5 Ingredients or Fewer

Sally Schneider's Slow-Roasted Salmon (or Other Fish)

July 11, 2021
22 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Slow-roasting makes a beautifully tender, evenly cooked, not-one-bit-dry piece of fish. If you miss the 120° F, just-starting-to-flake mark and take it out late, it will still be good—even carryover cooking after taking it out of the oven won't outrun you, because there isn't much velocity behind it. This makes the technique perfect for dinner parties and newer fish cooks. Slightly adapted from A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider (Artisan, 2003). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds thick salmon fillet, or other fish like striped bass or cod (1 large fillet or four 6-ounce fillets)
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 1 small bunch of fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, like chives (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, for serving (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 275° F. Brush a baking dish lightly with half the olive oil.
  2. Arrange the fish fillet(s) skin side-down in the pan. Rub the top with the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Tuck half the thyme sprigs under the fish and place the remainder on top.
  3. Roast for 15 to 35 minutes, until a two-pronged kitchen fork inserted in the thickest part of the fish meets with no resistance, the flesh separates easily from the skin, and is just beginning to flake when you poke into it. An instant-read thermometer should read 120° F. (Don't worry if the top of the fish has a slightly transparent, raw look; this is the result of the low roasting temperature. It will be cooked inside.)
  4. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. Remove the thyme sprigs and sprinkle with additional fresh herbs, like chives before serving, if desired. Serve with Greek yogurt mixed with more herbs, or another sauce of your choice.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Eve Hyde
    Eve Hyde
  • HaylesYeah
  • Kellia Brinson
    Kellia Brinson
  • Melissa Y
    Melissa Y
  • Susanna
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

60 Reviews

Eve H. September 10, 2022
Easy to do and came out meltingly tender. My new "go to" for salmon!
HaylesYeah May 22, 2022
Just made this with first of the season Chinook and it was incredible. Husband said “this is the best salmon I’ve ever had.” Thank you!
Kellia B. May 10, 2022
The best way to bake fish, hands down.
Wsmokeyandashes January 30, 2021
This my go to recipe now. The salmon melts in your mouth. I place it on slightly oiled foil and cleanup is a snap. Even my friends who barely cook are making this recipe frequently. This recipe is that easy and that good!
Estela L. August 9, 2019
Easy, quick, delicious!
Melissa Y. May 14, 2019
I will never cook fish any other way. It couldn't have been easier, turned out perfect, and is the perfect weeknight meal. I've done every combination under the sun (thinly sliced citrus, herbs of every type, just salt, dried herbs, curry rub), and the the flavors are always delicate but still much more detectable than one would think, which allows you to finish the dish (or not) in whatever way you choose. This is a game changer for sure.
ellie July 12, 2018
Does anyone have an opinion as to whether this would be a good method to cook fresh yellowfin tuna?
Susanna June 23, 2018
I wonder how this would be if I wanted to do Provençal-style flavors—olives and tomatoes, etc. I’m thinking I might slow-roast those with olive oil for a long time (but how long?) before adding the fish. Will report how it turns out.
Barbara B. June 20, 2018
I love ALL Food 52 recipes and this salmon recipe sounds great too...but take a look at the cook time listed in the recipe - "Cook time: 5 hrs 50 min" The actual recipes states 15-35 minutes. Just wanted to be helpful so that it could be corrected and not confusing to others.
Katherine June 20, 2018
Thank you. I was glancing through the recipe because I am a fish LOVA and was confused by the time!!!! I need to learn how to cook fish the right way! I should fully read the recipe next time.
Kristen M. June 20, 2018
Thank you both for flagging that! I’m not sure what happened there but I just fixed it.
Katherine June 20, 2018
Cook time 5 hrs and 50mins??? I had to miss something right?
Sandy April 2, 2018
This was delicious! My fish filet was almost 3 inches thick so I baked it st 225 roughly 30 minutes. The pan of water is a great trick. I had never tried that before. Living in the Cayman Islands, we eat lots of fresh fish. We meet the boats as the fishermen bring their catch in. Thanks for the recipe.
Momimel December 22, 2019
What is the pan of water trick? I don't see it mentioned in the recipe.
Sandy December 22, 2019
Place a pan of hot water in the oven on the shelf below the fish.
Barb March 15, 2018
If you've never tried Sous Vide cooking, you'll love it just for the salmon! Low, slow cooking automatically, and still done in less than 20 minutes, yet perfect every time.
Anonymous February 21, 2018
I discovered this method with one of the great chef's of our time (in my opinion) Molly Stevens in her classic cookbook, All About Roasting. With a simple and similar name, "Slow-Roasted Wild Salmon Fillets," it was an amazing discovery for me that this technique produces amazing results! She makes a "smear" of olive oil, chives, and lemon or orange zest to top the salmon before cooking.

But I still won't give up my super high heat method, either, and my all time favorite quick preparation for salmon is with Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Salmon Seasoning found in most grocers or on Amazon - in a 450 oven for 10 minutes. Super moist and produces a fabulous quick meal! Its great to have two methods that make such a yummy, healthy meal!
FrugalCat August 15, 2017
Low 'n slow! I love cooking salmon with this method. I surround the fish with slices of lemon, or fresh herbs. Once my husband was like "is this fish still raw?" but he tasted it and understood.
Windischgirl August 8, 2017
Made Coho Salmon on the grill using this method tonight. Preheated the grill on high. Placed a 1.5 lb filet, skin side down, on a double layer of foil. Topped the fish with fresh basil leaves and slices of heirloom tomatoes, salt and pepper. Sealed it with a layer of foil over the top, placed in on the grill pan and promptly lowered the heat to low. It was perfect at about 15 minutes. Delicious with sautéed fennel and a smear of pesto!
mrslarkin August 7, 2017
Made this again tonight using cod. So delicious. I love this recipe!
SKK April 1, 2017
Do not know how I missed this recipe and am thrilled to have found it! It is fresh halibut season here in Seattle and I used this recipe, with advice from Alice Waters via Greenstuff. Amazing flavor! Halibut gently let go of the skin. Used the pan of water and my oven needed to be at 225. Will be making this with for a crowd of 16. Used a simple sautéed leak and butter topping. Wow!
Jen December 20, 2016
Do you think this method would work with Halibut?
Jen January 6, 2017
I ended up finding salmon and this was amazing! We host Sunday dinner and one of the hardest things is finding dishes that work well with the chaos of getting everyone at the table at the same time. The salmon was wonderful right out of the oven, later at room temp, and fantastic the next day straight from the fridge. I did as suggested below and topped with Lemon Caper dressing. Doing again tonight! Now, to figure out the side dishes...
Laura November 28, 2016
I have tried this multiple times but each time the white protein of the salmon oozes out and by the time the thickest part registers 120*F, the rest of the (thick!) fillet is tough! Any ideas on what I could be doing wrong?!
Greenstuff November 28, 2016
That has never once happened to me, but if you look at the earlier comments below, you'll see that I use a lower temperature, 200, and I place a pan of water underneath to keep the atmosphere moist.
Laura November 28, 2016
Thanks Greenstuff - I'll try your approach next time and see how it goes! I've tried different fillets from different markets, tried different baking dishes, popped the fish in straight from the fridge or after resting on the counter to let the chill drop off...but it always leaks albumin and gets an unpleasant overcooked texture. So many other people seem to have great results with this as written, so I'm assuming what I'm experiencing is due to user error somehow!
Greenstuff November 28, 2016
Maybe your oven runs hot? Too much heat is the only factor I can think of that would yield those results.
Billy52 June 17, 2020
Brine the salmon for 15 minutes before baking.
Spice September 25, 2016
This was amazingly moist. I used the method with red snapper.