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.
This easy salmon recipe is flavorful, healthy and delightfully simple to make.
What's In This Article
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.
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.
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.
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.
However, it also looks pretty enough to present to guests. Every time I’ve served this to a dinner guest, they’ve loved it.
- Prepare your baking sheet and line the bottom with thin lemon slices. This adds flavor while preventing your salmon from drying out.
- Add salmon over lemon slices and season with zest, freshly ground pepper and kosher salt.
- Bake for about 15 minutes. The time will greatly depend on how thick your salmon filets are and what degree of doneness you prefer.
- 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.
What to Serve with Salmon
Add veggies straight to the baking sheet making it a sheet pan meal. These are my favorites:
- Sliced zucchini
- Green Beans
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.
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.
More Salmon Recipes
- BBQ Baked Salmon
- Spicy Cedar Plank Salmon
- Crispy Caper Lemon Salmon
- Maple Citrus Salmon
- Salmon Croquettes Recipes
Lemon Pepper Salmon Recipe
- 8 ounces salmon fillet , cut into 2 pieces
- 2 fresh lemons
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon flat parsley , minced
- 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!
What temperature should the oven be at?
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!!
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.