Best Way to Cook Salmon in the Oven

Christine Albury

Discover the best way to cook salmon in the oven and achieve perfect results every time!

Are you looking for a foolproof way to cook salmon in the oven? These tips will result in deliciously moist and flaky fish. Whether you’re looking for a mid-week meal or a show-stopping dish at a dinner party, baked salmon is sure to please!

Miso Glazed Salmon Photo

Tips for Buying Salmon

Before we get to cooking, it’s a good idea to look at the type of salmon you should choose while shopping.

Salmon is brimming with wonderful nutrients such as Omega-3, a brain-boosting fatty acid. To ensure you're buying the most nutritious fish, opt for wild salmon where possible. Farmed salmon is easier to get hold of and is super-healthy for you too, but when it comes to nutrition, wild salmon has the edge  (it's also more eco-friendly too!).

Lemon Basil Salmon Picture

The fillets should be glistening, firm and evenly colored. They should have a very mild aroma - if they smell strongly of fish, then they're not as fresh as they should be!

How to Cook Salmon in the Oven

Now that you have an idea of what salmon fillets you should be looking for, it’s time to start the fun part - cooking!

Just as a word of warning, salmon fillets do cook very quickly, so it is important to be mindful of the time when preparing them! A good way to determine how long you’ll need to bake a fillet for is to gauge its thickness; we recommend 4-6 minutes per half-inch fillet.

Cedar Plank Salmon Image

Try this simple technique, which serves 4:

  • 4x 8oz salmon fillets (skin-on is best, as it goes wonderfully crisp!)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Lemon wedges
  • Fresh herbs of your choice - dill is great, as are rosemary and thyme

Then follow these basic steps:

  1. Start by pre-heating the oven to 425°F. Line a baking tray with foil (a great time saving tip to reduce dish-washing time!).
  2. Pat the salmon fillets dry with paper towel and drizzle the olive oil on both sides of the fillets.
  3. Sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper on each side of the fillet and lay them onto the tray, skin side down.
  4. Squeeze some lemon over the top of each fillet, and place the herbs of your choice on the top of the salmon and in between each fillet.
  5. Place the tray into the oven, uncovered.
  6. As mentioned above, your baking time will depend on the thickness of your salmon fillets. Start by checking on them after 6 minutes to see how they are doing. Your fillets should flake easily with a fork once done.
Miso Glazed Salmon Pic

*Optional: If you like a crispy skin, turn the fillets over and grill them for just a few minutes so that the skin crisps up.

Arrange the fillets on a serving dish and garnish with lemon wedges and a few sprigs of fresh herbs.

Other mouth-watering flavor combinations for salmon include Asian inspired flavors like soy sauce, ginger and orange - try the Barefoot Contessa Asian Salmon recipe and see!

We also love delicious basil and pine-nut pesto! You can get as creative as you like with salmon, and while its taste is exquisite, the cooking and preparation time is minimal - a dream dish! Or use our smoky salmon dry rub!

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Christine Albury

About Christine

I'm a mom of 5 and love making healthy baby food with wholesome, natural ingredients. In 2005 I started the Homemade Baby Food Recipes website, sharing recipes for everything from simple fruit purees to gourmet curries for the baby food connoisseur! You'll also find plenty of tried and tested tips to help encourage even the most reluctant diner to enjoy a wide range of nutritious new foods. If you enjoy cooking, then you will LOVE learning to become head chef for a very special little customer!