Baked Garlic Lemon Salmon in Foil

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This Baked Garlic Lemon Salmon in foil is ready in less than 20 minutes and couldn't be more delicious with a sweet and savory honey, lemon, and garlic sauce. Plus the salmon comes out perfect everytime when it is baked in foil.

280 CAL 6g CARBS 23g FAT 31g PROTEIN 3

This super easy Baked Salmon with a Honey, Lemon, and Garlic Sauce will quickly become your favorite way to make salmon. My whole family devours it and it is quickly competing with this Italian Salmon as our favorite way to cook salmon. Want to learn more about salmon? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Salmon.

As one of the healthiest protein options around, we try and eat salmon at least once a week. Not only is it quick and easy to prepare, but it is also packed with Omega 3's and a meal that both my toddlers will eat as well. I am still working on getting my husband to eat fish, but one step at a time. 

The other amazing thing about this lemon salmon baked in foil is that it feels fancy and sophisticated but it is actually the simplest meal to prepare. The sauce is made in the microwave and then everything in wrapped in foil and cooks in the oven in about twenty minutes. Cooking salmon in foil also does two things that ensure a delicious dish every time. First, cooking the fish in foil seals in the moisture and makes it harder to overcook your fish and dry it out. If you get nervous about cooking fish, this is the method for you.

Secondly, cooking the fish in foil, helps to kick up the flavor. The fish steams and cook in the sauce, which enhances the flavor and makes sure it penetrates all the nooks and crannies of the fish. It is sucha  great way to add tons of flavor to fish. 

Lemon salmon baked in foil with garlic, honey, and cilantro.

How do you make lemon garlic salmon?

There really are a million ways to make lemon and garlic salmon. All you really need to make a really delicious lemon salmon is a nice piece of salmon, lemon, garlic, olive oil or butter, salt, and pepper. From there you can jazz things up with honey, spices, or fresh herbs. The base recipe I am sharing today is for salmon baked with a honey, garlic, and lemon sauce. I will share some different seasoning options below, but here are four ways to cook this dish.

  • In Foil: To bake the salmon in foil, start by laying the salmon on a large piece of sturdy aluminum foil. You can bake on large piece of salmon or bake them in individual portions. Cover the salmon with the garlic lemon honey mixture and then cinch the foil around the salmon to create a pouch. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 until the salmon is just about cooked through. Open the foil and broil for about 3 minutes to brown the salmon.
  • Baked: To simply bake this salmon, place it in a glass baking dish or foil lined cookie sheet. Season the salmon and pour the lemon garlic sauce on top. Bake the salmon at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork. The cooking time can vary based on the thickness of the fish.
  • Grilled: Salmon turns out great on the grill and it adds a nice smoky flavor. Since fish tends to stick to the grill, I like to cook my fish on a piece of aluminum foil directly on the grill. To make sure the fish cooks evenly, create a foil pouch around the salmon, just like you were cooking it in foil in the oven. Then grill the salmon for 10-15 minutes until it is just about cooked. Open the foil and cook for 1-2 minutes more so it can brown slightly on top.
  • Pan Seared: If you prefer cooking the salmon in a pan, start by marinating the salmon in the honey, garlic, and lemon mixture. Then remove the salmon from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Add the salmon to a hot pan with a little oil or butter. Start the salmon skin-side down and cook for 3-4 minutes. Carefully flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until salmon is cooked to your liking. Remove the salmon and let it rest. Meanwhile, add the remaining marinade to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then serve as a sauce on the salmon.

How long to bake salmon in foil?

After experimenting with baking salmon in foil at different temperatures, I find the most reliable oven temperature to be 375 degrees to guarantee a moist and delicious salmon every time. Cooking it at a higher temperature can result in unevenly cooked salmon, especially if you are cooking a large piece of salmon as opposed to individual portions. At 375 degrees, most salmon will take between 15-20 minutes. Thinner varieties of salmon, like sockeye salmon, may cook a bit more quickly. Thicker varieties may take a bit longer. 

The key is opening up the foil packet when the salmon is just a touch underdone. Then you can broil and brown the top without worrying about the salmon overcooking. Also if you ever finish cooking the salmon and realize it isn't quite cooked, just close up the foil pouch and the salmon will continue to cook from the residual heat. Three or four minutes wrapped in foil is usually enough to finish the salmon.

If you like to eat your salmon more medium or medium rare, you will need to reduce the cooking time to between 10-15 minutes. 

Baked Garlic lemon salmon wrapped in foil with lemons.

What herbs go with salmon?

Herbs go great with lemon salmon and there are all different combinations you can add to this recipe. Many people will swap our either dried or fresh herbs for the paprika and chili powder. Here are some options that work really well with the lemon and garlic sauce.

  • Rosemary
  • Dill
  • Thyme
  • Italian seasoning

What spices can I use on baked salmon in foil?

If you prefer to use spices instead of fresh/dried herbs, there are also many different combinations you can use. Here are some that go really well with the lemon, garlic, and honey sauce.

  • Cajun seasoning
  • Cumin and paprika for a smoky note
  • Montreal steak seasoning
  • Old Bay or seafood seasoning
  • Blackening spices

Serving Ideas

Nine times out of ten, I am going to be serving baked salmon with some kind of roasted vegetables since I can prepare everything in the same hot oven. It's just the easiest option. If I am using a heartier vegetable like potatoes, butternut squash, Brussel sprouts, or other veggies that take longer to cook, I will start them in the oven before adding the salmon. Some of my favorite side dishes to serve with this salmon are Easy Roasted Potatoes, Asian Brussel Sprouts, or these amazing Creamy Ricotta Zucchini Noodles.

The Recipe
Baked Garlic Lemon Salmon wrapped in foil with honey and cilantro.

Baked Garlic Lemon Salmon in Foil

280 CAL 6g CARBS 23g FAT 31g PROTEIN 3
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  • 1.33 lbs salmon (wild if possible)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp honey (leave out for low carb)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.


Add the minced garlic, butter, honey, and lemon juice to a small container. Microwave it for 30-45 seconds until the honey and butter melt together. You can also do this on a small sauce pan on the stove.


Place the salmon on a large piece of foil on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the salmon with paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper.


Pour the lemon garlic butter mixture over the salmon. If you have time, let sit for 15 minutes for the sauce to flavor the salmon more intensely.


Carefully close the foil around the salmon, creating a pouch for the salmon to cook.


Bake the salmon for about 15-20 minutes or until the thickest part of the salmon is almost cooked through. This can vary depending on the thickness of the fish.


Carefully open up the foil and turn the oven up to broil or 500 degrees.


Let the salmon cook for 3 more minutes so that the top browns. Watch the salmon to make sure the garlic doesn't burn.


If your salmon isn't quite cooked through, you can close the foil pouch and let the salmon rest for a couple of minutes.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz
Amount Per Serving
Calories 280
Calories from Fat 209
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g
Saturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 91mg
Sodium 96mg
Total Carbohydrate 6g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 4g
Protein 31g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Baked Garlic Lemon Salmon in Foil
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August 22, 2023 - 05:45
wondering can this be done on a grill?
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August 22, 2023 - 06:24
Absolutely! You can cook it in foil on the grill for 8-12 minutes or until it is cooked to your liking.
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Jimmy Dooley
August 19, 2022 - 19:06
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So good and easy it’s crazy!!! Great recipe!
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Kim Nash
January 25, 2021 - 22:41
Terrific, easy recipe. Great flavor...I baked the salmon in a small baking dish and did not let it marinate first. Came out awesome and is gonna be a regular WW friendly recipe in my house.
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December 23, 2018 - 13:18
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I made this for dinner tonight. I used the glass dish method. I served it with steamed spinach and it cooked perfectly at 15 minutes. This was very tasty. I followed the recipe exactly. I think when I make it next time I will only use half the amount of honey or maybe leave it out entirely. It tasted fine with the honey, but it was a tad too sweet for my personal taste. I will make this again though. Easy to make and very good!
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December 12, 2018 - 14:19
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Can this also be used if the salmon is frozen?
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December 12, 2018 - 15:11
Cooking frozen salmon in foil is actually a great method to cook frozen salmon since it traps the moisture and helps it cook evenly. It will probably take 4-8 minutes longer depending on the thickness of the salmon.
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