This lemon pepper salmon recipe is absolutely foolproof. In fact, it’s the most delicious and easy way to add all the goodness that salmon offers into your dinner rotation.

With the perfect blend of seasonings and the essence of fresh squeezed lemon, it’s a light and easy dinner your whole family will love!  

Lemon pepper salmon on a white platter.
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I’ve really been enjoying experimenting with all the ways to use my homemade lemon pepper seasoning. It feels like it works for just about every style of main dish and entree – especially salmon!

I love lemon pepper everything. It adds robust flavor without a lot of fuss (or calories!) Lemon Pepper Sauce, Lemon Pepper Chicken, Lemon Pepper Shrimp, the list goes on and on!

You can use store-bought lemon pepper seasoning or make your own. Either way, it’s a quick and easy dinner. Leftovers are perfect for tossing into salads, pastas and more!

Lemon pepper salmon on a white platter.

Lemon Pepper Salmon

In this easy recipe, the lemon pepper seasoning creates an incredibly fragrant and flavorful salmon dinner. It makes it so easy to add a lean, protein-packed entree into your dinner rotation.

Lemon pepper salmon on a white platter.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Summery – It’s the simplest, easiest idea but it’s bursting with the essence of summer!
  • Fresh – That addition of lemon really takes your basic salt and pepper seasoning to a whole new level!
  • Wholesome – Salmon is full of antioxidants, vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids that are the ultimate way to enrich your diet! It’s low-carb, low calorie, and full of all the good stuff- so it fits right into a Keto or Whole 30 lifestyle plan, too!
Lemon pepper salmon on a white platter.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Salmon – Boneless, with skin removed.
  • Lemon – Sliced lemon adds moisture and flavor that infuses into the salmon.
  • Butter – Melted butter steams into this amazing salmon. You can use olive oil or canola oil if needed or preferred.
  • Lemon Pepper – Store bought or you can make your own.
Ingredients for lemon pepper salmon laid out on a marble countertop.

How to Make Lemon Pepper Seasoning

  1. Combine 2 tablespoons lemon zest with 1 tablespoon coarse black ground pepper.
  2. Toast in oven on lowest setting 25 minutes or until dry. A gold sheetpan filled with baked lemon pepper seasoning.
  3. Stir in 1 teaspoon coarse salt. A white bowl with a teaspoon to the side, bowl filled with lemon pepper seasoning.

Variations

  • Add Herbs – Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano add even more flavor. Leaving them fully stemmed on top of your salmon fillets makes for a beautiful presentation and allows the herbal flavors to infuse into the fillet.
  • White Wine – Add a little dry white wine to the pan or foil packet for an addition infusion of flavor and to create more of a sauce to drizzle over the top of your salmon.
  • Oil – Switch the butter in this recipe for olive out for a more subtle flavor profile.

How to Make Lemon Pepper Salmon

An overview, visit the printable recipe card for complete ingredients and instructions.

On the Grill

  1. Allow salmon to stand at room temperature as you preheat grill. Prep a baking sheet with foil and baking spray.
  2. Arrange lemons on foil, placing salmon on top. Brush salmon with butter or oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper. Lemon pepper salmon on a baking sheet.
  3. Fold all sides of foil up to make a tent or packet. Place the salmon packet on the grill. Close lid and grill as directed. Salmon inside aluminum foil on a grill.
  4. Open foil, close lid and continue to grill until it’s cooked through. Transfer using a spatula and baking sheet.

In the Oven

  1. Allow salmon to stand at room temperature as you preheat oven. Prep a baking sheet with aluminum foil and butter or baking spray.
  2. Arrange lemons on foil. Place salmon on top. Sliced lemons on a foil lined baking sheet.
  3. Brush salmon with butter or oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper. Lemon pepper salmon on a baking sheet.
  4. Fold all sides of foil up to make a tent or packet. Foil wrapped salmon on a gold baking sheet.
  5. Bake the salmon as directed.
  6. Change your oven to the broil setting.
  7. Carefully open foil so salmon is completely uncovered. Place under broiler for three minutes to allow the top of the salmon fillets to begin to brown.
  8. Transfer using a spatula and baking sheet. Serve with lemon slices and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the top.
A close up of a lemon pepper salmon recipe

On the Stovetop

  1. Heat a non stick skillet on medium heat. Add a pat of butter or olive oil to the pan.
  2. Brush salmon with butter and season with lemon pepper.
  3. Add salmon fillets in the pan skin side down (or with skin fully removed if you choose). Cover the pan and cook over medium heat.
  4. Plate and serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Lemon pepper salmon on a baking sheet.

Tips

  • Don’t overcook. As soon as it flakes when pressed with a fork, it’s done cooking. Salmon is safe to eat at any temperature.
  • This dish is best served on the day you cook it. Salmon doesn’t reheat as well as many other proteins.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you put lemon on fish before or after cooking?

You can do it either way, as lemon is a beautiful acidic addition to all types of fish. However, don’t marinate it for too long, as the acidity in lemon and lime juice can cook the fish, ceviche style.

Can you use bottled lemon juice on fish?

While fresh lemon juice is always best, you can substitute with bottled lemon juice for most recipes. It’s slightly more acidic, so watch your balance with other seasonings!

Serving Suggestions

Looking for serving suggestions? Don’t skip the best Side Dishes for Fish – it’s a free guide full of incredible inspiration!

Lemon pepper salmon on a white platter.

How to Store

  • Refrigerate – Store any leftover salmon in a storage container with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  • Freeze – Freeze in an airtight container for up to three months, skin removed. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. 

Reheat

While I don’t suggest reheating salmon because it’s just not as good on the second day, it reheats best in a skillet.

Simply warm through in a non stick skillet, (or any skillet with a pat of melted butter) set at a medium temperature.

Lemon pepper salmon on a white platter.

Leftover Idea

Serve with this arugula lemon salad for lunch the next day!

Lemon pepper salmon on a white platter.

More Lemon Inspiration

Lemon pepper salmon on a white platter.
5 from 3 votes

Lemon Pepper Salmon

This baked lemon pepper salmon recipe is absolutely foolproof. With the perfect blend of seasonings and the essence of fresh squeezed lemon, it’s a light and easy dinner your whole family will love!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 3
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Ingredients  

  • 1 pound salmon boneless, skinless
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted, or oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon pepper

Instructions 

  • Allow salmon to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat grill to medium heat. Place a large piece of foil on baking sheet. Coat foil with butter or baking spray.
  • Arrange lemons on foil. Place salmon on top.
  • Brush salmon with butter or oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper.
  • Fold all sides of foil up to make a tent or packet.
  • Place the salmon packet on the grill. Close lid and grill 15 minutes.
  • Carefully open foil so salmon is completely uncovered. Close lid and grill 3 minutes. It is done when you press down on top of the salmon and it breaks apart or flakes.
  • Transfer using a spatula and baking sheet.

Tips

Substitutions

  • Butter – You can use olive oil or canola oil if needed or preferred.
  • Lemon Pepper – Store bought or you can make your own by combining 2 tablespoons lemon zest with 1 tablespoon coarse black ground pepper. Toast in oven on lowest setting 25 minutes or until dry. Add one teaspoon coarse sea salt.

Variations

  • Add Herbs – Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano add even more flavor. Leaving them fully stemmed on top of your salmon fillets makes for a beautiful presentation and allows the herbal flavors to infuse into the fillet.
  • White Wine – Add a little dry white wine to the pan or foil packet for an addition infusion of flavor and to create more of a sauce to drizzle over the top of your salmon.

Alternative Cooking Methods

In the Oven

  1. Allow salmon to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place a large piece of aluminum foil on a baking dish or sheet. Coat foil with butter or baking spray.
  2. Arrange lemons on foil. Place salmon on top.
  3. Brush salmon with butter or oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper.
  4. Fold all sides of foil up to make a tent or packet.
  5. Bake the salmon for 15 – 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 125 to 130 degrees F. Time will vary based on the thickness of your salmon and your oven.
  6. Change your oven to the broil setting.
  7. Carefully open foil so salmon is completely uncovered. Place under broiler for three minutes to allow the top of the salmon fillets to begin to brown. It is done when you press down on top of the salmon and it breaks apart or flakes, with a beautiful golden color.
  8. Transfer using a spatula and baking sheet.
  9. Serve with lemon slices and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the top.

On the Stovetop

  1. Heat a non stick skillet on medium heat. Add a pat of butter or olive oil to the pan.
  2. Brush salmon with butter and season with lemon pepper.
  3. Add salmon fillets in the pan skin side down (or with skin fully removed if you choose). Cover the pan and allow to cook for 5-6 minutes over medium heat. To add a little browning to the top, turn your heat up a little and give them an extra minute for a gold brown crust.
  4. Plate and serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Tips

  • Don’t overcook. As soon as it flakes, it’s done cooking.
  • Best served on the day you cook it. Salmon doesn’t reheat as well as many other proteins.

To Store

  • Refrigerate – Store any leftover salmon in a storage container with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  • Freeze – Freeze in an airtight container for up to three months, skin removed. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. 

Reheat

While I don’t suggest reheating salmon because it’s just not as good on the second day, it reheats best in a skillet. Simply warm through in a non stick skillet, (or any skillet with a pat of melted butter) set at a medium temperature.

Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 844mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 316IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    You’re right — this recipe WAS foolproof. I’ve been trying to up my salmon game, but I’m still absolutely awful at cooking it. This was impossible to get wrong!