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Microwave salmon in just 5 minutes!

Making a showstopping salmon for dinner doesn’t need to take endless hours and multiple cooking tricks.  Did you know you can microwave salmon and get dinner on the table in a flash? If you need something new in your rotation, you’ve got to give this a try!

Easy microwave salmon


Healthy microwave salmon

Why might healthy microwave salmon be a good choice for your family?  With just a small amount of butter, or even spray oil, you can create a dish with countless health benefits that tastes great.  

With butter adding only 1 – 2 Weight Watchers points per serving and spray oil 0 points, microwave poached salmon fits into any diet.

There really isn’t any part of your body that doesn’t benefit from some regular salmon – from your head to your toes.  The precious omega-3 fatty acids in salmon support heart health, reduce inflammation, boost your eyesight, and make your skin happy.  

Microwave Salmon Dinner

Omega 3’s have also become part of successful cancer prevention and treatment plans for several different types of cancer.  Finally, salmon’s B vitamins support the brain, nervous, hormone, and metabolic symptoms.

So, yeah, you should be eating some salmon. We have salmon once a week, from Baked Salmon Asparagus Packets, to this amazing Glazed Salmon Recipe. But microwave salmon is by far the easiest of them all.

Is it safe to cook fish in the microwave?

Yes!  It is perfectly safe to cook fish in the microwave.  While it might seem unusual at first, the microwave is a great place to cook fish, especially when poaching.  

Microwave Salmon Recipe

Take the guesswork out of microwave cooking by using a meat thermometer to be certain your fish is cooked through.  When done, the microwave salmon should be between 130°F – 140°F.

How long do you have to microwave salmon?

So, now you’re hooked, you might be wondering, how long do you have to microwave salmon?  You’ll be happy to learn it cooks in a flash – just a few minutes from start to finish.

Quick Microwave Salmon

I try to keep individually wrapped fillets in the freezer at all times.  Then, I defrost them in cold water for about 30 minutes before cooking. Generally, I can fit three fillets in my dish, and I cook them for about 3 minutes.  Three minutes! Now that’s a seriously quick meal.

How to microwave salmon

The instructions below explain step-by-step how to microwave salmon.

  • First, take the salmon fillets out of the freezer.  Thaw in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 hours or defrost in cold water for 30 minutes.
  • Take fillets out of the packaging and gently dry with a paper towel.
  • Divide the butter evenly between the fillets and gently spread on each piece of fish.  
  • Sprinkle each fillet with lemon pepper seasoning.
  • You can cook fillets individually or in one larger microwave safe dish, so long as they lay in a single layer.  
  • Microwave for three minutes.  Check for doneness and microwave for another 30 – 45 seconds if fish is not flaky and well done.
  • Serve immediately with some easy sides like three-bean salad and rice.

Lately I’ve been swapping out the rice for cauliflower rice to keep dinner low carb and low on points.  Cauliflower also offers numerous health benefits and goes fantastic with the salmon!


I know there are several of you out there who might skip over this recipe asking – what about the smell?

I’ll admit, there have been times when my kitchen has been infused with a fishy, salmon smell.  But I find that microwaving salmon (this is cooking raw salmon, not reheating cooked salmon) actually smells less than any other cooking method!

Fancy Dinner with Microwave Salmon

Three things can prevent any residual fishy odor – first, microwaving the salmon thawed, rather than frozen. Cooking raw salmon in the microwave makes it much less likely the odor will be released from the fat in the fish.  

Second, make sure your salmon is fresh. Salmon should have a mild smell. If it smells fishy, it’s not fresh enough and is likely to make your kitchen smell.

Lastly, microwave salmon only needs a few minutes to cook. If you’re doing one salmon fillet instead of three, you need even less time! But overcooking the salmon renders out all the fat and dries the salmon out. That will definitely leave you with a fishy smell.

If you accidentally overcook your microwave salmon, simply deodorize the microwave after dinner with water and lemon juice. Soon your kitchen will be back to normal.

Have your tried this simple but scrumptious recipe?  Made any changes? Let us know in the comments below!


Don’t lose this recipe! Save it to Pinterest, then share a picture in the comments of the pin when you make it. We love seeing your cooking!

Microwave Salmon Pin for Pinterest
Yield: 3

Microwave Salmon Recipe with Lemon Pepper Butter

Microwave Salmon Recipe

Salmon fillets are poached in butter in this simple microwave salmon recipe. This makes an easy WW dinner with only 2 freestyle points if you use real butter, or 1 WW freestyle point made with low fat margarine. I suggest sticking with butter, it's worth the extra point!
Used with permission from Genius Kitchen.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 4 salmon fillets , about 5 oz each, 1 inch thick, 1 1/2 inches wide, 4 inches long
  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons butter, or margarine
  • chopped parsley, (optional)


  1. Place 2-4 fillets at a time in a microwaveable dish with a lid.
  2. Sprinkle salmon with lemon pepper seasoning.
  3. Top each salmon fillet with a tablespoon of butter.
  4. Cover dish and cook in the microwave 1 minute per salmon fillet, up to 3 minutes. 


  • Nutrition info is estimated using butter, not margarine. The fish is poached in the butter, but you don't actually eat all the butter (unless you're licking the dish clean!). So estimated nutritional info is for just 1 tablespoon of butter (divided between 4 servings) not 4. This is also why it is only 2 WW freestyle points.
  • Most lemon pepper seasonings contain salt. Check the ingredients and add a little sprinkle of kosher salt on the salmon fillets if your seasoning is salt free.
  • If you're cooking 1 fillet at a time, cook for only 1 minute. You can always add more time as needed. If you can fit all 4 fillets in your microwaveable dish, stick with 3 minutes for your cook time. If they're not quite done, continue cooking 15 seconds at a time.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

3 Servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 358Saturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 134mgSodium: 133mgProtein: 45g

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