This method creates wonderfully tender, flaky salmon in minutes. High Heat Baked Salmon is a quick way to create a healthy and delicious meal.
This method for baking salmon at a high heat was inspired by our youngest son, Adam. Out of the mouths of babes.
Okay, so he happens to be 27 and in law school, but still, I was mighty impressed to see him experimenting in the kitchen with this fabulous method for cooking salmon. As I watched, my first thought was, don’t you want to lower that oven temp? But, when he pulled his perfectly cooked salmon from the oven, I knew he was on to something. It ends up that cooking salmon at a high temperature doesn’t just cook it fast, it cooks it perfectly with less risk of drying it out.
FAQ and Valerie’s Tips
What is sold as “fresh” salmon in all likelihood was previously frozen and then defrosted by the store. And, if it hasn’t been frozen, it won’t be fresh at all considering the processing and transport time it takes to hit the store shelves. For both freshness and convenience, I prefer wild-caught frozen salmon which is typically frozen the day it is caught, locking in the freshness, nutrition, and flavor. It’s a bonus if the fillets are individually vacuum sealed so you can pull out and use just what you need for each meal. It really is the freshest salmon you can get unless you have access to a fish market that sells truly fresh, wild-caught salmon. Check the freezer section of your local big box store for a very good price on frozen salmon fillets.
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F and immediately reduce the temperature to 450 degrees F once the salmon is placed in the oven. I’ve found this to be the optimal heat for cooking the salmon quickly and evenly through to the center.
I recommend thawing frozen salmon safely in the refrigerator overnight for this high heat method. To cook your salmon from the frozen state, check out my recipe for Oven Roasted Maple Salmon.
- Salmon fillets – Fully thawed skin-on or skinless salmon fillets that are 6 to 7 ounces each. Read more about fresh vs .frozen fish.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon – Where there is fish, there must be lemon!
- Fresh herbs – Herbs that go well with salmon include dill, chives, and thyme. Garnishing the baked salmon with just a small amount of fresh herbs adds really nice flavor.
How to Bake Salmon at a High Heat
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F, with a rack in the middle of the oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Blot the salmon fillets dry and place skin side down on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the salmon to the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Then, bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 140 to 145 F.
After removing the salmon from the oven, squeeze the juice from the lemon over the top and sprinkle it with the fresh herbs of your choice.
How to Serve Baked Salmon
- We love Creamy Dill Sauce (pictured) or Homemade Tartar Sauce with salmon. Be sure to serve extra lemon wedges on the side.
- Baked salmon is delicious with rice, potatoes or pasta. Great choices include Almond Rice Pilaf, Greek Potatoes, and Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan.
- Try my Pesto Green Beans, Brown Sugar Dill Carrots, or Sweet Chili Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Or, a simply cooked vegetable, like broccoli, is all you need to round out your meal.
More Easy Salmon Recipes
- Air Fryer Fish Sticks
- Blackened Salmon
- Easy Teriyaki Salmon and Vegetables
- Orange Sesame Ginger Glazed Salmon
High Heat Baked Salmon
- 4 salmon fillets 6 to 7 ounces each
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 lemon halved (plus additional lemon wedges for serving)
- fresh herbs like dill, chives, or thyme for garnish
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F, with a rack in the middle of the oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Blot the salmon fillets dry on both sides with paper towels and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle them with the oil spread it out over the fillets. Season with kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
- Transfer the salmon to the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 140 to 145 F.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest on the baking sheet for 3 to 4 minutes. Squeeze the juice from the lemon halves over the top and sprinkle with fresh herbs, if desired. Serve with extra lemon wedges on the side.