Divine Baked Salmon Recipe in a creamy tart Alfredo Sauce! This is one of my favorite salmon recipes aside from smoked salmon that is served cold. Learn how to bake salmon in the oven with the right seasonings and perfectly tart salmon sauce!
Salmon fish is a seafood treat! That’s why when we cook salmon it has to be used up in a tasty way! Check out our other Salmon recipes like our Gravlax Lox, Easy Salmon Patties Recipe, or Teriyaki Salmon with honey glazed topping!
Baked Salmon Recipe
This salmon recipe comes from my in-laws who served this for an engagement and wedding–talk about salmon for a crowd at its finest! It is like a creamy Tuscan salmon minus the pan-seared process and is the easy way of cooking salmon in the oven (whole.)
Here is this salmon served at a banquet for an engagement party (large crowd of 50+).
Thanks to the creamy, tangy flavored alfredo sauce you won’t have dry salmon! Each salmon slice was marinated with mayo and garlic seasoning then topped with a red butter sauce and oven-baked to perfection!
I topped it with a capers alfredo sauce before serving which is just divine! However, you can infuse alfredo sauce with salmon roe, (red caviar), lemon juice, or vinegar which all bring out the best of the fish flavor.
We love it with Roasted Potato Wedges or Creamy Mashed Potatoes but you can serve this baked salmon with roasted asparagus, pasta, Shrimp Fried Rice, broccoli, pan-fried green beans, Shrimp Alfredo, leafy greens, and a vinegarette Cabbage Salad.
What Type of Salmon Is Best For Baking?
Did you know an entree with a 6 oz salmon fillet costs around $20 at a restaurant! You can buy a whole salmon fish for that price and make your own white rice with steamed veggies right at home for a fraction of the cost of eating out! So, this is a very frugal way to feed a family on a budget!
We usually buy Fresh Atlantic salmon but if you’re at the seafood market you can choose from Scottish, Steelhead salmon, King salmon, or Wild-caught salmon which is deeper in red color and lean in texture. The sockeye salmon (species of Alaska) has a deep red salmon color too and pink salmon is a pacific salmon popular in Russia. Whichever fillet you choose will work for this oven-baked salmon.
The types of salmon may vary from region to region depending on which coast you live on, look for varieties easily available to you. You want a red salmon color however, most selections come in pink.
How To Cook Salmon In The Oven?
How long you bake salmon will determine the juiciness! If you are baking a 3-pound fillet at 375°F the cooking time can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes. I’m using a 3-pound salmon that you see in these photos and it took me around 30 minutes to cook this large fillet.
To bake salmon place your salmon in the center of your foil-lined baking sheet and pour the melted butter over the salmon slices. You do not need to grease your pan as the mayonnaise greases the pan. Bake until the desired doneness (130°F-145°F.) And broil the salmon to deepen and enhance the browning.
- Carefully remove the skin from the fillet, using a sharp knife.
- Marinate the salmon fillet with mayo and garlic salt for at least 4-7 hours in the refrigerator. Overnight is best.
- Remove the fillet from the fridge and transfer the fish to a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Slice the 3-pound salmon fillet into 1-inch slices.
- Melt the butter and mix with paprika and garlic salt.
- Drizzle the salmon with melted butter.
- Bake the salmon in a pre-heated 375°F for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the alfredo sauce for the salmon topping.
- Serve the baked salmon with the alfredo sauce and fresh dill. Enjoy with your favorite sides!
Note: how long to cook salmon will depend on the size of your fillet. A 3-pound side takes 25-30 minutes to cook at 375°F.
Baking Temperature and Time:
This recipe is for baking a whole 3-pound salmon fillet. You’ll want to bake this gently at an oven temperature of 375°F for 25-30 minutes. Note smaller fillets will take a quicker time to bake. Generally, if you are using an instant-read thermometer look for internal doneness of 130°F or more, 125°F is medium-rare and 145°F can dry out the fish. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the salmon when checking.
A good temperature to cook this salmon is 375°F (191°C). For broiled salmon broil the fish for the last 2 minutes of baking time to blister the top.
When checking for doneness without a thermometer, run a fork through the thickest part of the flesh, if the fish flakes and looks opaque in color it’s a sign of doneness.
Salmon Internal Temp?
The salmon cook temp should have an internal reading of 145°F which means it is done. However, some think it’s perfect when the internal thermometer reads 130°F. An evident sign the salmon has cooked is when you notice white coagulates on the surface of your salmon, that’s called albumin. Albumin is a protein that coagulates as the fish cooks and is a sign the salmon is cooking.
Can You Eat Salmon Skin?
You can eat the skin of your salmon fillet if you purchased it from a good source. In fact, healthcare experts claim that the salmon nutrition for eating salmon skin contains the highest application of omega-3 fatty acids on the fish. However, I don’t eat the skins they are too chewy and soft for me unless it was pan-seared salmon or fried in batter.
You can leave the salmon skin intact and eat it cooked if the scales have been removed. However, I removed the skin of my salmon before baking. This makes serving a breeze as each piece is individually sliced and ready to serve straight from the oven. It’s not a good idea to slice the fish after it has baked as the flesh is fragile and flaky.
To Remove Skin Off The Salmon: using a sharp knife, slide the knife right under the corner of the skin. Continue to carefully run the knife under the skin pulling up the skin to peel it off.
Checking For Bones:
Generally, large salmon fillets are already cleaned with the center bones already removed, however, if you purchase a whole salmon fish you will need to remove any long white pin bones running down the middle of the fillet with tweezers or thin pliers. Pick them out in the direction the grain is facing to prevent the flesh from tearing on you.
Best Seasoning For Salmon?
Fish is best with salty bold flavors and a pop of tartness from vinegar or lemon juice (there’s a reason why lemon garlic salmon is popular). Melted butter is also a popular pick because it just pairs well with flaky flesh. A great seafood tenderizer is mayonnaise and garlic salt which is salty and loaded with flavors.
There are so many ways to make a salmon seasoning, it’s a matter of what flavors you want to represent. This dish is a simple salmon recipe with a rich tart Alfredo sauce. Go bold by making blackened salmon and, use creole seasoning or make a simple grilled salmon recipe with garlic and butter.
Season your fish with spices or tasty sauces like teriyaki, Alfredo sauce, cream, dill sauce, or mustard. Marinades and cheeses can also enhance the flavors.
Sides For Salmon?
Sauce For Salmon?
This salmon fillet recipe is best with a creamy white alfredo sauce. I basically scaled down my Alfredo Sauce Recipe that I infused with a tablespoon of capers. However white distilled vinegar or lemon juice can be substituted. Acidic and fatty (melted butter) ingredients add much depth and flavoring to a baked salmon recipe.
How To Marinade Baked Salmon?
Mayonnaise is the secret to tasty and moist fish. Russians and Ukrainians use mayo with fish and it works like a tenderizer!
- To marinade salmon, rub mayonnaise and garlic salt into the fillet.
- Marinade the fillet for 7-24 hours before baking.
How Long Does Salmon Last In The Fridge?
Salmon is good in the fridge for up to 3 days once baked. Keep stored in an airtight container or cover well with plastic wrap. Do try to avoid fish from sitting out for long periods of time as seafood spoils more quickly than other meats.
Salmon is good for you if you can get wild-caught or Alaskan salmon. It has a good source of vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, potassium, and selenium. It’s lean and a lighter protein than chicken. This fatty fish is nutritious especially as a broth to fish soup, so, don’t throw away those bones!
Best Tips For Baked Salmon:
- Slice your salmon fillets into individual pieces BEFORE baking rather than baking it whole this will make serving a breeze without ruining the presentation.
- Swap out sunflower or coconut oil for the melted butter. There are ways to use milk-free solids including ghee.
- Sweet paprika is the secret to a red hue! Or you can use seasoned salt seasoning to give a nice golden hue.
- Add fresh herbs like dill to enhance the presentation! I sprinkled frozen dill over the baked salmon which goes best.
- Pour hot Alfredo sauce right over the baked fillet as soon as it comes out of the oven.
- Bake every 1.5 pounds of salmon for approximately 10 minutes.
- To check if salmon is done look to see if the flesh turned from translucent orange to an opaque pink hue. The salmon should flake easily and have an internal reading of 125-145°F (52-60°C.)
- The best way to cook salmon is in the oven (aka roasted salmon.) It won’t splatter from being pan-fried and can serve a crowd easily.
- Salmon cooks quickly so keep the oven temperature at medium gentle heat to prevent the fish from releasing too many fats then drying out.
More Salmon Recipes:
- Easy Salmon Burgers
- Teriyaki Glazed Salmon Recipe (One Pan Meal)- baked salmon fillets with soy sauce and a honey glaze.
- Salmon Avocado Canapés– with mashed avocados and smoked salmon.
- Salmon with Shrimp and Mushroom Alfredo
- Spicy Tuna Roll– turn it into a spicy salmon roll!
Handy Equipment For Cooking Salmon:
- Instant Read Meat Thermometer for Cooking- salmon is done if it reads anywhere from 130°F-145°F.
- 18x13 Sheet Pan– perfect for a 3-pound salmon fillet! Place the large fillet diagonally across the pan to fit.
- Aluminum Foil- easy cleanup!
- Spatula– to carefully transfer the sliced salmon fillets over to a platter.
- Large Plastic Tray– to marinade salmon fillet or use a disposable turkey bag.
- 2-quart saucepan– to make the Alfredo sauce and melted butter mixture.
- Wire Whisk-for making the salmon sauces.
How to Bake Salmon:
Baked Salmon in Alfredo Sauce
- 1 sheet-pan
- 1 2-quart saucepan
- 3 lb salmon fillet
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 2 tsp garlic salt
- 6 Tbsp butter (melted)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3 slices White American Cheese
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 3/4 Tbsp cornstarch
- 3/4 tsp garlic salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp capers*
How to make Baked Salmon:
- Rub the mayonnaise and garlic salt into the fillet. Marinade the salmon for 4-7 hours or overnight.
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Place salmon diagonally onto a foiled-lined 18x13 baking sheet and slice into 1-inch pieces.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the paprika. Pour over the salmon and evenly coat the fillet with the butter sauce.
- Bake salmon for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the alfredo sauce. Mix together the parmesan cheese, cornstarch, garlic salt, pepper, and onion powder; set aside. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan and whisk in the dry mix. Stir in the American cheese, garlic, and capers until cheese melts. Set aside.
- Using a spatula carefully transfer the fillets to a serving dish and ladle alfredo sauce over the center. Garnish with dill. Serve.
- Substitute capers by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white distilled vinegar to the alfredo sauce. I used Mezzetta non-pareil capers. It adds amazing tartness!
- Charred Lemon Slices: For an extra pretty presentation, sear the rims of thinly sliced lemons!
- For a lighter salmon hue add 1/2 tsp paprika to the melted butter.
Nutrition per serving
, this will make for a lighter