Baked salmon in foil that’s been brushed with my lemon garlic butter sauce. This recipe is so easy to make and pulls together in less than 30 minutes! The salmon is so flakey and tender when baked inside foil. You’re going to love this recipe!
Do I even need to go on here? Because the words ‘garlic’ and ‘butter’ put together make my heart skip a beat. Tell me that happens to you too? And that i’m not the only food loving, butter obsessed person on the planet.
And when I say this is the simplest recipe for baked salmon in foil, I mean it is the SIMPLEST recipe. If you can combine a few ingredients in a small saucepan and then baste your fish (my preference is salmon) with this amazing lemon garlic butter sauce, then you can pop out a semi-gourmet meal on a weeknight in under 30 minutes. <– um, yes please!
And as an added bonus, it gluten-free and paleo friendly so it’s perfect to serve when you’ve got guests with different dietary restrictions. That’s scoring big time.
This is a recipe that you need to keep in your back pocket not only for weeknight dinners but also to impress your dinner guests with. And I won’t say a word about how quickly you pulled this together. Not a peep.
In addition to having some awesome sauceee also known as a lemon garlic butter basting sauce, the side possibilities to this baked salmon and endless. I like to do simple baked potatoes and asparagus but this, this or this would be good too.
In addition to being just a quick 30 minutes, clean up is a breeze because it’s salmon in foil, which means once the salmon is gone, the foil will be too and no dirty pots are left behind to clean afterwards. Except that teensy-weensy saucepan of goodness where you made the out of this world lemon garlic butter sauce. It’s worth cleaning the saucepan for, trust me on that.
This recipe is slightly adapted from a recipe that my mom and I came up with together. We’ve been making it for over a decade and the only thing I did differently here is mix the lemon and butter and make a sauce out of it. My mom and I usually just brush the salmon with a little olive oil and drizzle the lemon juice and then just sprinkle the remaining ingredients on top. Though it tastes delicious, I find that the sauce tends to be a little more runnier that way.
ALSO: In the summer time, we just place the salmon in foil on a hot grill that’s at 375ºF. And it’ll cook up in about the same time, give or take a minute or two. Barbecued salmon is so soo good.
Let’s talk about the lemon garlic butter sauce that’s going to make this baked salmon in foil recipe your favorite way to eat fish. I call it the quick 2-2-2. That’s 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and 2 tablespoons of butter for 1- 1 1/4 pound of salmon.
Start by heating the lemon juice and minced garlic in a saucepan. When the lemon juice has reduced to about 1 tablespoon, add in 1 tablespoon of cold, cubed butter. Allow it to melt in slowly, just grab the handle of your saucepan and off the heat, swirl the pan until the butter melts, if it’s taking forever just pop it on the stove for a couple seconds then off. Repeat with the second tablespoon of butter. It probably took you longer to read this paragraph than it will to prepare the sauce.
Okay, I kid. But really, like maybe 30 seconds longer.
Oh and my last tip for this recipe, make sure to use a good quality salmon. Wild caught is best. I find that using ‘pink salmon’ will leave this fish wet and pretty gross in the oven. It’s not the recipe, it’s the fish. I encourage you to use Sockeye or Coho for best results. I highly, highly suggest wild-caught as the flavor for a wild-caught fish is just out of this world.
This, this is the kind of recipe that makes the midweek bearable! Get together with your significant other and make baked salmon in foil with less than 10 ingredients. Or better yet, email this recipe to them and have them make it for you 😉
Either way you need to get some garlic butter sauce lovin’ in your life.
- 1¼ pound sockeye or coho salmon (preferably wild caught)*
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnishing (optional)
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF. (see notes)
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the lemon juice and minced garlic, allow the lemon juice to reduce to 1 tablespoon. Add in 1 tablespoon of butter, remove pan from heat and swirl so the butter starts to melt. Place back on the heat for a few seconds, removed and continue to swirl until butter completely melts. Repeat with second tablespoon of butter. When butter is completely melted, remove sauce from stove.
- Place the salmon filet in a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal. Using a brush or spoon, brush the salmon with the garlic butter sauce. Season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Cover with foil so that all sides are properly closed so the sauce does not leak.
- Bake the salmon for 12-14 minutes or until firm. Open the foil and allow the fish to broil under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, keeping an eye on it so the fish does not burn. Remove from oven, top with parsley. Serve immediately.
Please note: baking time may vary slightly due to thickness of fish. Feel for firmness on the thickest part of the filet to make sure your fish is cooked through.
The salmon can also be wrapped in foil and barbecued at 375ªF for about the same amount of time give or take a minute or two. Allow the salmon to 'broil' the same way you would in the oven, by opening the foil and allow the fish to dry out for just 1-2 minutes.
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