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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!
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
- Pat the fillets dry, season them with salt and pepper and place in an oiled baking dish.
- Add the cilantro and garlic on top of the fillets.
- Drizzle with the olive oil and soy sauce and bake.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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 veggies.
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.
More salmon recipes:
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Garlic Cilantro Baked Salmon recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Garlic Cilantro Salmon
- 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 or liquid aminos.
- 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.