I have a confession to make…I don’t like seafood! There, I said it! But pretty much everyone else does, so we have been working on salmon recipes, and this Easy Garlic Butter Salmon is so tender and flaky! Plus, you can have a healthy, gorgeous dinner on the table in just 30 minutes!
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest means that you like salmon or really any seafood. And while that never happened for me, I’ve learned just how much others love it. I can totally handle cooking fish better than shrimp that needs to be cleaned. Have I told you that I actually cried doing that for the first time because I was all worked up and freaked out? It’s a true fact. There’s something so invasive about cleaning shrimp! Sends shivers up my spine! I just buy those babies pre-cleaned and ready to cook for my own sanity.
Guys, I want to like salmon so bad! I mean look at it…it looks amazing!! And then I take a bite (and I always take a bite, hoping this time will be the time), and then I just don’t like it. Blast it! My taste buds are broken, I am convinced!
So for all you salmon lovers, this salmon is perfectly moist, tender, and flaky with the classic salmon flavors of lemon, garlic, butter, and dill. It is so simple too!
How do I Pick a Good Fresh Salmon?
When I first started buying salmon at the grocery store, it was a little intimidating. How do I pick a good piece of salmon? Here are a few tips:
- No smell – good fresh salmon should not have a fishy smell
- Vibrant – bright, deep shades of red/coral/pink is what you are after
- Moist – it should look moist and not dried out
- No brown – there shouldn’t be any brown spots anywhere on the fillet
Fresh/Frozen and Wild/Farm
We often tend to think that fresh is always best. Fresh salmon is usually best, but don’t be afraid to check out the frozen section. If the salmon has been packed and frozen properly, it can be just as good as fresh. If you want wild salmon, it is going to have to be frozen if you are outside of salmon season which runs from May to October.
Most people run away from farmed salmon because of the horror stories out there about how the salmon are farmed. However, if you do your homework and trust your source, farmed salmon can be safe and of great quality.
Types of Salmon
There are several types of salmon that are available commercially and choosing what type of salmon to purchase depends on what you want.
- King (chinook): most expensive but so buttery and rich, considered the best tasting by most people
- Coho (silver): widely available and freezes well, more delicate than King but similar flavor
- Chum: lower in fat, great for smoking,
- Sockeye (red): deep red color, rich flavor
- Pink: mild in flavor, low in fat, doesn’t freeze well, this is what you will often find canned, great for salmon cakes
For this recipe, we use sockeye salmon. It is easy to find here in Utah and we (meaning everyone but me) love the flavor!
How Do I Know When My Salmon is Done?
Salmon is done when easily flaked which can be checked with a fork. When the salmon flakes easily with a fork, it’s ready. It will also change from a translucent red to an opaque pink. The center of the fillet may still be slightly translucent but if the outside is opaque and starting to flake, then it is done!
If you end up with leftover salmon, it is not recommended to reheat it the next day in the microwave. The microwave and fish are not friends! Fast, high heat dries it out and enhances the fishy flavor. If you must reheat it, do it at a low temperature and slowly. Salmon actually tastes great cold and would be a great addition to a salad or sandwich.
Can You Eat Salmon While Pregnant?
Salmon is safe to eat while pregnant, but you should avoid raw preparations, including sushi. Raw fish can contain parasites or bacteria that is harmful to you and your baby while pregnant. Make sure you poach, broil, grill or bake salmon fillets when you’re pregnant.
It Doesn’t Get Any Easier!
Baking this salmon seriously doesn’t get any easier. In fact, you are only 5 simple steps away from having a beautiful and tender salmon fillet dinner!
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Prepare the butter and seasonings but whisking together by whisking together butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, dill, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Place salmon onto the prepared foil-lined baking sheet and fold up all 4 sides of the foil but don’t close it yet. Spoon the butter mixture all over the salmon and then fold the sides of the foil over the salmon and cover it completely, sealing it closed.
- Place the salmon into the oven and bake until it is done which is usually about 15-20 minutes.
- Serve and eat immediately and garnish with fresh chopped parsley if want.
Now you know how to buy your salmon and how to cook it, so what do you eat with it? Well, you all know we love our veggies around here, so I usually will roast or steam some vegetables as a side. These simple roasted garlic veggies or roasted root vegetables are both great options. I also love rice as a side with salmon, so this one pot creamy winter asiago cheese rice is a family favorite!
Looking for more delicious seafood recipes? Try our Simple Apricot Lemon Salmon, Grilled Sticky Honey Lime Shrimp, Asian Sticky Salmon in Foil, Sweet and Spicy Orange Salmon, Popcorn Shrimp, or our Blackened Fish Burger!
Serving Size: 4 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 341 Total Fat: 26g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 102mg Sodium: 199mg Carbohydrates: 2g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 0g Protein: 25g