Lemon Pepper Salmon

Zesty and Flavorful Delight This Lemon Pepper Salmon, baked in foil, is a foolproof way to achieve perfectly cooked salmon. It’s a simple yet exquisite dish that’s ready in just 30 minutes, ideal for a nutritious weeknight dinner.


  • 2 pounds salmon (boneless, skin on or off)
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
  • 2 medium lemons (plus additional for serving)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (plus additional to taste)
  • Finely chopped fresh herbs of choice (parsley or basil preferred)


  1. Let salmon stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F and prepare a foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Arrange thyme and lemon slices on foil, place salmon on top.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil, add lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
  5. Add more thyme and lemon slices on salmon.
  6. Juice the zested lemon over salmon, wrap in foil.
  7. Bake for 18-21 minutes until flaky.
  8. Broil for 3 minutes for a golden top.
  9. Serve with fresh herbs and lemon squeeze.

Tips and cooking techniques

  1. Choosing the Right Salmon: Opt for wild-caught salmon like coho or sockeye for the best flavor and texture. These varieties are typically leaner with a more vibrant color and richer taste compared to farm-raised salmon.
  2. Marinating for Flavor: For an extra flavor boost, consider marinating the salmon for about 30 minutes before baking. A simple marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs can infuse the salmon with additional zest and aroma.
  3. Even Cooking: If your salmon fillet is uneven in thickness, consider folding the thinner end under itself to create a more uniform thickness. This helps in cooking the salmon evenly, preventing the thinner parts from drying out.
  4. Crispy Skin: If you’re cooking the salmon with the skin on and enjoy crispy skin, start by searing the salmon skin-side down in a hot pan for a few minutes before transferring it to the oven. This step crisps up the skin beautifully.
  5. Adding A Glaze: For a sweet and tangy twist, brush the salmon with a glaze made from honey, lemon juice, and a touch of Dijon mustard during the last few minutes of baking.
  6. Herb Variations: While thyme is suggested, feel free to experiment with other herbs like dill, parsley, or basil. Each herb can add a unique flavor profile to the dish.
  7. Broiling Tips: Keep a close eye on the salmon while broiling to prevent burning. The goal is to achieve a slightly golden top without overcooking the fish.
  8. Resting After Cooking: Let the salmon rest for a few minutes after removing it from the oven. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and flavorful piece of fish.
  9. Serving Suggestions: Lemon Pepper Salmon pairs wonderfully with a variety of sides. Consider serving it with a quinoa salad, steamed asparagus, roasted vegetables, or a light arugula salad.
  10. Leftover Ideas: If you have leftovers, flake the salmon and use it in salads, pasta, or as a filling for wraps and sandwiches for a delicious next-day meal.

This Lemon Pepper Salmon is not only easy to make but also packed with flavor. The combination of fresh lemon, herbs, and pepper creates a delightful zestiness that complements the salmon’s natural taste. Perfect for a quick dinner, it’s a dish that’s sure to impress both family and guests. Share this recipe to bring a touch of gourmet to everyday meals!

Remember, the key to a great dish is not just following the recipe but also adding your personal touch and preferences to it. Enjoy your culinary adventure with this Lemon Pepper Salmon!

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