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November 12, 2019

Healthy Baked Salmon Recipe

This healthy baked salmon recipe, with minimal ingredients, takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish. This is a staple recipe in my house as it is fresh, flaky, and frustration free. Paleo friendly, Keto, and Whole30, too!

Baked salmon fillet on parchment paper with fish spatula

Salmon is my favorite protein to eat all year around. Not only is it delicious and versatile, but it is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat! I aim to eat 6 ounces of salmon at least 3 times a week.

I truly believe that since I introduced salmon, my health has improved. Especially my skin!

The omega-3 fats found in salmon can reduce the effects of aging, help retain moisture in the skin, and calm inflammation. Did you know the root of many skin problems is inflammation? Because of this, omega-3 fats is one of the most important nutrients for healthy skin.

If you struggle with dry skin, eat more healthy fats such as wild-caught seafood, avocado, olive oil, pasture-raised meats, coconut oil and more. When you have plenty of healthy fats in your diet, especially omega-3 fats, your skin will glow and look supple.

If you are familiar with my skin story, you will know that I’ve struggled with acne and dry skin ever since I was a teen.

If only I would have known what nutritious whole foods could do for my skin back then. I was told by countless dermatologist that what you eat has nothing to do with your skin.

I have proven them all wrong. Sure I am a bit older now, and my skin has changed as I’ve aged. But, I believe it has changed for the better because I am eating nutrient rich foods, like salmon, everyday; and have eliminated processed foods, dairy, and gluten.

Not only is salmon good for the skin, there many other health benefits as well. Salmon is especially great for pregnant women and children.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF SALMON

  • Improves bone health
  • Boost brain function
  • High in vitamin D
  • Promotes heart health
  • May prevent ADHD in children
  • Enhances eyesight
  • Optimizes skin health
  • May fight cancer development

WILD VS. FARMED SALMON: Which is healthier?

Wild caught: contains more vitamin D than farmed salmon, has a healthier ratio of good fats, and is sustainable to the environment.

Farm-raised: likely contains contaminants, pesticides, and antibiotics, contains inflammatory fats, and is not sustainable to the environment.

Tip!

Opt for brighter color salmon ( bright reds and pinks). Avoid any fish that looks dried out or has a brown color.

raw salmon fillet on parchment paper on baking sheet on white background

WHERE TO BUY WILD CAUGHT SALMON

Look for salmon that has been harvested sustainably.

  • Wild Alaska Salmon and Seafood Company is where I order my sockeye salmon from. I discovered this company at my local farmers market and have been impressed with them since. I buy their wild-caught sockeye salmon in bulk and get it shipped to my house frozen with 2-3 day delivery.
  • Thrive Market offers wild-caught sockeye salmon, and other sustainable seafood
  • Vital Choice offers wild-caught salmon, and other wild sustainable seafood.
Two white plates with baked salmon and roasted broccoli on white background

INGREDIENTS & TOOLS FOR COOKING SALMON

Ingredients:

  • Wild Caught Alaskan Sockeye Salmon: (read for why I recommend wild caught salmon over farm raised salmon above). I buy my wild caught salmon online here.
  • Ghee: I recommend ghee, or grass-fed butter (if you tolerate dairy). The ghee gives the salmon a delicious buttery taste. You could also use olive oil, or avocado oil.
  • Seasonings: thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and basil.

Tools:

baked salmon fillet with gold fork pulling apart salmon

HOW TO BAKE SALMON

Step 1: Room Temperature

Place salmon on baking sheet, skin side down, 15-30 minutes before cooking and let sit in room temperature. If you have frozen salmon, thaw it out in the fridge the day before or morning of that you plan to cook it. You can also thaw it out in a sealed bag under cold water hours before you plan to cook it. Avoid thawing salmon out in any heat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Season

Brush oil onto all sides of the salmon, except the bottom. I used a basting brush to brush the melted ghee onto the salmon. In a small bowl, mix together the thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, and sea salt. Sprinkle seasoning onto salmon right before cooking. Do not let the seasoning sit for long on the salmon. The salt will start to cure the salmon.

Step 3: Bake

Bake salmon at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-18 minutes or until internal temperature of salmon reaches 145 degrees or until salmon flakes easily with a fork. Cooking preference and oven temperatures may vary.

Baked salmon with roasted broccoli on white plate and roasted broccoli in corner

Q&A’s about Salmon

Get the facts here.

COOKING SALMON WITH SKIN ON

I recommend cooking salmon with the skin on as it contains a lot of nutrients. Not only is the skin on salmon good for you, it is so tasty! The skin also helps the salmon from overcooking. Also, if you’re not a fan of skin, just leave it on when cooking and it will peel right off.

HOW TO COOK SALMON WITHOUT FOIL

Line your baking sheet with parchment paper instead! I try to stay away from cooking or wrapping food with Aluminum foil. Aluminum is a heavy metal that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and poses other health risks too. When you cook with aluminum foil some of the aluminum may leach into your food. The hotter the heat, the more leaching that may occur. Leafy vegetables, and acidic foods absorb the most aluminum when cooking. If you absolutely have to cook with aluminum avoid cooking acidic foods, and don’t scrape the pan with a spatula or metal spoon.

HOW LONG DO I BAKE SALMON?

There are so many oven temperatures and baking times thrown around when talking about salmon. It really depends on how you prefer your salmon to be cooked. For this recipe, I recommend to bake salmon at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-18 minutes. You can definitely bake at a different oven temperature if you prefer, just make sure to adjust your cooking time. Salmon is done when it has reached an internal temperature (measured in the thickest part of the salmon) of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

HOW DO I KNOW IF SALMON IS COOKED?

Salmon will change from a (red or raw) color to an opaque (pink) when cooked. To test for done-ness, stick a fork or a knife in the thickest part of the salmon at a 45 degree angle. Twist the fork or knife and pull some of the fish out. If the fish flakes easily and is an opaque color, it is fully cooked. If the inside is still pink and resist flaking, cook it a little longer.

Check salmon with an instant read thermometer to check for done-ness. The USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145°F, which should be measured at the thickest part of the fillet.

WHAT SHOULD I MAKE WITH SALMON?

Salmon pairs well with many vegetables and potatoes as well. Serve salmon with delicious roasted broccoli, sauteed kale, roasted savory sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts or skillet green beans for the perfect side dish.

Oven baked salmon fillet on parchment paper with herbs and seasonings
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oven baked salmon on parchment paper with fish spatula

Healthy Baked Salmon Recipe


  • Author: Abbey Blackwell
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This healthy baked salmon recipe, with minimal ingredients, takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish. This is a staple recipe in my house as it is fresh, flaky, and frustration free. Paleo friendly, Keto, and Whole30, too!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 11/2 pound salmon filet, wild caught
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, melted
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon basil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up, if desired. Place room temperature salmon skin side down on baking sheet.
  2. Brush ghee or oil on all sides of the salmon (except the bottom). In small bowl, mix together thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and basil. Sprinkle seasoning evenly onto salmon fillet.
  3. Bake salmon for 12-18 minutes, until internal temperature of salmon reaches 145 degrees, or until salmon flakes with a fork. The cooking time will vary based on thickness of your salmon.
  4. Serve warm and garnish with flaky sea salt or fresh basil.

Notes

Test for doneness: stick a fork or a knife in the thickest part of the salmon at a 45 degree angle. Twist the fork or knife and pull some of the fish out. If the fish flakes easily and is an opaque color, it is fully cooked. If the inside is still pink and resist flaking, cook it a little longer. You can also check salmon with an instant read thermometer. The USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145°F, which should be measured at the thickest part of the fillet.

Storing: store salmon in the fridge for up to 3-5 days in a air-tight glass container.

Reheating: be careful when reheating so that the salmon doesn’t dry out. I recommend reheating in the microwave or skillet. Microwave- heat on low just until warmed through. If you hear a popping in the microwave take it out immediately. Skillet- Melt some oil over medium heat and add salmon. Cover pan, and let it heat for 2-4 minutes.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: baked salmon, quick, easy, simple, oven baked, flaky salmon

Like this recipe?

I would love to know if you liked this healthy baked salmon recipe! Comment below!

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Hi, I’m Abbey! Food blogger, health coach, and personal trainer. I’m just a girl who loves food, and loves to show others how good healthy eating can taste! Here you’ll find easy real food recipes as well as healthy lifestyle and fitness content. I’d love to get to know you!

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