How to Cook Atlantic Salmon Fillets

by Candi Canncel

Salmon, a pink-fleshed, oily fish, is chock full of nutrients, including niacin, vitamin B-12 and heart-healthy omegas. Though wild-caught Atlantic salmon is endangered, farmed Atlantic salmon fillets can be purchased either fresh or frozen. This fish is quite versatile and is complemented by a variety of flavors, including butter, citrus, honey, soy sauce, capers and any number of spices. It can be prepared using an array of cooking methods, from baking to broiling, grilling to poaching – all with delicious results.

Coat the salmon fillets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick heavy skillet on the stove on medium heat and place the salmon in the pan, cooking for three minutes. Turn the fillets over and cook for five minutes more. The fish is done if it flakes easily and the flesh is opaque in color. Serve the seared fillets with lemon wedges.

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the salmon fillets on large pieces of aluminum foil. Top each fillet with two pats of butter, a squeeze of lemon juice, a teaspoon of capers, finely chopped dill and salt and pepper. Fold the foil over, enclosing the fish and creating a pouch. Place the packets with fish into a glass baking dish and cook in the oven for 25 minutes or until cooked through.

Make a glaze for grilling salmon by mixing together equal parts honey and soy sauce. Add salt and pepper and a dash of garlic powder to the mixture. Brush the glaze onto both sides of the salmon fillets. Place the salmon on an oiled grill grate over direct heat. Cook the fillets for four minutes and then turn the fish over and cook for four additional minutes, until the salmon is cooked through and the fillets are slightly browned.

Preheat the broiler. Create a tangy glaze for the salmon by mixing together orange marmalade, Dijon mustard, and a combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder and ground ginger. Place the salmon fillets on an oiled broiling pan skin-side down. Brush the glaze onto the fillets and place under the broiler. Cook the fish for 8 to 10 minutes.

Combine two parts water to one part dry white wine in a large skillet. Add a bay leaf, a finely minced shallot and salt and pepper. Cover the pan and simmer the liquid for 5 minutes. Nestle the fillets into the poaching liquid and cover the pan; cook the salmon on low heat for 6 minutes or until done.

Items you will need

  • Skillet
  • Baking dish
  • Aluminum foil
  • Broiling pan
  • Measuring spoons
  • Pastry brush
  • Instant-read meat thermometer


  • Cook your salmon thoroughly; undercooked salmon can contain a bacteria that can be harmful to pregnant women, older persons and those with weakened immune systems. To make sure the fish is completely cooked, insert an instant-read meat thermometer into the thickest portion of the fillet. If it reads at least 145 F, it's done.

About the Author

Candi Canncel is a writer covering food and drinks, travel and lifestyle. Her work has appeared on Food and Wine Travel, Craft Gossip, Belltown Local and other publications. She also teaches cooking classes and hosts food/wine seminars.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images