This baked Whole30 salmon recipe is covered with a delicious lemon, garlic and herb crust that helps seal in the juices. This fish is light and flaky and it only takes 10 minutes to bake. Seriously! Only 10 minutes! I love how it gets a light crust on the outside but stays nice and moist on the inside. I feel like I work at a fancy restaurant when I make this.
This is crazy-easy to bake in the oven - it only takes about 12 minutes! It ends up with a nice crust on the outside and is tender on the inside. I love the easy sauce and it pulls together in a few minutes. My favorite way to make it is using the broiler and that results in an extra-crunchy crust, juicier insides and it cooks even faster than the normal method. It's kind of a chef's secret way to get restaurant-quality salmon with no extra work and actually in less time.
I don't know about you, but fish used to scare me. I live in the middle of the country where it's hard to find good, fresh fish - especially wild-caught fish. I love to order fish in restaurants, but for a long time, I was scared to cook it at home. It's so easy to overcook it and confusing picking it out. But I get so sick of chicken and beef and fish is so healthy for you - especially salmon.
So I came up with this recipe so I would have a good go-to recipe for cooking fish. This is a really good meal to make and impress your guests. Since it cooks so quickly, I just wait until my guests arrive and then throw it in my pre-heated oven. They are always impressed and it's so easy.
If you show this to your family or guests, they will be impressed. They might start looking for take-out containers. But YOU'LL know how easy and fast this recipe really is. So, if you're scared of fish like I used to be, this is a good recipe to start with. Nice and simple, yet full of flavor.
Ingredients for this Baked Whole30 Salmon
It is so easy to make and I think the lemon gives it a truly wonderful flavor. Check out the ingredient list and look at how short it is. Eight simple ingredients. If you don't count herbs, there are only three ingredients.
Salmon - If possible, wild is always best. It not only tastes so much better, but it's much better for you. Wild can be hard to find though and is very expensive. I even like to do this with frozen fish, like the tilapia or halibut that Costco has. My 10-year-old son makes it often because fish is his favorite protein - so if he can do it, you can do it (hopefully. . .). It takes a lot longer to cook with frozen fish though and you can't do the broil method.
Lemon - Fresh is always best but lemon from the container in your fridge will work too. The zest gives it extra lemon flavor and adds to the texture of the crust.
Fresh herbs - Think that fresh herbs are too expensive? I've had really good luck with grow lights. I hang them from the bottom of a wire shelf and put all sorts of herbs and flowers on the shelf below. Now I have fresh herbs year-round. For some of the smaller plants, I just get a smaller personal lamp and a grow light bulb. You can use dried herbs but since this recipe is so simple I think every ingredient counts and is worth it to get the good stuff for an expensive protein.
Ghee - I prefer ghee in this recipe because it doesn't burn as easily as butter and the slightly stronger flavor helps balance out the salmon flavor.
How to Make Paleo Salmon
- Make the sauce/crust by stirring melted ghee with lemon, garlic and fresh herbs.
- Put the salmon in a pan.
- Brush the sauce on the salmon.
- Bake it for 10-12 minutes, making sure not to overcook your salmon. It's so easy to do. You may not feel like your fish is done in the time indicated, but once it flakes easily with a fork, it's done. (I finally figured out that's why I used to like restaurant fish and not fish I cooked at home.)
What temp should salmon be cooked?
145 degrees F is the perfect temperature to cook it at so it is just beginning to easily flake with a fork and is slightly translucent in the middle. Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer .
What to serve with this baked salmon
I like to serve it with my einkorn and spelt baguette recipe when I'm not on Whole30. This would be delicious with some cauliflower rice and my simple roasted vegetable recipe or with my Whole30 pesto spaghetti squash recipe.
One reader loves it with asparagus and baby boiled potatoes, another with zoodles with ghee and nutritional yeast on top. I'm a big fan of steaming some fresh veggies, like cauliflower, carrots and sweet peas in my Instant Pot and putting some ghee and coarse Real Salt on top. So good!
It only takes a few minutes to cook some zucchini and/or summer squash in a non-stick skillet with the oil of your choice, roast them in an oven at 400 or throw them in an air fryer . That's a good side dish with almost any meal, regardless of the diet you are on!
This also makes an excellent meal prep recipe because you can cook this in the oven at the same time and on the same pan as a bunch of the above-mentioned veggies and put them in containers to pull out for easy meals for the next few days.
What is your favorite type of fish? Why? Share with us in the comments below. If you want more fish dishes from me, check out my 30-Minute Fish Veracruz Recipe or Grilled Mahi Mahi Recipe in a Lemon Butter Sauce.
Please try this recipe and let me know if you like it and who you made it for and what you served with it. I'm sure the other readers would love to know (and I would too). I'll often serve it with some roasted veggies on the side.
Lemon, Garlic and Herb Baked Whole30 Salmon Recipe
This Paleo salmon recipe is covered with a delicious lemon, garlic and herb crust that helps seal in the juices. This fish is light and flaky and it only takes 10 minutes to bake. Seriously! Only 10 minutes!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: Paleo
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Place all ingredients except for salmon in a small bowl and melt in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.
- Stir until combined.
- Place the salmon fillets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.
- Using a pastry brush, coat the salmon with the lemon herb butter, evenly spreading it over the tops of each fillet.
- Bake, uncovered, on the top or second to top rack for 10-12 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. (145 degrees F)
- Alternately the fish can be broiled on medium/high on the second to top rack for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through. This method will give you a bit more crunchy, caramelized crust. (Place it directly on the pan or use tin foil. Do not use parchment paper or a Silpat for this method.)
Keywords: lemon, butter, baked