Thanks to easy recipes like this Spicy Salmon Recipe, all that I (and you!) need to make a gorgeous meal is a few ingredients, a big piece of foil, and a baking sheet.

Spicy salmon recipe with lime slices in foil

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This healthy baked salmon recipe is a riff on my everlasting, always reliable Baked Salmon in Foil.

TIP!

Wrapping the salmon in foil then baking it in the oven seals in the salmon’s juices, resulting in marvelously moist fish! This Teriyaki Salmon is exactly that!

After making it (literally) dozens of times (and, all my other healthy salmon recipes), I can tell you it is the best baked salmon recipe in the world.

It’s also incredibly adaptable!

  • For today’s sweet and spicy baked salmon twist, I took the same core concept of baking salmon in the oven in a large foil a completely different flavor direction.
  • You only need a couple of ingredients to make it, and the resulting spicy baked salmon wow factor will have you returning to the recipe again and again.

Even if you’ve never cooked fish before, this recipe is completely within your reach.

Spicy baked salmon in foil recipe

5 Star Review

“My daughters and I agree this is our favorite salmon recipe ever! The flavor is amazing and the cooking instructions were perfect.”

— Gilliane —

How to Make this Spicy Salmon Recipe

This recipe is embarrassingly easy, and it’s going to make you feel like a pro chef.

  • I love it for company because I can prep it in advance, it feels special and fancy but isn’t overly showy, and my friends consistently rave.
  • I also love spicy baked salmon for weeknight meals. It takes roughly five minutes to throw together, it’s healthy, and I can use the salmon in a variety of ways, as you’ll see in the serving suggestions below.

The Ingredients

  • Salmon. Because this recipe is so simple, you can’t hide behind a poorer quality piece of fish. It is always worth it to spend a few dollars more a pound to ensure you have a high-quality fillet. Look for wild caught varieties and avoid farm-raised, fatty Atlantic salmon if you can. These salmon are often fed an artificial diet and are lower in nutrients. They’re also typically more watery.
  • Chipotle Chile Powder. A spice that goes well with salmon, it’s deep, smoky, spicy, and will add incredible dimension to any recipe that calls for it. If you are making this recipe for kids or others who are sensitive to spice, use less.
  • Lime. A fab combo with chipotle, lime cuts through the heat and adds freshness.
  • Brown Sugar. Optional but tasty. I like that it makes this a sweet and spicy salmon recipe (and it tastes spectacular on my Broiled Salmon), so I add 1 tablespoon to the rub.

Ingredient Note

If you prefer or are looking for Whole30 salmon recipes or Paleo salmon recipes, leave the brown sugar out (or make this Whole30 Salmon or Lemon Pepper Salmon.)

The Directions

  1. Let the salmon sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then pat it dry. Place it on a piece of aluminum foil, set atop a large rimmed baking pan (if your foil isn’t large enough, layer to pieces together).
Two pieces of fish on foil
  1. Stir the spice rub ingredients together. Brush the salmon with oil and lime juice, then coat it in the spice rub.
  2. Fold the foil over the salmon and seal it. Bake salmon at 375 degrees F for 12 to 18 minutes. Open the foil. Broil for 3 minutes. The internal temperature should be around 135 degrees F.
  3. Cut into salmon fillets, serve with cilantro, and DIG IN!
Spicy baked salmon in a piece of foil

Spicy Salmon Rub Variations

While I’m partial to the original spicy salmon rub used in this recipe, here are a few ideas for how you can add flavor to salmon in other ways:

  • Indian Spicy Salmon Recipe. Indian flavors go well with salmon. Instead of the spice rub listed in this recipe, use 1 teaspoon curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
  • Spicy Garlic Salmon. Add 1 teaspoon garlic powder to the rub mixture.
  • Cajun Salmon Rub. Omit the chipotle chile powder and half of the salt. The lime is optional or swap for lemon and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Add 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning.
  • Japanese Spicy Salmon Recipe. Inspired by a spicy salmon sushi recipe, you can make this soy sauce Teriyaki Salmon, adding a hot element such as red pepper flakes, sriracha sauce, or another hot sauce of choice to the glaze. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.
  • All Purpose Seasoning. My favorite Salmon Seasoning combination hits the spot every time!

How to Serve Spicy Baked Salmon

In addition to serving this spicy baked salmon on its own, I also love it for:

  • Spicy Salmon Tacos. Pile inside tortillas and top with the creamy slaw recipe I use in these Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Taco Slaw. Or, give these scrumptious Salmon Tacos a try.
  • Spicy Salmon Bowls. Serve over rice or cauliflower rice with lots of avocado and Greek yogurt, chopped cilantro, and diced tomatoes. Chunks of roasted sweet potato would be a tasty add-in too.
  • Spicy Salmon Salad. Serve over chopped romaine with chopped fresh tomatoes and the dressing used for this BLT Chopped Salad (feel free to keep the bacon). It would also be delish over this Grilled Corn Salad.
A piece of fish topped with lime slices and cilantro

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate salmon in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • To Reheat. Very gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Freeze salmon in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months.

Storage Tips

Frozen and thawed salmon works wonderfully in any recipes where you’d use canned salmon (like pasta dishes, stir fries, egg scrambles, or Salmon Patties).

What to Serve with this Spicy Salmon Recipe

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

Versatile Baking Sheets

These baking sheets are perfect for everything from cookies to roasted vegetables to baked salmon.

Spicy baked salmon in aluminum foil with lime slices

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Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

If you decide to try this spicy baked salmon recipe (or any of the suggested spinoffs!), let me know how it turns out for you in the comments section below. I always love hearing from you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Marinate My Salmon?

While I recommend marinating salmon for certain recipes like Teriyaki Salmon Bowl, it is not necessary to make a spicy salmon marinade for this recipe.

How Long Does Salmon Need to Bake in the Oven?

For this recipe, I recommend baking the salmon at 375 degrees F for 12 to 18 minutes. Then, it will be broiled for 3 minutes more. For more tips, see this Baked Salmon Temperature Guide.

Can I Make this Recipe on the Grill?

Certainly! Season the salmon as directed in the recipe, then follow the cooking instructions from my Grilled Salmon in Foil recipe.

Spicy baked salmon in aluminum foil with lime slices

Spicy Salmon Recipe

4.80 from 20 votes
A spicy salmon recipe that results in flaky, tender salmon with a sweet and spicy chipotle lime rub. It's easy, healthy, foolproof, and impressive!

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 3/4 pounds side of salmon wild caught if at all possible (skin on or off; if I’m not in a hurry, I ask the seafood counter to remove the skin, but both work well)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar optional; omit for Paleo or Whole30
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
  • 1 medium lime zest and 1 tablespoon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or melted unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions
 

  • Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for 10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil large enough to easily wrap all the way around the salmon and seal it. Lightly coat the foil with nonstick spray. With paper towels, lightly pat the salmon dry. Place the salmon in the center.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, chipotle chile powder, lime zest, and salt. Brush the salmon with the olive oil (or melted butter) and lime juice. Sprinkle with the chipotle seasoning mixture, rubbing if needed to coat the salmon evenly.
  • 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 12 to 18 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 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 is slightly golden and the fish is cooked through. Watch the salmon closely as it broils to make sure it doesn’t overcook. 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 overdone very quickly. As soon as it flakes easily with a fork, it's ready. Alternatively, you can check the salmon's temperature with an instant-read thermometer. At 145 degrees F, it is done.
  • To serve, cut the salmon into portions. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro or top with an extra squeeze of lime juice as desired.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate salmon in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Very gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze salmon in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 329kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 40gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 109mgPotassium: 1006mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 327IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 2mg

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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. Made this simple salmon recipe for my wife and I tonight and it was delicious. Used a Cajun seasoning (Tony Chacheres) instead of chipotle chili but it was amazing. Can’t wait for the tacos tomorrow with the leftovers.5 stars

    1. Hi Sandra! I haven’t tried this salmon recipe on the grill but I make something similar. Here is that recipe to give you guidance on cooking time and temperature. https://www.wellplated.com/grilled-salmon-in-foil/ Let me know if you decide to experiment!

    1. Hi Stephanie, this is hard to say because I’ve only made this recipe using a larger filet. I would start checking the internal temperature at around 9 minutes. Hope this helps!

  2. We have salmon at least once a week, and I’m always looking for new recipes – this is one of the best I’ve come across and will be added to my standard lineup! My husband doesn’t usually like things very spicy, but I do – this one had the kick I crave, but the sugar and lime balanced it out for him. Delicious!!!5 stars

  3. Thank you . Best Salmon recipe I tried the spicy salmon . Family enjoyed and shared with my neighbor.5 stars

  4. Amazing!… best salmon ever!
    I did use the brown sugar, as well as sesame oil….. I didn’t have chipotle spice, so I used chili powder.
    Still amazing!!!
    Our new favorite!5 stars

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