This Baked Salmon Wrapped in Foil is quick and easy. It combines bright lemon, garlic, and sumptuous butter notes wrapped in a foil packet. It creates a dreamy dish that comes together right in your oven! This is the perfect light Sunday supper you can have ready and on the table in no time!
The dog days of summer call for a meal that’s light, fast, and delicious. My Baked Salmon in Foil is perfect! Salmon is a healthy and versatile protein, and this method showcases the fresh taste of the fish while keeping it moist.
I made this right during salmon season, so it was the best time for fresh, wild-caught fish! Don't worry if you prefer farm-raised or can only get frozen salmon! This main will be delicious no matter what you use.
❤️ Why This Recipe Works!
Just because this salmon makes a great Sunday meal doesn’t mean it’ll take you hours! This recipe can be finished in 25 minutes, so it’s really perfect for any day of the week. What’s not to love?
It’s Gorgeous! The fresh salmon baked with slices of lemon and studded with garlic creates a show-stopping dish when you take it out of the oven.
It’s Easy Cleanup! The salmon is baked in a foil packet, so it makes clean-up a breeze.
So Delicious! Did I mention this dish is incredible? The lemon brings out the flavors of the salmon and garlic, and the butter makes it irresistible.
The ingredients in this dish are simple yet packed full of flavor! Each seasoning helps highlight the salmon, not cover up its delicate flavor so that you can savor the fresh taste.
- Salmon – You can use fresh or frozen – just make sure you thaw the salmon in your fridge or under cold water first. It’s also up to you whether you use wild-caught or farm-raised salmon — though they cook slightly differently. (See Tips & Recipe Notes)
- Olive Oil – A fantastic cooking oil, and I love extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). You won’t be using much of it, so it can be substituted with whatever you have on hand.
- Lemon – Adds bright, delicious flavor to the salmon. The slices of lemon permeate the fish with citrus notes.
- Unsalted Butter – Keeps the salmon moist and juicy. Use your favorite brand, but for a richer flavor, use European butter.
- Garlic – Finely minced to spread that classic, savory taste evenly across the fish. You can use store-bought minced garlic, too, but garlic powder won’t provide the same fresh flavor.
- Salt and Pepper – A must for any dish! Salt and pepper highlight all of the amazing flavors!
*Be sure to see the free printable recipe card below for ingredients, exact amounts & instructions with tips!*
🔪 How To Bake Salmon In Foil
Make your taste buds sing with this delicious baked salmon in foil. The foil packet transforms this salmon into a masterpiece!
- Preheat. Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C). You want to make sure the oven is hot and ready to cook your salmon quickly!
- Prep. On a baking sheet, place a long piece of aluminum foil, enough to cover your salmon and have extra on the sides. Use 1 tablespoon of olive oil to grease the area on the foil sheet where your salmon will sit to prevent it from sticking.
- Prepare the seasonings. Cut 1 lemon in half. Save one half for juicing and slice the other half into thin rings. Then, if using fresh garlic, mince enough to make 2 tablespoons – about 6 cloves. Next, slice your 3 tablespoons of butter into pats, enough to place along the entire filet of salmon. Place all of these to the side on a plate or cutting board.
- Season the salmon. Place the 2 pounds of salmon filet on the center of the foil, skin side down. Use the intact lemon half to sprinkle the juice all over the salmon. Next, add the prepared slices of lemon and pats of butter down the fillet, sprinkle with the minced garlic, and season with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Make the packet. Fold the end and edges of the foil up and over the salmon to make a packet, crimping to seal. If you did not use enough foil, take another piece to cover any gaps. You want to make sure the packet is sealed.
- Bake the salmon. Place the foil-wrapped salmon in the oven (it should still be on the baking sheet) and bake at 400°F (205°C) for 14-16 minutes or to your preferred temperature. I prefer mine a little rarer at 120-125°F (49-52°C). For rare to medium, cook to 120° F (49° C) to 130°F (55° C). For well done, cook to 145°F (63 °C).
- Rest, then serve. When your salmon is done, remove it and rest for just a few minutes. Enjoy!
See my post for ideas on what to serve with salmon for side dishes.
💭 Tips & Notes
- Foil Packet Method: Don't worry about cooking salmon in a foil packet; it's simple and prevents the fish from drying out. Use a long piece of heavy-duty foil, large enough to fully encase the fillet and allow for folding into a packet. This method ensures even cooking and retains moisture.
- Choosing Fresh Salmon: When selecting fresh salmon, choose pieces that are bright in color and have a fresh ocean smell, not fishy. This indicates freshness and quality.
- Defrosting Frozen Salmon: If using frozen salmon fillets, defrost them safely in your refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, you can thaw them quickly under cold running water in your sink.
- Arranging Fillets for Cooking: Arrange the salmon fillets on the foil like a whole side of salmon for an appealing presentation. This cooks the fish evenly and makes for an attractive display.
- Handling Fish Skin: If you're not a fan of fish skin, ask your fishmonger to remove it. If you choose to keep the skin, descale it by running a clean fingernail over the skin to determine the scale direction, then scrape them off with the blunt side of a knife under cool running water. Remember to pat the salmon dry and clean your sink afterward.
- Cooking Different Types of Salmon: Be aware that wild-caught and farm-raised salmon have different cooking needs. Farm-raised salmon, with higher fat content, is less prone to drying out and is ideal for well-done preparations. Wild-caught salmon, being leaner, is better suited for rare to medium cooking and shorter cooking times.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
This fantastic salmon will last for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator! Make sure it’s completely cooled, then use an airtight container to store it to maximize the quality.
Freezing isn't recommended to keep the best flavor and texture of the salmon. If you must, use a good-quality freezer bag or an airtight container wrapped in plastic or foil to prevent ice crystals.
It can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months. When defrosting, a slow defrost in your refrigerator overnight is your best bet!
To restore this baked salmon to its former glory, preheat your oven to 275°F (135°C). If still in its packet, make sure it’s loosely covered to prevent it from drying, or use a new piece of foil to cover it loosely. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until it’s reached an internal temperature of 125°F (52°C) to 130°F (55° C).
You can also use the microwave to reheat in short intervals until it reaches your desired temperature. Be sure to remove any foil before placing it in the microwave!
Yes! Using the foil packet on the grill is another great way to cook this delicious salmon. Your grill should also be at 400°F (204°C) and bake for 14-16 minutes. Use the same instructions as above to reach your preferred level of doneness.
I love this baked salmon's light, fresh flavors, but you can add springs of dill or rosemary for extra flavor or even add your favorite Cajun seasoning to spice things up! Whatever your preference, the foil packet makes this salmon special!
🐟 More Salmon Recipes
All my Salmon Recipes.
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Salmon with Dill Sauce
- Crab Stuffed Salmon
- Pan Seared Salmon
- Salmon in White Wine Sauce
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📖 Recipe Card
Baked Salmon In Foil
- 2 lbs salmon fillet
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1 lemon (juiced or squeeze the first half - slice the other half)
- 3 tablespoon butter (unsalted)
- 2 tablespoon garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon each, salt & pepper (to taste)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C).
- On a baking sheet, unfurl a long piece of aluminum foil. Using the 1 tablespoon olive oil, lightly grease the area on the foil sheet where your salmon will sit (this will keep your fish from sticking).
- Place the 2 lbs salmon fillet centered on the foil. Use the 1 lemon juice and pour over the salmon. Add slices of lemon and 3 tablespoon butter down the fillet, sprinkle minced 2 tablespoon garlic over, then season with 1 teaspoon each, salt & pepper.
- Fold the end and edges of the foil up and over the salmon to make a "packet". Use more foil if it will not reach, you need to make sure that the "packet" is sealed.
- Place the wrapped salmon in the oven on the baking sheet and bake at 400°F (205°C) for 14 to 16 minutes. (see notes on cooking times)
- When your salmon is done remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 5 minutes, then serve and enjoy!
Equipment You May Need
For rare to medium, salmon should be cooked to 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (55°C). For well done, salmon should be cooked to 145°F (63°C).
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!