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My Favorite Dish, Lemon Butter Salmon

Hey there, my lovely food enthusiasts! Today, we’re setting sail on a culinary voyage that will take your tastebuds to flavor paradise: Lemon Butter Salmon. This dish is not just a meal; it’s a love letter to anyone who appreciates the finer things in life. It’s perfect for family dinners, romantic dates, or even just a ‘treat yourself’ kind of night.

Why You Should Read This Post

If you’ve ever wondered how to create a restaurant-quality fish dish in the comfort of your own kitchen, this post is your treasure map. From tips and tricks to common questions, I’ve got you covered. And… anyone can do it! Yes, it really is that easy.

Why Baking Salmon is The Absolute Best

Sure, you can grill, poach, or even pan-fry salmon. But today, we’re here to talk about why baking is the best way to get the perfect salmon, especially with lemon butter salmon!

Baking Lemon Butter Salmon is Foolproof

First of all, baking is incredibly forgiving. If you’re new to cooking salmon or just a tad distracted by the latest episode of your favorite show, baking gives you a more generous window to avoid overcooking.

Flavor Sealing

Baking at a moderate temperature helps seal in the juicy goodness and allows the flavors to meld seamlessly. Your kitchen will smell like a five-star restaurant, and honestly, you’ll feel like a five-star chef!

The Unbeatable Combo: Lemon, Butter, and Garlic

These three simple ingredients are about to become your best friends in the kitchen.

The Flavor Science Behind Lemon Butter Salmon

Citrus, fat, and aromatics combine to tackle your tastebuds from all angles. Lemon provides acidity, cutting through the richness of the salmon. Butter delivers a creamy, indulgent feel, while garlic provides the aromatic punch. The trio works because it offers a balanced flavor profile: tart, rich, and pungent. It’s like a well-conducted orchestra; each element has its role but together they create magic.

What Will Lemon Butter Salmon Taste Like?

Imagine biting into a cloud where every raindrop is a burst of flavor. The honey and lemon dance on your tongue in a sweet and sour tango, while garlic and black pepper play the rhythm section, grounding the dish in warmth and spice. The “fishy” flavor of salmon is not too strong and with the enhancements of the other ingredients, this is a dish everyone will love. Get ready for a salmon dish that melts in your mouth and tastes better than your favorite steaks. Mmmm, are you drooling or is it just me?

Texture is Key

Not just about flavor, this dish is a textural wonderland. The top layer of the salmon will have a slight crispiness from the broil, contrasting beautifully with the soft, flaky fish underneath.

Equipment Needed

Making this Lemon Butter Salmon Recipe is easy. All you need is:

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Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil #ad

Heavy-duty aluminum foil has been a life savor for me. It handles much more wear and tear making cleanup a breeze. While this recipe can be done with standard foil, I can tell you that my cleanup time was only a couple of minutes and the salmon turned out perfect all because the foil was strong enough not to tear.

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Glass Measuring Cups #ad

This is the best set I have used in my kitchen of glass measuring cups. They have been revolutionary in recipes like these because you can measure things out, throw it in the microwave, and continue prepping. I would have had so many more dirty dishes making this recipe if I did not have one of these for making the lemon butter drizzle.

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Measuring Spoons #ad

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A Handheld Juicer #ad

This juicer has been a new favorite in my drawer of kitchen tools. I ordered this one specifically because the whole thing is made from metal, and it is pretty solid. It also has a middle piece that allows you to switch between lemon and limes. However, if you have arthritis or any issues with your hands, I would recommend getting this one instead, as it is more ergonomic and won’t hurt your hands.

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A good set of knives in your kitchen is a must! If your knives are dull and old then the chances of you getting cut are very high. Yes, I know from experience 🙁 This knife set is a great introductory set as all of the main knives you will need are included, and it comes with ergonomic handles to prevent slipping.

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A garlic press is a must-have in every kitchen because cutting garlic into small pieces does not extract the oils properly for the best flavor. I chose this garlic press because it is ergonomic, requiring much less hand force to operate. Plus it comes with a cleaning brush and a silicone sleeve to remove the pesky garlic clove skin.

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Ingredients: The Lemon Butter Salmon Line-Up

Here’s where you get to be the executive chef and quality control manager all in one. Choose your ingredients wisely; they’ll make or break your dish!

Ingredient Spotlight

  • Salmon: Look for fresh, vibrant-colored fillets. The skin should be shiny, not slimy.
  • Lemon: Opt for organic if you can, especially since we’re using the slices in the cooking.
  • Butter: Unsalted allows you to control the seasoning yourself.
  • Garlic: Fresh cloves offer the best flavor. Garlic powder or pre-minced garlic just doesn’t bring the same pizzazz.

Step-by-Step: Instructions

Earlier, we gave you the quick version. Now let’s take it slow, covering each step in detail.

  1. Preheat and Prep: Set your oven to 375°F. Now’s a great time to line your sheet pan with foil. The foil should be large enough to fold over the salmon, sealing it into a foil packet.
  2. Lemony Bed: Place lemon slices evenly beneath the salmon fillet. These not only flavor the fish but also act as a natural “rack,” preventing the salmon from sticking.
  3. Buttery Mixture: Melt butter in a microwave-safe container. This usually takes about 1 minute on high. Once melted, stir in your lemon juice, honey, and minced garlic. Mix well.
  4. Pour and Season: Drizzle about three-quarters of your butter mixture over the salmon fillet. Sprinkle your salt and pepper evenly. Remember, seasoning is your secret weapon; it enhances everything.
  5. Wrap It Up: Carefully fold the foil over the salmon, sealing it tightly to keep all that moisture and flavor locked in.
  6. Bake and Broil: Bake your salmon for about 17 minutes. Then, switch your oven setting to ‘Hi Broil’, open the foil packet, and drizzle the remaining butter mixture over top. Then broil uncovered for an additional 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it to avoid overcooking.

My Own Love Affair with Lemon Butter Salmon

I’ve been making lemon butter salmon for a while now, and it has never let me down. It’s my secret weapon for impressing guests and my comfort food after a long day. Whether you’re cooking for one or a crowd, this dish scales beautifully.

Personal Tips For The Perfect Lemon Butter Salmon

Over the years, I’ve discovered a few tricks. For instance, using a garlic press can save you time and effort. Also, if you’re making this for a special occasion, add a sprinkle of fresh parsley for color and an extra layer of flavor. I do like making this with a skinless fillet too as it absorbs the flavors nicely. If you try this, reduce the first baking time to around 12 minutes prior to broiling.

Choosing Different Salts

When is comes to topping your salmon with salt, there are so many options. After trial and error, my favorite is course ground Himalayan pink salt. However, there are plenty of other salts such as smoked salt that can change the flavor profile completely. When you go back to make this recipe a second time, change it up! Here is an article I wrote to help you pick your next favorite salt to try.

Best Side Dishes to Pair With Lemon Butter Salmon

While this salmon steals the show, a few standout sides can make your meal unforgettable.

Light and Fresh

  • Baked Asparagus: Very easy to cook at the same time as the salmon and pairs perfectly. Try my asparagus recipe here.
  • Caesar Salad: A light, tangy Caesar salad can cut through the buttery heaviness of the salmon, creating a balanced meal. Here is an easy caesar recipe you can throw together while the salmon is cooking.

Something Hearty

  • Mashed Potatoes: If you’re going for full-on indulgence, why not? Try my favorite mashed potato recipe here.
  • Fettuccine Alfredo: I absolutely love salmon paired with fettuccine alfredo. I have made the best recipe for a classic fettuccine alfredo which you can see here. Warning: This authentic recipe is so good that ordering fettuccine alfredo at Olive Garden will disappoint you.

Types of Salmon and Which to Choose

If you’re standing in front of a seafood counter confused, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here’s a quick rundown to make your lemon butter salmon perfect:

  • Atlantic Salmon: Farm-raised and buttery. It’s the most commonly available type. This is what I use every time I make this recipe.
  • Sockeye Salmon: A wild-caught variety, it’s leaner and has a more intense flavor. Since there is less fat, I would recommend adding more butter to keep things moist and flakey.
  • King Salmon: The fattiest, meaning the most flavorful, but it’s also the priciest. I have heard that this is delicious, but have never been able to find any near me to try. If you go with this, the recipe should not need any adjustment.

FAQs and Recipe Troubleshooting

Let’s tackle some common questions and concerns.


  • Can I use lime instead of lemon?
    Sure, but lime has a stronger flavor, so adjust accordingly when making lemon butter salmon.
  • Can this be made ahead?
    Yes, but it’s best enjoyed fresh out of the oven. Any leftovers do make a great salad or pasta topper the next day!


  • Salmon too dry: You’ve likely overcooked it. Cut down on the broiling time next time. To save the dish, make more of the lemon butter drizzle and serve your dish with some drizzled on top. No one will have a clue that it was overcooked.
  • Too tangy or too sweet: Balance it out next time with more honey or lemon juice. Your personal taste preferences are the star of the show, after all! If you’ve already made the dish and it’s too tangy, serve it with a side of honey or a buttery sauce to balance out the flavors.

Conclusion: The Final Bow To Lemon Butter Salmon

So there we have it, my friends—a culinary journey exploring the wonders of Lemon Butter Salmon. From the magic trio of lemon, butter, and garlic to choosing the right salmon and complementary side dishes, we’ve covered it all! This dish isn’t just food; it’s an experience that you, your friends, and your family will love.

My Final Thoughts

It’s amazing how a few simple ingredients can come together in a spectacular fashion. The smell as it bakes, the first burst of flavor as you take a bite, and the lingering deliciousness that keeps you coming back for more—it’s truly a dish that engages all your senses.

The Encore: Your Take

I would LOVE to see how your Lemon Butter Salmon turns out! Don’t forget to share your culinary masterpieces on social media and tag me! Also, if you have any variations or tips to share, the comments section is all yours. After all, the best culinary adventures are those we share.

And remember, the kitchen is your stage, and this Lemon Butter Salmon recipe is your opening act. Whether you’re a kitchen novice or a seasoned chef, this dish will make you feel like a rockstar.

So go ahead, preheat that oven, and let’s make some magic happen!

Hope you enjoy this extended guide to making the perfect Lemon Butter Salmon. You’re now equipped with all the knowledge and skills to master this delightful dish. Until next time, keep those aprons on and spatulas ready!

Bon Appétit! 🍋🐟💕

Lemon Butter Salmon Recipe on a plate of lemons

Lemon Butter Salmon

This Lemon Butter Salmon recipe is a feast for the senses, marrying the zesty tang of lemon with the rich, velvety taste of melted butter and garlic. Baking the salmon locks in its natural juices, making each bite exceptionally tender and flavorful. Perfect for both weeknight dinners and special occasions, this dish is easy to make, incredibly delicious, and pairs wonderfully with a variety of sides.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Broil Time 5 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6
Calories 374 kcal


  • 1.5 lbs Skin on salmon fillet
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 whole Lemons
  • 1/2 cups Unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 5 cloves Minced garlic
  • Himalayan pink salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and line your sheet pan with aluminum foil, heavy duty is preferred. The foil should be large enough to fold over the salmon, sealing it into a foil packet.
  • Drizzle olive oil on the foil and place the salmon in the sheet pan.
  • Slice two of the lemons into thin rounds and juice the third lemon.
  • Place lemon slices evenly beneath the salmon fillet. These not only flavor the fish but also act as a natural "rack," preventing the salmon from sticking.
  • Melt the butter in a microwave-safe container. This usually takes about 1 minute on high. Once melted, stir in your honey, lemon juice, and minced garlic.
  • Drizzle about three-quarters of your lemon butter mixture over the salmon fillet. Sprinkle your salt and pepper evenly to taste.
  • Carefully fold the foil over the salmon, sealing it tightly to keep all that moisture and flavor locked in.
  • Bake your salmon for about 17 minutes. Then, switch your oven setting to 'Hi Broil', open the foil packet, and drizzle the remaining butter mixture over top. Then broil uncovered for an additional 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it to avoid overcooking.


Cooking Tips:

The beauty of this Lemon Butter Salmon recipe lies in its flexibility—your oven’s temperament and the thickness of your salmon fillet may cause adjustments to be needed in your cooking time. If you’re working with skinless salmon, no worries! Just dial back the initial oven time to a swift 12 minutes and keep that broil sizzle to a quick 5 minutes. Oh, and about that broiling step: keep those eyes peeled! It’s super easy for salmon to go from golden glam to charred chic in a blink. But here’s the kicker—baking salmon like this is practically foolproof, so you’re always in for a tasty win. It’s like your oven’s giving you a high-five!

On The Fly Recipe Saving Tips

Overcooked / Dry

If you pull out the salmon and find that it became overcooked and dry there is a simple way to save your dish. Just make up another batch of your lemon butter mixture and drizzle it over top. Sometimes I will serve it like this even if the salmon was cooked to perfection because it tastes so good.


Many people eat salmon completely raw, so really the amount of cooking perfection is up to your preferences. If the salmon seems undercooked and will not easily flake with a fork, just throw it back in the oven for a few minutes. If you are worried about the top burning, turn off the broiler and cover it with a piece of tin foil.


Serving: 100gCalories: 374kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 23gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 53mgPotassium: 576mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 518IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
Keyword baked, Fish, Pescatarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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