Bake

Tangy Baked Salmon With Calabrian Chile

June  2, 2021
4.8 Stars
Photo by Mark Weinberg Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog
Author Notes

Another baked salmon recipe? Uh, heck yeah! I don’t know about you, but baked salmon is one of those concepts that I know I can slap together in 10 minutes and sit down to eat within the hour, if not less. The idea is just as welcome when planning a celebratory meal as it is a weeknight dinner. Plus, you’ll spend less on the whole fillet of fish than you would on a salmon entrée for one at a restaurant. If salmon is looking a bit pricey at the store this week (or all the salon is gone), buy arctic char, a similarly fatty fish that’s more common, and therefore less expensive, than both farmed and wild salmon.

But let me also tell you why you do in fact need another baked salmon recipe in your repertoire. This one is fall-apart tender (thanks to a bath in olive oil—don’t we all wish we could take one!), tangy (thanks to white wine vinegar), garlicky (thanks to, well, garlic), and, if you like, just the right amount of spicy (thanks to fiery Calabrian chile paste). The paste is available online and at a lot of Italian markets, but if you can’t find it, simply use whatever chile paste you have on hand, like harissa, gochujang, or sambal oelek; a teaspoon of crushed chile flakes will also work in a pinch. And when it comes to the salmon itself: I don’t do the whole slicing your fish into polite portion-sized fillets-thing, and I don't buy them precut at the grocery store either. I prefer to bake the whole 1 1/2 pounds of fish in one or two large pieces. The thinner edges will be more well-done, leaving the fatty center a bit more medium or medium-rare—something for everyone, and an overall more exciting textural moment. And to serve? I don’t neatly slice there, either. Use a big spoon to gently break up the baked salmon into a few large pieces, then plop it all on a big platter. So much more fun.

To round out the meal, I recommend transferring the salmon to a plate after it’s finished cooking, then tossing a pound of 1-inch (or smaller) waxy potatoes like fingerling, new, or Yukon Golds into the baking dish and returning the pan to the oven to bake until tender. Serve everything on one plate, with the pan drippings and lots of fresh lemon juice squeezed over. —Rebecca Firkser

Watch This Recipe
Tangy Baked Salmon With Calabrian Chile
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds skin-on salmon fillet, picked through for bones
  • 2 lemons
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Calabrian chile paste (if you don’t like heat, skip this)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F and place the salmon (skin side down) in a 2-quart baking dish or on a rimmed sheet pan. Zest and juice 1 lemon. Drizzle the fillet with lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, olive oil, grated garlic, vinegar, and chile paste, if using. Season with a big pinch of salt and lots of pepper.
  3. Spoon the chile oil mixture over the salmon and bake for 15 minutes. Pull out the dish from the oven and use a spoon or pastry brush to scoop up the chile oil accumulated in the bottom and baste the fish a few times.
  4. Return to the oven and continue baking until the flesh flakes when pulled at with a fork and is cooked to your liking, about another 10 minutes for medium-rare, or 20 minutes for medium to medium-well. (If your fillet is thicker in the center, the edges will cook more quickly.)
  5. Halve the second lemon. Remove the dish from the oven and use a spoon to gently break up the fish into a few large pieces. Transfer the fish to a serving platter, squeeze half the lemon over the fish, then drizzle over the remaining chile oil from the pan. Slice the remaining lemon half into wedges for serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • TCHudson
    TCHudson
  • Julie
    Julie
  • Jung-Ah Yum
    Jung-Ah Yum
  • angie
    angie

11 Reviews

angie March 7, 2022
Very good, and super easy! Whipped it up for lunch!
 
TCHudson February 26, 2022
This is such an amazing dish. And SO easy. I paired it with Couscous with Dates, Pistachios, and Sauteed Onions. Such a wonderful Mediterranean dish. Pairs with so many things!
 
RobinCanCook January 6, 2022
We LOVED this recipe and after years of not being a salmon lover, you have revived me! Our beautiful piece of Coho salmon was slightly spicy and tart, the juices to spoon over were delicious, and the whole recipe was gourmet in taste…and “different” than the same old, same old we were desperately craving to get out of our cooking rut. Followed recipe and cooking time to a tee and the fish was perfectly cooked. We substituted the Calabrian chilies with Sambal O paste and would repeat with this substitution again! Thank you…and your videos are the BEST and we “tune in” and appreciate you!!
 
anne7hall October 7, 2021
Love love love this! It’s easy, flavorful and bright. Will definitely make this again and again. So glad I saw Amanda make this on Instagram.
 
[email protected] October 4, 2021
Wow! Delicious and easy! I could not find Calabrian chili paste- so i used chopped Calabrian chilies and used the oil- it was insanely yummy! Even my picky 14 and 16 yr olds loved it!! Would highly recommend!!
 
Holly October 4, 2021
I try to like salmon every chance I get, but am usually unsuccessful. Winner winner! This is a home run! It was fabulous and so easy. Served with quinoa, steamed asparagus and a spring salad with lemon garlic dressing. Adding to the weekly lineup!!!
 
Julie October 4, 2021
I made tonight using 9 small thin salmon pieces I had in the freezer. I cooked it in a Spanish terra-cotta dish I have. Made exactly as written and it was delicious. A big hit with the family. It was spicy 🌶 but in a good way. Calabrian chilies are very flavorful and the heat does not linger. I made a side of mashed potatoes, arugula salad and roasted squash (Sunday fridge-pantry clean out). The combo cut the heat perfectly. Needed the arugula salad for texture, freshness and peppery bite. I will absolutely make this again. I think I can also use with tofu cubes for our vegan daughters dietary portion. Thank you
 
Darian May 21, 2021
I picked this recipe because it sounded delicious and I had some Calabrian chili paste in my fridge - it was WAY better than anticipated! I made smaller salmon filets in one pan and chicken in a second pan, to meet all dietary requests, and served alongside roasted baby potatoes and green beans.
 
liliana March 18, 2021
I am going to bake the salmon along with the potatoes (small or cut) so the fish does not get cold. Maybe even add broccoli or another veggie to the sheet-pan.
 
Jung-Ah Y. February 19, 2021
I ended up having to substitute a lot of ingredients but it still worked!
Calabrian Chile Paste -> Garlic Chili Paste
Fresh Lemon -> Lemon Juice
White Wine VInegar -> Rice Wine Vinegar
Recipe was forgiving enough and super easy to make! It could've used a little bit of sweetness but they may be because I had so many substitutions! Adding to my go to marinades/salmon recipes!
 
Jung-Ah Y. February 19, 2021
I didn't have calabrian chili oil, so ended up using a garlic chili paste I had in the fridge - I think it was lacking a little bit of sweetness but was still delicious! Def adding to my "go to recipes" as it was so easy to do! I also didn't have fresh lemons, so just used lemon juice (no zest) and it seemed forgiving enough to not make a huge difference!