This quick and easy Lemon Dill Salmon recipe is perfect for when you’ve got a fillet of salmon and no plan. Made with a handful of pantry ingredients and fresh dill, this dinner can be on the table in 20 minutes flat.
It’s easy, flavorful, forgiving and totally versatile. Use this recipe as a basic formula to be riffed upon time and time again. Mix and match side dishes and this recipe can be on your meal plan every week without getting mundane.
Perfectly Baked Salmon with Lemon and Dill
One reason this recipe is worth saving is because you can use any kind of salmon—individual fillets, one big thick farm-raised fillet, a large yet thin wild-caught fillet—anything works. We offer notes on how to modify for each in the notes. But frankly, the only thing you need to adapt is the cook time.
Aside from the versatility, it’s also incredibly simple to whip up. The sauce is made from mayo, fresh dill, shallots and some lemon zest. Simple but perfectly flavorful. It’s pretty hard to over-cook farm-raised salmon, but if you’re using wild-caught, this mayo slather will keep the flesh nice and moist.
And finally, baking offers a slightly slower cooking process (as opposed to broiling or pan-searing). This means you can keep a close eye on it and pull it from the oven at the perfect doneness.
Ingredients for Lemon Dill Salmon
- Salmon: for this recipe you can go one of two ways—make 4 separate fillets of salmon or bake one large fillet. Either works well, though we tend to enjoy using individual, thick fillets. If you go the whole fillet route, we recommend using a farm-raised fillet of salmon since they tend to be thicker. If using wild-caught, the salmon will cook much faster, so keep an eye on it and start checking on it after 8 minutes.
- Mayonnaise: we like the flavor of olive oil mayonnaise, but you can use whatever mayonnaise you like or have on hand!
- Dill: fresh dill is one of the key ingredients here! If you’re in a pinch, dried will work, but try to use fresh dill if you can. You don’t need much, so use up the rest of your fresh dill in this Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, Fresh Salmon Salad or Sour Cream Potato Salad.
- Shallot: one small minced shallot is all you need here. For something a bit more mild, you can use minced scallions or even chives.
- Lemon: minced lemon zest is added to the mayo sauce while the lemon itself gets cut into wedges to be squeezed over the salmon right before serving.
How to Bake Lemon Dill Salmon
- Prepare the Lemon Dill Sauce
- Prepare the Salmon
- Bake the Salmon
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise (we like to use olive oil mayonnaise), fresh dill, minced shallot, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Arrange the salmon, skin side down, on a greased baking sheet. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels then season with salt and pepper. Spread the mayonnaise sauce over the salmon fillet(s).
Place the salmon in a preheated 350ºF oven and bake until the salmon easily flakes with a fork and the internal temperature reaches 125ºF (here’s our favorite thermometer). Depending on the thickness of the fillet(s) this can take anywhere from 8 minutes to 20 minutes.
Top the salmon with toasted breadcrumbs (this is totally optional) and a sprinkling of fresh dill. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and enjoy!
- If you can’t have shallots or find them too strong, you can substitute the two tablespoons of minced shallot with an equal amount of minced scallions or chives.
- Make this with a trio of fresh herbs for even more flavor. Use a tablespoon each of dill, parsley and basil. Tarragon and cilantro are also great options.
- Avocado oil mayonnaise works just as well as regular or olive oil mayonnaise.
- Fresh dill is best, but in a pinch you can used dried dill. It won’t be as flavorful but it will still be good! Use 1 tablespoon dried instead of 2 tablespoons fresh.
Tips for Cooking Lemon Dill Salmon
- All ovens are different and depending on the thickness of your salmon fillet(s) your cook time might run a little shorter or longer than listed in the recipe. If you’re using thin fillet(s) of salmon, start checking on the internal temperature at about 8 minutes.
- When in doubt, start temping the salmon earlier than you think. The best way to gauge doneness is to get an accurate read of the internal temperature on your thermometer. You can always cook more, but you can’t cook less!
- Adequately pre-heat your oven before baking the salmon! Even if your oven says it’s preheated, it likely isn’t up to temperature yet. Give it an extra 5 minutes before adding your salmon and cooking.
- If you would like to cook this on the stove top, use this recipe for pan-seared salmon (makes the perfect salmon!). Then simply spoon the mayonnaise sauce over the finished salmon.
Meal Prep and Storage Tips
- If you’ve purchased fresh salmon and don’t intend on cooking it right away, make sure you know how to store salmon properly! If you’re unsure of how to buy salmon, read about what to look for when buying salmon for all the tips and guidelines.
- This salmon is best assembled and cooked right before serving, but to cut down on prep time, you can make the mayonnaise sauce up to 2 days ahead of time. Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Use leftover Lemon Dill Salmon on sandwiches (like a salmon BLT), flaked over a leafy salad, or in this Salmon Salad Recipe.
What to Serve with Lemon Dill Salmon
We’ve got loads of side dishes for salmon, but here are some that pair perfectly with this lemon dill salmon!
- Make this a meal and serve lemon dill salmon with a hunk of Healthy Cornbread! We’ve also got a Gluten-Free Cornbread Recipe if you need it to be GF.
- This 3-ingredients Fennel Salad is always a hit with salmon
- Lean in to the green and serve this salmon with the best Green Goddess Salad out there!
- Use up the rest of your fresh dill in this herby Orzo Salad.
- Try a lightened up take on potato salad with this Caesar Cauliflower Potato Salad.
Don’t have a good fish market in your area? Frozen salmon can be just as good, and sometimes even better than what is offered behind the fish counter. If you opt for frozen salmon, look for one that has been vacuum sealed and is labeled as flash-frozen immediately after harvest.
In many cases, the salmon offered at the seafood counter in a grocery store or supermarket is often thawed salmon which has also been flash-frozen immediately after harvest. In my opinion, if these are your two options, why not choose the one that hasn’t already been thawed for a while?
We do! We’ve got tons of salmon recipes, but these two are some of the most unusual. For starters, try our Salmon Chowder for a light and flavorful take on a seafood chowder. It’s loaded with vegetables and tender bites of salmon. And second, our Coconut Curry Salmon is a unique and delicious dinner when you want something healthy yet cozy.
If you have uncooked salmon fllets, try our Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon. Or try our blackened salmon and make Blackened Salmon Tacos!
If you have leftover cooked salmon fillets, make our Salmon Croquettes or Salmon Patties (each call for canned salmon but cooked fresh salmon can be substituted.) You can also use cooked salmon fillet to make our fresh Salmon Salad!
Oh, we’ve got the BEST recipe for Broiled Salmon.
You’re reading the right recipe! Dill and lemon are arguably some of the best ingredients to pair with salmon. However, when it comes to spices, here are some of the best spices that go well is salmon: any kind of dried chile, garlic powder, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, nutmeg, cloves, cumin, corriander, curry, dried ginger, marjoram, bay leaves, paprika, and smoked paprika. Try salmon with our blackening seasoning (from Jenni Lata).
More Salmon Recipes to Try
Looking for more ideas on how to use your next fillet of salmon? We’ve got you covered with salmon recipes! Here are some of our favorites:
- Try our go-to salmon recipe for pan-seared salmon. It’s absolutely foolproof and makes perfect salmon! Another go-to method for cooking salmon is broiled salmon. It’s hands-off, quick to cook and so easy!
- Our Blackened Salmon is the star of our Salmon Tacos—the perfect al fresco meal!
- For something sweet, savory and grilled, try our Balsamic Glazed Salmon. Keep it simple and pair it with some grilled asparagus.
- For a special occasion, make our Lemon Butter Salmon featuring pan-seared salmon, a lemony butter sauce, and buttery peas.
- If you’re looking for more baked salmon recipes, check out our Honey Glazed Salmon. It’s a sheetpan dinner complete with charred snap peas.
- If you like this lemon butter salmon, then you’ve gotta try out Salmon BLT! The salmon is prepared similar to this recipe, then gets layered onto a sandwich with toasted sourdough, crispy bacon, lettuce and tomato!
Lemon Dill Salmon Recipe
- 4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets (or one large 1 ¼ pound skin-on salmon fillet)
- ¼ cup olive oil mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 lemon
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Toasted breadcrumbs, optional
- Heat oven to 350ºF (176ºC) with rack set in middle position.
- Meanwhile, zest lemon then cut lemon into wedges. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons chopped dill, 2 tablespoons minced shallot, ½ teaspoon lemon zest, ½ teaspoon pepper, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt.
- Coat baking sheet with nonstick spray. Arrange salmon, skin-side down, on sheet; pat dry with paper towels. Season salmon with ½ teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper.
- Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over salmon fillet(s).
- Roast salmon until it easily flakes with a fork and a thermometer inserted in the center registers 125ºF, 15–20 minutes. (Or 7–10 minutes for thin, wild-caught fillet.)
- Top with toasted breadcrumbs, optional. Serve with lemon wedges.