Sheet Pan

Perfect Roast Salmon

October  4, 2022
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

My mother-in-law taught me this technique for roasting fish with the skin on and I have used it for years. I love how the skin sticks to the foil for easy serving. She used whitefish and butter; I adapted that for salmon with great success. I usually pair it with a sauce or salsa; mango salsa is very lovely, or a yogurt-based herbal sauce as I show here, but just a slice of lemon is also wonderful. —deanna1001

Test Kitchen Notes

I LOVE this recipe. I have always been leery of cooking fish, but after trying this method I'm sold. So easy and the fish was moist and tasty. I added dill on top of the mayo just because and it was great. Also, when you serve the fish, bonus, the skin stays on the foil! I will definitely make this recipe again. —Marykay Feely

What You'll Need
  • For the salmon
  • 2 5 to 8-ounce filets of salmon, preferably wild-caught, skin-on, pin bones removed
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill pollen (or dillweed)
  • Sauce
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 5 basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 475° F. Line a sheet pan with foil. DO NOT oil or grease. Place fish skin-side down on the pan. Skim coat with mayonnaise (you may need more or less depending on size of filets—you're looking for a thin coating). Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper and top with dill pollen.
  2. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes depending on thickness of filets, until rare.
  3. Meanwhile make sauce (can be done in advance and refrigerated): Smash the garlic and salt and basil in a mortar and pestle until you have a rough paste. Add yogurt and season with salt and lemon juice to taste.
  4. When fish is done, slip a spatula under the fish to remove from foil, leaving skin behind. Serve with sauce and/or lemon.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • FrugalCat
  • Dessito
  • deanna1001
  • Tedmom

16 Reviews

Tedmom September 25, 2022
This is a great recipe as written and it's on our regulation rotation.. Changed it up a bit this weekend subbing Tajin seasoning on top of the mayo coated salmon and used cilantro in place of the basil and lime juice in place of the lemon I the sauce. Love that this is so quick and simple to make.
Nora K. April 23, 2021
This recipe is flavorful, moist, and fantastic. This is my new favorite salmon recipe.
FrugalCat October 17, 2017
I used spicy mayo from the sushi place and it came out great. Love the skin trick.
deanna1001 October 18, 2017
Spicy mayo sounds great! Glad you enjoyed this. 😀
Linda K. December 13, 2016
One of my favorite thick goopy condiments is Trader Joe's Wasabi Mayonnaise on Salmon. Try it, you'll like it!
[email protected] August 22, 2016
You can substitute honey mustard or another thick goopy condiment. It works just as well and is a bit more flavorful.
bayleaf August 21, 2016
Meant to say a variation is to mix fresh dill into mayonnaise instead of using steak spice.
bayleaf August 21, 2016
Hi Peggysue215 - place fillets skin down on grill. You can put the fish in the oven if you prefer - 400F - it's ready when mayonnaise is golden and fish is around 120F. Also heard of this recipe from a fisher lady in Alaska!

PEGGYSUE215 August 21, 2016
Question for bayleaf: Do you place the fillets 'skin up' or 'skin down'?
bayleaf August 21, 2016
This is similar to a salmon recipe we call "West coast salmon" as we discovered it in Vancouver - season the fillets and oil the skin; top fish with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise spread on each fillet and sprinkle with good quality Montreal steak spice. Barbecue directly on medium hot grill with lid down until fish flakes - do not overcook. Mayonnaise will puff and brown and keeps fish moist even if you overcook - Skin wonderfully crisp as a bonus!
deanna1001 August 21, 2016
Sounds wonderful! Wish I had a grill...
bayleaf August 21, 2016
Use the oven instead! Works well around 400F!
deanna1001 August 21, 2016
As I wrote in the recipe I like to cook this at higher heat for shorter time - my 10 minutes is based on a filet over an inch thick. If I had thinner filets I would probably moderate the heat.
Dessito August 21, 2016
Why would you want to get rid of the skin?!? Crispy skin on fish is amazing and a thin layer of omega-3 fatty acids is right underneath it, which means you lose that benefit when you remove the skin.
deanna1001 August 21, 2016
A good crispy skin is a lovely thing for those that like it - but not everyone does. This technique makes removing it simple. The omegas are dispersed throughout the fish, so I don't think you miss much.
Marykay F. July 5, 2016
This recipe for Salmon is my go to recipe. So easy and so tasty. The best part is that the skin sticks to the foil so you just get the salmon. Highly recommend.