Lemon Pepper Salmon

If you’re looking for easy salmon recipes, look no further than this Lemon Pepper Salmon. It’s one of my favorite fish recipes and makes an easy weeknight meal as well as a special dinner for guests.

lemon pepper salmon with text overlay


This easy salmon recipe is flavorful, healthy and delightfully simple to make.

Salmon Baked on a Sheet Pan

Salmon is one of my favorite types of fish to cook and to eat. Not only do I love the flavor, salmon offers many health benefits, like Omega 3s, and is high in protein.

It’s one of my favorite proteins when I’m looking for something light but also filling and also for easy clean up.

cooked lemon pepper salmon

Salmon is great for cooking on a sheet pan covered with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Placing the fish on slices of lemon infuses the whole dish with flavor and aroma. And since you can eat salmon skin (if you want), it is perfectly seasoned.

Some recipes have you wrap the whole piece of fish in aluminum foil, but this steams the fish and I find it cooks better to a medium temperature when just baked.

Lemon Pepper Topping

The outcome of a dish really does depend on the quality of ingredients… and one of my easy tips. You can easily make a lemon pepper salmon with a lemon-pepper seasoning out of a jar using dehydrated lemon zest and black pepper that was milled a year ago, or you can use fresh ingredients.

lemon pepper salmon on a white plate

My Lemon Pepper Salmon recipe uses fresh lemon slices to keep your salmon moist, lemon zest to give it the citrus flavors you crave, freshly ground black pepper and coarse Kosher salt.

Using zest instead of juice keeps the salmon filets dry, which allows other seasonings to stick better and packs more punch. I also highly recommend grinding fresh black peppercorns.

You will be amazed by the difference in flavor from a freshly ground black pepper to a pre-ground pepper. You’ll never go back.

fork holding a bite of lemon pepper salmon

How to Make Lemon Pepper Salmon

What I love about this Lemon Pepper Salmon is that it is a one pan dish that is easy enough to make for dinner any night of the week. There’s not a lot of prep involved and you can have a healthy dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Grab your ingredients, which is a small list: salmon, salt, pepper, fresh lemons (zest and juice) and parsley.

ingredients for lemon pepper salmon

However, it also looks pretty enough to present to guests. Every time I’ve served this to a dinner guest, they’ve loved it.

  1. Prepare your baking sheet and line the bottom with thin lemon slices. This adds flavor while preventing your salmon from drying out.
  2. Add salmon over lemon slices and season with zest, freshly ground pepper and kosher salt.
  3. Bake for about 15 minutes. The time will greatly depend on how thick your salmon filets are and what degree of doneness you prefer.
  4. Salmon is done when it starts to flake easily with a fork. Salmon is recommended to be cooked at 145°F, which is well done, but most chefs will pick a medium doneness which is around 125°F.
steps to make lemon pepper salmon

What to Serve with Salmon

Add veggies straight to the baking sheet making it a sheet pan meal. These are my favorites:

What is the White Stuff on Salmon?

Oh, the white stuff. It is called albumin. It is totally harmless and actually protein. As the salmon cooks, the fibers squeeze tighter and squeeze out this protein. I also use the appearance of albumin to know my salmon is almost or already done.

It is hard to tell which pieces will have it and which won’t, but generally speaking, wild caught salmon has less while farm raised salmon has more.

Wild caught salmon is more lean and has less nutrients, but farm raised is actually better for the environment because it is sustainable. Look for US or Canada based salmon to make sure yours was raised with strict guidelines and parameters.

Wild caught is also more expensive and typically harder to find, but also a deeper color of magenta. If you are keeping a Whole30 diet, you’ll need to find wild caught salmon.

This pale pink is a farm raised salmon and what you’ll generally find in grocery stores and restaurants.

close up of a bite of cooked salmon

Storage & Freezing

Storage: Salmon is always best served fresh and not made ahead. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for 1 minute (approximately) or the oven at 300°F for 3-5 minutes depending on size.

Freezing: We do not recommend freezing this recipe after it is cooked. Fresh salmon, however, is easily frozen. Wrap well in freezer paper and place into a plastic freezer bag.

collage of lemon pepper salmon images

More Salmon Recipes

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Ranch Salmon

Looking for an simple weeknight meal with minimal ingredients? This easy Ranch Salmon is it!
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Lemon Dill Salmon Recipe

This Lemon Dill Salmon is easy, healthy, and delicious. Baked salmon full of fresh, citrusy flavor is ready in just 15 minutes!
See The Recipe!
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Pesto Salmon

This Pesto Salmon recipe is the best way to make baked salmon. With only 5 ingredients including Greek yogurt and homemade pesto, it will be your new favorite.
See The Recipe!
lemon pepper salmon recipe for pinterest


fork holding a bite of lemon pepper salmon

Lemon Pepper Salmon Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Lemon Pepper Salmon is an easy to prepare, fresh and flavorful meal perfect for any night of the week.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Zest one lemon, set aside. Thinly cut lemons into slices and line the bottom of the baking sheet. Place the salmon fillet(s) on top of lemon slices.
  • Season the salmon with the lemon zest, Kosher salt, ground black pepper and fresh parsley.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on he thickness of the fillet and desired level of doneness.
  • Remove and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes before serving.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings!


Calories: 193 kcal, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Protein: 23 g, Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 62 mg, Sodium: 633 mg, Potassium: 704 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 2 g, Vitamin A: 45 IU, Vitamin C: 57.3 mg, Calcium: 42 mg, Iron: 1.5 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 193
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon pepper salmon
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

5 from 4 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Wow, this was SO easy to make and delicious!!! Salmon is one fish my husband will eat and we were both HUGE fans. We’ll be making it again soon!!

  2. 5 stars
    My husband and I enjoyed this delicious healthy recipe for lunch! It was quick and easy to make, and very flavorful. We’ll be making this lemon pepper salmon again.