish moist and there are less chances of it drying it out. Since it's baked, the skin is not very pleasant to eat, so I remove it by sliding thin spatula just above the skin, and the fillet slides off easily.
- Coriander: Feel free to omit the coriander if you don't like it, it will still be delicious!
- Storage Instructions: Cooked salmon can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the fridge.
- Make Ahead: I do not recommend marinating in advance as fresh juice can affect the salmon. But I do frequently prep all the ingredients a few hour before (shop the coriander and garlic etc.) and then right before I'm ready to cook the salmon, I pour over the prepared marinade and bake.
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