Feb 9, 2021

Baked Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Creamy lemon dill sauce is served ladled over baked Atlantic salmon.

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This is a family favorite and one of the first sauces my uncle Bill, a chef, taught me how to make and my family has been making it for years. I love the way the rich, creamy sauce complements the tender baked salmon. It’s a great quick weeknight recipe paired with rice and vegetables like green beans, asparagus or sautéed spinach. The lemon adds just a bit of acidity to the rich, creamy sauce. Don’t try to substitute the heavy cream with half and half, it will curdle with the lemon juice. 

Baked Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Salmon – While the most common type of salmon sold in stores is Atlantic salmon, there are many other varieties. Atlantic salmon is much fattier and thicker than sockeye salmon. The salmon is seasoned simply with salt and pepper before it’s roasted in the oven at a high heat until it’s just cooked through.
  • Dill – While I love fresh dill, I feel using dried dill in the sauce is best because the bits of herb don’t stick together though I love garnishing with bits of fresh dill.
  • Cream – I add heavy cream, the thick part of the milk that rises to the top due to its high fat content to create a rich, creamy sauce.
baked salmon with lemon dill cream sauce over white rice with green beans topped with lemon wedge

How to Make Lemon Dill Salmon

  1. Make the lemon dill sauce. Add the wine, lemon juice, shallot and garlic to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat to medium-low then add the dried dill and simmer until the wine has reduced by just over half, about 10 minutes. 
  2. Finish the sauce. Whisk in the cream and continue to simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the butter, one cube at a time until emulsified into the sauce. Season with salt, to taste.  
  3. Bake the salmon.
  1. Add salmon to baking sheet. Heat oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Add the salmon fillets to a baking sheet, skin-side down.
  2. Bake the salmon. Drizzle the salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until just cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  1. Serve. Add the salmon to plates and ladle the sauce over the top. Serve with rice and vegetables. 
how to make lemon dill sauce for salmon in this easy dinner

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

Best Temperature to Bake Salmon

This method of cooking salmon is extremely simple. Salmon doesn’t take long to cook, even when the fillets are thicker. Cooking salmon at 425ºF (220ºC) ensures the salmon cooks quickly giving it a buttery texture without drying it out. A good rule of thumb is to plan for about 6 minutes per half inch of thickness. Keep in mind it will continue to cook as the salmon cools. To check if the salmon is done, use a fork to flake a piece off the side.

Cooking tips
  • I like baking sheets that offer nonstick qualities like these Williams Sonoma Goldtouch pans. If your baking sheets are not non-stick I recommend lining the baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil to prevent sticking and easier cleanup.
  • While I use a baking sheet the salmon can also be cooked in a baking dish.
Serving suggestions

I like serving this creamy lemon dill sauce recipe over rice and green beans though it also pairs well with the following:

  • Roasted potatoes
  • Grilled asparagus
  • Sautéed spinach

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this baked salmon recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Baked Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce

baked lemon dill salmon with green beans and steamed rice in a stone bowl
Print Pin
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the lemon dill sauce:

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons diced shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
  • Kosher salt, as needed

For the roasted salmon:

  • pound salmon, cut into 4 fillets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Instructions:

For the lemon dill sauce:

  • Add the wine, lemon juice, shallot and garlic to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat to medium-low then add the dried dill and simmer until the wine has reduced by just over half, about 10 minutes.
  • Whisk in the cream and continue to simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the butter, one cube at a time until emulsified into the sauce. Season with salt, to taste.

For the roasted salmon:

  • Heat oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Add the salmon fillets to a baking sheet, skin-side down.
  • Drizzle the salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until just cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes.

For serving:

  • Add the salmon to plates and ladle the sauce over the top. Serve with rice and vegetables.

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  1. 5 stars
    Turned out well! I used fresh dill and because I didn’t have heavy cream, I used Half and Half cream with a little cornstarch. Definitely recommend, even the kids loved it!