This Lemon Garlic Salmon is a healthy and delicious way to put a little pep into your weeknight dinner routine! It comes packed with flavor thanks to a mere five minutes of prep time and a lemon-garlic oil positively packed with flavor!
This salmon may look fancy but it only requires the bare minimum when it comes to effort, and yields a gourmet-worthy, succulent salmon fillet you’d find at a 5-star restaurant!
Baked salmon infused with lemon and garlic is elegant enough to serve when you’re entertaining, yet quick and easy enough to whip up for a family dinner any night of the week.
If you’re looking for more crazy easy seafood dinner ideas, be sure to bookmark our Garlic Butter Shrimp for next time!
HOW TO MAKE LEMON GARLIC SALMON
- Make the Lemon Garlic Oil | Finely chop garlic and parsley and add it to a small mixing bowl along with the lemon zest, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Prep the Salmon | Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture and place it on a rimmed baking sheet lined with nonstick aluminum foil. Spoon the lemon garlic oil over the salmon and sprinkle the top with crumbled Parmesan, if using.
- Bake | Bake for 9 to 13 minutes in a preheated 425°F oven, or until the salmon is cooked through to your liking. See below for help in determining doneness.
THE LEMON GARLIC OIL
There’s no doubt about it, as much as we’d like to say the salmon is the star of the show here, the lemon garlic oil is the one responsible for beaucoups of amazing flavor. Here’s what’s in it:
- Lemon Zest
- Fresh Chopped Garlic
- Italian Parsley
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
The shocking part? This oil is tremendously easy to make. Aside from chopping a bit of garlic and parsley and zesting a lemon or two (depending on how large your lemon is), all you have to do is combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir!
TO SERVE WITH THE SALMON SKIN ON…OR OFF?
Whether or not you’d like to serve your Lemon Garlic Salmon with the skin on or off is entirely up to you. The skin won’t crisp up in the oven, so if that is a deterrent, you’ll likely want to remove the skin.
Note, unless you are skilled with a knife, it’s best to wait and remove the skin until after baking. To remove it from the cooked salmon, gently slide a thin, wide spatula between the flesh and the skin and gently peel the skin away.
TIPS FOR BUYING SALMON
This recipe calls for individually-portioned, skin-on salmon fillets, but if you can’t find them, you can purchase a 1-to-1 1/2 pound fillet and cut it into portions yourself using a sharp knife.
If your Chef’s knife is not sharp enough to cut through the skin, try using a serrated knife instead.
WILD-CAUGHT VS. FARM-RAISED SALMON
When it comes to making this Lemon Garlic Salmon, my vote goes to wild-caught. Wild-caught salmon is considered better for you and will have a deep pink hue. Both the color and the nutrition factor can be chalked up to their crustacean-based diet in the wild.
On the other hand, farm-raised salmon is actually grey in color but is dyed with a product called synthetic astaxanthin to appear pink. The perk when it comes to farm-raised is the lower price tag and the fact that is readily available year-round.
Texture is another thing to consider when shopping for salmon. Farm-raised is soft and buttery while wild-caught will have a firmer, meatier bite to it.
FRESH VS. FROZEN
Surprisingly, frozen salmon is likely fresher than fresh. At first, this sounds entirely contradictory, but here’s why: Unless you live within driving distance of a salmon-filled water source, the fish at that seafood counter was likely put in the counter frozen and left to thaw out while it in there.
This is the reason why buying frozen salmon and thawing it out just before cooking might make for a fresher bite. However, I wouldn’t recommend buying it frozen unless the packaging actually allows you to see the size of the fillets inside.
Unfortunately, many times packaged, frozen fillets are often very small and rather thin. For this recipe, you’ll want fillets closer to 1 1/2″ in thickness (more on that below).
COOK TIMES AND DONENESS
Lemon Garlic Salmon is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F. This temperature is best gauged using an instant-read thermometer.
Portioned salmon filets that are about 1 1/2″ at the thickest part of the fillet will take 12-13 minutes to cook through at 425°F.
Note, if your fillets are not quite that thick, they will take less time to cook and should be checked closer to the 9-minute mark.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH LEMON GARLIC SALMON
Lemon Garlic Salmon pairs wonderfully with a number of starches and vegetables. A few of our favorites for serving with are asparagus, fresh green beans, glazed carrots, and steamed broccoli.
As far as starches go, bring on the rice, pasta, or even mashed potatoes. Any one of those would be delicious with this dish! Feeling extra decadent? A slice of homemade garlic bread or Texas Toast on the side couldn’t hurt one bit.
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT LEMON GARLIC SALMON
Leftover seafood should be kept in the refrigerator sealed in an airtight container, and consumed within a 48-hour time frame.
If you have leftover Lemon Garlic Salmon, it’s best to reheat the fillets in the oven, low and slow. To do this, place the leftover fillets on a wire rack positioned in a rimmed baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil, and bake in a 275°F oven for about 15 minutes or until the fish is warmed through.
5 MORE SEAFOOD RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Salmon and Rice
- Crawfish Etouffee
- Lemon Baked Cod
- Shrimp with Tomatoes and Capers
- Seared Scallops with Balsamic-Orange Sauce
An easy Lemon Garlic Salmon recipe with a quick-fix lemon garlic oil takes only five minutes to prep and comes with packed with flavor! It yields perfectly juicy, flaky salmon every time!
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
- 1 generous teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 (about 5-ounces each ) single-serving salmon fillets, skin on and about 1 1/2" at the thickest part
- 1/3 cup grated or crumbled Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425°F and have ready a rimmed baking sheet lined with nonstick aluminum foil.
Add the garlic, parsley, lemon zest, oil, salt and pepper to a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel and place it on the baking sheet. Spoon the garlic and lemon oil over the fillets, top with Parmesan (if using), and bake for 9-13 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through to your liking.
Remove the skin, if desired, serve and enjoy!