Whip up an easy weeknight crusted salmon dinner in under 40 minutes. This recipe comes together quickly, and looks enticing to eat, especially when topped with fresh herbs, asiago cheese, mayonnaise (for creaminess), and lots of lemon juice.
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It's always a good idea to have an easy recipe you can whip up on a busy weeknight. Something the whole family will love and tastes delicious!
This baked salmon recipe with mayonnaise only requires a few simple steps and then it's into the oven to bake! The entire fish is topped with a rich topping which is made with a mixture of mayonnaise, herbs, cheese, and lemon.
This meal is a great option if you're looking for a healthy and easy weeknight dinner, or need to get dinner on the table quickly. I highly recommend making this recipe in the summer when flavorful herbs are easy to find at the grocery store or in your garden.
Plus, this is a gluten free salmon recipe, so it's a great option for dinner parties if you have any gluten sensitive guests.
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
- How to ensure the fish is properly cooked so it still tastes juicy and flavorful.
- Tips for cooking salmon fillets, especially if this is your first time.
- How long any leftover fish will last in your refrigerator.
- Delicious side dish ideas to serve alongside the flaky salmon.
I've got even more kitchen tips you can learn by signing up for my free 5-day email series all about becoming a better home chef.
Ingredients You Need
To make this herb crusted salmon recipe, you'll need a few pantry staples, along with some fresh, simple ingredients:
- Asiago cheese: Asiago has a sharp and nutty taste. You can also use parmesan cheese or a mix of asiago and parmesan.
- Fresh basil: I love using sweet basil in this recipe. It's even better if it comes straight from my herb garden.
- Fresh parsley: Flat-leaf parsley works best for this recipe.
- Mayonnaise: This ingredient adds a creamy, richness to the herb mixture. It really enhances the flavor of the whole dish.
- Unsalted butter: If you use salted butter, be sure to adjust the amount of added kosher salt.
- Lemon: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is always a great way to add some acid to a dish! If you'd like even more flavor, feel free to add in the lemon zest.
- Roasted garlic: In the notes section of the recipe card, I'll teach you how to roast fresh garlic. If you don't have time for this on a weeknight, substitute with jarred roasted garlic.
- Onion powder: For some additional flavor!
- Morton kosher salt and black pepper: All fish needs a healthy pinch of salt and pepper! Salt helps to enhance the other flavors in this dish - it's really important.
- Salmon fillet: This recipe uses a 2 pound salmon fillet (I prefer fresh, never frozen). However, if you adjust the cooking time, you could also use smaller fillets. Just be sure to use a digital thermometer so you don't overcook the salmon.
How To Make This Recipe
This easy salmon recipe comes together super quickly with very little effort.
1. First, you'll need to make the herb sauce that goes on top of the salmon. All you need to do is combine asiago cheese, basil, parsley, mayonnaise, butter, lemon juice, roasted garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a high powered blender or food processor.
2. The ingredients in the blender will turn into a smooth paste. Don't forget to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. The butter and mayo mixture help everything blend together nicely.
It's fine if there are noticeable flakes of herbs. It makes the salmon look pretty when it comes out of the oven.
3. Next, prepare the salmon by lining a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Then, place the salmon fillet on the sheet pan, and pat dry with a paper towel.
4. Finally, spread the herb sauce on top of the salmon. Be sure not to get the sauce too close to the pan or on the parchment paper otherwise, the sauce can burn during the cooking process.
This dish is finished by cooking the salmon for 20 - 25 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 135°F on the thickest part of the salmon. I always prefer to cook fish by testing the internal temperature to ensure it doesn't become overcooked, dry salmon.
Once the salmon dish is plated up, you can garnish with additional lemon wedges for serving.
Expert Tips For Cooking Fish
If this is your first time cooking fish at home, or you're looking to hone your skills, here are a few helpful tips:
When purchasing a fresh piece of salmon, it should have a slight sea smell or no odor at all. You're looking for firm flesh and skin that springs back when you lightly press it. Also, check that the fish looks moist without dark spots or bruises.
Pat the fish dry to encourage a crisp outer skin as the fish cooks.
The thickness of the fish will determine how long it takes to cook. The thicker the salmon fillet, the longer the required cooking time.
It's suggested to cook salmon to an internal temperature of 145°F. If you prefer a more medium salmon, pull it out a bit earlier. If you don't have a digital thermometer, run a fork along the top of the salmon. Cooked salmon will easily flake.
According to the FDA, uncooked fish can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days after purchase. If you need to wait longer than two days, store the fish in the freezer.
Fish will turn from its raw, translucent color to a cooked, opaque color. You'll also want to test that the thickest part of your fish flakes by running a fork along the top of the fish.
Yes, absolutely! It's a delicious treat you can eat if desired. Even if you don't prefer to eat the salmon skin, I'd still suggest you cook the salmon with the skin on. Placing the salmon skin side down helps to protect the delicate fish from the hot pan, thus preventing burned or dry fish.
I like to remove the salmon from the oven just a tad bit before it reaches the suggested internal temperature of 145°F. This allows the fish to remain juicy. Remove the salmon around 135°F and allow it to rest until it reaches 145°F. If you don't already own a digital thermometer, I'd highly recommend one! A thermometer is the best way to get perfectly cooked, juicy fish every single time.
If you're not a fan of salmon, you could try substituting the salmon for a milder fish such as tilapia or halibut. Mild fish tend to have a less intense, distinctive flavor. However, the cooking time will vary.
Side Dishes To Serve With Crusted Salmon
Looking for some delicious side dishes to pair with this herb crusted salmon recipe? I've got some amazing recipes for you:
Herb Crusted Baked Salmon With Mayonnaise
- ½ cup shredded asiago cheese
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil de-stemmed
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh parsley de-stemmed
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
- juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 bulb roasted garlic (about 2 tablespoons)
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon Morton kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pound salmon fillet
- additional lemon slices for garnish
- Heat oven to 425°F.
- To a high-powered blender or food processor add asiago cheese, basil, parsley, mayonnaise, butter, lemon juice, roasted garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Blend until mixture is combined, scraping the sides down as necessary.
- Add parchment paper to the bottom of a 12 x 18 inch metal sheet pan. Lay the salmon fillet (skin side down) on the parchment paper. Pat fish dry.
- Spread a thin layer of the blended herb sauce to the top of the salmon. Be sure not to get the herb sauce on the parchment paper or too close to the pan otherwise, it will burn while baking.
- Cook salmon for 20 - 25 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 135°F on the thickest part of the salmon. Allow salmon to rest for 10 minutes (the temperature should rise to 145°F).
- Garnish fish with additional lemon slices and serve immediately.