Salmon is most people’s go-to fish…it is healthy, delicious, and extremely versatile. This Citrus Thyme Salmon uses barely any additional ingredients to highlight the wonderful, natural flavor of the salmon. And if you can find some chive flowers, they’re the perfect extra touch in this baked salmon.
Why this Recipe Works
Using a high-quality, flavorful sockeye salmon is key. The quality of the ingredients easily mirror the quality of the dish. Read more about choosing fish here.
The salmon is baked skin side up, helping lock in the mositure and providing an easy method for testing it's doneness - if the skin peels easily, it's done.
The beauty of this salmon dish is in its simplicity. It’s as easy as a good quality sockeye salmon filet, seasoned lightly with salt and pepper, then baked with citrus slices and lemon thyme on top.
The lemon thyme adds an addition layer of citrus flavor that is different from the sweet orange, and balances out the sweetness.
More About Choosing Salmon
Living in the Pacific Northwest, my go-to salmon is Copper River Salmon. Salmon is in high demand - fish in high demand tend to get overfished, leaving the ocean life out of balance. The oceans aren’t a limitless supply of food, and we need to be mindful about how and what we choose to eat.
Copper River wild salmon are protected, and there are great effort and laws in place to make sure the salmon population remains strong in the Copper River.
How to Make this Recipe
Preheat your oven to 350°F. In the meantime, cut the orange into ¼ inch slices.
Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Cover with sprigs of lemon thyme. Top with the orange slices. Flip your salmon onto your baking sheet so it is skin side up with the orange slices under the salmon. Trust me...this way all that delicious fat on the skin side runs into your salmon. Set aside until the oven is preheated.
Cook until desired doneness or until the salmon easily flakes and the white albumin starts to form on the top. This can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon, which varies significantly from filet to filet. You can test doneness by peeling the skin of the salmon - if it peels easily, it's done.
Keep in mind that the Copper River Sockeye and some other sockeye are so dark in color, the color does not change as much as it does with regular salmon.
Baked Salmon FAQs
350-450F depending on what you are going for. Bake it at a lower temperature if cooking with a sauce for a delicate texture. Bake it at a higher temperature for a crispier texture balanced with a moist interior. Be sure not to over-bake. The internal temperature should read 145F, so you can pull it out of the oven at 140F since it continues to cook once it has been removed from the oven.
Not if you're cooking it in the oven. But if you are pan-frying or grilling, you will cook it skin-side down for 6-8 minutes, then 4-6 minutes on the other side.
Yes, and it will be very dry. You can either check the internal temperature and remove it from the oven at 140F, or you can pay attention to signs of it being done: the skin peels easily, the white proteins just barely begin to show in the flesh,
I love a delicious, easy fish recipe because it cooks so quickly! Here are some of the salmon recipes I've been making a lot lately:
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Citrus Thyme Salmon
Citrus Thyme Salmon
- 1.5 lb. sockeye salmon
- 1 orange sliced
- 1 bunch lemon thyme
- 3 chive flowers optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- In the meantime, cut your orange into ¼ inch slices.
- Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Top with the orange slices. Flip your salmon onto your baking sheet so it is skin side up with the orange slices under the salmon. Trust me...this way all that delicious fat on the skin side runs into your salmon. Set aside until the oven is preheated.
- Cook until desired doneness or until the salmon easily flakes and the white albumin starts to form on the top. This can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon. Because the copper river sockeye so dark in color, the color does not change as much as it does with regular salmon.
This post was originally published in May of 2018 but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions, FAQs, and tips in February of 2021.