Garlic Butter Baked Salmon In Foil
Garlic butter baked salmon in no time at all! Start with a simple lemon garlic butter sauce that’s super fancy but also really easy to make. Then we just pour this on top of a filet of salmon and bake it off in the oven wrapped in foil. The salmon is flakey and tender this way and the garlic butter flavor is out of this world!
I mean, if that’s not convincing enough to make this recipe, let me also mention that my garlic butter baked salmon takes roughly 25 minutes to make from start to finish and requires just a few simple pantry staple ingredients.
When I tell you this recipe is simple, I mean it is really the simplest. If you can combine a few ingredients in a small saucepan and then baste your fish (salmon in our case), you can make today’s recipe. The lemon garlic butter sauce is so delicious; you’re going to want to put on every kind of protein you can think of. And guess what? Clean up is a breeze because we’re wrapping the salmon in foil and tossing it in the oven or the grill!
As a bonus, it’s keto-friendly, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, and so it’s ideal for when you’re serving guests that may have different dietary restrictions.
Making salmon at home doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s one of the easiest things to cook if you bake salmon in foil. This recipe is adapted from one that my mom and I came up with together. We’ve been making it for almost two decades now, and the only thing I did differently here is to mix the lemon and butter and make a sauce beforehand. Before, my mom and I used to brush the salmon with a little oil and drizzle the lemon juice and then sprinkle the remaining ingredients on top. Though it tasted delicious, I find that making the garlic butter sauce and allowing the garlic to simmer with the lemon juice makes a more flavorful and slightly thicker sauce that won’t run down the sides as much as the drizzle-on-top sauce does.
Also, in the summertime, we just place the salmon in foil on a hot grill that’s at around 375ºF. And it’ll cook up in about the same time, give or take a minute or two. Barbecued garlic butter salmon is sooo good.
What do you need to make the garlic butter sauce for the garlic butter baked salmon?
The best part is, this whole recipe calls for less than ten ingredients! Here’s what you’ll need to make the sauce:
- lemon juice
- minced garlic
- seasonings (red pepper flakes + Italian seasoning)
- salt + pepper
How to make the best garlic butter sauce:
- Start by heating the lemon juice, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and the red pepper flakes together in a small saucepan.
- Let the lemon juice reduce by half, so you’re left with one tablespoon.
- Add one tablespoon of cold, cubed butter at a time and let it melt into the saucepan. Grab the handle and swirl; it melts so quickly this way. Repeat with remaining butter.
- Add salt and pepper and stir. DONE.
If you’ve made this recipe before you may notice it has changed slightly. In the past, I suggested sprinkling the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper on top. But after making this recipe countless times since then, I just find it easier to just toss it into the sauce and pour it on top of the salmon!
What do you need to make the garlic butter baked salmon?
- chopped parsley, for serving
What do I do once the sauce is ready?
- Place the salmon on a large piece of foil, one large enough to wrap the entire salmon filet in.
- Slowly drizzle the sauce over the salmon using a spoon. Cover the salmon with foil so that all the sides are properly closed and the sauce doesn’t leak out.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes. This amount of time works for most recipes, however, if your filet is super thin, check closer to the 10-minute mark. If it’s very thick, check around 14-16 minutes. Remember, we’re going to broil it for the last couple of minutes, so you don’t want it to be completely cooked when you check on it.
Can I use garlic butter sauce on other types of fish?
Sure, you can! You can marinate raw shrimp in this sauce for 10 minutes and then cook the shrimp in a hot skillet. You could also use this with tilapia, cod, or mahi mahi. Just remember that the baking time for various types of fish will vary depending on the fish and the thickness of the filet!
What kind of salmon works best for this garlic butter baked salmon recipe?
My biggest tip for this baked salmon in foil recipe is to use good quality salmon. I find wild-caught salmon works best. Pink salmon or ‘farm-raised salmon’ sometimes leaves the fish wet and gross, because, let’s face it, we’re steaming it in foil. I encourage you to use Sockeye or Coho salmon if you can find it.
This baked salmon recipe is straightforward to make and perfect for those that might be at a beginner level for cooking fish. There’s so flipping, sautéing, or any other fancy techniques required. It also happens to be the perfect 20-minute meal for when you need dinner on the table in a heartbeat.
These are the type of recipes I’d email to my husband, for when I just need him to cook dinner. I encourage you to do the same with your SO.
Whether you make this yourself or have someone make it for you, either way, you need to get some garlic butter sauce lovin’ in your life.
Garlic Butter Baked Salmon in Foil
Garlic butter baked salmon in no time at all! Start with a simple lemon garlic butter sauce that’s super fancy but also really easy to make then we just pour this on top of a filet of salmon and bake it off in the oven wrapped in foil. The salmon is flakey and tender this way, and the garlic butter flavor is out of this world!
- 1 ¼ pound sockeye or coho salmon (preferably wild-caught)
- 2 tablespoons EACH: lemon juice AND cold butter, cubed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon EACH: Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, AND black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnishing (optional)
- PREP: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF. (see notes)
- SAUCE: 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, add the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Then, remove sauce from stove.
- BAKE: 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. 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 mostly firm to the touch. 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.
- 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.
- I suggest using a good quality salmon for this recipe. Try to avoid using 'pink salmon' as this type of salmon is quite watery and will release lots of water in the baking process causing the fish to be wet and not flakey.
- The salmon can also be wrapped in foil and barbecued at 375º-400ºF 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.
Most often, I poach salmon and it’s also very tender. Love the mix of colorful ingredients you use for garnishing (peppers, parsley…) and serving asparagus with this colorful salmon is a wonderful choice. (I always serve salmon just with white rice and it’s not as nice as yours!)
Didn’t even use a pound and a quarter (just a pound) and my salmon was still cold in the middle after the specified cooking time. I used fresh salmon and my oven doors not run cold. Are you sure that’s the right amount of time?
Baking time varies depending on the thickness of the fish. The recipe card mentioned 12-14 minutes or until firm. Perhaps your piece of salmon was a thicker cut? For next time, I suggest after the 12-14 minutes of baking to just feel for firmness on the thickest portion of fish. I will also add to the notes that time may vary slightly depending on the thickness of salmon. Thanks for your feedback! 🙂
Did you use juice from real lemons or from the bottle?
I used freshly squeezed lemon juice. Either will work though!
I could (maybe did) eat this sauce with a spoon! Amazing!!!!!
I won’t judge! 😀 I maybe did that too. Glad you enjoyed!
I made this tonight, and it was PERFECT ! I had to give it a bit more time since my fillet was a little thicker, but it was so delicious, and beautiful too! No nasty asparagus though … I baked some zucchini brushed with olive oil and pesto instead. I finished the zucchini under the broiler topped with parmesan and breadcrumbs, right along with the salmon.
Thanks for sharing … this one is definitely a keeper!
Thank you for sharing such and easy and delicious salmon recipe. Everyone in my family enjoyed it aat dinner.
I’m so happy to hear that everyone enjoyed it 🙂
I love to eat salmon!! But this recipe made me fall even deeper in love! I made this tonight and paired it with asparagus as well.. needless to say..I’m Mom of the year!! Thanks for sharing.. it was a delicious meal!
u have alot of finess and humor but il have my salmon simple. no need to put on all that garlic and fancy stuff.. salmon should never be fancy!!!1 good day
Oh man, if everyone ate their salmon simple, i’d be outta of a job, Alan! LOL! Thanks for commenting!
Hi Marzia, This looks delish!!! I have a question can I use ghee instead of butter? If so, is it still 2 tablespoon? Thanks….looking forward to trying this next week for dinner.
I haven’t tested this recipe with ghee but my best guess would be that it should work, though I will say, the flavor will definitely be a little different. You could try refrigerating the 2 tablespoons of ghee before using it in the recipe so it provides a similar consistency to what butter would do for the sauce.
Holy crap this was good! I did mine in a covered pan on the stove, over medium heat until done.
Thank you for this recipe! It was my first attempt at salmon for my household of non-fish eaters. I wanted something simple and easy. This was crazy easy and everyone loved it. Yumm!!
Made this dish tonight for my wife and I…we LOVED it. Thanks!
I made it for dinner , it was awesome.., so delicious. Thank you
I made this salmon for dinner tonight and it was amazing! Thank you!
We eat salmon on a fairly regular basis, and this is by far one of the best recipes I’ve made! Our piece of salmon was a little thick, so I cooked it for a little while longer, but it came out perfect. Thank you for sharing!
Made it for my friends earlier and they love it! Of course, I love it too ^___^
May I ask where you get your salmon from? I know they sell some at Costco but I got a horrible allergic reaction from it once. I usually buy it from a local Chinese market but they don’t cut it as well as Costco would. This looks so good, I wanna try all the versions of your salmon recipes!! 😀
Mia I purchased mine from ‘Sprouts Farmers Market’. Any mainstream grocery store that carries wild-caught salmon should have a nicely cut piece of salmon though! 🙂 Hope you enjoy all the different salmon recipes! Thanks for commenting! 🙂
My mother was allergic to fresh fish, but after freezing it she could eat it. You could try that.
Thank you for this wonderful garlic butter recipe. I made it once for a family potluck and they loved it so much that it was requested again for Thanksgiving! This was as much as a crowd favorite as the turkey. I will definitely put this on rotation.Where do you find the inspiration for your recipes?
Oh wow! That’s great, Mary! Happy to hear it. I’m mostly inspired by fresh, seasonal produce. I try to work them in as much as possible! A lot of my recipes are things I ate growing up, or my versions of them. 🙂
Do you remove the skin from the salmon before baking
I left it on, Clarence. When serving, I just use a spatula and lift the actual meat, leaving the skin on the foil.
I made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing! Thank you for posting this 🙂
Oh my! Even our (almost) 10 month kept wanting more!
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This by far is the best salmon recipe I’ve tried. I’m not a big fan of cooking with lemon (I always think of cleaning when lemons comes to mind). Boy was I missing out. These flavors came together so well. My salmon is always dry and rubbery. This is awesome. Your instruction were fool proof. Thanks a million. Keep up the awesome work. Btw I tagged u on ig and fb.
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Would this recipe work with steelhead trout instead of salmon?
I’m unsure as i’ve only tested it with salmon.
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I’m planning to make this for my friends during their next visit, it looks definitely delicious. Although, I have a few questions. If I make the sauce and let it sit for a few hours before applying it to the salmon, would the taste be ruined? And what is your best suggestion so I won’t fail if I want to barbecue it? I’d appreciate if you’d like to reply. Thank you so much, have a nice day 🙂
Hi Elisa, I apologize for replying so late, this somehow ended up in the spam pile. I do suggest making the sauce right before you’re ready to serve the salmon. The sauce contains lemon juice and butter so it could easily separate if allowed to sit. I would heat up the grill to 500ºF and then lower it to 375ºF. Also, oil the piece of foil with a little olive oil before you place the filet on there so that it doesn’t stick. Then fold the foil over the salmon so that it is completely covered. Allow to cook for 10 minutes, open the foil and check, allow about 2-5 minutes as necessary. Feel for firmness if you’d like it cooked all the way through. Open up the foil the last 1-2 minutes of cooking so any leftover liquid evaporates! Hope you enjoy it! 🙂
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I’ll be making this for the fourth time tonight. It’s really great. Thank you!