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Baked Salmon Recipe | How to Bake Salmon in the Oven

February 28, 2020


Baked Salmon: So Many Ways

When I was a teenager, my dad moved to rural upstate New York. Before moving to cold upstate New York, he lived on the east coast of Florida. I spent my childhood summers fishing out on the Florida coastline with my dad. We would fish all day and then come home and clean and BBQ our catches. Even as a kid, I didn't shy away from seafood. I ate everything from raw oysters and muscles Fra Diavlo to grilled mahi-mahi and tuna tartar. I credit my dad's years in Florida for giving me my love of seafood. 

When he moved to New York, I was disappointed we would be missing out on our summer fishing trips. I was curious about what my dad would do without fishing or owning a boat. 

Then one September, my dad invited me to upstate New York for a long weekend with my uncle and my grandpa to go fishing. Fishing in upstate New York? I assumed we would be fishing on some lake and releasing everything we caught. 

When I arrived in New York, my dad told me they had chartered a boat, and we were going to be going salmon fishing on Lake Ontario. Salmon? On Lake Ontario? Did I hear him correctly? 

I knew how to eat seafood, but apparently, I was wrong about what I thought I knew about salmon. I had assumed that perfectly pink and delicious fish came from the ocean. But we were going fishing for salmon on one of the Great Lakes, which are freshwater lakes. 

What transpired was a fun guys weekend where I got to see my 75-year old grandpa throw back one too many and still catch more fish than the rest of us combined. The salmon, however, was not what I expected. 

The salmon that came out of Lake Ontario was the same pink or red colored fish you see in the fish market. It was a completely different color, a white-fleshed fish. I was sent home with pounds of freshwater salmon to put in my freezer. I will be honest with you. I was so turned off by the color of the salmon being so far from what I was expecting, that I don't think I ever ate any of it. 

I had never heard of freshwater salmon. I went on living and ignored that fish in my freezer. I don't know whatever happened to that fish. I think I left it in the freezer when I moved out of my apartment and moved into my first house with my wife. 

Years later, I was reminded of this story when I was trying to introduce my wife to eating salmon. When I first met my wife, she didn't eat any seafood. I had slowly introduced her to white fish and shrimp and was gradually trying to encourage her to eat other types of fish, like salmon. 

Where I was put off by the white color of the freshwater salmon, my wife was turned off by the pink/red color of the Pacific Ocean salmon fillets. My wife was worried salmon would taste too "fishy" for her. 

After I told her how turned off I was by the freshwater salmon, we went on a research journey to find out more about salmon and how two fillets of the same fish could look so different. 

*Spoiler Alert* Salmon is now one of my wife's favorites, and it was one of the first soft finger foods we introduced to our toddlers because of how delicious and healthy salmon is! 

Keep reading to find out more about this delicious, beautiful, and versatile fish. 


About Salmon

Salmon is a species of fish native to the tributaries of North America and the Pacific Ocean. Salmon is an interesting species of fish. Salmon are native to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans but swim into freshwater tributaries to spawn or lay eggs. Atlantic Salmon are far less common, and almost no wild-caught salmon is Atlantic salmon. Atlantic salmon were overfished to almost extinction during the 18th and 19th centuries.  

Fishers introduced salmon into some freshwater spots such as The Great Lakes and freshwater salmon are found in these areas where the populations of introduced salmon thrived. Salmon are a superfish! They can live in both freshwater and the salty ocean waters.

Salmon is famous for its meat but also their roe or fish eggs. Salmon roe, commonly referred to as "red caviar" is a delicacy popular with sushi dishes and as a garnish. Salmon roe has a salty briny flavor with a unique texture as the eggs pop in your mouth when eaten. 

Salmon fillets are a beautiful pink to red color that comes from their diet. Salmon are carnivorous fish, and their red coloring comes from eating krill and other small shellfish. Freshwater salmon don't eat the same krill and shellfish diet, which explains why freshwater salmon don't have the same pink to red colored flesh. 


There are several varieties of Pacific salmon: 


  • Wild Alaskan Chinook Salmon: Also known as king salmon. King Salmon have the highest oil content and darker red flesh with a rich flavor. 
  • Chum Salmon: Chum salmon have the widest range and live up and down the Pacific coastline. Chum salmon is a smaller variety of salmon often used for canning or smoking. 
  • Wild Alaskan Coho Salmon: Native to the coastal Alaskan Waters, coho salmon are often lighter in color and milder in flavor than other varieties of salmon. 
  • Masu Salmon: Masu salmon roam the western Pacific Ocean. Masu salmon have tender, slightly sweet flesh. 
  • Wild-Caught Alaskan Pink Salmon: Most commonly used for smoked salmon or canned salmon, pink salmon have a milder flavor and softer texture than other varieties of salmon. 
  • Wild-Caught Alaskan Sockeye Salmon: Sockeye Salmon is an oily variety of salmon with a stronger flavor and darker orange-red flash. 

Salmon are not a long-lived fish. Salmon can range in lifespan from 3-13 years. Atlantic salmon are the longest-lived fish and can reach up to 13 years old with Pink and Masu salmon living only up to three years old. 



Farm-Raised VS. Wild-Caught Salmon:

Salmon populations in the Pacific maintain themselves enough that wild-caught salmon is widely available. Atlantic salmon is rarely wild-caught due to overfishing. 

Commercial fishers catch an average of 1 million tons of wild-caught salmon per year. The vast majority of wild-caught salmon is Pacific salmon. Almost no Atlantic Salmon is wild-caught due to overfishing and damage to their natural habitats. 

Salmon farms produce over 2 million tons of farmed salmon each year. Chili, Norway, Scotland, and Canada are the most popular exporters of farmed salmon. About half of farmed salmon is Atlantic salmon.  

When is Wild Salmon in Season? 

Wild-caught salmon is available fresh from late spring to early fall. The majority of wild-caught salmon comes from Alaskan waters. 

What are the Health Benefits of Salmon? 

Salmon is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which helps fight cancer as well as reduces the risk of heart disease. You can meet your Omega 3 requirements by eating just two servings of salmon per week. The omega 3 wild Alaskan Salmon oil benefits your heart function and is an essential source of DHA for growing children. 

Salmon is a good source of protein. One 4oz fillet of salmon contains 25 grams of protein. Dieticians and nutrition researchers recommend that adults eat 20-30 grams of protein with each meal. 

Another one of the many reasons why salmon is good for you is that salmon is high in essential B vitamins. B vitamins are vital for the protection of your DNA as well as your brain health. One 4oz portion of wild-caught salmon fillet contains high amounts of 7 of the essential B vitamins. 

The world health organization and the American Heart Association both recommend that you eat salmon 2-3 times per week. I was curious if they had any recommendations on farmed salmon, or is wild-caught salmon good for you?

 Interestingly enough, it turned out that wild-caught and farmed salmon has about the same amount of Omega 3's, but farmed salmon can be slightly higher in PCB contaminants. Some farmed salmon live off of soy-based diets with additives to create the pink to red flesh color of wild-caught salmon. 

Salmon is high in potassium and selenium, two essential minerals. Salmon contains more potassium than in the equivalent amount of a banana. 

Salmon is a potent and nutrient-dense food that also tastes delicious. Salmon is also a versatile food standing up to a variety of cooking methods. 

Can You Eat Salmon While Pregnant? 

Not only is salmon safe to eat while pregnant, but its recommended. DHA is essential to the healthy development of babies in utero. The DHA available in wild-caught salmon is great for mom and baby! 

8oz Wild Salmon Nutrition Facts:

Salmon is a nutritious food that packs a boost of essential vitamins and minerals. 

Calories in 8oz of salmon: 440 calories

Protein in 8oz of salmon: 45 grams

Fat in 8oz on salmon: 8.5 grams

Carbs in 8oz of salmon: 0 grams

If you ever wondered, "is wild-caught salmon good for you? Not only is it delicious, but its extremely healthy. Salmon cooks up in many different ways, making it difficult to grow bored of salmon. 

Where Can I buy Wild Salmon?

After telling my wife about fishing for freshwater salmon with my dad, we went on to find out that that freshwater salmon is very different from ocean salmon. Freshwater salmon tastes and looks very different than wild-caught salmon, and I suggested that she might like wild-caught salmon. So, my wife asked me, "where can I buy wild salmon?"  

My wife is obsessed with online shopping. We live very rurally, and it's a long drive to any quality grocery markets. I suggest that she look online and see how much it would cost to order frozen salmon. 

My wife orders groceries online all the time, but she was hesitant when it came to fish. Turns out that ordering wild Alaskan salmon and seafood online is super convenient because it ships to your door over dry ice. The fillets are frozen immediately to preserve their flavor and texture, and they arrive still frozen! 

The wild-caught salmon price per pound comes in around $19.00. Keep in mind that the average serving is one 4oz fillet. One pound of salmon can feed up to four people. 

Salmon is a wildly popular fish worldwide, and the demand for salmon keeps its prices higher than other types of fish. 

What Does High-Quality Salmon Look Like? 

Fresh salmon should have a glossy and smooth look. Depending on the variety of salmon, the color can range from light pink to a deeper reddish-orange. The skin should have no bruising, and the flesh should be free of brown spots. 

Frozen salmon should have minimal ice crystals built up, and the color should be pink to reddish-orange. 

Freshwater salmon will be much paler in color ranging from light pink to even white. 


What Does Cooked Salmon Look like?


Cooked salmon will transform into an opaque pink color when cooked. Cooked salmon will have a tender flakey texture with a mild flavor. Salmon can dry out when overcooked. 


Can you eat Salmon Skin Cooked? 


Salmon fillets are sold two ways, with skin on and with skin off. Salmon Skin can be eaten after the fillets are cooked. Pan-seared salmon is especially delicious, with the skin left intact. The skin crisps up beautifully and tastes delicious. When using harsher cooking methods such as pan-searing and grilled, the skin can protect the fish from drying out during the cooking process. The vitamins and minerals present in the skin are beneficial to your health. If you're hesitant to eat the skin, don't throw it out if you have pets! 

Best Way To Cook Salmon Fillets: 

  • Raw (sushi grade)
  • Cold Smoked (lox) 
  • Smoked
  • Grilled
  • Poached (skin off)
  • Baked
  • Pan-Seared
  • Broiled 
  • Sear and Bake Salmon

There is no one best way to cook salmon fillets. Salmon is an extremely versatile fish, and we recommend you try salmon using a variety of cooking methods. You can broil or bake salmon, grill, poach, or smoke salmon. Or you can order salmon in bulk and try all of the methods and pick your favorite! 

An easy way to cook salmon is in the oven. There are several ways to cook salmon in the oven. You can simply bake salmon with salt, pepper, and lemon, or you can create more elaborate tin foil meals using salmon fillets as your main protein. You can bake salmon covered or uncovered. Covered will give you more of a poached texture to the salmon as it holds in the steam. Baking salmon uncovered will provide you with a roasted feel to the salmon as the moisture is allowed to escape. 

Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Recipes: 

  • Garlic Butter Baked Salmon
  • Salmon and Broccoli Bake
  • Baked in foil with lemon and herbs
  • Honey Garlic Salmon
  • Miso Salmon Bake
  • Lemon Pepper Salmon Bake
  • Salmon and Potato Bake
  • Alaska Salmon Bake
  • Baked Salmon with Mayonnaise Recipe
  • Salmon Casserole Bake
  • Salmon and Spinach Bake
  • Salmon Bake Seattle

Can You Bake Salmon Frozen? 

The simple answer is yes, can bake frozen salmon. When baking salmon from frozen, you just have to be careful not to overcook the outside before the inside reaches a food-safe temperature. How long you bake frozen salmon will vary depending on the cut. If you bake frozen salmon fillets, they will take less time than when you bake salmon steaks. Fillets are thinner than steaks and take less time, even when frozen. 


Baked Salmon

How to Bake Salmon From Frozen 

If you've run out of time or forgot to defrost your salmon before dinner, don't worry. Baking frozen salmon can be done. If your salmon is frozen, you will start to bake them covered. Cooking frozen salmon covered allows the fillets to be surrounded by steam and defrost quickly in the oven before beginning to cook through. Halfway through, uncover your salmon and finish baking. 

This two-step method of baking salmon covered and then uncovered will give you flakey moist salmon fillets that reach a safe internal temperature without overbaking on the outside. When baking salmon from frozen, it helps to leave the skin on to protect the salmon from overbaking on the outside.  

How long to Bake Salmon Fillets at 375? 

After we ordered our salmon, I wondered how long does it take to cook salmon

I always default to baking things at 375 in the oven, but I wondered if it was different for salmon. As it turns out, the internet didn't exactly know!  

Experts disagree on what temp to cook salmon in the oven. Some argue that lower temperatures cause the inside of the salmon fillets to come to a food-safe temperature too slowly while the outside overcooks. Others swear by cooking salmon fillets at a higher oven temperature for shorter periods. 

Either way, you want to start watching your salmon closely after 10 minutes in the oven. Baking time will vary depending on the size of your fillets, if they are frozen or fully defrosted, and if you're baking them covered or uncovered. 

How long does it take salmon to cook?

Depending on the size of your fillets or steaks, salmon fillets will take anywhere from 10-15 minutes to bake in the oven. Grilled salmon fillets will take 5-7 minutes on the higher temps of the grill.

How long to Bake Salmon Steaks? 

The same thing goes for salmon steaks, which are generally thicker cut with the skin still on. Keep an eye on your salmon and watch for doneness any time after the 10-minute mark.  

Salmon is so flexible you can even learn how to bake salmon in the toaster oven!  

Baked Salmon Recipe:  

This recipe for simple baked sockeye salmon steaks is delicious and healthy. You can use this guide as a baked salmon fillets recipe. You will just need to adjust the cooking times for fillets. 

Baked Sockeye Salmon with Spiced Rub



  • 1 Tablespoon of finely ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of ground Coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of kosher salt.

Mix all of the ingredients for the rub in a bowl. Store in an airtight container, you will only be using a little bit for this baked salmon.  


For this recipe, you will be using 1 1- 2lbs of Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Steaks. 

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  
  • Prepare a shallow glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  • Lay salmon down in the pan. 
  • Sprinkle approximately one teaspoon of the prepared spice rub on each piece of fish. 
  • Let salmon marinate with the spice rub for ten minutes before baking. 
  • Bake the salmon in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Salmon should flake easily when cooked. 

The best oven-baked salmon recipe ever is all of them. This recipe can easily be altered to fit your mood. Instead of the spice rub, sprinkle some fresh lemon juice and baked the salmon fillets with the lemon wedges for delicious citrus baked salmon. Salmon is complimented by many flavors including citrus, blackened spices, lemon and capers, and especially garlic. The flavor possibilities with salmon are endless.  

**If you prefer a crispier skin, you can sear the salmon and then bake it as described in the oven.

When making dinner, you can cook extra salmon to save for leftovers. Try this recipe for a leftover salmon salad. 

Salmon Salad: 


  • 3 Cups of spring mix salad.
  • 1/4 red onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
  • 4 oz of leftover cooked salmon, flaked. 

Creamy Yogurt Dill Dressing: 

  • 1 1/4 cup of Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Mix everything into a bowl and whisk until combined. Store in an airtight container. 
  • Combine salad ingredients
  • Top salad with flaked cold salmon
  • Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of yogurt dill dressing onto the salmon salad. 
  • Enjoy! 

Dill and yogurt dressing go perfectly with salmon. You can even use this dressing as a marinade for salmon before baking it. Dill and lemon compliment salmon beautifully!  

Ordering salmon online is an easy and convenient way to add this powerful superfood into your diet. Your salmon will ship to you over dry ice to ensure it remains frozen. After its caught, salmon is processed and flash frozen to ensure the best flavor and texture.  

How do you like to eat salmon? 

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