If you’re looking for a truly, totally easy dinner, this breaded baked salmon recipe is a top choice. It’s delicious, barely dirties any dishes, and is mostly hands-off—not to mention pretty healthy, and fairly impressive with minimal effort.
You end up with moist, flaky meat under a crisp, golden-brown crust with a flavorful layer of seasonings in between. Try it today if you need an easy Valentine’s dinner at the last minute, or break it out next Monday when you’re feeling tired and uninspired. It’s always a winner.
What You Need to Know
This is more of a loose method than a rigid recipe, and you can easily memorize it and play around with the details as you like. Try different flavorings in the coating (we call for parsley, but swap in any fresh herbs you have on hand before they go bad), and mix some spices or finely grated parmesan into the panko too—or try pulverized Rice Chex cereal if you need a gluten-free alternative to panko. Use mayo instead of the mustard-and-oil mixture, and add a dash of hot sauce or Cajun seasoning to it, or maybe za’atar or Chinese five spice powder. You get the idea.
Be sure to use the best salmon you can find, too; see our guide to types of salmon to learn more about the different varieties and how they compare in texture, taste, and best uses.
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Related Reading: The Best Places to Buy Seafood Online in 2020
Oh, and watch out for those fine pin bones when digging in.
What You’ll Need to Make It:
- Dijon mustard
- fresh parsley (optional)
- a salmon fillet (skin-on)
- salt and pepper
- panko breadcrumbs
How to Make Breaded Baked Salmon:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. (Ovens take at least 20 minutes to warm up.)
2. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment. Grease the foil or parchment with a little oil—the type of oil isn’t that important since it’s just to keep the skin from sticking. Spread it around with a paper towel.
3. Mix together two parts Dijon mustard to one part oil in a small bowl. (For a pound of fish, we used about one tablespoon of mustard.) If you have any fresh parsley, chop some and add it to the mixture.
4. Put the salmon in the baking dish skin side down. If the fillet doesn’t fit, cut it in half and lay the two fillets side by side. It’s okay to remove the skin, but it will come off more easily after you cook the fish.
5. Season the fish generously with salt and pepper, then spread the Dijon mixture all over the top (skinless side). Pat panko breadcrumbs evenly over the fish, so it’s completely covered.
6. Place the baking dish in the oven and check the fish after 15 minutes. When it is ready, the center should spring back to the touch and the breadcrumbs should be golden brown. If it’s not ready, return the fish to the oven. One pound will average about 25 minutes total, but a very thin cut may take much less time, and a thicker cut might take a little more.
Serve with steamed or roasted vegetables (which you can cook on the same pan if you have a thick piece of salmon).