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Keep things quick and very tasty with this salmon with lemon dill sauce. This simple salmon recipe is for those nights when you want something that feels elevated without all the effort. The salmon is cooked to flaky perfection, and paired with a creamy fresh dill sauce for a healthy and delicious dinner that's ready in under 30 minutes.
This recipe was originally published in 2015. We've updated the post with some new photos and more information, but we've left the delicious recipe exactly the same.
This is a tried and true salmon recipe that is quick and healthy without sacrificing flavor. Salmon filets are minimally seasoned and served with a super fresh, herb-filled, creamy yogurt sauce that complements the salmon without overpowering it. It's ready in 15 minutes, clean up is a breeze, and leftovers store well for tucking into lunches like sandwiches or flaked on a salad.
How to make salmon with lemon dill sauce
This recipe will become a go-to for easy, healthy, and delicious weeknight dinners because it's so simple to make in just a few easy steps:
- Turn your oven on then mix all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Place the salmon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Season the salmon with salt and pepper, drizzle it with olive oil, and top it with a lemon slice.
- Pop the salmon into your oven for 8-10 minutes or until it looks opaque. Once it's finished baking, put it on your plate and liberally spoon sauce over the top.
Ingredients for the lemon dill sauce
The lemon dill sauce is so easy to make with just a few ingredients you're likely to have on hand:
- Plain yogurt – this is the base of the sauce and adds a tangy flavor.
- Mayonnaise – adds creaminess.
- Lemon juice – brightens up the sauce and adds sourness.
- Dill – adds its fresh, herby, anise-like flavor.
- Capers – for their tangy, salty flavor and a bit of texture.
- Garlic – a flavor powerhouse that adds some kick.
- Sea salt and pepper – enhances the other flavors while bringing them all together.
Ingredients for the salmon
The salmon is just three simple ingredients:
- Salmon filets – the fresher, the better (see our tips below for making the perfect salmon).
- Salt + pepper – a seasoning must for great flavor.
- Olive oil – adds moistures and seals it in.
Tips for the perfect salmon
Baking salmon is so easy! The oven does all the work. Here are a few tips that can help make the most flavorful, moist, and flaky salmon:
- When buying it at the grocery store or fish market, you want it to appear moist rather than dried out. This may seem obvious but moisture is a sign of freshness.
- It's best used within a day or two of purchasing so plan to use it soon after your grocery run.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle with olive oil. This adds moisture and seals it in.
- Bake until slightly opaque. Salmon is done when it reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Be careful not to overcook it or it will become dry.
Check out our 8-minute baked salmon recipe, which has lots of seasoning ideas!
Frozen vs. fresh salmon
If you're lucky to live somewhere where salmon is caught locally and you can purchase it in season, that's by far the best option. Most salmon is actually caught and frozen right away to preserve its freshness. Frozen salmon isn't inferior to fresh salmon because the flash-freezing process preserves the flavor and quality.
To thaw frozen salmon, it's best to defrost it in the fridge overnight. If you're in a pinch, you can place it in a bowl with cold water. Check it after 30 minutes to see how it's progressing and change the water every 30 minutes or so to prevent the salmon from coming to room temperature.
Variations to try
While this salmon with lemon dill sauce pairs well with the traditional potatoes or rice and vegetables, here are a few other ways to enjoy it:
- In a wrap or sandwich with sliced tomato and lettuce.
- Flaked into chunks on a salad or bed of your favorite greens.
- In tacos with shredded lettuce or green cabbage.
- Served atop or mixed into noodle dishes.
- In a grain bowl with roasted vegetables over a bed of quinoa, rice or other grain.
How long does the salmon keep?
Store cooked salmon in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Can I make the sauce ahead of time?
Definitely! Store the sauce in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. This sauce actually tastes even better after it rests for a little while.
Can I use dried dill instead of fresh?
Yes, you can. 1 tablespoon of fresh dill = 1 teaspoon of dried.
What kind of yogurt should I use?
A full-fat greek-style yogurt will work best for this recipe.
Can I make this dairy-free?
You could make this dairy-free by substituting the yogurt for a similar dairy-free alternative.
Lemon Dill Sauce
- ⅓ cup plain yogurt
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill (minced)
- 1 tablespoon capers (minced)
- 1 small garlic clove (finely minced)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 4 5-ounce filets of salmon
- ½ teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper
- 2 teasoons olive oil
- 8 thin lemon slices
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the lemon dill sauce ingredients in a medium-sized bowl then place the bowl into your fridge.⅓ cup plain yogurt, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon fresh dill, 1 tablespoon capers, 1 small garlic clove, 1 pinch sea salt
- Lay the salmon pieces on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Season the salmon with salt and pepper then drizzle them with olive oil and top with 2 thin slices of lemon on top of each piece.4 5-ounce filets of salmon, ½ teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper, 2 teasoons olive oil, 8 thin lemon slices
- Bake the salmon for 8-10 minutes, or until it is slightly opaque. Salmon is cooked when it reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit – do not overcook it or it will become dry. Serve the salmon with the lemon dill sauce over the top.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.