Simple Seasoned Salmon
This recipe is the simplest way to make salmon I know of. It’s how my mom taught me to make it and it’s so simple to her she never bothered to even write it down. My husband and I make this about once a week, while changing up the seasonings to keep things interesting. The best part about this recipe is that you can make it two different ways at the same time with the same amount of effort. So, I can have mine spicy and he can have his blackened. Or I can have mine with lemon pepper and he can have his with garlic and dill. It works.
First you need some salmon filets. I’m only making two, but for more people just buy more filets. This recipe is easy to scale up. We generally get Atlantic salmon, because I like the taste more than Sockeye salmon, which is oilier.
Before you really get started, I recommend doing the usual washing your hands and wiping down the counter. Then preheat your oven to 425°F with convection. We use a convection toaster oven in our kitchen. If you don’t have a convection oven, your cooking times could vary significantly.
Then make little aluminum foil boats. I recommend using the non-stick aluminum foil by Reynolds wrap, which is amazing. Next spray the foil with your non-stick spray, just in case. Then season to taste. If the skin is on, I only season the skinless side. If the skin is off, I recommend seasoning both sides.
I know that “season to taste” was absolutely meaningless to me when I started cooking. With salmon, I generally take my seasoning shaker and try to make a light coating all over the top of the filet. You will be able to see the speckles across the surface, but you don’t want a solid layer (unless you want it blackened).
For this example the left filet has salt, black pepper, garlic powder and dill. The right filet has salt, black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne.
There are many seasoning combinations you can try. There are easy ones:
- Salt, black pepper, garlic powder
- Premixed blackened seasoning
- Salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne
- Salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dill
- Hot sesame oil, salt, black pepper, brown sugar
After everything is seasoned and the oven has reached temperature, bake for 8-10 min. Two things to keep in mind about when your salmon will be done. Thicker filets, cook slower than thinner ones. So, if one person likes their salmon darker in the center, they should get the thicker filet. I like mine well cooked and flaky as you can see in the image below.
You will get better at knowing if your food is done with practice. If you are trying to achieve both the same doneness level in thick and thin filets that finish cooking simultaneously, you can put the boat with the thicker filet into the oven a few minutes (2-3) before the thin one. This will give that filet the extra time it needs, without messing up dinner.
The second thing to remember is that the CDC recommends cooking fish with fins to 145°F. I always measure the temperature with a meat thermometer, just in case I didn’t thaw the filets completely.
Plate and serve with sides. We normally have yellow potatoes and I’ll have a cucumber as sides. Other easy sides are rice, pasta, green beans, or asparagus. I would love to hear about your favorite seasonings in the comments below. Enjoy!
- 1 Pan
- 1 Nonstick Aluminum Foil
- 1 Meat Thermometer
- 2 7 oz Salmon Filets
- Kosher Salt
- Food Release
- Preheat oven to 425°F, convection if available.
- Make a small aluminum foil boat for each filet.
- Spray foil with food release.
- Season each filet to taste.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or desired doneness.