Cooked in lemon butter with garlic and parsley, this salmon is tender, juicy, and bursting with flavor. It’s super easy to make, takes only 20 minutes before it’s ready, and is nearly dishes-free! Yes, that’s all true. This lemon butter salmon really is that amazing!

Baked Lemon Butter Salmon sitting on foil and surrounded by lemon slices and flavorful lemon butter.

It seems like spring suddenly hit last week. The sun’s been out, and it’s been warm. Well, not overly warm, but warm enough for all our snow to have melted, and to not have to run our fireplace for every waking hour. If you read what I write much—and let’s be honest, you probably don’t—you might know that I make a pretty big deal about the temperature, and seem to have serious issues with the task of heating and cooling the home. We’re just nearing the season where neither heaters nor air conditioners will be necessary, and that makes me oddly excited. I’m also enjoying all the budding flowers and wildlife I get to observe.

Baked Lemon Butter Salmon sitting on foil and surrounded by lemon slices and flavorful lemon butter.

I really hope it’s warming up where you are too, or I’ll feel really bad for bragging about our near-optimal temperatures for the last couple minutes. If it’s still cold where you are, or, even worse, you’ve still got snow, I’m sorry and I feel for you. Maybe warm yourself with a bowl of hot and comforting taco soup?

Anyways, to celebrate the warming spring temperatures, I’ve been enjoying fresh, lemony salmon. I’m not sure if salmon really counts as a spring food, but lemon always makes me think of spring (or summer, which is also on its way), so I’m just going to call it a spring food. Kay?

My favorite thing about this salmon isn’t the tangy, garlicky sauce. Nope. The sauce—and flavor it gives the salmon—is pretty awesome. But, what makes me want this salmon again and again is how tender and juicy it is. The salmon cooks in lemon garlic butter and its own juices, so it’s marinating and steaming and not losing any flavor or moisture.

A forkful of tender and juicy Baked Lemon Butter Salmon in front of a salmon steak, and on the foil it was baked in.

This salmon is not just springy, but it’s also delicious, super quick, easy to make, and is nearly dishes-free.  Yes, low in dirty dishes. That’s a big win in my book, and I think it might be in yours too. I will do just about whatever I can while cooking to dirty as few dishes as possible. Sometimes, it takes little extra effort and sometimes I end up needlessly wasting time and making a bigger mess just to avoid dirtying another pan.

Baked Lemon Butter Salmon sitting on foil and surrounded by lemon slices and flavorful lemon butter. More lemon butter is being spooned onto the salmon steak.

First, melt the butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Then, add the chopped garlic and parsley, squeeze in a lemon, and sprinkle in the salt and pepper. If you feel like another dirty pan is no big deal, then you can also raise the lemon butter stakes. Melt the butter on low heat in a very small saucepan or skillet. Then, add the garlic and saute it until it’s smelling deliciously aromatic. Next, you can add the other ingredients. It’s not absolutely necessary to saute the garlic, but it makes it even better!

Then, all you’ve got to do is lay the salmon out on foil, pour the garlic butter lemon sauce on top of the salmon, and then fold the foil up so it’s sealed around the salmon. Another tip: before pouring the sauce, do something to raise the edges of the foil. Either fold them up or place them on a plate with raised edges. You don’t want any of the sauce escaping out the sides before you have a chance to fold the foil up and around the salmon.

And that’s it. Pop the salmon in the oven, and you’re free for 14 minutes. What to do with that time? Throw together a salad? Clean up the kitchen? Put your feet up and enjoy a drink?

Whatever you do, don’t go too far. In 14 minutes you’re going to be sitting down to eat some juicy salmon.

Baked Lemon Butter Salmon sitting on foil and surrounded by lemon slices and flavorful lemon butter.

Baked Lemon Butter Salmon

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 salmon steaks
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare two sheets of aluminum foil, each about 10-12 inches wide, and place a salmon steak in the center of each sheet of foil.
  3. Mix together the melted butter, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using), and pour the lemon butter mixture over the salmon steaks.
  4. Fold the foil up and over the salmon, so they're completely covered and sealed, and place the salmon packets on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes
  6. Open the open the foil so the tops of the salmon steaks are exposed, then broil for 2 minutes.
  7. Remove the salmon from the oven, spoon some lemon butter over the salmon, and serve.
Notes:
Before pouring the lemon butter over the uncooked salmon, fold or curl up the sides of the foil so the sauce doesn't escape before you fold the foil up and around the salmon. To elevate the lemon butter, melt the butter in a small pan and saute the garlic for a couple minutes. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and proceed as normal.

Tried this recipe? Tell me about it.

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Two pictures of the lemon butter salmon on the foil it was baked in.