Garlic Cilantro Baked Salmon

4.99 from 175 votes

This Garlic Cilantro Oven Baked Salmon is easy to prepare and is a healthy quick option for the busy weekdays that the whole family will enjoy

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One of my favorite ways to prepare salmon is oven baked with a simple combination of garlic, cilantro, olive oil and soy sauce. It’s a flavor combination I learned from my dad and it results in a restaurant-like flavor that complements the salmon so well. It’s a healthy, delicious and easy meal you’re sure to love!

Garlic Cilantro Oven Baked Salmon in a white shallow bowl over rice with lime wedges
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Ingredients to make the recipe

  • Salmon: Salmon is a great fish to include in a balanced diet. It is high in protein and healthy fats, but low in saturated fats, calories and carbs. Look for wild caught salmon if possible.
  • Cilantro: Cilantro adds a great herby freshness to the salmon. If you don’t like cilantro, you can easily swap it for parsley.
  • Garlic: Use fresh garlic for the best flavor and if you have a garlic press, it helps to press the garlic for even flavoring all over the salmon.
  • Oil: I use olive oil to cook the salmon fillets, but you can use another high heat oil like canola, avocado or vegetable.
  • Soy sauce: Soy sauce adds a great umami flavor to the salmon. You can also use liquid aminos or gluten-free tamari sauce.

How to cook garlic cilantro salmon in oven

  1. Pat the fillets dry, season them with salt and pepper and place in an oiled baking dish.
  2. Add the cilantro and garlic on top of the fillets.
  3. Drizzle with the olive oil and soy sauce and bake.
3 image collage to show the salmon uncooked, then topped with the seasoning, then with the added olive oil and soy sauce
  • You’ll know the salmon is done baking because it will change from translucent (red or raw) to opaque (pinkish) when it’s cooked. I recommend checking for doneness at the start of the time range and poking the salmon with a sharp knife. It should begin to flake.
The oven cooked salmon after it's done cooking topped with garlic and cilantro in an off-white rectangle baking dish
  • Make sure to reserve some of that pan sauce because it’s got all the juice from the garlic, cilantro, olive oil and sauce after the salmon is baked!

Tips for oven baking salmon

  1. Don’t remove the skin from the salmon. The skin is where all the fat is, so it actually provides an added layer of fat to flavor the recipe. It also acts as a safety layer between the salmon’s flesh and the baking pan, so that no flesh gets stuck while cooking
  2. Season in the baking dish. I’m all for decreasing the amount of cleaning and dishes to wash when cooking. So, while you can blend the ingredients for the sauce in a food processor, its’ not necessary, and while you can mix the sauce and the salmon in another bowl, it’s not necessary. Do it all in one pan.
  3. Let the salmon come up to room temperature before baking it in the oven. This will help it cook evenly through, if you put it in the oven cold, the middle of the fillet will take longer to cook and the outside can overcook. I like to take the salmon out of the fridge about 15 to 20 minutes before I want to bake it.
  4. Pat dry the fillets to remove excess moisture. Fish can hold on to a lot of moisture, which can cause it to become tough or mushy when it is cooked.

Frequently asked questions

Should you use fresh or frozen salmon?

Either one works. I prefer to use frozen wild caught salmon and in my experience it often tastes more fresh than the fresh salmon from the grocery store. If using frozen like me, be sure to thaw them fully outside of their plastic packaging, remove excess moisture and give them an extra pat dry before using them.

What do you serve it with?

I like to serve this garlic cilantro salmon on a bed of white rice or brown rice for a super quick and easy weeknight meal. Or you can keep it low carb by serving it with Lime Cauliflower Rice or sides of your favorite steamed or air fryer veggies, like air-fried cauliflower florets.

Can you make it ahead of time?

These oven baked salmon fillets are best served as soon as they made, but you can prep them a couple of hours ahead of time and keep them covered in the fridge. The cooked salmon will keep well for up to 3 days in the fridge and can be reheated in the oven to serve.

Cutting into the salmon to show how flaky it is, topped with lots of fresh cilantro over rice

More salmon recipes:

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Garlic Cilantro Salmon

This Garlic Cilantro Oven Baked Salmon is easy to prepare and is a healthy quick option for the busy weekdays that the whole family will enjoy
5 from 175 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Calories 310
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
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  • 4 salmon fillets
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh finely chopped cilantro plus more for serving
  • 3 garlic cloves pressed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce


  • Preheat oven to 425°F and spray a baking dish large enough to fit the salmon fillets with cooking spray.
  • Pat the salmon fillets with a paper towel to dry them, then season with salt and pepper, and place skin side down in the baking dish.
  • Add the cilantro, garlic, olive oil and soy sauce on top of the seasoned salmon, making sure to disperse evenly among the fillets. You can use your hands to rub the mixture evenly into the salmon.
  • Bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes, until the salmon becomes opaque and flaky.
  • Plate the salmon over rice, with lime wedges and some of the pan sauce drippings, if desired.


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last up to 3 days in the fridge. 


Calories: 310kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 34g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 94mg, Sodium: 618mg, Potassium: 852mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 135IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Entree
4.99 from 175 votes (154 ratings without comment)

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  1. Linda says:


    1. Yumna says:


  2. Elizabeth says:

    We love salmon so I was so excited to get the salmon recipes. I haven’t tried them yet but I definitely will.

    1. Yumna says:

      Hope you love this one!

  3. Lira says:

    Have made this several times both with cilantro and with parsley (for those who can’t do soapy herbs) and it is excellent every time. I’m always so happy when there’s leftovers, because reheating rice, but with the cold refrigerated fish for lunch the next day, is also divine.
    And I’m always so struck by how SIMPLE it is, yet seemingly so fancy. Thank you for this recipe!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Thank you so much, Lira! Happy to hear that you liked it!

  4. Jordan says:

    AMAZING!!!!! Only thing I did differently was add alot more soy , garlic and cilantro because I love all of it , but wow.. I even ate leftovers for breakfast lol

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you! I love that!!

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