Salmon recipes can be cooked many ways, but in my book, there’s nothing as easy as baked salmon in white wine and lemon for a healthy dinner, or to make and use for meal prep all week long.
Whether it’s baked salmon, poached, grilled salmon, pan-seared, whole salmon, or cut into filets, the benefits of cooking and eating salmon are not only fast and easy enough for any level of cook to make, but so incredibly good for your health, too.
While visiting my mom earlier this year, my Aunt Jane cooked us this simple salmon dinner baked in wine and topped with lemon, then topped with an easy, and totally flavorful creme fraiche sauce.
Jane is one of those cooks where everything seems effortless. But she confided that while she loves to entertain, she doesn’t always feel so confident in the kitchen, especially when cooking for others. That’s why when she does, she zeroes in on a recipe that’s tried and true. It leaves less margin for error, and more time for enjoying guests rather than time in the kitchen worrying over the stove.
Being from Seattle, this baked salmon with a creamy creme fraiche sauce has pretty much become Jane’s signature dish, and now it can become yours, too.
What Type of Salmon Is Best?
In general, salmon is one of the most versatile and healthiest fish you can eat. It’s high in protein and a terrific source for those much needed omega-3 fatty acids that are important in preventing heart disease, lowering blood pressure, and improving brain health. Salmon is also very low in mercury, making it an ideal choice when eating fish.
Jane is from Seattle, so lucky for us, she went to the docks the day before she arrived to bring us fresh-caught king salmon for our dinner. These days you don’t need to live near a seaboard to get good salmon. Fresh or flash frozen, the nutrients will be dense in both ways they show up at your seafood counter.
- King or chinook salmon is the largest and fattiest salmon variety with a big flavor. It is fished in the waters of the North Pacific and is known for it’s deep-red flesh. You can find it fresh or frozen.
- Sockeye salmon also has a high fat content and is nutrient dense, with deep, dark red flesh. Because it is sustainably managed, wild-caught sockeye salmon is a smart seafood choice and is sold fresh and canned salmon.
- Coho salmon is fished in the coastal waters of Alaska. It’s less fatty than sockeye and the most popular salmon due to it’s more mild flavor.
- Atlantic salmon can be found in both fresh and salt water. However, wild Atlantic salmon is an endangered species because it’s been over-fished, so farm-raised is the only way to go.
How to Cook Salmon In the Oven
Baked salmon is incredibly easy to make. I wanted to get it just right, so I texted my aunt Jane back and forth for this recipe, and she assured me, it’s a tough one to mess up.
Choose any salmon variety you prefer. You can cook the fish whole as Jane did the night of our dinner, or slice into filets as I have here.
Simply season the fish with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, then top the fish with lemon slices. Pour a dry white wine (chardonnay or sauv blanc work well) around the fish. The alcohol content evaporates as the fish cooks and keeps the filet moist. If you prefer, use lemon-infused water or white grape juice instead.
I cooked this salmon at 425°F for 12 minutes. Depending on the thickness of your filets, check in on the salmon at about 10 minutes, but allow up to 15 minutes cooking time if needed. The fish will continue to cook once it’s been pulled from the oven, so watch it closely in those last few minutes.
The Difference Between Creme Fraiche and Sour Cream
The salmon is served with a simple creme fraiche sauce with dill and minced shallots.
Creme fraiche is similar to sour cream, but has a creamier texture, richer flavor, and is less tangy than sour cream. It can be found in the cheese department of most grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, this tutorial shows how to make creme fraiche at home in just one step. Or as an additional alternative, use 1 part yogurt to 3 parts sour cream, instead.
Recipe Ideas to Turn This Salmon Dinner Into a Meal
- Dilled Red Potatoes and Peas
- Easy Lemon Rice
- Easy 5-Minute Parmesan Zucchini
- Mashed Cauliflower with Parmesan and Chives
- Easy Cous Cous with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Bookmark this recipe and leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Baked Salmon with Creme Fraiche
Use a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or a chardonnay for this recipe. The wine adds moisture as the fish cooks. Or, you could also use water with more lemon juice—1 lemon juiced will do.
- 6 6-ounce salmon filets
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 8 ounces creme fraiche, or mix 3 parts sour cream and 1 part plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Season the salmon with the salt and pepper. Place the salmon, skin side down, in a baking dish or on a high-rimmed baking sheet. Top the salmon with the lemon slices and add the wine to the dish or baking sheet. Bake until the salmon is cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix the creme fraiche, minced shallot, and dill. Spoon over each of the salmon filets and serve.
More Easy Salmon Dinner Ideas to Make, Too
- Orange-Spiced Salmon with Spaghetti Squash
- Creamy Pasta with Salmon and Asparagus
- Poached Salmon with Mustard Dill Sauce
- Thai Fish Chowder
- Salmon Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce
Do you have a fave salmon recipe or a must-make sauce to serve with it? I want to hear all about it, so please share it in the comments below.
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