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February 22, 2024

Baked Salmon

This healthy baked salmon recipe is easy to make, and will help you gain confidence in preparing salmon and other fish recipes.

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Baked salmon on a baking sheet seasoned with brown sugar paprika, garlic powder, pepper and olive oil

More great salmon recipes

Say Hello to the Best Baked Salmon Recipe

Our easy baked salmon recipe makes for a meal that you can dress up with side dishes to serve to company, or enjoy as a simple and quick dinner on a busy weeknight. We like to serve this salmon with veggies that can be cooked on the stove top. Our favorites include Green Beans Almondine, Glazed Carrots or Bok Choy. For more simple salmon preparations, try our Broiled Salmon, Blackened Salmon, Parmesan Crusted Salmon, or check out our Best Salmon Recipe roundup.

raw salmon on parchment paper next to a bowl of olive oil and a bowl of brown sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder and pepper

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A Super Easy Oven Baked Salmon Recipe in Just 4 Ingredients

  • A whole salmon filet. There are many types of salmon—Coho, King, farmed salmon and so on—but our very, very favorite is wild Sockeye salmon, and our very favorite Sockeye salmon comes from Bristol Bay in Alaska, which is the largest sockeye salmon run in the world. Personally, our favorite comes from Iliamna Fish Co. Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon is also managed by people who work hard to ensure the health and resiliency of fish populations and the surrounding marine ecosystem for generations to come through transparent, collaborative, careful, science-based and strict resource management, which is hugely important to us as salmon-lovers. You can search here to find a store close to you that carries Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon.

  • Brown sugar

  • Paprika (not the smoked kind—just regular or sweet paprika).

  • Garlic powder

raw salmon fillet on a baking sheet seasoned with brown sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder and pepper
baked salmon a baking sheet seasoned with brown sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder and pepper

How to Bake Salmon In The Oven

  1. In a small bowl, make an easy salmon spice rub by mixing together the brown sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder and black pepper.

  2. Line a baking sheet with foil for a much easier clean up. Yes, you can bake it directly on the pan, but just trust us, you don’t want to scrape salmon skin off an unlined baking sheet. It is the kitchen task of doom. Put the salmon filet on the baking sheet, pink side up, skin side down.

  3. Using a pastry brush, brush the salmon with olive oil and spice mixture.

  4. Bake the salmon fillet! 375°F for 10-15 minutes, watching closely so as not to overcook salmon.

1 baked salmon fillet on a baking sheet seasoned with brown sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder and pepper

Quick Salmon Shopping 101

  • Why is salmon so expensive? Wild salmon can be a bit pricey, though usually not as expensive as say, halibut. Salmon is extremely popular and overfishing means that some salmon populations are becoming endangered, so the supply of wild salmon struggles to meet the demand. When that’s the case, prices go up. However, there are deals to be found!

  • Is it better to buy fresh or frozen salmon? Wild or farmed? In general, wild salmon tastes better than farmed. However, if is more expensive and it is not always necessarily more sustainable! Like we said, this stuff can be genuinely confusing. If sustainability is your primary concern, look for certifications, like those given out by the Marine Stewardship Council, or check the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s excellent “Seafood Watch” site for more detailed info about what you see in the fish case.

  • Speaking of sustainability….If sustainability is your primary concern—look out for Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon. Sockeye is one of our very favorite types of salmon—it’s vibrantly red and oh-so-meaty—and the Sockeye that comes from Bristol Bay is hands down the best. You can read all about their super successful sustainability efforts and fishing practices here.

  • What do you mean by ‘whole salmon filet’? So what we really mean is half a salmon! It’ll have skin on one side and be gorgeously pink on the other and it’s all ready for you to plop on a piece of foil and bake! And don’t worry too much—the people at the fish counter will know what you mean when you ask for a two-pound filet of salmon.

baked salmon a baking sheet seasoned with brown sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder and pepper

How to Store Leftovers + Tips

  • How Healthy Is Eating Salmon? Baked salmon recipe is about as healthy as it gets. We’re talking omega-3 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fats that support heart health, skin health and increasingly seem to support our bodies in other ways, too, like hormonal regulation and even may protect against some cancers. Salmon is also an excellent source of protein and vitamin A. And yes—we really do love wild Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon. Bristol Bay’s sockeye feast on a diet of krill and plankton and that diet is responsible for the fish's vibrant red color and for its nutritional superstar status as a fabulous source of vitamins, fatty acids and the antioxidant astaxanthin, a heart-healthy, free-radical busting compound that supports whole health.

  • How to tell when salmon is done cooking: Check the salmon’s internal temperature! Checking the thickest part of the filet with an instant read thermometer, watch for the following temps: at 115°F to 125°F your salmon filet is medium-rare. At 125°F to 140°, the salmon is medium to well-done. Think of 140°F as the absolute cut off! If you see 140°F on an instant read thermometer, pull that salmon filet out of the oven!

  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. We like to eat cold salmon leftovers by flaking the meat into a salad. Warmed salmon leftovers can be served plain, or in an Eggs Benedict. The possibilities are endless.

baked salmon a baking sheet seasoned with brown sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder and pepper
Baked salmon on a baking sheet seasoned with brown sugar paprika, garlic powder, pepper and olive oil

Get More Adventurous With Your Salmon!

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Baked Salmon

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 302

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 (2-pound) salmon fillet
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center position.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper.

  3. Place the salmon on a rimmed baking sheet, skin side down. Brush the salmon with olive oil, then rub it with the spice mixture until completely coated.

  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (depending on thickness), or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories302
  • Protein24 g
  • Carbohydrates3 g
  • Total Fat16 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol93 mg
  • sodium448 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Baked Salmon

Questions & Reviews

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  • Andi

    Amazing! I’ll keep a jar of this premixed in my pantry, right along with your taco seasoning and baked chicken seasoning. The best!

    Yay! So glad you loved it!

  • Karen

    My grocery store doesn’t have sweet paprika. Is there something you’d recommend as a substitute?

    Regular paprika will be fine in a pinch. The flavor won't be the exact same but should still taste good!

  • Chantill

    Hello, Can you use salmon with he skin off? I don’t like cooking with the skin on for sone reason.

    Yes, that should be fine!

  • William

    When using tinfoil. Is shiny side up or down when baking salmon?

    Hi William, it shouldn't matter. Hope you enjoy!

  • Maria

    What side dishes do you recommend with Salmon?

    Any of the following from our site would be delicious: Crispy Smashed Potatoes, Green Bean Almondine, Roasted Asparagus, Perfectly Roasted Broccoli, Simple Butter Lettuce Salad. Hope you enjoy Maria!

  • Brian

    Fantastic flavor—a hit in our house

    Thanks Brian, so happy you loved it!

  • Diana

    I found this recipe the other day and made it for dinner tonight! It was absolutely delicious! So flavorful everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing. Now I'm going to check out the rest of your recipes. :)

    Thanks Diana, glad you loved it! Hope you find some others you enjoy just as much!

  • Suzie

    This recipe has been a huge hit with everyone I've served it to. My 3 year old granddaughter asked for it for her birthday dinner!

    WOW! Love that. So happy everyone enjoyed it. Thank you Suzie.

  • Rebecca

    Delicious! My new favorite way to make a quick weeknight salmon.

    Thanks Rebeca, so glad you enjoyed this one!

  • Erik

    This recipe is perfect! I just scale it down a bit to make it for my husband and myself, and he says it's the best salmon he's ever had. I agree! Paired with a couple quick sides, it couldn't be easier. Thanks!

    Thanks Erik, we are so happy you both loved it!