Baked Salmon with Amazing Lemon Sauce Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Baked Salmon with Amazing Lemon Sauce

45 reviews / 4.7 average

Delicious baked salmon with crispy potatoes, broccoli, and the most amazing life-changing lemon sauce smothered on top of it all. This is restaurant bistro-style eating!

Crispy golden brown roasted potatoes: HELLO yes.

Tender baby broccoli with a little crunchy char: check check.

Baked salmon, simply salted, peppered, brushed with olive oil, and baked to flaky perfection: absolutely.

And enter -> the herby, creamy, lemony lemon sauce. Yes, yes, and y-e-s. Everything else is delicious, but if we're being honest, it really just serves in the supporting role for this sauce.

This lemon sauce is a showstopper. It's creamy and rich and light all at the same time. It starts with shallots and gets infused with a few sprigs of fresh thyme and finished with a little sizzle of lemon juice, and it feels like there should be more to explain but really, that is the beauty of it. It's simple and it's got really beautiful, gentle, universally delicious flavor and just MWAH.

Close-up of fork taking a bite out of baked salmon in a bowl.

Anyone Can (and Should) Make This

Bjork, God bless him, doesn't cook at all, like, ever. He has made dinner maybe twice in ten years. He does so many things for our family; cooking is just not one of them. But as of this last month, that same Bjork has now been making this baked salmon for dinner. THIS IS MAJOR HEADLINE NEWS.

Bjork's dinner night = we get flaky, buttery baked salmon, roasted broccoli, crispy potatoes, and that amazing lemon sauce.

And me = happy, happy, happy.

If you can just block out the bibs and highchairs, pauses to cut broccoli, incessant toddler questions, occasional baby giggles, and multiple trips back to the fridge for just one more thing, it *almost* feels like a fancy restaurant. Add a glass of wine and put us out on the deck, and I'm 95% sure I'm dining at a neighborhood bistro. More crispy potatoes! Another piece of salmon. Pass the lemon sauce, please.

And if you're also a salmon-cooking newbie, check out our how-to guide for How to Cook Salmon.

How To Make The Best Baked Salmon

If Bjork can make this, so can you! Here's how easy this is.

First: bake your potatoes, broccoli, and salmon on a sheet pan. (They each have separate cooking times so we'll just add them at various intervals. NBD. And for what it's worth, I love baking salmon because I find it cooks more evenly and more predictably than on the stovetop where I'm always left wondering if it's over or underdone.)

Salmon, potatoes, and broccoli on a sheet pan

Secondly, and ideally while things are roasting since you'll have a little time on your hands, get out a pan and make a quick but (have I mentioned) AMAZING lemon sauce.

The herbs, the shallots, the creaminess with the zip of lemon. UGH I could cry. Try not to eat spoonfuls of it while waiting for your salmon. Or just give in. It's so good.

Amazing lemon sauce in a pan being stirred with a metal spoon.

Finally: pile your roasted goodness onto a plate or shallow bowl and liberally cover with sauce. Notice I did not say drizzle. I said cover. Words matter.

The lemon sauce is intended for the salmon, mostly, but let me tell you: potatoes and broccoli straight up dunked in leftover sauce is next-level.

Baked salmon in a bowl with broccoli, roasted potatoes, and lemon sauce on top. There's a fork in the bowl with a bowl of lemons on the side.

This is me raising my glass to you as we eat salmon smothered in lemon sauce with bites of crispy potato and broccoli in our home kitchens / pretend fancy restaurants together. It's just such a treat and I hope you love it. Enjoy!

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Click here to watch step-by-step stories to make this recipe!

Baked Salmon with Amazing Lemon Sauce: FAQs

I'm new to making salmon. Do I eat the skin?

Salmon skin is technically edible, but I personally don't eat it. I like to just slide the skins off the filets before plating it, since they come off very easily after baking.

How do I prevent sad, dry salmon?

Overcooking your salmon will cause it to dry out! And, sad news: it doesn't taste good. You can use a meat thermometer if you want to get very precise with your temperature - but I usually don't use one and I just go off of how it looks and feels. I'll often flake apart one piece to see how it looks before deciding if it's done or if it needs another minute or two in the oven, even though it messes up the presentation slightly. I find that regardless of size of filets or oven variations, somewhere between 10-15 minutes is usually the right amount of time for the doneness that I like.

I have some extra sauce. Can I save it as leftovers?

The sauce might thicken and/or separate as you let it rest, so I think it is best served fresh; however, it is still delicious the next day if you just reheat and whisk it back together, maybe adding a little water as needed. Works great on leftover potatoes with an egg for breakfast!

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Salmon with Lemon Sauce-1-2

Baked Salmon with Amazing Lemon Sauce

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings (depends on how much salmon you use) 1x


Delicious baked salmon with crispy potatoes, broccoli, and the most amazing life-changing lemon sauce smothered on top of it all. This is restaurant bistro-style eating!


Units Scale

For the Sheet Pan:

  • 1 lb. small gold potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • olive oil + garlic powder, salt, and pepper
  • 2-3 cups of broccoli florets (I'm using baby broccoli in the photos)
  • 1-2 lbs. salmon (cut into 2-4 filets)

Lemon Herb Sauce:

  • 6-8 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Roast the Potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Add the potatoes to the pan and toss with a little bit of olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes until lightly browned and delicious.
  2. Make the Life-Changingly Delicious Sauce: While the potatoes are roasting, make your sauce. Melt the butter over medium low heat (I usually start with 6 tablespoons and add the last two if needed once the sauce is cooked). Add the garlic, shallot, and thyme sprigs; sauté for 3-5 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add broth and cream; bring to a low simmer. Let the sauce hang out over low heat until it starts to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the thyme sprigs. Whisk in the lemon juice, stir in the herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Give it a taste. Yes, you're in heaven now.
  3. Bake the Salmon and Broccoli: Add the broccoli and the salmon to the potato pan (keeping the potatoes on there). Toss or brush with a little more oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the salmon is fully cooked - I like it to be *just* past the point of translucent where it flakes apart very easily but isn't dried out.
  4. You're Done: Serve salmon, potatoes, and broccoli with big spoonfuls of sauce, more herbs, and more lemon wedges. This is living. ♡
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Roast
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: baked salmon, lemon sauce, salmon recipe

More Salmon and Sauce Recipes We're Swooning Over

One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our completely delicious broccoli recipes page. Check it out!

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Any suggested substitutions for the heavy cream to make the recipe dairy free?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I was wondering this as well! I was thinking maybe full fat coconut milk.. or just leaving it out. Thoughts?

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Yes, you could use either, but the sauce may not thicken as well!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Instead of heavy cream use Silk’s Dairy Free Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative. It works very well as a dairy free heavy cream substitute and it doesn’t taste like coconut milk!

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Good to know, Rochelle! I’ve been wondering how well the Silk version works as a heavy cream substitute!

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      I was wondering the same. I’ve subbed Nutpods in for cream before but I’m not sure it would thicken up in this case. Idk

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        There’s a thing by Silk called “dairy free heavy whipping cream” that I may try….I’ve used it to make whipped cream before and it was pretty great. Not the cleanest in terms of ingredients as I recall, but a good sub without the heavy coconut flavor 😊

    3. Skillful Cook Logo

      You could try coconut cream or milk. I’ve also seen a dairy free (coconut-based) heavy cream made by Silk that would work well!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Just came back to say that I made this last night using coconut milk (from a jar, not the refrigerated kind) and the sauce was delicious!! I do think the sauce separated a little after I added the lemon juice. My salmon wasn’t done when I pulled it out so I had to put it back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes (my oven temperature lies 😂), and I had already added the lemon juice. Next time I’ll wait until the very last second to add it in!

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          So glad it worked out with coconut milk! Thanks so much for coming back to share!

    4. Skillful Cook Logo

      I’m going to make this tonight.
      I’m wondering how it would be with the extra creamy oat milk? I just recently started buying that and OMG, it tasters just like regular whole milk to me. It’s just delicious. I’m gluten & dairy intolerant & so happy I found it!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        We think that’d be a great dairy free substitute! Let us know how it goes!

    5. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks for this amazing recipe. I made it using hot smoked salmon and our guests (and we!) absolutely loved it. The broccoli didn’t work so well, I think I overdid it, but I’ll definitely be making the rest again. Best wishes from Yorkshire, UK.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Looking forward to making this recipe. I do think that Bjork should have made the recipe for the video though. 🙂

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    I tried this tonight using half and half insead of cream and it did NOT thicken. That said, it was still pretty delicious, just poured it over the fish. We had a LOT leftover, I could have made half for 2 lbs. of fish.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I just made this the other night and the sauce was truly amazing; however, mine didn’t thicken either :-/ Next time (and there will be a next time!) I’m going to make a roux before adding in the broth and cream. I really like how simple and delicious this meal was.

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      I made this dish tonight and it was delicious! I especially liked that I could prep almost everything and so spend time with dinner guests. The only thing that got in the way was my efforts to thicken the.sauce. I used heavy cream and waited till the end to add the lemon juice but it really wasn’t thick. What did I do wrong?

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Really?? “Do I eat the skin?“

    And the response: technically it’s edible.

    How embarrassing.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    We made this tonight (subbed pure coconut milk instead of heavy cream), and wow it was amazing. Added extra fresh parsley. Thank you for being in our kitchen this evening! 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      So glad to hear it worked out well with coconut milk! Thanks so much for the comment!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    It look so yummy but for me that is on a doctor’s control diet there is a lot of butten and heavy cream on it, can I use less butter and something else instead of cream? I love salmon and we grilled it all the time. Thanks for the yummy recipe.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    It look so yummy but for me that is on a doctor’s control diet there is a lot of butten and heavy cream on it, can I use less butter and something else instead of cream? I love salmon and we grilled it all the time. Thanks for the yummy recipe. I can see a few readers have used coconut cream instead of cream , I never used that crean but I give it a go.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Yes, you can use less butter, and give coconut cream or coconut milk a try!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    This might be the best thing I have ever cooked at home. DELICIOUS. Definitely going in the recipe rotation.

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hey Lindsay!

    After going through the pictures. I can’t wait to make the baked salmon with lemon sauce. 😀


  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Looks so delicious. I’m going to cook it today with the salmon. It looks so good and the sauce sounds delish- I would like to make it for my vegetarian friends. Any suggestions on what to sub for the salmon? Chickpeas? Tofu?

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    I was sure I’d botched this because I was soooo distracted watching my three young kids, who were being particularly mischievous tonight during dinner prep…even so, DELISH. Perfectly roasted potatoes, tender and flaky salmon, and that sauce! MMM.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m making this for a group! I’m wondering if I put 8 salmon filets on the pan, how that would affect the cooking time?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Great question. I’d add 5 minutes to the cook time, check for doneness, and add more time if needed!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Recipe looks delicious & I am excited to try it but… salmon skin really is one of the best parts of the fish (like chicken skin), so if you like that fatty crispiness, give it a shot! It’s a person preference for sure, but lots of us enjoy it, so I’d hate for someone to miss out!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    I must have done something wrong, because I am definitely in the minority here. 6 out of 6 people in my family gave this sauce a huge thumbs down. The only thing missing was the thyme, since our plant died while we were on vacation last week.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Sorry to hear that! We’d love to help figure out what may have gone wrong. Thanks for the feedback!

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow that lemon sauce looks to die for. I love how all the elements come together at the end for a complete meal. Salmon takes on the flavor you give it, so I’m glad you paired it with an amped up sauce. 

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    Made this last night and it was FABULOUS! Definitely will be making it again. With just a couple of pans clean up was easy too!

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    Sooooooooo good. This was a fancy restaurant-quality meal that WILL be on repeat every time I have fresh salmon. Which, thankfully, living in the Pacific Northwest is often!

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ve made this twice already, it’s so good! I subbed radishes for the potatoes to keep it low carb.

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    I made this for dinner tonight, IT WAS THE BOMB… I just had spinach rice as a side, and put some sauce on it… it was absolutely AMAZING. Thanks for making my life easier.