Baked Salmon with Lemony Basil Sauce

in Lemon, Lighter & Healthier, Quick & Easy, Salmon, School Night Eats, Seafood, The Great Detox of 2015, Whole30
Baked Salmon with Lemony Basil Sauce

Baked Salmon with Lemony Basil Sauce

A couple of weeks ago, salmon was on sale for under $5/lb. That’s a pretty big discount for a fish that regularly runs $8-9/lb. So I did what any studious, well-organized meal planner would do: I stocked up hoarded.

And I mean hoarded.

Every trip to the store called for a pit-stop by the seafood counter to pick up 2-3 sides of salmon. And because I’m no where near as studious or well-organized a meal planner that I think I am, I make 3 trips a week. That’s a lot of salmon!

Baked Salmon with Lemony Basil Sauce

I portioned the salmon at home myself into ~5-6 oz fillets – they cook much faster and more evenly than the larger slab-sized pieces – freezing two fillets per sandwich bag. AND NOW I NEVER HAVE TO BUY SALMON EVER EVER AGAIN.

You all are probably extremely familiar with my favorite salmon dish ever, Spicy Honey-Glazed Salmon. Now let me introduce you to my second favorite salmon dish.

Baked Salmon with Lemony Basil Sauce

The salmon itself is simply roasted: a little oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 12 minutes. Perfection. There’s no real prep, no real mess.

While the salmon is baking, the no-cook sauce is whipped up in the blender in seconds. It’s similar to a pesto – what it lacks in Parmesan and pine nuts, it makes up with the saltiness and savory flavors from anchovies and capers. You’ll have leftover sauce – it keeps very well in the fridge – for salmon another night or to toss with pasta or zoodles for reinvented lunch leftovers (that was a big hit here).

Don’t freak out about the anchovies – the sauce will not taste or smell fishy. I don’t do fishy. Don’t tell anyone you added anchovies and they’ll never know. I recommend buying a tube of “anchovy paste” because that &^%$ lasts forever and you don’t have to worry about what to do with the leftovers.

Baked Salmon with Lemony Basil Sauce

A quick and easy dinner of roasted salmon fillets with a no-cook lemony basil sauce.


  • For the fish:
  • 4 6-oz salmon fillets
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed parsley leaves
  • 2 anchovy fillets or 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp drained capers
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking pan with foil.
  2. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of olive oil over the fish and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the salmon is just still translucent in the very center of the thickest part of the fillet.
  4. While the fish is cooking, add the basil, parsley, anchovy paste, lemon juice and zest, capers, and garlic to the blender.
  5. Turn on and stream the olive oil in, blending until smooth.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon over the fish to serve.
  7. Leftover sauce keeps wonderfully in a covered jar/bowl for several days.


Yields: 4 servings, plus leftover sauce

Slightly adapted from Food & Wine Easy Weeknight Dinners

Estimated time: 15 minutes

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