Perfectly Baked Salmon with Lemon and Dill

Our easy baked salmon recipe takes less than 30 minutes and makes perfect, tender salmon. By gently baking salmon in a small amount of liquid, the fish stays moist and tender. It practically melts in your mouth. Jump to the Baked Salmon Recipe with Lemon and Dill

Perfectly Baked Salmon with Lemon and Dill

How to Cook Salmon in the Oven So That It’s Perfectly Moist

This quick and easy salmon recipe never fails! The inspiration comes from my mother, who made and continues to make this all the time. It’s her go-to dish — especially when entertaining. And you know what? Everyone loves it.

Our easy baked salmon recipe takes less than 30 minutes and makes perfect, tender salmon. By gently baking salmon in a small amount of liquid, the fish stays moist and tender. It practically melts in your mouth.

The trick for perfectly cooked salmon is to bake the fish in a little liquid — you can use wine, stock, and even water.

After adding the liquid, cover the fish with parchment paper or foil and bake until just cooked. The salmon basically poaches in the liquid. You could also call this recipe oven poached salmon. It’s practically no-fail.

Three Easy Steps For Perfect Salmon

  1. Season the salmon with salt and fresh ground black pepper. I’m generous when it comes to the salt and make sure that I season both sides of the salmon fillets.
  2. Layer sliced lemons and fresh herbs at the bottom of a baking dish. In our photos, we’ve used fresh dill, but almost any tender herb will work in its place. Think about parsley, cilantro, thyme or even mint.
  3. Place the salmon fillets on top of the herbs and lemon then cover with foil or parchment paper. After about 20 minutes of baking in the oven, the salmon will be perfectly cooked, tender, and delicious.
How to Cook Salmon -- For the most tender salmon, bake it on top of lemon slices, herbs, and add a little liquid (like wine, water, or broth).
For the most flavorful baked salmon, bake it on top of lemon slices and herbs.
How to Cook Salmon -- For moist and tender salmon, add a little liquid like water, broth, or dry white wine.
For moist and tender salmon, add a little liquid like water, broth, or dry white wine.

How to Tell When Salmon is Cooked

Your best bet for checking if salmon is cooked is a thermometer — we cook salmon to 125 degrees F, which means it will be soft, tender, and slightly pink in the center. The texture at this temperature is much better than when cooked to a higher temperature.

For a visual cue, look for the flesh to be somewhat opaque. Also, when inserting a knife into the salmon, it should slide through easily.

Note that the USDA recommends cooking salmon to 145 degrees F. Interestingly enough, Cooks Illustrated suggests that the ideal internal temperature of salmon (especially wild varieties) is 120 degrees F. Everyone has an opinion on this one, but for now, we are sticking to 125 degrees F.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long to cook salmon and at what temperature?

The cook time for salmon depends on the type of salmon and thickness of salmon you are cooking. Use our tips for how to tell when salmon is done as your main guide. In general, salmon will take 12 to 30 minutes to bake in a 325° F oven. I like checking doneness around 10 minutes and then go from there.

How do I tell when salmon is done cooking?

Salmon is don cooking when the flesh looks somewhat opaque and when inserting a knife into the salmon, it slides through easily. An internal thermometer is also helpful. See our tips above for what temperatures you should look for.

What are some more ways to cook salmon?

While we love the ease of baking salmon in the oven as demonstrated by this recipe as well as our sour cream bakes salmon and baked salmon with green beans, you can also cook salmon on the stovetop, on an outdoor grill, and poached in gently simmering water. See our pan-seared salmon burgers and our grilled cedar plank salmon recipe for more ideas.

What should I serve with salmon?

Salmon works nicely when served with a variety of side dishes. Here are some of our favorites:

More Easy Salmon Recipes

Recipe updated, originally posted August 2009. Since posting this in 2009, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Perfectly Baked Salmon with Lemon and Dill

  • PREP
  • COOK

The trick to perfectly baked salmon is to gently bake the fish in a little liquid — such as wine, stock, or water. Then cover the dish and bake until just cooked through. You could call this oven poached salmon. It’s practically no-fail. If your fish is quite thick, expect that the cooking time will be a few minutes longer than what we share below.

Makes 4 Servings

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

One 1 1/2-pound salmon fillet, or two 12-ounce fillets, preferably wild-caught

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 lemon, cut into slices 3 to 4 sprigs of fresh dill, plus more for serving

1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon blanc (substitute: fish stock, chicken stock, or water)


    Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

    Lightly oil and season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper.

    Arrange lemon slices and fresh herbs on the bottom of a baking dish large enough to fit the salmon, and then place the salmon, skin-side down, onto the bed of lemon and herbs.

    Pour wine (or stock) into the baking dish, and then cover with aluminum foil. Bake the salmon until the fish flakes and white bubbles of protein appear on the surface, 12 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Check the salmon after 10 minutes to see its progress.

    Checking the temperature of the salmon using an internal thermometer is the best way to prevent overcooking. You want the thickest part of the salmon to read 125 degrees F. Take the salmon out of the oven and loosely cover with foil for 5 minutes (the fish will continue to cook during this time). Serve, scattered with chopped fresh herbs on top.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • How to tell when salmon is cooked: Your best bet for checking if salmon is cooked, is a thermometer — we cook salmon to 125 degrees F, which means it will be soft, tender and slightly pink in the center. For a visual cue, look for the flesh to be somewhat opaque. Also, when inserting a knife into the salmon, it should slide through easily.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 6 ounces / Calories 300 / Protein 37 g / Carbohydrate 1 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 0 g / Total Fat 13 g / Saturated Fat 2 g / Cholesterol 91 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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60 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Jessica Daehnke May 7, 2019, 5:44 pm

    I found your recipe when searching for a quick, easy way to prepare our salmon for tonight – it is excellent! I am closer to 30 minutes on the cooking time, because of the thickness of my salmon; it is moist and delicious! I look forward to using more of your recipes! Thank you for sharing!!!

  • Erica September 28, 2018, 1:32 pm

    Hello, I can’t wait to try! I can’t decide whether to use stock or wine. Which did your mother prefer? Thanks

    • Joanne April 19, 2019, 2:07 pm

      Hi Erica, Mom usually uses stock since she doesn’t typically have wine in the house.

  • Kathy September 12, 2018, 9:27 pm

    Simply the best salmon reciepe ever!

  • Kealy July 14, 2018, 10:51 am

    This is my favorite way to prepare salmon now, I make this regularly. The salmon always comes out perfectly cooked, very moist and full of flavor.

  • Janny March 5, 2018, 5:13 pm

    Loved this simple and basic recipe with easy clear directions I keep forgetting bc I haven’t made it for awhile. I love to bake a big fish, and then eat it all week with all kinds of sides like you suggested, and others. It’s true it’s great hot or cold! Thanks!!

  • Billy November 29, 2017, 5:02 pm

    I absolutely love this recipe, the dill and lemon do such a great job of being aromatic and also adding flavor to the salmon. Thank you for sharing this! Can’t wait to make it again!

  • Jade August 22, 2017, 9:11 am

    I made this recipe on Friday for my girlfriend and she went crazy for it! She’s still talking about it today, days later. The fish stock at the bottom and the tin tent really kept the juice in. The salmon was tender, and flavorful. The fresh dill and organic lemon and garlic really kicked it up a few notches. The trick of looking for the protein bubble really helped me to gauge when it was done too. I will def make this for her again! Thank you for a wonderfully simple and delicious recipe.

    • RACQUEL March 16, 2018, 8:52 am

      What protein bubble are you referring to?

  • Maria August 17, 2017, 8:27 pm

    Today is Friday and I will cook this salmon I let you know how was, from the picture look delicious, Regards Maria

  • Jean Fox August 17, 2017, 4:26 pm

    I found your website by accident and have made several of your recipes and my most favorite one right now is the salmon. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

  • Anne Wier June 13, 2017, 1:24 am

    I am having a dinner party for 8 people and will get a whole salmon filet. My question is…can I serve it cold.?

    • Joanne July 28, 2017, 7:56 pm

      Hi Anne, yes this salmon is delicious cold.

  • mary margaret Bell April 6, 2017, 4:44 pm


    I was hoping you could suggest amounts for making this for 20 people.

    Thanks so much,
    Mary Margaret

  • David March 21, 2017, 9:58 pm

    I made a full casserole pan. It looked just like yours. I cut a whole fillet into 5 four-inch pieces. I covered with foil and roasted at 350 for 25 minutes and rested for 10 minutes covered. The fish came out beautifully with the color consistent across the cut. I plated the fish just as it lay in the pan with the lemons below. I served it with a simple Greek yogurt, dill, lemon sauce. It was served with a fat California Chardonnay, asparagus and cubed yams roasted with sweet smoked Spanish Paprika. This is a mostly foolproof method cooking Salmon. I agree with the commenters that the assigned cooking time is not adequate.

  • Suzie March 8, 2017, 7:11 pm

    We are cooking this tonight at 325 and is taking quite a bit longer than expected. Because the fish is a little bit thicker than the one in the photo but not that much .
    ** we always eat wild caught fish and the reason being is because farm raised fish is fed corn and things that they would not eat in the wild making it an inflammatory food. It’s always best to eat wild caught, on the same would go for other animals like beef/cows… The normal food for cows is grass and when cows are caged and given corn and the like… making them fatter.. that’s what we eat additional saturated fat from the cow… of course the flavor of grass fed beef and free range chickens is so much better and better for you ?

  • Autumn Zink February 24, 2017, 8:42 pm

    Finally got to make this tonight! All organic ingredients, even the Rose wine. It was wonderful! Served with mixed sautéed greens (kale, cilantro, arugula, beet greens, spinach all cut small,) then cooked in lard and garlic infused olive oil with tasted garlic Italian seasoning added cherry tomatoes near end. So good. Also baked sweet potato with only butter and a little cinnamon. It was perfect with the Rose wine. 🙂 This will be my favorite way to cook salmon 🙂 I don’t see a way to post a pic 🙁 I took a pic because the recipe said to…

    • Adam March 9, 2017, 6:19 pm

      So glad you liked it! We would love to see your picture. You can post your photo on Facebook and/or Instagram. Be sure to use #inspiredtaste so we can find it. You can find us @inspiredtaste

  • Marie February 14, 2017, 8:19 pm

    Perfecto!! I made it for my parents and family for St. Valentine’s Day. Moist, tasty, and easy to prepare. I used wild caught salmon, so will not bake for more than 30 minutes next time.


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