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Baked Garlic Butter Salmon

Baked Garlic Butter Salmon is easy to make any night of the week and results in a restaurant quality meal! This easy, delicious garlicky crispy buttery salmon is perfectly tender with the most amazing texture. Serve it with your favorite side dishes for a crowd-pleasing meal for busy weeknights.

roasting pan with four baked salmon fillets sprinkled with garlic and green onion

There’s no shortage of salmon recipes on this site, my Crispy Sesame Salmon, Red Curry Salmon and Vegetables, and Mediterranean Salmon in Parchment Paper being among my favorites.

Well, I must say, this easy baked garlic butter salmon may just be my new favorite best baked salmon recipe, as it turns out with the most magnificent tender yet crispy texture and that garlic-butter combo just sends the flavor to the moon!

Truly, the delicious garlic butter sauce is everything here.

Plus, it is so quick and easy to make! You’re looking at 20 to 30 minutes from start-to-finish.

Not bad for a healthy meal that exudes fancy restaurant vibes but is actually very affordable and simple to prepare!

horizontal photo of baked salmon with butter and garlic

Let’s dive right into the fresh ingredients used in this recipe!

Garlic Butter Salmon Ingredients:

As the title suggests, we only need three basic ingredients to make this easy salmon recipe: unsalted butter, garlic, and salmon!

Of course, I like to sprinkle on a little sea salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning and paprika to level up the flavor profile. And salted butter works, too 😉

I always recommend using fresh salmon rather than frozen salmon as I find it yields the best flavor and texture. Wild Alaskan king salmon or coho salmon are my two favorites. If you don’t have access to fresh salmon, frozen salmon, cod, halibut, or mahi mahi works too!

You can also add a drizzle of fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, or lime juice once the salmon is out of the oven, although everyone has a different preference for lemon so I typically just serve the salmon with lemon slices rather than doing the drizzling myself.

While I love this recipe exactly as written, you can also use your favorite salmon rub or seasonings such as Cajun seasoning, chili powder, ground cumin, lemon pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, and more.

Now that we’re experts on the simple ingredients needed to make this moist salmon recipe, let’s bake some salmon!

casserole dish of baked salmon

How to Make Baked Garlic Butter Salmon:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Microwave the butter in a small bowl or ramekin until melted then immediately add the fresh minced garlic (note: you can melt the butter in a small saucepan or skillet on the stove top and sauté the garlic if you would like).

Place the salmon filets in a large casserole dish or a large rimmed baking sheet skin side down.

Drizzle about two tablespoons of the melted butter mixture over the filets, ensuring each filet is coated with a layer of butter.

Drizzling butter and garlic over raw salmon filets

Sprinkle each salmon filet with sea salt, black pepper, and paprika.

Bake the salmon for 10 minutes. Change the oven setting to High Broil and broil for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the salmon is crispy and cooked through.

To verify the salmon is cooked through, insert a meat thermometer into the thicket part of the filet. Salmon is considered fully cooked once it reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, although many people cook it between 110 and 130 degrees F for tender salmon. The exact cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your salmon.

Serve garlic butter salmon with the remaining butter garlic sauce (either pour it over the salmon as soon as it comes out of the oven, or serve it as a dipping sauce for everyone to share. I choose the former). Also serve with  lemon slices and your choice of side dishes and enjoy! 

Store any leftover baked salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

My favorite side dishes are crispy roast potatoes, green beans, or a simple salad.

big roasting pan with finished garlic butter baked salmon

If you love this lemon garlic salmon, also try my Crispy Air Fryer Salmon, Creamy Tuscan Salmon, or my Crispy Skillet Salmon with Lemon Dill Caper Sauce!

Here are some of my recommended healthy side dishes to serve with this garlic butter baked salmon recipe.

What to Serve with Salmon:

This cooking process results in crispy skin with perfectly flaky salmon. A great recipe for the whole family.

Enjoy this lusciously delicious salmon recipe!

big roasting pan with finished garlic butter baked salmon

Baked Garlic Butter Salmon

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Tender, crispy garlic butter salmon is a nutrient-dense main dish ideal for any night of the week. Serve it with your favorite sides for a healthy dinner!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs fresh salmon, cut into 4 filets
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground paprika
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

    2. Microwave the butter in a small bowl until melted then immediately add the fresh minced garlic (note: you can melt the butter in a small saucepan or skillet on the stove top and sauté the garlic if you would like).

    melted butter and garlic in a small bowl

    3. Place the salmon filets in a large casserole dish or a large rimmed baking sheet skin side down. Drizzle about two tablespoons of the melted butter mixture over the filets, ensuring each filet is coated with a layer of butter.

    Drizzling butter and garlic over raw salmon filets

    4. Sprinkle each salmon filet with sea salt, black pepper, and paprika.

    Sprinkle salmon with seasoning

    5. Bake the salmon for 10 minutes. Change the oven setting to High Broil and broil for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the salmon is crispy and cooked through.

    horizontal photo of baked salmon with butter and garlic

    To verify the salmon is cooked through, insert a meat thermometer into the thicket part of the filet. Salmon is considered fully cooked once it reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, although many people cook it between 110 and 130 degrees F for tender salmon. The exact cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your salmon.

    6. Serve garlic butter salmon with the remaining butter garlic sauce (either pour it over the salmon as soon as it comes out of the oven, or serve it as a dipping sauce for everyone to share. I choose the former). Also serve with  lemon slices and your choice of side dishes and enjoy! 

Notes

Store any leftover baked salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1 Serving (of 4)
Amount Per Serving Calories 422Total Fat 26gCarbohydrates 1gFiber 46g
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Garlic butter baked salmon collage

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Caroline

Saturday 2nd of July 2022

Recipe sounds delicious as written. However, do you think I could get good results grilling the salmon on my gas barbecue?

Julia

Sunday 3rd of July 2022

Hi Caroline! I think garlic butter grilled salmon would be great! I would take a slightly different approach by starting off with a thin layer of butter on the raw salmon, baste it with butter once or twice during the grilling process, and then serve it with a little garlic butter if you'd like. Hope you enjoy! xo

Pamela

Saturday 25th of June 2022

Hi Thanks for the recipe. Have a quick comment, fyi. I usually cook a fish fillet on upper rack under broiler for about 6 to 8 minutes it comes up perfect on preheated hot skillet.

Seems like way too much cooking time...curious what others might say. Garlic butter lemon is our favs with s&p... simple.

Julia

Saturday 25th of June 2022

Thanks so much for the input, Pamela! I actually do the same thing as you the majority of the time, but after trying this method I'm hooked because the skin on the bottom gets crispy too. So you get the crisp on the top and the bottom and the center of the fish is perfectly tender. Your method will definitely work for this recipe though :) xoxo

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