Why hello there, may I impress you with my fancy-looking Baked Salmon in Foil? Whether you need a fast, healthy dinner, a meal to wow the crowd, or a simple protein that you can enjoy tonight and eat leftover the next day, this is THE baked salmon recipe for you!

Easy Baked Salmon in Foil with Garlic, Lemon, and Herbs. One of the best simple, healthy recipes. Turns out perfectly every time!

If you’ve been intimidated by cooking fish in the past, I totally get it! I spent years avoiding buying salmon because I thought it would be too complicated to make, or that worse yet, I’d mess it up and ruin a beautiful piece of fish.

All of that changed after I discovered this easy foil-baking method.

This easy baked salmon takes less time to prep (five minutes) than I spent sleepily scrolling through Instagram this morning while brushing my teeth (much more than five minutes).

It’s only five ingredients.

You can make it with one hand, sip your wine with the other, and pet your dog/kids/loving-but-needy significant other at the same time.

Best of all: baked salmon in foil tastes INCREDIBLE.

It feels fancy. It looks fancy. It eats fancy.

Nothing about cooking it is fancy.

Be impressed with yourself anyway!

This baked salmon was the very first salmon I learned to cook with confidence. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve made it since.

It’s become the base of countless easy, delectable salmon recipes like Spicy Baked Salmon and Grilled Salmon in Foil, and it is still a meal I make often, both when I’m cooking for two (Ben and myself) or for a crowd.

It’s also become one of YOUR favorite recipes.

This baked salmon in foil has dozens and dozens of glowing reviews and has been viewed millions of times. Today, I’m dusting it off from the archives in the hopes that if you haven’t made this salmon yet, you’ll give it a try.

And if you have, I hope you’re reminded of how much you enjoyed it and will add it back to your menu soon.

Without further ado: what I (and many of you!) are convinced is the very best baked salmon recipe in the world!

Garlic Baked Salmon in Foil. A heathy, easy baked salmon recipe.

Why Bake Salmon in Foil?

Rarely am I so rewarded for so little effort as when I make easy baked salmon recipes like this baked salmon in foil. It’s dead simple, but so delicious and so good for you too.

  • The foil locks in moisture and ensures that your beautiful piece of salmon turns out flakey, moist, and tender every single time. You don’t need to have ever cooked a piece of fish in your life to make this recipe with success.
  • Foil acts as a flavor incubator. Whatever yummy ingredients you place with the fish in the foil infuse their way into every savory bite.

Don’t want to bake with foil? I have heard that some find it to be a health concern. You can still use this recipe by making baked salmon in parchment paper instead!

  • Follow all of the same recipe steps, but instead of misting the foil with nonstick spray, line the foil sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Lay the salmon on the parchment so that it does not touch the foil. Shape the foil packet around the parchment and bake as directed.

Health Benefits of Baked Salmon

  • Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and decrease risk factors for diseases.
  • It’s a great source of protein, potassium, and selenium, a mineral that protects bone health, improves thyroid function, and reduces the risk of cancer.
  • Salmon can also help reduce the risk of heart disease, aid in weight control, and protect brain health.*

Baked Salmon in Foil – So Many Ways to Love Thee

I’ve cooked baked salmon in foil dozens of different ways. While all you really need for a satisfying piece of baked salmon is salt, pepper, and olive oil, the foil method is easy to adapt to different herbs and ingredients. You have plenty of options to keep it exciting and new.

A few of my favorites include:

  • Baked Salmon in Foil with Lemon and Dill. Follow the recipe below, swapping sprigs of dill for the rosemary. You can also use parsley or green onion or both or whatever other herbs in your refrigerator are threatening to turn brown.
  • Baked Salmon in Foil with Lemon and Butter. No fresh herbs? No problem. Leave them out, and brush the salmon with melted butter instead (I usually do half olive oil/half butter). I don’t recommend dried herbs, as they take away from the freshness of the fish.
  • Garlic Butter Salmon in Foil. Is there anything on my dinner plate that these two ingredients don’t make better? I didn’t think so.
  • Baked Salmon in Pesto. Omit the rosemary. Smother the top of the salmon with pesto and arrange the lemon on top prior to closing the foil packet around it.
  • Baked Salmon with Lemon and Rosemary. The version I am sharing with you today!
Healthy baked salmon in foil with lemon and dill and instructions for how long to bake it at 375 degrees F

How Long to Bake Salmon in Foil

  • In general, a large (2-pound) side of salmon bakes at 375 degrees F in 15 to 20 minutes. This is the size of the salmon you see in these photos.
  • The cooking time can be several minutes longer or shorter depending upon the thickness of your particular piece of salmon.

The Best Temperature for Baking Salmon

Here’s how I determined what temperature is best for baking salmon.

  • Generally when I’m making individual pieces of salmon (about 6-ounce fillets) I turn my oven to 400 degrees F or 425 degrees F. It’s the temperature you’ll find used for this Whole30 Salmon, Soy Ginger Salmon, and Balsamic Salmon. The smaller portions cook quickly and can stand a higher temperature.
  • HOWEVER, I tried making a large side of baked salmon in foil at 400 degrees F (a 2-pound piece like the one you see in these photos) and found that temperature a bit too aggressive.
  • For my next round, I did baked salmon in foil at 350 degrees F. It took longer than I’d hoped and didn’t come out *as* moist as I knew it could be.
  • The final winner: 375 degrees F for a 2-pound side of salmon.
  • The baking time will vary based upon the size and thickness of your salmon. For example, I like to try to buy wild-caught salmon, which in our store usually means sockeye or coho based on inventory. These varieties are thinner and thus cook more quickly.
  • If you are using farm-raised salmon (often the case with the popular Atlantic salmon), your side will likely be thicker and need more time.

Tips for Perfectly Baked Salmon

The one major rule of baking salmon in foil is not to overcook the fish.

  • Baking salmon in foil does give a little leeway because the foil locks in moisture, but you want to pull it out when it is almost but not quite done at the thickest part.
  • A quick pop under the oven broiler will give you a nice finish on the top of the fish and cook it through the rest of the way.
  • If your salmon is almost but not quite cooked and you are worried about overdoing it, you can always remove it from the oven, cover it back up with foil, then let it rest at room temperature for several minutes until it is done to your liking. 

How to Know When Salmon is Done Baking

  • The question that scares so many newbies to fish cooking! Here are the best tips to tell when your salmon is done.
    • You can check for doneness by taking a sharp knife and peeking into the thickest part of your baked salmon piece. If it is beginning to flake, but still has a little translucency in the middle, it is done, or once your salmon flakes easily with a fork, it’s done.
    • Best option: Use an instant read thermometer like this one. The FDA recommends cooking fish to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
    • I find that salmon and other fish will continue to “cook” as they rest after being removed from the oven. I typically remove my salmon early (anywhere between 137 and 140 degrees F), cover the salmon with foil, then let it rest for about 5 minutes. The resting time allows the fish to come up to 145 degrees F.
    • Depending upon your cut of salmon, the fish will likely be pink when it is done and some varieties like coho are naturally a very deep, almost ruby pink. They key is that it is opaque and flakes easily. If it’s a translucent-looking pink, it’s likely not done. Again, testing with an instant read thermometer will remove any doubts.

Skin On or Skin Off?

You can make baked salmon with the skin on or off.

  • Most of the time, I make baked salmon skin on, because that’s how it’s usually cut at the seafood counter. Leaving the skin on also has the benefit of locking in extra moisture (one more step between you and overcooking the fish).
  • After the salmon is baked, the skin comes away easily. You can either remove it from individual pieces before you serve them or avoid eating it after it’s on your plate.
  • Salmon skin is safe to eat and contains many of the same nutritional benefits of the fish. However, some salmon preparations lend themselves better to eating the skin than others. When salmon is baked (like in this recipe), the skin is soft and rubbery (a.k.a. not appealing to eat). If you’d like to eat salmon skin, I recommend a different preparation, such as seared or fried salmon.
  • If you’re planning to serve the salmon to company (or just don’t want to deal with the skin), ask the seafood counter to remove it for you prior to baking the salmon.

Ideas for Leftovers and Reheating

Cooked salmon can be eaten the next day!

  • My favorite ways to enjoy leftover cooked salmon leftover are on top of a salad (I eat it cold or let it come to room temperature first), scrambled with eggs, or mixed into a simple pasta. You could also use it in this recipe for Healthy Shrimp Scampi!
  • Store cooked baked salmon in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.
  • If you’d like to reheat the salmon, be slow and gentle so that the salmon doesn’t dry out. I recommend reheating individual portions, either in the microwave on low power, or in a skillet.
  • To reheat in a skillet: Let the salmon come to room temperature. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium. Once it is hot, add the salmon and a splash of water, then immediately cover it. Let the salmon steam, just until it is heated through, about 2 to 4 minutes.
  • To reheat in the microwave: Let the salmon come to room temperature. Gently warm on medium-low power, just until warmed through.
  • You can freeze baked salmon. Remove it from the skin and freeze in an airtight container for up to two months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. From here, you can use it in any recipe that calls for canned salmon, toss it into a pasta, or use it to make this easy (and freezer friendly!) Salmon Patty recipe.

What to Serve with Baked Salmon in Foil

Perfect baked salmon in foil with vegetables.

Even though baked salmon feels like something you should save for a special night in, I am begging you to give it a chance on your everyday/my-life-is-crazy/someone-feed-me hectic weeknights.

These nights deserve balanced, healthy, wonderful-tasting meals just as much as the slower-paced weekend evenings, perhaps even more so. Since baked salmon in foil is so quick and easy to make, it’s the ideal candidate.

To weeknight fancy!

Easy Baked Salmon in Foil with Garlic, Lemon, and Herbs. One of the best simple, healthy recipes. Turns out perfectly every time!

Baked Salmon in Foil

4.86 from 329 votes
Easy Baked Salmon in Foil with Garlic, Lemon, and Herbs. One of the best simple, healthy recipes. Turns out perfectly every time!

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins

Servings: 6 servings


  • 2 pound side of salmon boneless (skin on or off, depending upon your preference), wild caught if possible
  • 5 sprigs fresh rosemary or fresh herbs of your choice; do not use dried herbs
  • 2 small lemons divided, plus extra for serving as desired
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
  • Additional chopped fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, parsley, dill, or green onion (optional)


  • Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet with a large piece of aluminum foil.
  • Lightly coat the foil with baking spay, then arrange 2 sprigs of the rosemary down the middle. Cut one of the lemons into thin slices and arrange half the slices down the middle with the rosemary. Place the salmon on top.
  • Drizzle the salmon with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Rub to coat, then scatter the garlic cloves over the top. Lay the remaining rosemary and lemon slices on top of the salmon. Juice the second lemon, then pour the juice over the top.
  • Fold the sides of the aluminum foil up and over the top of the salmon until it is completely enclosed. If your piece of foil is not large enough, place a second piece on top and fold the edges under so that it forms a sealed packet. Leave a little room inside the foil for air to circulate.
  • Bake the salmon for 15-20 minutes, until the salmon is almost completely cooked through at the thickest part. The cooking time will vary based on the thickness of your salmon. If your side is thinner (around 1-inch thick) check several minutes early to ensure your salmon does not overcook. If your piece is very thick (1 1/2 inches or more), it may need longer.
  • Remove the salmon from the oven and carefully open the foil so that the top of the fish is completely uncovered (be careful of hot steam). Change the oven setting to broil, then return the fish to the oven and broil for 3 minutes, until the top of the salmon and the garlic are slightly golden and the fish is cooked through. Watch the salmon closely as it broils to make sure it doesn’t overcook and the garlic does not burn. Remove the salmon from the oven. If it still appears a bit underdone, you can wrap the foil back over the top and let it rest for a few minutes. Do not let it sit too long—salmon can progress from “not done” to “over done” very quickly. As soon as it flakes easily with a fork, it’s ready.
  • To serve, cut the salmon into portions. Sprinkle with additional fresh herbs or top with an extra squeeze of lemon as desired.


  • This recipe is best enjoyed the day that it is made, as salmon can dry out when reheated. For reheating suggestions, see blog post above.
  • That said, there are still many yummy ways to use leftover salmon! Try serving it room temperature over a salad the next day, mixing it with pasta, or flaking and scrambling it with eggs.


Serving: 1(of 6), 5.3 ounces salmonCalories: 180kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 28gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 60mgFiber: 1g

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*Health benefits of salmon mentioned in this article were sourced from Healthline and are meant to be for general information, not any kind of specific medical advice. For specific dietary needs, I always recommend contacting your doctor or seeking professional advice.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Outstanding! Quick. Easy. Will definitely be putting this in the rotation. I did lemon butter capers and followed the 400 degree advice for a smaller cut. (2 servings) followed recipe, used parchment between the foil and the skin was on. I like my salmon more on the done side and it was perfect.. popped it back in after checking at 15 minutes with the foil open for another 4 min. Really really good.5 stars

  2. I made this for dinner tonight, it was flaky and very juicy and delicious. We had it with steamed broccoli and fried potatoes. We will certainly make this more often.5 stars

    1. Hi S V, I’m sorry to hear that you had trouble with this recipe. The timing worked well for me (and many other readers), so I wish it would’ve worked for you too. I hope you still enjoyed it! Also there is a “jump to recipe” at the top of the page to take you straight to the recipe if you feel like the information I provide for the recipe is not needed for you.

  3. I just made the pesto lemon version of this. It was the most moist fish I’ve ever cooked. And it was so tasty. To be honest, I just used a covered casserole rather than foil or parchment. Less fuss, environmentally better, and so much easier to check for doneness. I’ll make this over and over,5 stars

  4. Tried this recipe, will just poach it next time as usual . Tasty but trying to get the skin and bones out was difficult. Took a longer time to cook.

      1. Great recipe! I used a mortar and pestle to grind the rosemary and garlic and incorporate it into some butter with pepper and rubbed the fish with butter instead. For bigger fish go a little lower and slower, and for smaller fish turn the temp up and do less time.5 stars

  5. My husband and I have made this salmon many times, we LOVE it. And I have shared with friends who feel the same. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!5 stars

  6. Delicious! Perfect! My husband and 22 year old daughter loved it. Will definitely be making again. I also roasted asparagus for a side and it turned out great also. Thank you for the recipe!5 stars

  7. I cook frequently, wild salmon 1.5 lbs still cold at 10 minutes cooking! Yes, I checked, oven on and at temperature and the salmon rested 10+ minutes. Needs to cook longer!!

    1. Hi June, I think you would need to refer to your owners manual to understand what each number means. I’m not in your kitchen and have no knowledge of your oven or what they mean. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  8. So easy and delicious! I had struggled with how to keep wild salmon from being too dry. This solves it!5 stars

  9. The first time I ever ate salmon at all, let alone cooked it myself, was with this recipe!! I made it a couple weeks ago and it’s haunted me ever since, like, I NEED to have it again, lol. It was so, so incredibly good. Revisiting it tonight! Thank you so much for posting this, it’s genuinely been a life-changing recipe. How wild to discover an all-time favorite meal just from something done on a whim.

    I had to use a little pat of butter rather than olive oil as we were out, but I imagine it’s delicious both ways.5 stars

  10. Do you realize how difficult it is to read your recipes with all the ads loading, causing the text to jump around all over the page?

    1. Hi Michael, I’m truly sorry for any inconvenience the ads caused you! I will certainly keep paying close attention to the number of ads and how they load, as I never want them to hinder your ability to view the recipe or the blog post. I do truly appreciate your feedback and apologize again for the inconvenience! Also, there is a quick and convenient “jump to recipe” button that will help you get to the recipe faster and a print button to have the recipe quickly at your fingertips. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Linda! It could be your oven, as I’ve never had this problem before. Did you check the temperature with an instant read thermometer? What type of salmon are you using and what size? The color of the salmon can differ based on the type. I hope you were still able to enjoy it!

  11. This came out scrumptious, and this is coming from someone who never liked lemon on savory foods until recently. I used hot paprika, salt, and blackening seasoning as my rub. I topped it off with fresh ginger & garlic chopped myself, with fresh rosemary leaves + stalk with freshly sliced lemon. I skipped placing lemons on the top of the salmon pieces because I don’t like it overpowering my dishes. Instead, I placed a slice of lemon under the skin of each piece of salmon, along with fresh rosemary stalks. Came out done but I left it covered with foil a while longer on the counter just to make sure. I had to enjoy a piece before I called it a night. Thank you Erin!5 stars

    1. Jim, would you please share your light lemon sauce. I’m trying to learn to love fish and a lemon sauce sounds helpful .
      Thanks so much.

  12. I found your recipe forever ago and it’s still my go-to way to cook sides of salmon :) I will say that for whatever reason, it takes my oven about 30 minutes or more to get to done-ness in the center when I’m using a large side of salmon ~1-1.5in thick, but it always turns out moist and amazing in the end!5 stars

  13. I have made this recipe numerous times and it’s superb for company as it’s easy to set up ahead of time, but the flavors taste like you slaved! It’s a keeper recipe for sure.5 stars

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