Salmon recipes can be cooked many ways, but in my book, there’s nothing as easy as oven baked salmon in white wine and lemon for a healthy dinner, or to make and use for meal prep all week long.
Easy Baked Salmon Recipe
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 oven baked salmon with a creamy creme fraiche sauce has pretty much become Jane’s signature dish, and now it can become yours, too.
What’s in This Oven Baked Salmon?
Easy is the name of the game with this oven baked salmon recipe. With just a handful of ingredients, you can create a healthy, quick dinner that guests will love. Here’s what goes into this easy baked salmon:
- Salmon filets
- Kosher salt and pepper
- White wine
- Creme fraiche
- Fresh dill
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 Bake 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 oven baked salmon 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 around the fish. The alcohol content evaporates as the fish cooks and keeps the filet moist.
How Long to Bake Salmon
My ideal temperature to bake salmon is 425°F, and I baked it 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.
Can I Use a Creme Fraiche Substitute?
This oven baked 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.
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.
What Type of White Wine Should I Use?
I recommend using a dry white wine, like chardonnay or sauv blanc. Use a wine you’ll actually drink rather than a cooking wine.
Tips for Making Oven Baked Salmon
If you’d prefer not to cook with wine, you’re welcome to use lemon-infused water or white grape juice instead. But keep in mind that the alcohol in the wine evaporates while the salmon is in the oven.
Note that fresh dill is a must in this recipe. Using dried dill won’t give you the same results.
Lastly, be sure to gobble up the crispy salmon skin. Many people don’t realize that it’s safe to eat salmon skin — and that it tastes absolutely amazing!
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
- Rosemary Garlic Butter Smashed Potatoes
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.
Oven Baked Salmon with Creme Fraiche
- 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.
- 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.
More Easy Salmon Recipes 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
- Mustard Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner
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.
Craving more life balance, less stress, and better health? Check out my Nourished Planner, the daily planner to help create simplicity and under-schedule your life.
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