This delicious foil-baked lemon salmon recipe with garlic butter is full of flavor. It's a healthy pescatarian recipe and easy to make on a weeknight.
It's ready in about 30 minutes, but only requires about 10 minutes of hands-on prep time.
You'll be thrilled with the flavor and tenderness of this dish - it's truly the best baked salmon. This will be your new favorite way to prepare salmon.
Why You’ll Love this Foil Baked Salmon Recipe
This lemon garlic salmon baked in foil is a delicious healthy dinner perfect for busy weeknights. It's got a wonderful garlic butter topping that makes the salmon extra decadent.
The salmon is cooked on a bed of citrus so the citrus flavor and topped with it - so you get a deeply flavorful, tender fish. Lemon zest and salt are rubbed into the salmon before the garlic butter topping is added, ensuring extra tenderness. It's melt-in-your-mouth salmon!
Cooking the salmon in foil locks in moisture as well. This is a wonderful way to gently add flavor and moisture to fish that you won't get from frying or grilling.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients for this easy salmon recipe.
- Salmon Fillets
- Fresh Lemon
- Kosher Salt
- Unsalted Butter
- Garlic Powder
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Zest one of the lemons, then thinly slice both lemons into rounds.
Place a long strip of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Lay half the lemon slices in the center of the aluminum foil, to create a bed for the salmon.
Lay the salmon on the lemon slices. Sprinkle the salt and lemon zest onto the salmon.
Melt the butter for 30 seconds in a microwave and then stir the garlic powder into the butter.
Using a spoon or a pastry brush, top the salmon filets with the garlic butter.
Then arrange the rest of the lemon slices on top of the salmon.
Fold the aluminum foil together, completely enclosing the salmon. Use a second piece of foil if your first piece is not large enough.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the salmon is fully cooked through (145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer).
The salmon should flake apart and be opaque in the center.
Remove the salmon from the oven and carefully open the foil, as there may be some steam.
Serve the salmon with optional chopped herbs.
Substitutions & Variations
Want to make some changes to this recipe? Here are some possible variations.
- Olive Oil - If you'd like to sub the butter for olive oil, you can! You can also use half olive oil and half butter if you'd like.
- Type of Salmon - You can use wild caught salmon for this recipe, but I would start by only cooking it for 15 minutes and checking the temperature. Wild salmon tends to be leaner and cook quicker than farm-raised salmon. When in doubt check with the fishmonger at your grocery store - they will have recommendations for how long to bake fish depending on the thickness.
- Citrus - for a more citrusy kick, add the lemon zest from the lemon as well.
You can save the cooked salmon for up to three or four days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I would not recommend freezing this recipe.
More Salmon Recipes to Try
If you love salmon, we think you'll also like these recipes!
- Spinach and Feta Stuffed Salmon - a delicious, healthy meal for four – ready in less than 20 minutes.
- Sesame Salmon with Everything Bagel Spice - using everything bagel seasoning adds a wonderful crust to the salmon.
- Salmon with Blueberries - everyone loves this unusual and delicious recipe – the rich blueberry sauce pairs beautifully with the moist salmon.
- Cara Cara Orange Salmon and Lentil Bowl - an awesome, healthy weeknight meal. You’re going to love how quick and easy it is to make.
Tips for Making This Recipe
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Cooking Tips - Salmon is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. The best way I've found to check this is to use an instant read thermometer like this one.
Additional Herbs - If you like fresh herbs, you can also add dill or parsley to this recipe. Either add them to the lemon slices base or chop them up finely and add them to the garlic butter.
Recommended Tools - Make sure to use a rimmed baking sheet for your salmon, just in case you don't get the aluminum foil packet fully sealed, the lemon + butter combo does get a little juicy and you don't want it dripping off the side of a cookie sheet!
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- 20 ounces salmon fillets
- 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- optional - chopped parsley or microgreens for topping
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Zest one of the lemons, then thinly slice both lemons into rounds.
- Place a long strip of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Lay half the lemon slices in the center of the aluminum foil, to create a bed for the salmon.
- Lay the salmon on the lemon slices. Sprinkle the salt and lemon zest onto the salmon.
- Melt the butter for 30 seconds in a microwave and then stir the garlic powder into the butter.
- Using a spoon or a pastry brush, top the salmon with the garlic butter. Then arrange the rest of the lemon slices on top of the salmon.
- Fold the aluminum foil together, completely enclosing the salmon. Use a second piece of foil if your first piece is not large enough.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the salmon is fully cooked through (145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). The salmon should flake apart and be opaque in the center.
- Remove the salmon from the oven and carefully open the foil.
- Serve the salmon with optional chopped herbs.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 382Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 471mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 32g