Baked salmon with lemon & tomatoes

This is my standard method for cooking salmon for a weeknight dinner. It’s fast and crazy easy — start to finish is about 40 mins, including prep time. You can do a bunch of different variants as well, but this is what we’ve had the last few times. This version feeds 2, but the math is pretty straightforward.


  • 2 salmon filets
  • 1 lemon
  • 12-16 cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper


  • 2 sheets of tin foil, each large enough to fully & loosely wrap a filet
  • Baking sheet


  1. Heat the oven to 375.
  2. Lay the two sheets of tinfoil out on the counter, and pour a bit of olive oil in the center of each.
  3. Place the salmon skin-side-down on the oil.
  4. Grate fresh pepper over the salmon — not a whole lot.
  5. Slice the lemon so you have 8 slices, not including the end bits. Put 4 slices across the top of each bit of salmon.
  6. Slice the tomatoes in half and put those on top of the lemon slices, cut side down.
  7. Carefully fold the tinfoil up to contain everything, and tightly seal the edges so steam and liquid won’t escape. It’ll end up as a sealed packet with air inside over the salmon.
  8. Place these on the baking sheet and cook for 25 mins or so — the salmon should be opaque all the way through. I tend to err on the side of slightly overcooking these, so don’t worry about it too much.

And that’s it. If you want to get fancy you can toss in a sprig or two of tarragon, or maybe a couple of basil leaves. Serve with steamed spinach or a salad.


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