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Once I discovered that Slow Roasted Salmon always comes out buttery and meltingly tender, I've never looked back. Dinner party elegant, but easy enough for a weeknight it never disappoints.
Brushed with olive oil and seasoned simply with salt and pepper, the salmon fillet cooks low and slow. This recipe has you drizzle the cooked salmon with a silky lemon butter sauce with capers and finish with a shower of fresh chives and parsley. But that's just one of endless options. Take the finishing touch in any direction that compliments the rest of your meal (suggestions below).
Ingredients You Need to Make Slow Roasted Salmon
- Salmon: Ideally a wild salmon fillet of uniform thickness. A tail cut works just fine, but the thinner areas will cook more than the thickest parts. Salmon varieties to look for: King Salmon (also called Chinook Salmon), Coho Salmon, or Sockeye Salmon.
- Olive Oil: Your favorite extra-virgin variety.
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Butter: Salted or unsalted butter - whatever you have on hand.
- Capers: Ideally tiny, firm, flavorful non-pareil capers, rinsed and drained.
- Lemon: You'll need one lemon to juice for the sauce and a second if you'd like to serve your salmon with lemon wedges.
- Chives: Look for perky, deep green chives.
- Parsley: Fresh flat leaf or curly parsley - use the variety you like best.
Salmon Cooking FAQ
You can cook salmon on high or low heat, depending on the texture you're looking for. You'll find recipes as low as 200˚F and as high as 500˚, or broiled salmon that, on full broil, cooks at 550˚F.
Cooking salmon can be tricky because It's so easy to overcook, particularly when you are cooking it at a high temperature. And, like other meats, it will continue to cook from residual heat once you remove it from the heat source (oven, grill, or stovetop), so it's important to remove it before it reaches your target temperature.
Yes, you can eat salmon skin, but it's best when crispy. This is easiest with pan seared salmon. With slow roasted salmon, you could crisp the skin in a skillet at the end of cooking, but you run the risk of overcooking the flesh.
You'll know your salmon is finished cooking when the tip of a knife meets no resistance and the flesh is slightly opaque (it will be less opaque / milky white with slow roasted salmon than salmon cooked at higher temperatures). For internal temperature, the FDA recommends 145˚F, but many chefs recommend 125˚F.
For slow roasted salmon, cook at 275˚F.
Slow roasting salmon is the best way to keep it moist when baking!
Feel free to experiment with different sauces and aromatics to finish your salmon. Here are some suggestions:
- Prepare this salmon recipe, but add minced fresh garlic cloves instead of capers to the lemon butter mixture and finish with fresh dill or a variety of fresh herbs and lemon zest. Or drizzle with my Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce.
- Top cooked salmon with a Mango Avocado Salsa or Pico de Gallo.
- Drizzle with a mixture of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and a touch of honey. Finish with a shower of sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onion.
What To Do with Leftovers
If you're fortunate and end up with leftover salmon, it's wonderful the next day served cold on a salad or broken up and tossed with pasta (like Garlic Butter Noodles) and sautéed vegetables for an easy meal. Or do what we usually do and make these fabulous Fish Cakes - typically made with leftover cooked cod or halibut, but salmon works great too!
What to Serve Alongside
- Arugula Salad (Just 6 simple ingredients in this salad that everyone loves.)
- Sugar Snap Pea Salad (When sugar snap peas are at their spring peak, this is the way to go.)
- Lemon Garlic Asparagus (The perfect balance of rich and bright, this is a 10 minute side dish that you'll learn to make by heart.)
- Strawberry Spinach Salad (We enjoy this on repeat when strawberries are in season.)
- Creamy Cucumber Salad (This would be particularly good with the dill topped recipe option above!)
How to Make Slow Roasted Salmon
Step 1: Place salmon fillet in a rimmed baking sheet, skin-side down. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake 25-35 minutes until fish is lightly opaque and a knife tip meets no resistance. Remove from oven.
Step 2: While salmon rests, melt butter in a small skillet; stir in lemon juice and capers and remove from heat.
Step 3: Transfer salmon to serving platter and drizzle with sauce; finish with minced chives and parsley. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.
Slow Roasted Salmon
- 1 ½ pound salmon filet ideally wild
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 small lemon juiced, 2-3 tablespoons
- fresh lemon wedges for serving, optional
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat oven to 275˚F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place salmon filet on prepared baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake skin-side down 25-35 minutes, until salmon is slightly opaque and there is no resistance when pierced with the tip of a knife. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.
- While salmon rests, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in capers and lemon juice. Remove from heat.
- Transfer salmon to serving platter and drizzle with melted butter mixture and sprinkle with chives and parsley. Arrange lemon wedges on platter if desired and serve.