Salmon with Dill Sauce sounds so elegant, your people will never guess it took you less than 20 minutes to make, start to finish. With a time turn-around like that, it's safe to consider this salmon recipe perfect for dinner parties or amping up your weeknight family dinners.
Thanks to a few tips and tricks we are going to share with you on buying and cooking salmon, you can rest assured it will be perfectly flakey and not in the least bit dry. This recipe is crazy easy and seriously so satisfying. Definitely one you'll be glad to have in your home chef repertoire.
Okay, we need to talk about this Dill Sauce. It's rich, tangy, and packed with flavor, thanks to fresh, real ingredients. Plus it only takes about 5 minutes to make! Perfect for baked or grilled salmon or as a condiment spread for fish sandwiches! We especially love it alongside our Lemon Garlic Salmon or as a spread for these easy Salmon Sandwiches!
HOW TO MAKE SALMON WITH DILL SAUCE
- Pat the salmon dry with paper towels, drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake at 425°F for 9-13 minutes.
- While salmon bakes, stir together dill sauce ingredients.
- Remove skin from salmon (if desired), spoon dill sauce over the top, garnish, and serve!
1. PREP THE SALMON
To prep the salmon for baking, pat it dry with a paper towel and transfer it to a baking sheet lined with nonstick aluminum foil. Removing the excess moisture from the exterior of the salmon will help the oil and seasoning to stay put.
The dill sauce packs a huge punch of flavor, and therefore, we can keep the seasoning for the salmon very simple! All you will need is kosher salt and black pepper.
Drizzle the salmon with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grate the zest of one lemon over the top of the salmon fillets. Rub all over to adhere and top with small pieces of butter.
Then, transfer the salmon to cook in a preheated 425°F oven for about 9 to 13 minutes. The bake time will depend on how rare or well done you prefer your salmon and the thickness of your salmon fillet. More on that below.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN SALMON IS DONE
To determine whether or not your salmon is cooked through, gently press down on the top of the fillet with either a fork or your finger. If the flesh of the salmon flakes, it's ready, and you can remove it from the heat.
3. MAKE THE DILL SAUCE
While your salmon is baking in the oven is an excellent time to prepare the dill sauce. However, if you'd like to prepare the dill sauce in advance, you can do this up to two days ahead.
The sour cream dill sauce for this salmon combines the perfect blend of ingredients for a quick and creamy topping that pairs perfectly with your fish!
To make it, you'll start by adding sour cream to a small mixing bowl, although you can use greek yogurt in its place if preferred.
In addition to the sour cream, you'll also need to add mayonnaise, heavy cream, fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.
Next, it's time to do a bit of chopping! You'll finely mince about a tablespoon of shallot and a clove of garlic and add them to the bowl as well.
Last, but certainly not least, we can't have dill sauce without the fresh dill! A little goes a long way, and you'll add just under two teaspoons of chopped, fresh dill to the bowl.
Give it all a stir, and that's it for the dill sauce!
4. DOLLOP WITH DILL SAUCE
If desired, remove the skin from your baked salmon and add a great big dollop of dill sauce over the top. For an extra special touch, garnish with lemon slices and fresh herbs, like a tiny sprig of dill or chopped parsley.
HOW TO PICK SALMON
If you're a salmon novice and not quite sure where to begin when it comes to picking out fillets, you'll find the section below especially helpful at the seafood counter!
Here are a few key points to keep in mind while you're shopping for salmon:
- Size Matters
- Wild-Caught or Farm-Raised?
- Fresh VS. Frozen
The size of your salmon fillets is actually very important when it comes to cooking time. This is likely no surprise to you but is still worth a mention. Thin salmon fillets are likely to overcook in the oven, so if at all possible, go for the thicker fillets!
This recipe calls for four salmon fillets, weighing close to 5 ounces each, with a thickness of about 1 ½ inches at the thickest part of the salmon. More than anything, the thickness of the fillet affects how fast the salmon cooks through.
WILD-CAUGHT OR FARM-RAISED
As far as wild-caught versus farmed goes, you'll find that the texture of wild-caught salmon is soft and buttery versus more of a firm and meaty texture for farm-raised salmon. Personal preference and budget should determine this decision.
FRESH OR FROZEN
The next question is about fresh versus frozen. In truth, frozen salmon is often "fresher" than the salmon you see thawing behind the seafood counter glass.
The problem with purchasing frozen salmon is that it is typically sold in much thinner, smaller fillets. As we discussed earlier, those super tiny fillets can pose a problem when it comes time to cook!
If you can't see the fillet's size within the packaging, it's best to pick from the fresh salmon options from behind the counter.
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Salmon with Dill Sauce is the perfect combination of light yet satisfying. It's incredibly easy to make and great to have in your repertoire!
- 4 (about 5-ounces each ) single-serving salmon fillets, skin on and about 1 ½" at the thickest part
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Zest of a lemon
- 4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into thin, small pieces
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Generous ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- Generous pinch black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon chopped, fresh dill
Preheat the oven to 425°F and prepare a rimmed baking sheet lined with nonstick aluminum foil.
Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel and place it on the baking sheet. Drizzle the salmon with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grate the lemon zest over the salmon and rub the zest and seasoning over the salmon until evenly adhered. Scatter butter pieces evenly across the top of each fillet.
Bake for 9-13 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked to your liking.
While the salmon is baking, prepare the dill sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stirring until combined.
Remove the salmon from the oven and discard the skin once cool enough to hand, if desired.
Serve each fillet with a generous spoonful of dill sauce on top, and enjoy!