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Baked Salmon: The Ultimate Flavorful and Healthy Main Dish

Not all healthy food is delicious, but salmon certainly is. Salmon is rich in omega-3, a fatty acid with a myriad of health benefits and aside from that it just leaves us with a feeling of wellness after consuming it. Eating salmon also adds to your body’s supply of protein, b-vitamins, potassium, selenium, and antioxidants.

Salmon is the ideal main to serve to guests as it promises to satisfy both with flavor and nourishment. You’ve selected that beautiful pink fillet and added it in your shopping cart. Now what to do with it to make it good to the last bite?

Baked salmon offers an easy and goof-proof way to make this fish dish most enjoyable for game day gatherings.

Basic Baked Salmon

For a basic no-fuss main dish salmon, you will likely already have what you need on hand. Toss some lemons beside that salmon in your cart, because lemon is the key ingredient in bringing out the salmon flavor.

Ingredients:

  • Salmon fillets (8 ounces per serving)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon-pepper seasoning (optional alternative)
  • 2-3 lemons

Tools:

  • Baking sheet or a roasting pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small bowl
  • Small basting brush
  • Fork

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line the baking sheet or pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Place the fillets onto the sheet or pan with the salmon skin side down.
  3. Remove excess moisture from salmon fillet with a paper towel.
  4. Brush a small amount of olive oil over the fish to coat the fillet. Season the fillet with plenty of salt and pepper (or use the lemon-pepper seasoning).
  5. Add thin lemon slices to the top of each fillet (optional).
  6. Put it in the oven and bake for 4-6 minutes. Add more baking time if fillet is thicker than a half inch. Your fish will be ready to serve when it flakes with a fork. The ideal internal temperature is 145°F.

Serve immediately. Baked salmon is tastiest when right out of the oven.

Parmesan and Herb Crusted Salmon

Parmesan cheese makes for a tasty topping when baking a protein dish. This option includes garlic and herbs to pack in even more flavor.

Ingredients:

  • One large salmon fillet
  • 6 cloves of minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese

Tools:

  • Baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Parchment paper
  • Small bowl
  • Spoon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Line the baking sheet or pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  3. Make a mixture of the garlic, Herbs de Provence, and parsley. Set aside.
  4. Place the fillet skin side down onto the sheet. Cover the fillet with parchment paper and bake salmon without toppings for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the fillet from the oven. Cover the fillet with the herb mixture then follow with an even layer of parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake until the cheese is well melted. This should take around 5 minutes. The ideal internal temperature should be 135º F.

Garlic, Dill and Lemon Salmon

Dill is a strong and lively herb that goes well with salmon. Let’s kick it up a notch with this tasty one-pan dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ lbs. salmon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder (or minced cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon dill (fresh if available)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges

Tools:

  • Glass or porcelain baking dish
  • Cooking spray (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease the baking dish with either olive oil or spray. Use salt and pepper on both sides of the salmon portion(s).
  3. Mix olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and dill into a small bowl and set aside.
  4. After placing the salmon skin side down into the dish, spread the mixture evenly atop the salmon.
  5. Bake the fish for 15-20 minutes. The ideal internal temperature should be 145°F.

If you’d prefer the dish to have some crispiness, finish by broiling the dish for one minute. Serve the salmon with dill and lemon garnish.

Sugar-Glazed Salmon

Make your baked salmon even more of a treat with a sweet garlicky glaze.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of salmon, portioned.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 lemons
  • ⅓ cup fresh parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Tools:

  • Baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small bowl
  • Whisk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Tear off a number of foil sheets equal to the number of servings.
  3. Season salmon portions with salt and pepper and place each portion of salmon onto an individual sheet of foil.
  4. Combine the olive oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, minced garlic, juice of one lemon, cayenne pepper, a teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper into the bowl. Whisk the ingredients well to blend.
  5. While reserving some of the mixture, pour the mixture evenly over each piece of salmon.
  6. Seal the foil to create a packet for each serving. Place packets onto the baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Remove fish from oven and set the oven to broil.
  8. Open packets and distribute the rest of the mixture onto the salmon.
  9. Return to the oven and broil uncovered for 3 minutes.
  10. Serve with lemon slices and chopped parsley as the garnish.

Baked Salmon Patties

Fresh salmon can be expensive. Salmon patties are made from canned salmon which is a more economical way to enjoy salmon. The secret to satisfying canned salmon patties is in the sauce that goes with it. If the sauce in the recipe below isn’t to your taste, explore other sauce recipe or experiment with it and add your own favorite ingredients.

Pro tip: Find canned salmon with the bones already removed. It may cost a bit more,but the time-consuming task of having to remove every itty bitty bone can take the joy out of cooking.

Ingredients:

For the patties:

  • 14 ounce can of salmon
  • 1 ½ cups of bread crumbs (soft is better than canned)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • ½ cup red pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 sliced scallions
  • ¼ cup celery, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of mayo
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Hot pepper sauce, to taste.
  • Slider buns (optional)
  • Shredded lettuce leaves or shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix (optional)

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons of mayo
  • ¼ teaspoon of dill weed
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Sriracha to taste (optional)

Tools:

  • Muffin tin
  • Large bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Grease the muffin tin with the cooking spray.
  3. Mix the list of patty ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Place ⅓ cup scoops of the mixture into each cup of the muffin tin.
  5. Place the tin into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. The ideal internal temperature is 160°F.
  6. Prepare the sauce with the above-listed ingredients.

You have a few serving options. One option is to serve the patties as is and dip the bites into the sauce. The other choice is to make salmon patty sliders by placing them onto buns topped with a layer of shredded cabbage or lettuce and top the veggies with a dollop of the sauce. Not sure about putting cabbage on a sandwich? No problem. Make a batch of coleslaw out of the cabbage and serve it as a side dish!

Wine & Beer Pairings for Baked Salmon

Treating yourself to a nice fillet of salmon calls for a chilled glass of wine or beer to enhance your enjoyment of such a flavorful fish. With so many different brands to choose from, beer and wine shopping can be intimidating. Many retailers hire experts to attend to their wine section and these staff members are there to offer their advice. Ask for a recommendation.  Alternately, you could consult a handy wine-pairing database or a beer recommendation source.

Here is a list of wines that will go well with your salmon dinner.

  • Champagne: A classic bubbly. Brute Rosé would go well.
  • Chenin Blanc: A dry fruity white with the right acidity.
  • Frascati: A crisp, fresh, and fruity white.
  • Gewurztraminer: A zesty and fruity white, Anthony’s Hill by Fetzer is an economical choice.
  • Moscato: A fruity and sweet wine, you may want to avoid one that is too sweet as not to have a flavor clash.
  • Muscadet: A light-bodied, dry white with floral notes
  • Pinot Grigio: A refreshing fruity white with a crisp finish.
  • Rosé: This light party wine has been trending in popularity. It’s pink, just like salmon!
  • Sauvignon Blanc: Another fruity white! Balanced, crisp and smooth.

 

If you are more of a beer person, here are some brews that will go well with salmon.

  • Belgian White Ale: A fruity light-bodied ale with a bit of spice. Blue Moon is a safe choice. Serve with orange wedges!
  • Brown Ale: A malty, nutty and medium-bodied ale. New Castle is a well-known brand.
  • Dark Wheat Ale: A malty ale with sweet caramel tones
  • India Pale Ale: A refreshing hoppy beer with varying levels of bitterness.
  • Pale Ale: Milder than an IPA but still with flavorful hops, versions of this ale have a wide range.
  • Porter: A heavier, rich, malty and hoppy beer.
  • Saison: A fruity and spicy carbonated pale ale.

Add to Your Grocery List

Salmon is the perfect main dish to treat yourself and loved ones to a true comfort food meal. Also,salmon is a versatile protein so you can make it your very own to suit your style. Salmon partners well with many different side dishes, so odds are your favorite comfort food side dish will complete the plating. A wine or beer pairing could be the perfect way to marry your main and side dishes together. Plan your special baked salmon dinner today!

 

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