Looking for an easy foolproof method for cooking salmon? Try meltingly tender, slow roasted salmon with lemon pepper for perfectly cooked salmon every time!
Tired of dry tough overcooked salmon? Have you tried a variety of cooking methods and not been happy with any of them? I find that even pretty good restaurants often overcook salmon, and then try to cover their mistake with a rich sauce.
Sauce is good, but I really love salmon. When I heard about slow roasted salmon, I’ll admit to being kind of skeptical. I mean, salmon isn’t exactly pot roast, right? While some meats need to braise to break down tough fibers, I don’t usually put salmon into that category.
But I’ll try anything at least once. And boy, am I glad I gave slow roasted salmon a try! Quite honestly, it’s the best way to make salmon (although air fryer salmon also has my heart, and my stomach). There’s a scientific explanation for it but I won’t go into all that. Suffice it to say, slow roasted salmon is juicy and melt-in-your-mouth tender every time. And there’s nothing tricky about it.
If you’re looking for a crisp outside, this isn’t the recipe for you. However, everyone should really try this method at least once.
I really think you’re going to love slow roasted salmon. If my husband is any indicator, it’s the only way you’ll be making salmon from now on!
About this slow roasted salmon:
Don’t be discouraged by the word “slow.” We’re not talking eight hour slow. Not at all! Your salmon will be ready to eat in forty minutes or so. You can wait that long, right?
In fact, one of the advantages of slow roasted salmon is that it’s pretty forgiving. If you leave it in the oven an extra five minutes, no problem! Isn’t that a relief? You don’t have to be a kitchen magician, timing everything to the minute.
Let’s get roasting. Turn your oven on and preheat it to 275°F. It’s what you call a “slow oven.” Seriously. Slow oven = slow roasted salmon.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (no pans to wash either!). Aren’t you loving it already? Place your salmon fillet skin side down on the parchment paper. You can cut it into serving size fillets, or keep it whole. Keep in mind, if you keep it whole, it will take slightly longer to cook.
In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon zest, and salt. Spread it over the salmon, and then grind a bunch of black pepper over that.
Put the salmon into the oven, and bake it. Depending on the thickness of your fillet and how accurate your oven temp is, the salmon will take about 30-40 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 135-140°F.
How to tell if the salmon is done:
If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, how can you tell if the salmon is done? Try poking it with a skewer or a fork. It should slide in pretty easily and the salmon should be easy to separate from the skin. Don’t worry if there’s white stuff on top of the salmon. That’s albumin, a type of protein, that coagulates and rises to the surface of the salmon when you cook it. It’s perfectly safe to eat, but scrape it off if it bothers you.
Note: You may want to experiment with cooking times: Some cooks take salmon out of the oven when the internal temperature reaches 125°F, and let it rest for five minutes or so. That’s totally up to you.
Gasp! What if I overcook the salmon? Let me reassure you: because the salmon is slow roasting in a slow oven, it’s pretty hard to overcook it. Just relax and enjoy!
How to make this salmon your own:
This recipe is basic on purpose. Once you learn the slow roasting method, you can dress up your salmon however you like best. I do want to say though, that this salmon doesn’t need sauce or extra flavors which are often used to mask poorly cooked salmon. It’s perfect just the way it is!
However, here’s a few suggestions that you may want to try:
- Try adding chopped herbs. Chopped fresh dill (or dried dill), parsley, chives, lemon balm, and basil would be good choices.
- Love garlic? Sprinkle the fillet with minced garlic.
- Add a sauce after baking or serve it on the side. I love tzatziki cucumber yogurt sauce with salmon. Try salsa verde or pesto. Homemade ranch dressing would be good, too. It’d be perfect with this chimichurri sauce by Gimme Some Oven or roasted red pepper sauce by Pinch of Yum.
Storage and Reheating Tips
Leftover salmon? I envy you! Refrigerate leftovers, tightly wrapped, for up to three days.
You’ll find that this salmon is perfect for salads, pasta dishes, or sandwiches.
I wouldn’t recommend freezing this salmon, as it will likely lose its excellent texture.
Other salmon recipes:
While I absolutely love this cooking method, there are other fish in the sea (wasn’t that punny?). Try:
- Soy Glazed Salmon
- Easy Baked Salmon with Lemon and Chives
- Salmon with Tomatoes and Fennel — a one pan dinner
- Best Grilled Salmon with marinade
- Baked Salmon with Maple Mustard Glaze
- Baked Lemon Dill Salmon
- Walnut Crusted Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner — with video
- Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner with Asparagus and Potatoes
- 1 ½ lb. fresh salmon fillet, skin on, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest (or zest from one lemon)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 275°F. Line bottom of rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. If desired, cut salmon fillet into serving size portions. Place salmon on parchment paper, skin side down.
- In small bowl, mix olive oil, lemon zest, and salt. Brush mixture over salmon fillets. Sprinkle liberally with freshly ground black pepper.
- Place in oven; bake 30 to 40 minutes or until internal temperature of salmon reaches 135°-140°F. Remove from oven, and serve.
- Refrigerate leftovers, tightly wrapped, for up to three days.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
Husband’s take: Ben never has complaints when I cook up salmon.
Changes I would make: None at all.