Lemon Pepper Salmon is a perfect healthy weeknight dinner recipe. This recipe uses five simple ingredients and can be on the dinner table in less than 30 minutes.
Salmon is one of my favorite types of fish to cook. It’s so versatile, cooks fairly quickly, and goes well with a variety of seasonings and marinades. I just love coming up with new recipes using salmon and this one is definitely one of my favorites because of how hands-off it is.
Easy lemon pepper salmon recipe
Lemon pepper salmon is great for a busy weeknight, for those who are too busy to cook, or even inexperienced in the kitchen. Baking is one of the easiest ways to make salmon, as it cooks everything so evenly and requires little supervision while cooking.
This is basically a sheet pan dinner, making it so convenient and simple. You can throw some vegetables like broccoli or squash on the pan to make it a complete meal.
This easy dinner recipe involves very little prep and just 20 minutes in the oven. It’s packed with flavor, tender, and juicy, yet still nutritious. It’s hard to believe this easy recipe only uses 5 ingredients!
You’ll definitely want to add this one to your weekly meal plan.
Keep reading because I’ll be pairing some side dishes to go with this sheet pan lemon pepper salmon dish that will still allow you to have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes!
If you like lemon pepper flavoring, you’ll love my Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Wings.
Lemon pepper salmon ingredients
Lemon pepper salmon is tangy and zesty, yet earthy, and is prepared with just five basic ingredients.
Salmon filet: you should be able to find fresh or frozen salmon at your local grocery store. Make sure it’s wild caught salmon and not farm raised because wild salmon contains more nutrients.
Lemon: fresh lemon is a staple in many fish recipes. For this recipe, we won’t be using lemon juice, but we will be using lemon zest and thinly slicing the lemon to cook with the salmon.
Kosher salt and black pepper: the balance of salt and pepper with the citrus from the lemon adds the perfect amount of flavor to the salmon without having to use the whole spice rack.
Parsley: parsley adds a fresh taste to the salmon and complements the lemon, salt, and pepper very well.
You can add garlic powder and onion powder for extra flavor if you like!
*For a detailed list of ingredients and measurements, please reference the recipe card down below.
How to make lemon pepper salmon
Baked lemon pepper salmon comes together in just a few easy steps with very little prep.
- Prepare for baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper to avoid the salmon sticking to the baking sheet
- Season the salmon. Zest the lemon and set the zest aside. Cut the lemon into slices (about 1/2 an inch thick) and line the bottom of the baking sheet with them. Place salmon skin side down on top of the lemon slices. Season the salmon filet with lemon zest, kosher salt, ground black pepper, and fresh parsley.
- Bake the salmon. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 145° F. Your cooking time will depend on how thick your salmon filets are. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow it to sit for a few minutes before serving.
How do I know if the salmon is done?
Salmon cooks fairly quickly and baking is the best way to cook salmon because the heat is evenly distributed throughout the fish.
If you’re unsure as to whether or not the salmon is fully cooked, use an instant read thermometer and make sure the internal temperature has reached 145° F at the thickest part of the salmon.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, cut a small slice of the salmon with a knife to ensure that the inside has turned light pink all the way through.
You can also use the fork test to check for doneness. If you can easily flake the salmon apart with a fork, it’s most likely done!
Do you cook salmon with the skin on?
You can cook salmon with the skin on or off. Leaving the skin on keeps it from drying out and adds so much flavor to the salmon. Without the skin, the salmon may fall apart, making it hard to serve and eat.
The skin easily peels off when it’s done cooking or you can even keep the skin on and eat around it. You can buy skinless salmon fillets if you really don’t want to deal with them, but I don’t recommend it.
The freshest salmon will come with the skin on and the tastiest salmon is cooked with the skin on.
What to serve with lemon pepper salmon
The first time I made this salmon, I served it with Goat Cheese Orzo Pasta Salad. It was the perfect balanced meal!
Serving lemon pepper salmon with a side of vegetables is always a safe bet. Air Fryer Asparagus or Sautéed Green Beans would pair well with this dish.
Potatoes are also a great match for this salmon. I highly recommend trying out my Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes or Roasted Garlic Potatoes to accompany the salmon.
Any sort of grain would make a hearty side dish for lemon pepper salmon. Give couscous, rice, or pasta a try with it.
Salad is perfect for a lighter side dish option. I love pairing lemon pepper salmon with this Chopped Vegetable Salad or this Tangy Citrus Avocado Salad.
My favorite salmon recipes
Salmon makes a great weeknight dinner because of how fast it cooks. I get so excited whenever I come up with new easy salmon recipes, many of which are in the air fryer.
Air frying salmon is my favorite way to cook it because it’s so easy and cooks perfectly (better than restaurant quality!) every time. Here are some of the best salmon recipes:
- Air Fryer Citrus Soy Asian Salmon. Flavorful, easy salmon with an incredibly delicious, honey glaze.
- Pistachio Crusted Air Fryer Salmon. Crispy and full of flavor, this can be made in less than 10 minutes.
- Blackened Salmon Tacos. Features an easy homemade blacken seasoning and is served with a crunchy fish taco slaw and creamy fish taco sauce to make your Taco Tuesday the best it can be!
- Creamy Garlic Tuscan Salmon. Rich and creamy on this outside and tender, juicy and flaky on the inside.
- Salmon Cakes with Lemon Dill Sauce. Crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and topped with a creamy lemon dill sauce.
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Lemon Pepper Salmon
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- 1 8 ounce salmon filet
- 1 fresh lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon flat parsley minced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Zest the lemon, set zest aside.
- Thinly cut lemon into slices and line the bottom of the baking sheet.
- Place salmon filet on top of lemon slices.
- Season with lemon zest, Kosher salt, ground black pepper and fresh parsley.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick your salmon filets are, until the internal temperature has reached 145° F.
- Remove and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes before serving.
Lemon pepper is such a great and simple flavor with fish! We all loved this recipe. I usually reserve the lemon pepper for white fish but this was a fantastic change of pace. Will absolutely make this again.
We eat salmon at least once a week. This lemon pepper version was amazing. I really like that you cook it on top of the lemon slices and that you use lemon zest. Looking forward to making again.
This is definitely an amazing weeknight meal! Everyone at my house loved it!
Oooh, this salmon was so good paired with the orzo pasta salad. I love all those flavors and how easy it was for a weeknight meal.
I loved it!! I’ll have to surprise my husband with this! He loves lemon pepper anything. And it was amazing! I’ll be wife of the year 🙂