If you are looking for a healthy recipe with incredible flavor that you can prepare quickly, you need this Lemon Pepper Salmon recipe in your life! Seasoned with the essence of lemon, pepper, and dill this dish is elegant enough for guests but simple enough for any night of the week.
I think of salmon as the ultimate super food. It is an incredibly versatile fish that is delicious grilled, pan seared, or oven baked. The fact that it cooks so quickly makes it easy to prepare a delicious and special dinner even at the end of a busy day. I love it paired with Grilled Eggplant or asparagus for a quick summery meal.
What I love about this recipe:
- It is super easy to make – nothing complicated about this recipe!
- It requires simple ingredients but delivers big flavor! Lemon, pepper and dill pair beautifully with the subtle flavors of salmon.
- The fish is tender and moist, and
- It is on the table in under 30 minutes!
How to make this salmon
Ingredients you will need:
Salmon fillets or one large piece of salmon with the skin on, lemon pepper seasoning, fresh dill, lemons, kosher salt, and olive oil.
Brush the fish with olive oil and evenly distribute the lemon pepper, dill, and salt on the fish.
Bake until the fish is tender and flaky, about 20 minutes.
Tips for cooking salmon perfectly every time
Salmon cooks very quickly and because of this it can be easy to overcook it resulting in a dry, chalky disappointment. Here are some tips to make sure your salmon is moist, tender and perfectly flaky.
- Pat the fish down with paper towels to absorb any excess liquid. This will allow the oil, butter, or other fat that you brush on the fish to adhere to the flesh and create a crispy top
- Don’t salt the salmon before you are ready to cook it. Salt draws moisture out of the fish and can dry it out.
- If you are using a marinade, don’t let the fish sit in it for more then an hour. And if the marinade is especially acidic, 30 minutes should be tops. The acid will start to break down the flesh making it mushy, and we want nice firm fish.
- Don’t cook salmon beyond medium. This is the point when salmon is it’s juiciest and most flavorful. You can tell if it is cooked to the right temperature by:
- Inserting an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the fish. If it measures between 130-135° it is medium. 135-140° is medium well. You do not want to go over 140° or it will be over cooked.
- Salmon will change color from the bright rosy, orange or pink to an opaque peachy orange color when it is cooked. You can insert the tip of a knife into the center of the fish and if the outer part of the fish is opaque, but the center is slightly translucent, the fish is done. If the center is still very translucent then it needs more time.
- Use a fork or a knife tip to gently press on the surface of the salmon, when it separates or flakes easily it is done.
Frequently Asked Questions
Salmon skin is perfectly safe to eat if the salmon is fresh and also safe to eat. The question of whether you should eat it really comes down to personal preference, but there may be nutritional benefits from adding it to your meal. This article from Medical News Today does a good job of explaining the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself.
That white substance is called albumin. It is a perfectly safe liquid protein that is found in the fish. When salmon is cooked at a high temperature the albumin congeals and you may see large amounts of it form on the fish.
The USDA warns against rinsing any fish, poultry or meat before cooking it as it can easily result in the spread of harmful bacteria and germs. Cooking the fish to a safe temperature is the best way to kill any germs or bacteria that may be present.
Here are a few ways to tell if your salmon has gone bad:
1. Fresh salmon should be a bright pink or rosy, orange color. If the flesh looks dull, gray, or discolored it is probably not safe to eat.
2. Raw salmon should not have a strong fishy smell. If it does, this is a sure sign that it is no longer fresh and should be discarded. Fresh salmon should have a mild scent.
3. You can also tell that salmon is fresh if there are clearly defined white lines running through it. If the lines are gray or subtle that is a sign that the fish may be spoiled.
4. Fresh salmon will have firm flesh that bounces back when you press on it. If you touch it and the flesh remains dimpled or the flesh breaks apart, then it has gone bad.
Other easy dinner ideas
Lemon Pepper Salmon with Dill
- 2 Salmon fillets
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Lemon Pepper Seasonng
- 1 tsp Dill fresh, chopped
- ¼ tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 Lemon sliced
- Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or brush with oil.
- Place 4 slices of lemon on the baking sheet and lay each piece of salmon on two of them.
- Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle the lemon pepper, salt and dill evenly over the fish.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the fish registers 130-135° for medium.