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baked salmon in plate with roasted asparagus on the side (2)

Lemon & Garlic Baked Salmon Recipe

This oven baked salmon recipe comes together in under 30 minutes, making it a perfect addition to your weeknight meals! It's packed with flavor, doesn't take many ingredients, and is super easy to make.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste if needed
  • 4 fresh salmon fillets, about ½ pound each
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, peeled and sliced in half horizontally *(see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh lemon slices and chopped parsley (optional - for topping)


  • Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 400°F.
  • In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice, water, olive oil, and salt. Whisk together to combine, and set aside.
  • Arrange salmon fillets in a 9x15 inch baking dish. **(see notes) Cut 2 shallow holes on the surface of each fillet on the thicker end of the salmon. Take care not to cut through to the bottom of the salmon. Insert half a garlic clove into each hole so it's embedded within the meat.
  • Pour the lemon juice mixture on top of the fillets. Sprinkle each fillet with granulated sugar (which helps yield better browning on the fillets!) and black pepper.
  • Bake the salmon in your preheated 400°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the salmon is golden on top and cooked through. If needed, broil for about 1 to 2 minutes on low at the end of the cooking time to caramelize and brown the top.
  • Take the salmon out of the oven, and serve plain or garnished with lemon slices and parsley.


* If your garlic is smaller, you may need 2 full cloves per salmon fillet (for a total of 8). Medium to large cloves should be sliced in half just so they fit comfortably without breaking the salmon meat.
** Avoid using aluminum based baking dishes for this salmon! The acid in the salmon sauce can react with certain types of baking dishes and produce an off flavor. The safest bet is to use glass or ceramic bakeware. If you own a metal baking dish, and you have experience making acidic foods in it (without incident), then it should be fine to use.
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