Cooking tutorial: Lemon & Dill Baked Salmon

I have to admit, all my previous recipe posts have not been particularly healthy, or diet-friendly.

But let’s ALSO admit that most yummy food…. is not healthy!!! At the top of my head, I recall giving you guys recipes for fudgey brownies, homemade gourmet burgers, spinach feta quiches…. Oopsie daisy! I often get questions on Formspring about what kind of food I ate when I was on a rather strict low-carbohydrate diet, so today, here’s a guilt-free recipe that’s perfect for all you calorie & carb watchers. If you love the king of fishes, Salmon, like I do.. you’re in for a treat.

Although I don’t miss being on a diet any more, I do miss how I felt when I was dieting & eating guilt-free food such as soups and grilled chicken. The meal could be only relatively satisfying in terms of taste, but deep down inside I felt really proud and good about myself for being disciplined / concerned about my own health, and for making the right decisions. I realized that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Eating healthy good food must be one of the best feelings in the world!!!

After eating this delicious and wonderfully simple dill-herbed salmon with a slight lemony zesty kick to it…

I’m sure you’ll feel the same way. ♥ If I look up the word “mouthwatering” in the dictionary, I just know there is a picture of this very salmon dish plastered on the page.

Good salmon, to me, shouldn’t be overly marinated because you’re tearing the attention away from the natural slightly sweet, buttery taste of the soft pink salmon flesh. And it definitely must NOT be overcooked!!! Dry and hard overcooked salmon is so offensive to me. Equally as offensive as when I ask for a medium rare steak, and it comes close to well done. It simply cannot be accepted. An animal had to die for that, and overcooking its meat is how you honor it?!

This is how I always prepare my salmon fillets. It’s refreshingly fuss-free with only 2 minutes preparation time, and even if you’ve never cooked before you will be able to manage this! I’m going to break it down into 10 super easy and straightforward steps for you guys to follow.

YOU WILL NEED: (this recipe serves 1)
♥ — 1 salmon fillet
♥ — sprigs of fresh dill
♥ — 1 lemon
♥ — 1/2 tablespoon onion / garlic powder, or your favorite all-purpose seasoning
♥ — black pepper
♥ — sea salt
♥ — paprika powder


Step 1: Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Yes you’re going to be baking it of course, there is nothing healthy about frying a piece of salmon that is naturally fatty & oily to begin with!

Step 2: Place the salmon on a greased baking tray or a pan lined with baking paper, skin side down. It is on a plate in the picture for photography purposes.

Step 3: Make 1-inch deep incisions along the thicker parts of the salmon fillet with a knife, as depicted above. Leave the thinner parts alone. The incisions are to ensure the salmon meat cooks more evenly, despite its odd shape.

Step 4: Squeeze juice of half a lemon onto the salmon. Reserve the other half for garnishing.

Step 5: Season generously with cracked black pepper and sea salt, to your own taste. I recommend about 1/2 teaspoon of each spice. Please don’t use powdered white pepper or table salt, it just won’t taste the same.

Step 6: Add 1/2 tablespoon of onion / garlic powder, or your favorite all-purpose spice blend.

Step 7: Lightly sprinkle paprika on top for an extra pop of color and taste.

Step 8: Finish off by placing crumbled sprigs of fresh dill on top of the salmon. As much as you like!

Step 9:  Bake in oven at 180 degrees for 23 minutes or until your preferred doneness, depending on the size of your salmon fillet. I advise to check on it once its past the 20 minute mark. I normally don’t leave it to marinate, I just bake it immediately, although you can leave it for an hour to marinate more if you like.

Step 10: Immediately transfer salmon fillet onto a plate once removed from oven to prevent further cooking. Garnish with more sprigs of fresh dill, lemon and cherry tomatoes for that perfect vivid color combination!

And finally…. Dig in!!!!!

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Now was that easy, or was that totally easy? :)

It is an extremely healthy protein-filled meal that takes literally no time to prepare at all. And it is FREAKIN DELICIOUS! The salmon just melts in your mouth…. and the herby flavor from the dill goes so well together!! Don’t worry about the lemon making it taste sour – it is not sour at all. You will only taste a subtle refreshing hint of lemon juice when biting into the pink flesh. The simplicity of this dish is what I like most about it. Even my boyfriend who doesn’t really eat fish, eats a lot of this whenever I make it! Pretty much everyone who has tried it has loved it so far. This is undoubtedly one of my most frequently used recipes of all time, and I hope it becomes one of yours too. Try it and let me know.

Serve together with roasted potatoes, or quinoa / cous cous / a side salad if you’re feeling health conscious enough.

Enjoy.