This simple recipe for baked salmon takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and can be adapted to fit your own personal taste. Many people bake salmon in foil for long periods of time and the result can turn out dry and flavorless. The key to a flavorful fish that is both crispy on the outside and moist on the inside is broiling it in the oven for only 10 to 15 minutes. This quick method can be done any night of the week, making for a simple yet healthful hassle-free dinner.
Things You'll Need
1/2 to 1 pound salmon fillet
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil for coating
Sea salt and pepper for sprinkling
2 to 4 teaspoons seasoning of choice, such as paprika, cumin, curry powder, Jamaican jerk seasoning, Cajun seasoning, chili powder, garlic powder, or Italian Seasoning
Oven-safe casserole dish with sides to avoid any oil from splattering out
The key to a fabulous salmon dinner is using a good quality cut of fresh salmon (avoid using frozen). Use salmon with a good deal of fat marbling for the best result. The more the marbling, the more moist the fish will turn out.
Step 1: Prepare the Fillet
Turn your oven onto the high broil setting, and place one of the racks on the rung that's closest to the top. Remove the salmon fillet(s) from the butcher paper or packaging and set inside of a casserole dish that has been lightly oiled/sprayed on the bottom. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil and use a brush or your fingers to gently coat the whole surface of the flesh.
If your broiler runs ultra hot, place the rack on the rung that's second closest to the top.
Step 2: Season and Cook the Salmon
Sprinkle salmon with sea salt and pepper, followed by your choice of seasoning. Garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder are recommended. Place dish with salmon on the top shelf of the oven (or second-to-the-top shelf, depending on your broiler), and bake until the interior of the fish reaches 145 degrees F, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.
Salmon fillets that are about 1-inch thick require about 10 minutes of bake time. For a thicker cut of salmon, bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until salmon reaches 145 degrees F.
Be sure to keep the oven light on while you're broiling the salmon, and keep close watch on it. If the oil or fat hits the top element of the oven, an oven fire can result. For this reason, pay attention to the oven for the full duration of the cooking.
Step 3: Serve and Enjoy!
Remove fish from the oven and allow it to cool. Poke a fork into the thickest part of the fish and check: Salmon is cooked through when it is light pink throughout the fillet, and there is no raw/dark pink in sight.
The Sides to Serve With Your Salmon
Serve your fish on a bed of fresh greens with homemade salad dressing, or with any of these delicious complementary dishes: