Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon — Juicy salmon at home in 30 minutes that’s EASY and tastes BETTER than from a restaurant! The butter is infused with lemon and garlic and adds so much FLAVOR!
Baked Salmon with Lemon Garlic Butter
Butter that’s infused with lemon, garlic, and a touch of honey helps give this salmon tons of flavor and keeps it extremely moist and tender. This baked salmon recipe is a spinoff of my recipes for Sheet Pan Honey Lemon Salmon, Honey Dijon Salmon, and Sheet Pan Orange Chili Salmon.
This version incorporates garlic, because why not? My family loves garlic and since salmon is a robust fish, it can stand up to the garlic without being overwhelmed.
And I love a dinner that’s easy, ready in 30 minutes, tastes better than the salmon you get in a restaurant (which I find to be dry and bland usually), and cleanup is as easy as throwing away the foil.
What’s in Garlic Butter Salmon?
For this butter garlic lemon salmon recipe, you’ll need:
- Skin-on salmon fillet
- Whole lemon + lemon juice
- Unsalted butter
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Fresh parsley
How to Make Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon
Lemon garlic salmon is so easy to make! Here’s how this recipe is made:
- You’ll first need to line your baking tray with foil; fold up the edges a bit so the garlic butter sauce doesn’t spill out.
- Place the salmon on the foil-lined tray, then nestle lemon slices underneath.
- In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter, lemon juice, garlic, and honey. Pour most of it over the salmon, but reserve a little bit for serving.
- Season the salmon with salt and pepper, then fold the foil over the filets and bake.
- You’ll need to bake the salmon for about 17 minutes in a sealed foil pack and then unseal it so the salmon is exposed.
- At this point, switch over to broiler mode and let the broiler crisp up the top and edges of the salmon.
The interior is so tender and juicy while the edges have a bit of crispiness — a perfect contrast.
Do I Have the Broil the Salmon?
No, just note that the edges of the salmon won’t be as crispy if you don’t broil it. Your salmon will be safe to eat after baking it, so feel free to enjoy it as is!
What to Serve with the Garlic Butter Salmon
This garlic butter salmon pairs nicely with a side salad, roasted veggies, or another vegetable. Here are some of my favorite sides to serve with salmon:
Tips for Making Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon
Butter: I prefer using unsalted butter for this lemon garlic salmon because it lets me control the amount of salt in this dish. If you only have salted butter on hand, that should be fine to use but you may want to scale back the amount of kosher salt you season the salmon with.
Lemon juice: If possible, use freshly squeezed lemon juice for this baked salmon recipe. The fresh stuff has a much better flavor than the pre-bottled kind, and you only need about one lemon’s worth of juice for the buttery sauce!
Broiling tip: And as always, anytime you’re broiling something you should keep a very close eye on your food because it can burn very quickly under the broiler. Remember that you don’t have to broil on the top rack (you can use the second rack), and while it will take slightly longer, there’s less chance of it burning. And finally, you don’t have to broil at all – and can simply skip this step if you don’t care about that extra golden browned top.
What Readers Are Saying
This garlicky lemon butter salmon has been a hit with readers since I first hit “Publish” on this recipe! Here are some of the 5-star reviews that readers have left in the comment section below:
“Made it for dinner tonight! Very yummy! And so simple! Made Greek seasoned rice for a side.” — Shannah
“My son served himself 1/2 of it before I could take a photo. He wolfed it down along with rice and coleslaw. He nodded his head and asked me to add this to the list. We repeat recipes that we like. This made the list.” — Romy T.
“I love this recipe. I am a big salmon lover, and this buttery, lemony recipe is a perfect way to cook it. Will definitely make it again.” — Elizabeth
“Made this exactly as recipe directed and thought it was great! Two servings fit nicely in toaster oven. Recipe is a total keeper!” — Doreen
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- about 1.5 to 1.75 pounds skin-on salmon fillet
- 1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons honey
- 5 cloves garlic, finely pressed or minced; or to taste
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley, optional for garnishing
- Preheat oven to 375F. Place salmon on a sheet of foil (with the longer side parallel with the longer side of the sheet pan) with the skin-side down. Raise the edges of the foil up about 2 inches (or enough so that when you pour the buttery mixture over the top it will be contained in the foil).
- Nestle lemon slices underneath the salmon, spaced evenly around the fillet; set aside.
- To a microwave-safe glass measuring cup or bowl, add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the lemon juice, honey, and garlic. Pour or spoon about three-quarters of the mixture over the salmon; reserve remainder.
- Evenly season salmon with salt and pepper.
- Seal up the foil. Likely you will need to add another sheet of foil on top in order to seal it. Crimp or pinch the top and bottom pieces of foil together; get it as air-tight as possible but it doesn’t have to be perfect. If you have time, set aside to marinate for about 10 to 15 minutes (enhanced flavor).
- Place foil pack on a baking sheet and bake for about 17 minutes.
- Remove baking sheet from the oven and remove the top piece of foil or open up the packet so salmon is exposed but keep the edges raised to contain the buttery mixture.
- Set oven to Hi broil.
- Spoon the reserved buttery mixture over the salmon, if desired. Use your judgment and if there’s already lots of juice you don’t need to add it because you don’t want it to start leaking. If you have extra buttery mixture, it’s great served over the finished dish.
- Broil salmon for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until salmon is as golden as desired.*
- Optionally garnish salmon with parsley and serve immediately.
*Tip: You don’t have to broil on the top rack, you can use the second rack, and while it will take longer, there’s less chance of it burning. Keep a close eye on it because all broilers are different and you don’t want the salmon to burn. Exact broiling time will depend on the size and thickness of the salmon, climate and oven variances, and personal preference.
Storage: Salmon is best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 675Total Fat: 48gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 444mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 45g
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Originally posted May 2, 2018 and reposted with updated text April 2, 2021 and March 24, 2023.