This lemon pepper salmon recipe is a quick and easy dinner. Fresh lemon, pepper, garlic, and oregano make a flavorful marinade that will have you begging for seconds!
WHAT IS THE BEST SEASONING FOR SALMON?
As a cooking instructor, I was often asked “what is the best seasoning for salmon?”. Salmon is a flavorful lean protein that is pretty easy to cook. It’s also incredibly versatile.
There isn’t really a “best” seasoning for salmon, it’s completely dependent on flavor preferences. You can’t ever go wrong by starting with some lemon.
Whether you use lemon juice, lemon zest, or whole lemon slices (like our baked salmon asparagus foil packets), the bright flavor pairs beautifully with salmon.
The real answer is that the best seasoning for salmon is whatever you have in your fridge and pantry! But if you need some guidance, I suggest you try this lemon pepper salmon marinade. It’s one of my favorites.
HOW TO BROIL SALMON
One of the best ways to cook salmon is by broiling it in the oven. Broiling is similar to grilling, with a heat source above instead of below the fish. Both methods have high, direct heat that cooks the fish quickly.
Broiling works well if you don’t have a grill, or don’t want to go outside.
Make sure to preheat your oven on the broil setting, with the oven rack 4-6 inches from the broiler. This is a good time to let your lemon pepper salmon marinate. You may also want to line your rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil to make clean up easier.
If your salmon fillets have skin on them, place them skin side down on the foil lined baking sheet. This recipe uses oil in a marinade to help keep the fish from sticking. If you’re not using the marinade, pour some oil onto the aluminum foil and place the skin side of the fish in the oil.
Broil lemon pepper salmon fillets about 8 minutes if they are an inch thick. You’ll need to cook them a shorter time if they are thinner, or a little longer if they are thicker.
TEMPERATURE TO COOK SALMON TO
The USDA recommends cooking salmon to 145 degrees F. I think the salmon is overcooked by the point.
If you prefer the silky, tender texture of salmon cooked medium to medium well, the best temperature to cook salmon to is 125-130 degrees F. Then cover the lemon pepper salmon with foil after removing from the heat and let it sit a few minutes.
The inside of the fish will finish getting up to temperature without the outside getting dry or overcooked.
HOW TO GRILL SALMON
Grilling salmon is very similar to broiling. Preheat your gas grill to high heat or get your coals nice and hot.
Again you’ll want a nice oily marinade help keep the fish from sticking. Place the lemon pepper salmon fillets skin side up first to get nice grill marks on your salmon.
Let cook 4 minutes then flip to skin side down for another 4 minutes. Remove the salmon and tent with foil, just like the broiled method.
If you are worried about your lemon pepper salmon sticking, or you have a grill without seasoned grates, just put the salmon skin side down for the whole 8 minute cooking time.
HOW TO MAKE LEMON PEPPER SALMON
- Zest and juice a small lemon, and crush a couple of garlic cloves in a garlic press.
- Put the lemon juice, zest, and garlic in a large bowl with 1/4 cup of olive oil, a teaspoon each of dried oregano and sea salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper.
- Mix the marinade well then add two half pound salmon fillets.
- Coat the salmon in the marinade, cover the bowl, and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the broiler or grill and follow directions above for how to broil salmon or how to grill salmon.
- Feel free to serve your lemon pepper salmon with lemon wedges on the side for garnish and extra juicing to taste.
PIN TO SAVE LEMON PEPPER SALMON FOR LATER
Make sure you don’t lose this lemon pepper salmon recipe! Pin to save it for later, and then leave a photo in the comments of the pin when you’ve tried it. We love to see your creations!
PRINTABLE LEMON PEPPER SALMON RECIPE
- Zest the lemon, then cut it in half and juice it.
- Mix the lemon juice, lemon zest, pressed garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
- Add the salmon fillets to the bowl and coat well in the marinade. Cover the bowl and refrigerate 15 minutes while the broiler preheats.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place the salmon skin side down.
- Place baking sheet 4-6 inches away from the broiler and cook about 8 minutes.
- Remove from baking sheet and tent with foil for about 5 minutes before serving.
Preheat a grill to high heat.
If you have a well seasoned grill grate, place salmon skin side up and close grill to cook 4 minutes. Then flip and cook 4 minutes skin side down.
If you're worried about the salmon sticking, cook skin side down the full 8 minutes.
Serving Size:4 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 365Saturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 656mgCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 33g
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.