This delicious lemon pepper salmon is a healthy and satisfying weeknight meal option. Quick-cooking salmon is sprinkled with salt, pepper, garlic, butter, and fresh lemon juice for a flavorful meal with simple ingredients.
Sometimes the simplest ingredients lead to the best flavors. This is one of those times! This easy lemon pepper salmon uses minimal ingredients but has a bright, fresh flavor that your whole family will love. The lemon juice and garlic are sharp and tangy, a perfect balance to the buttery-rich salmon. Topped with a sprinkle of fresh herbs or red pepper flakes, this is a truly delicious meal that will be a quick family favorite. My recipe testers were impressed, and I’m willing to bet yours will be too!
The best news? This is about as easy as cooking gets. We are all looking for quick and healthy dinner options as we start the new year, and this foolproof recipe for baked salmon will not let you down. Quick on cooking time, low on prep, and big on flavor, this easy dinner is perfect for a busy weeknight. The whole thing is on the table in less than 15 minutes!
Serve this salmon over brown rice and veggies (throw some asparagus on the pan for an easy sheet pan dinner), or on top of a big salad, for a satisfying and healthy meal. Make sure to serve some extra lemon wedges on the side. For more delicious salmon recipes, try my pan-seared salmon with dill cream sauce or baked pesto butter salmon.
You Will Love This
- This baked lemon pepper salmon cooks really fast in a high-heat oven, leading to perfectly flaky salmon in only 8-10 minutes.
- This easy recipe is perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner.
- Salmon filets are great to make for meal prep – they are perfect over salads or in a grain bowl throughout the week.
To make this lemon pepper salmon recipe, you need the following simple ingredients (exact measurements are in the recipe card below):
- Olive oil: I used olive oil to grease my sheet pan, but you could substitute nonstick spray or more butter if that’s what you have on hand.
- Salmon filets: I love buying skinless salmon fillets – they’re so easy! If you have skin-on salmon, just bake it skin-side down on the baking sheet, and it should slide off the skin easily once fully cooked.
- Lemon: Use fresh lemon juice for this recipe. Lemon is the star of the show, and fresh lemon juice has a brighter flavor than bottled lemon juice.
- Seasoning: I used a blend of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper for my salmon. If you prefer, you can substitute 1-2 teaspoons of lemon-pepper seasoning for the salt, pepper and garlic. Depending on the brand, you may need to salt the fish a bit at the end of cooking (after tasting it), as different brands of seasoning will have different salt content. Sprinkle some red pepper flakes over the top of your filet if you like a little extra heat!
Step One: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Drizzle the olive oil on a large sheet pan and set aside.
Step Two: Pat the salmon filets dry with a paper towel, and season the top side with salt and pepper.
Step Three: Place salmon fillets in a single layer on the prepared sheet pan. Squeeze the juice from one lemon over the top of the salmon.
Step Four: Sprinkle the garlic over the salmon, and place a ½ tablespoon pat of butter on top of each filet.
Step Five: Top each filet with 1-2 slices of fresh lemon.
Step Six: Bake the salmon on the middle rack in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until fully cooked through. Drizzle the lemon butter sauce from the pan over the salmon and garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.
Note: The salmon is cooked through when it flakes easily with a fork, and an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the salmon filet registers an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat the salmon slowly on 50% power in the microwave to avoid overcooking it. Or use the filet cold over a salad for lunch!
Lemon Pepper Salmon
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 salmon filets about 6 ounces each
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon juiced (about 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice)
- 1 lemon cut into thin slices
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Parsley for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Drizzle the olive oil on a large sheet pan and set aside.
- Pat the salmon filets dry, and season the top side with salt and pepper.
- Place the salmon fillets on the prepared sheet pan. Squeeze the juice from one lemon over the top of the salmon.
- Sprinkle the garlic over the salmon, and place a ½ tablespoon pat of butter on top of each filet.
- Top each filet with 1-2 slices of fresh lemon.
- Bake the salmon on the middle rack in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until fully cooked through. Drizzle the lemon butter sauce from the pan over the salmon and garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.
- You can substitute 1-2 teaspoons store-bought lemon-pepper seasoning for the salt, pepper and garlic. I like Lowry’s brand.
- I recommend fresh lemons for this recipe, not bottled lemon juice. The lemon is the star of the show in this recipe and fresh lemon juice will have a better flavor.