When I moved into my first apartment back in 2010 I only knew how to make a few dishes. Spaghetti, chicken Cesar salad, and breakfast foods were in heavy rotation. Even the fact that I grew up in the kitchen helping my mom and watching my grandmother cook, there was something different about cooking in my kitchen. I didn’t have anyone looking over my shoulder or giving me directions and for a moment, I missed that. So while I learned how to completely cook on my own I slowly added a few more dishes to my weekly rotation and Salmon was definitely one of them. It wasn’t always roasted and tender but it was edible and I was proud of it. All that said, I think everyone should have a quick, delicious, and simple oven roasted salmon recipe in their back pocket. It’s always a great entertaining option as well as a nice weekday meal.
When making roasted salmon there a few things to keep in mind:
- Fresh vs Frozen: The salmon should be fresh. If you use frozen salmon filets you will have a challenging time achieving the flakiness and tenderness that fresh salmon will provide.
- Cooking fat: I like to roast salmon in duck fat. I enjoy the flavor and the way the fish cooks in the duck fat. If you don’t have duck fat you can use EVOO, grape seed, and even avocado oil.
- When baking or roasting salmon you absolutely want to cover the salmon in foil so that you’re creating steam and keeping the fish tender. Without the foil it will be a little drier than what you might expect. Finish the cooking by running the salmon under the broiler for just a few minutes for color and crisp.
The seasoning for this recipe is very simple and versatile; salt, pepper, Herbes de Provence, and brown sugar. This blend is light, slightly sweet, with a subtle savoriness from the Herbes de Provence. I chose this blend because you can enjoy the flavors with just about any pairing. If you prefer a salmon with a heavier seasoning feel free to add or swap out the seasonings as you please, just keep the cooking method the same.
How to make a Simple Oven Roasted Salmon
Preheat the oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil then start preparing the fish. When making salmon always remove it from the refrigerator for about 10 minutes before you cook it, as room temperature is best. Rub the oil all over the fish and evenly season with salt, pepper, Herbes de Provence, and brown sugar. Cover the salmon with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cooking times might vary based on the thickness of your salmon so be sure to keep an eye on it.
Once the salmon is almost completely cooked uncover the salmon and change the oven temperature to broil. Broil the salmon for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. You can check for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part and if the internal temperature reads 145° it should be done. You can also check for doneness by inserting a knife in the thickest part to ensure it’s light pink and flaky.
Serve this salmon with your favorite side dishes and even as a sandwich. My favorite way to enjoy salmon is in a salad and glass of white wine. Again, this is a super versatile recipe and I encourage you to play around with some of your favorite spices. As long as you follow the cooking method it will always turn out tender and flaky. Enjoy!