This incredibly quick and easy Baked Salmon in Foil combines bright notes of lemon, garlic, and sumptuous butter in a foil packet to create a dreamy dish that comes together right in your oven! This is the perfect light Sunday supper that you can have ready and on the table in no time!
Addictive, rich, and tasty baked salmon that the whole family will love!
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.
We’re right in the middle of salmon season, so now is the best time for fresh, wild-caught fish! Not to worry, though, if you prefer farm-raised or can only get frozen salmon! This main will be delicious no matter what you use.
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
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 a 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!
💭 Tips & Recipe Notes
Don’t be intimidated by the salmon or the foil packet! Cooking it with this method makes it so easy and keeps it from drying out in the oven.
Make sure to use a long piece of foil, enough to fully wrap around your filet and overhang on the sides to be able to fold and make a packet. Heavy-duty is best, as it is less prone to tearing.
If you’re using fresh salmon, look for a piece that’s bright in color and smells fresh like the ocean, but not fishy.
If using frozen salmon fillets, you can safely defrost by letting the salmon defrost in your refrigerator overnight. You can also thaw the salmon in your sink under cold water until defrosted.
When you’re ready to cook, you can line up the salmon fillets on the foil like a whole side of salmon to keep that beautiful presentation!
Not a fan of fish skin? You can ask the fishmonger at your grocery store to remove the skin for you!
If you’d prefer to keep the skin, you may need to descale. Here’s how: I use a clean fingernail to run over the salmon skin to figure out which direction the scales are going.
Then I take the blunt side of a knife under the edges of the scales and carefully scrape away. It’s best to do this under a stream of cool water to help loosen the scales and rinse them away. Pat dry and be sure to sanitize your sink after!
Wild-caught and farm-raised salmon vary and require different cooking times.
Farm-raised salmon typically has a higher fat-content than wild-caught and won’t dry out as easily. If you prefer a well-done salmon, this is your best bet, because it can withstand a higher-cooking time.
Wild-caught salmon is leaner and dries out more quickly. The foil packet will help, but it’s better suited for a rare to medium finish and shorter cooking times.
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
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 and allow to rest for just a couple of minutes. Enjoy!
I like to serve this incredible baked salmon in foil for dinner with a vegetable for a light and tasty meal! Try my crispy air fryer asparagus recipe for the perfect accompaniment.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
This fantastic baked 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 to maximize the quality.
To keep the best flavor and texture of the salmon, freezing isn’t recommended. If you must, be sure to use a good quality freezer bag or an airtight container wrapped in plastic or foil to prevent ice crystals.
The cooked salmon will keep 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 loosely cover. 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, by reheating in short intervals until it’s reached your desired temperature. Be sure to remove any foil before placing 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 the light, fresh flavors that are in this baked salmon, 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 really makes this salmon special!
Baked Salmon In Foil
- 2 lbs salmon fillet
- 1 Tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1 lemon (juiced or squeeze the first half - slice the other half)
- 3 Tbsp butter (unsalted)
- 2 Tbsp garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp 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 olive oil, lightly grease the area on the foil sheet where your salmon will sit (this will keep your fish from sticking).1 Tbsp olive oil
- Place the salmon fillet centered on the foil. Using the lemon juice pour over the salmon. Add slices of lemon and pats of butter down the fillet, sprinkle with garlic, then season with salt and pepper.2 lbs salmon fillet, 1 lemon, 3 Tbsp butter, 2 Tbsp garlic, 1 tsp 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!
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).
Equipment You May Need
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!