Oven Baked Salmon with Tarter Sauce


Did you know that salmon is one of the healthiest foods you can eat? Salmon is full of Omega 3 fatty acids that your brain needs to function properly. A 100 gram serving has only 232 calories but 25 grams of protein! This is a great option for those on the Keto or low carb diet! This can also be on your table in 30 minutes!

This baked salmon meal is one of my family’s favorites! I make it atleast once or twice a month because of it’s ease in cooking and health benefits. Eating fish on a regular basis has been found to keep your heart and joints healthy, maintain low blood pressure, and prevent chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer. I like that idea since my husband has already battled cancer once in his life and the genes for it are on both sides of the family.

How to Bake Salmon

Baked salmon is extremely easy to prepare and takes hardly any effort! Just make sure you pick a quality piece of salmon that doesn’t have a “fishy” smell. Clean, fresh fish should not have an odor. If it does, it’s probably old.

First, line a cookie sheet with foil for easy clean-up. Then place your piece of salmon in the middle. (I made two pieces because I love the leftovers!)

Second, sprinkle on Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Third, cut small portions of butter and place them around the fish. I use Imperial butter. Make sure the butter is cold or room temperature so that it can melt over the fish as it cooks.

Lastly, slice a lemon and put a few slices on top. Squeeze just a little bit of lemon juice over the salmon.

Simply bake the salmon at 350 degrees for about 20 to 30 minutes. Salmon cooks quickly and it is easy to dry out, so be sure to check it at the 20 minute mark. Thicker pieces of salmon will obviously need longer to cook. The pieces in my pictures were about an inch thick in some parts so they took almost 30 minutes.

You will know the salmon is done when it flakes easily away from the skin. See how it kind of separates itself into segments? Most of the bones will probably already have been removed, but there might be a few fragments in the thicker part of the meat.

While the salmon is cooking, I usually make a batch of rice pilaf and steam some vegetables. It makes for a complete, healthy dinner. And I LOVE the leftovers the next day! If this recipe appeals to you, you may also want to try my recipe for Dijon Salmon and Sauteed Snap Peas.

How to Make Tarter Sauce

tarter sauce for baked salmon recipe

This easy baked salmon recipe is perfectly flaky and delicious without tarter sauce, but this smooth condiment adds just the right amount of creaminess to the fish. I like to make my tarter sauce first so that it has time to chill in the fridge. Warm tarter sauce is just WRONG. Don’t even go there! Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make it:

1 cup of mayonnaise

1/2 cup chopped dill pickles (Use Claussen chilled dill pickles! They are the absolute best! In fact, I use them and ONLY them in my Grandma Ruth’s Chunky Potato Salad Recipe!)

1 teaspoon of the pickle juice the pickles were in

1 Tablespoon freshly minced parsley

2 teaspoons of lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced dill

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Simply mix all of these ingredients together and chill them in the fridge for atleast 1 hour and up to 2 days!

Now you have another delicious but healthy dinner you can add to your rotation of meals! If you would like more easy family dinner ideas, check out my Recipe Index where you’ll find Crockpot Meals, 30 Minute Meals, and tasty Entrees the whole family will love. Happy cooking y’all!

Oven Baked Salmon with Tarter Sauce

This easy 30 minute baked salmon recipe is the perfect weeknight meal since it is both quick and healthy. You'll find it extra delicious with the creamy tarter sauce recipe.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Servings 2 -4


  • For the Baked Salmon:
  • 2 8-12 oz pieces fresh salmon skin on
  • 1/4 cup butter cut into slices use stick butter
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon slices and juice
  • For the Tarter Sauce:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Claussen dill pickles plus 1 teaspoon juice
  • 1 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp minced fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • to add a kick, consider a dash of red pepper flakes, a chopped green onion, or a tsp of Dijon


  • Mix all of the tarter sauce ingredients together in a medium sized bowl and chill for atleast 1 hour.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil for easy clean up.
  • Place salmon on cookie sheet 1-2 inches apart, skin side down.
  • Sprinkle fish with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Cut up butter into slices and lay over fish about 1-2 inches apart.
  • Lay lemon slices on top and sprinkle with juice.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Thicker pieces of salmon will need 30 minutes.
  • Salmon should be flaky and tender, easily lifting from the skin.
  • Optional: serve with rice pilaf, quinoa, or your favorite vegetable. Use prepared tarter sauce for dipping.


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