This tender and flaky baked lemon garlic salmon is a fancy weeknight meal ready in just 25 minutes. The fish is flavored with a buttery lemon garlic sauce and baked to juicy, flaky perfection!
Why You’ll Love This Lemon Garlic Salmon Recipe
This juicy baked salmon with lemon garlic butter has so many flavors that work beautifully together. It’s a protein-packed restaurant-quality meal that you’re going to love. Here’s why:
- Easy: This simple salmon recipe is great for weeknights as it’s ready in just 25 minutes and uses simple common ingredients!
- Mess-free: You don’t have to worry about oil splatters or sticky baking sheets with this tender lemon garlic salmon recipe. The fish is wrapped in aluminum foil, so the cleanup couldn’t be easier!
- Juicy: The key to a good piece of salmon is for it to be juicy and flaky. Cooking this fish with lots of butter and lemon, and steaming it in aluminum foil ensures that the fish is moist and tender.
- Flavorful: The sauce combines sweet honey, tangy lemon, fresh garlic and just the right amount of butter. With a kick of heat from crushed red peppers, this salmon is anything but bland!
What You’ll Need
You only need a few simple ingredients and a little over 20 minutes to create this buttery salmon dinner. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.
- Salmon Filets: We used 8-ounce skin-on filets.
- Lemon: Make sure to wash the outside of the lemon, because you’ll be cooking the salmon with slices of it.
- Fresh Parsley: If you don’t like parsley, you can replace it with dill, thyme or cilantro.
- Honey: This adds a sweetness to the salmon and also gives the sauce a sticky texture.
- Lemon Juice: For best results use freshly squeezed juice.
- Garlic: Use freshly minced garlic for the most flavor. Jarred garlic is duller in flavor.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Chili flakes add just a touch of heat to the recipe.
- Salt & Pepper: Always use freshly cracked pepper for the best flavor.
How to Make Lemon Garlic Salmon
This rich and garlicky baked lemon salmon is fancy enough for a date night, but easy enough to make on a weeknight. For full detailed directions, scroll to the recipe card below.
- Prep: Place lemon slices on a sheet pan covered with a large piece of foil. Lay the salmon filets on top of the lemon slices.
- Sauce: Whisk to combine the melted butter, parsley, honey, lemon juice, garlic, chili flakes, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Pour the sauce over the fish.
- Bake: Fold up the aluminum foil to create a packet surrounding the fish. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until cooked through.
Tips for Success
This is a fool-proof recipe for garlic lemon butter salmon, but here are a few tricks and tips:
- Use room-temperature salmon. For the flakiest fish, pull the salmon out of the fridge about 20 to 30 minutes before cooking. If the salmon is at room temperature, it will cook more evenly. Cold salmon will often overcook on the outside, before the center can cook through.
- Finish with the broiler. If you want a little bit of a char on the salmon, place it under a broiler for about 1 to 2 minutes after it’s done cooking. Watch carefully as it can burn quickly.
- Use an instant-read thermometer. The best way to avoid overcooking fish is to check the temperature. And the best way to do that is with an instant-read thermometer, which will help you stop cooking this salmon as soon as it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.
- Adjust the cooking time. This easy baked salmon recipe is for 8-ounce salmon fillets. If you’re using bigger or smaller pieces of fish, adjust the cooking time by a few minutes as needed.
- Finish with butter and lemon. When serving this fish, we like to pour the leftover garlic butter from the aluminum foil over the salmon. It’s also great with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Use parchment paper. If you don’t like to use aluminum foil, that’s OK. You can make this recipe with parchment paper instead.
- Frozen is OK. Don’t be afraid to buy frozen salmon. Often the best quality salmon is frozen, and this recipe will be great as long as you fully thaw the fish before cooking.
What to Serve With Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon
Here are a few easy side dishes that we think go perfectly with this buttery and flaky oven-baked lemon garlic butter salmon.
- Potatoes: Anything from some creamy mashed potatoes or roasted sweet potatoes would pair great with this baked salmon.
- Veggies: How about some classic roasted broccoli or this southern style sautéed zucchini and squash.
- Pasta: These easy parmesan butter noodles would be perfectly with this buttery lemon garlic salmon served over the top!
- Bread: A crusty piece of homemade garlic bread would be great for soaking up any leftover sauce!
How to Store & Reheat Leftover Lemon Salmon
This easy baked salmon with lemon garlic butter is still great the next day. You can reheat it, or serve it cold on top of a salad or in a wrap.
- Fridge: Store the fish in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Reheat: The best way to reheat this lemon garlic salmon is in the air fryer. Set the air fryer to 375°F and reheat the fish for 2 to 3 minutes, until warmed throughout.
- Freezer: You can also freeze this recipe. Store the fish in an airtight container and it will last in the freezer for 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
More Easy Seafood Recipes
- Crawfish Boil
- Shrimp and Orzo Salad
- Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- Air Fryer Shrimp
- Shrimp and Grits
- Easy Shrimp Boil
Lemon Garlic Salmon
- 4 (8-oz) salmon filets
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with a large piece of aluminum foil. It needs to be big enough to wrap over the fish and fold closed.
- Place the lemon slices on top of the aluminum foil, then put the salmon skin-side down on top of the lemon slices.
- In a small bowl, whisk to combine the butter, parsley, honey, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the salmon.
- Fold the aluminum foil over the fish until it's completely covered.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until cooked through and a meat thermometer reads 145°F.
- If you want a char on the fish, open the foil and turn the broiler on to high. Broil fish for for 1-2 minutes, until charred on the edges. Watch carefully as this happens quickly and can burn!
- Serve hot. Pour any leftover sauce on top of the fish.