Quick and delicious, this 12-minute baked lemon pepper salmon recipe is full of flavor and short on time. Add this simple 5-ingredient dinner recipe to your weeknight rotation!
Who says healthy dinners take forever to make? These lemon pepper salmon filets bake for just 12 minutes at 400ºF. With minimal prep time and a short cook time, baked salmon is often my go-to whenever I’m in a dinnertime crunch.
While there are a variety of different ways to make salmon (in the sous vide, on the grill, seared, etc.), baked salmon will forever be one of my favorites. I love using a cast iron pan – we’ve found that it cooks fish (or meat) evenly and keeps the heat in for a relatively fast cook time.
“Can dinner actually be this easy? The answer is YES!” – Kim
What You Need for Lemon Pepper Salmon
Salmon: You’ll need 2 5-ounce salmon filets. Feel free to double or triple this recipe and cook more than 2 at once (great for meal prep).
Lemon Pepper: Can’t have lemon pepper salmon without lemon pepper! Our favorite is the McCormick Lemon Pepper Seasoning. Make sure to use a generous amount on the flesh-side of each filet.
Lemons: We like to use both lemon wedges (in the skillet) and lemon zest (for a little garnish). The zest is totally optional, but it really brings out the lemon pepper flavor.
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Veggies: Instead of broccoli, use the same amount of cauliflower, sliced onions or peppers, green beans, or asparagus.
Baking Pan: If you don’t have a cast iron skillet or are planning to double or triple this recipe, use a baking sheet. Line it with foil and continue with the recipe as written. \
One standard half-sheet baking pan will hold 4-6 filets plus veggies!
To grill lemon pepper salmon, heat your grill to 400ºF. Prepare salmon as directed in this recipe and place each filet on the grill skin-side down. Grill, covered, for around 10-12 minutes or until the salmon is easy to flake and light pink in color.
What’s the best way to prepare salmon for baking?
For best results, remove any excess moisture from the salmon. To do this, line a large plate with paper towel and place the salmon filets skin-side down on the paper towel. Place 2 more pieces of paper towel on top of the flesh and press down with your hands in order to remove moisture.
Can you use frozen salmon?
For this lemon pepper salmon, you can use either fresh or frozen salmon. If your salmon is frozen, place the filets (still in the plastic package) in a large bowl and fill the bowl with hot water. Let sit for about 10 minutes or until completely thawed.
What temperature should you bake salmon at?
The best temperature to bake salmon at is between 400ºF and broil. The hotter the temperature, the quicker it will cook. For an even faster recipe, check out our 8 minute broiled salmon recipe!
How do you know when the salmon is done?
Salmon is cooked through once it turns light pink in color, firms up, and is easy to flake.
Store leftover cooked salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Serve lemon pepper salmon straight out of the skillet on it’s own, or try it with your favorite grain (like quinoa, farro, or brown rice), alongside corn fritters or a baked potato, or paired with your favorite salad. We especially love lemon pepper salmon with a simple arugula salad or spring mix salad.
Lemon Pepper Salmon Recipe
Lemon Pepper Salmon
- 10 oz. salmon filets 2 5-oz. filets
- 1½ teaspoons lemon pepper
- salt to taste
- 2 lemon wedges
- lemon zest for garnish
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- First, preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Next, prepare salmon, by placing a double piece of paper towel on a large plate. Place salmon filets on top of the paper towel, skin-side down and then place another piece of paper towel on top. Use your hands to press the paper towel into the salmon in order to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Next, spray a large cast iron skillet (a baking sheet works too!) with cooking spray and then place the salmon filets on top skin-side down.
- Sprinkle on a generous amount of lemon pepper seasoning on top of each filet. Then, season with salt to taste and place a lemon wedge on top.
- Next, prepare broccoli by cutting into medium-sized florets. Place broccoli around your salmon filets and drizzle on olive oil. Then, season with salt and pepper.
- Bake cast iron skillet at 400ºF for 12-14 minutes or until the salmon is cooked all the way through and flakey.
Tips & Notes
- Storage: Store leftover cooked salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
- No cast iron skillet? No problem! Instead of a skillet, use a baking sheet. Line it with foil and continue with the recipe as written. Baking sheets are a great choice if you’re planning to double or triple the recipe – one standard half-sheet baking pan will hold 4-6 filets plus veggies.
- Grilling Instructions: To make grilled lemon pepper salmon, heat your grill to 400ºF. Prepare salmon as directed in this recipe and then place on grill skin-side down. Grill, covered, for around 10-12 minutes or until the salmon is easy to flake and light pink in color.