Baked Salmon with Lemon Caper Butter

Baked Salmon with Lemon Caper Butter is an easy family dinner! Salmon baked to perfection and topped with decadent lemon caper butter.

May in the Northwest means the start of salmon season and as a result wild salmon is available pretty much everywhere. So when my friend mentioned to me that I didn’t have enough fish recipes on my blog, I figured now was the perfect time to do some experimenting. And this Baked Salmon with Lemon Caper Butter was born.

To make Baked Salmon with Lemon Caper Butter, I simply seasoned salmon fillets with salt and pepper and placed lemon slices on top before baking them in the oven. Finally, a drizzle of lemon caper butter at the end makes this baked salmon, seafood dinner perfection.

Baked Salmon Recipe with Lemon Caper Butter

Salmon can be tricky in our home. Ryan and I usually prefer white fish, especially cod. That being said, we do  live in the pacific northwest so I am always trying to find ways to get more salmon into our diet. Plus it has all of those good Omega 3’s in it, which is a plus.

When it comes to cooking salmon, grilling it, smoking it, baking it and pan frying are all great ways to get some added salmon to your diet.

What temperature do you use to bake salmon?

For this baked salmon recipe, I bake the salmon at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. And then tent the salmon for another 10 minutes. Tenting the salmon after cooking it allows it to continue cooking without becoming over cooked. it’s a great way to get the perfect doneness for your baked salmon.

And just like the cooking techniques there are lots of ways to use salmon. I like eating it in salads in summer. It is also great in pastas. And of course, baked and slathered with lemon caper butter.

I have always been a huge fan of salmon with capers. So it was a no brainer to make this Baked Salmon with a quick caper butter to drizzle over the top. The caper butter is everything. It’s buttery, lemony and has just the right amount of brininess from the capers. You’ll probably want to put it on all the things.

Living in the Northwest gives me lots of access to fresh salmon. This time of year we can get Copper River Salmon or Wild Alaskan King. For this recipe I decided on Wild Alaskan King Salmon. It was a little less expensive than the coveted copper river salmon but still has a wonderful, buttery flavor.

Ryan took one bite of this salmon and said “This is really good! I didn’t know I liked salmon so much!” He then quickly devoured the rest of his portion and a little of mine. I hope you all enjoy it just as much!

Side Dishes to serve with Baked Salmon with Capers:

Roasted red potatoes

Baked asparagus 

Garlic Rice 

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Sauteed Broccoli 

Other Seafood Favorites: 

Easy Shrimp Tacos

Fish Tacos with Spicy Slaw

Tuna Pasta Salad


Baked Salmon with Lemon Caper Butter Recipe

Serves 2 Prep Time: Cook Time:


  • 2 (5 ounce) salmon fillets
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 4 lemon slices
  • non-stick spray

Lemon Caper Butter

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • juice of 1/2 of a lemon
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper



Preheat oven to 450 degrees.


Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray.


Place salmon fillets on the prepared baking sheet. (Note: I don't like the bones so I remove them. Some use needle-nose pliers, I used my finger nails but it did take me a little while). Sprinkle fillets with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Place 2 lemon slices on top of each fillet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and tent with aluminum foil for 10 more minutes. Fish will continue to cook during this time. It will flake easily when done.


While salmon is cooking, in a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Once butter has melted add garlic, capers, lemon zest and lemon juice. Cook for 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Remove lemon slices and discard. Gently slide a turner or serving spatula between the skin and the flesh of the fillet to remove the skin, it should separate very easily. Transfer fillet to a serving platter and spoon lemon caper butter over the top. Serve.



Nutrition information

Calories: 323 , Total Fat: 26.2g , Saturated Fat: 12.3g , Cholesterol: 108mg , Sodium: 442mg , Carbohydrates: 2.9g , Fiber: 0.8g , Sugar: 0.6g , Protein: 28.3g

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    May 2, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Hi, I would like to adapt your recipe… for a whole fillet of salmon about
    1 kg and over….would you know
    🔸what temp and 🔸time scale

  • Reply
    Shelley Fitzpatrick
    April 29, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    This is my “go to “ Salmon recipe!!! Absolutely delicious, and easy to prepare! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      May 1, 2019 at 6:38 am

      That is so great to hear Shelly, Thank you! And you’re welcome!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2019 at 9:11 am

    This is THE BEST salmon recipe I’ve ever tried,
    Do you have the nutritional info on it?

    • Reply
      March 27, 2019 at 8:37 pm

      Here you go :) Nutrition Facts
      Servings: 2
      Amount per serving
      Calories 353
      % Daily Value*
      Total Fat 26.2g 34%
      Saturated Fat 12.3g 61%
      Cholesterol 108mg 36%
      Sodium 442mg 19%
      Total Carbohydrate 2.9g 1%
      Dietary Fiber 0.8g 3%
      Total Sugars 0.6g
      Protein 28.3g

  • Reply
    March 19, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    My family loves this recipe!! Even better than the version they serve at Bucca Di Peppo😀

    • Reply
      March 19, 2019 at 3:48 pm

      That is wonderful to hear! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Judy Smith
    February 11, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Just a question. Do you bake the salmon skin side down or up?

    • Reply
      February 11, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      Great question! Down :)

  • Reply
    Lee Bartholomay
    February 2, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    I’ma Puget Sound (West Coast, Seattle) Girl. Grew up there on salmon. I hoard Copper River in my freezer for winter use. This recipe… Good flavor, but WAAAY overcooked. Don’t tent it. Dry. Maybe I can use leftovers w/cream cheese for Super Bowl Dip?

  • Reply
    October 25, 2018 at 6:44 am

    I have Steelhead Salmon. Would you change the cooking temp. or time for this?
    It is a bit thinner than other salmon.

    • Reply
      October 25, 2018 at 12:39 pm

      I don’t think I’d change the temp, but maybe I’d cook it for a few minutes less :)

  • Reply
    October 12, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Question…Do you think using a cast iron pan instead(for baking the salmon) would work? Or, might the heat transference of the cast iron over cook the salmon? That is my concern. Thank you.

    • Reply
      October 12, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      Joseph- That is a good point, I do think the heat from the cast iron might over cook the salmon. You could try it but maybe don’t cook it as long?

  • Reply
    July 31, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Oh. My. Gosh. I thought it was going to be too salty, but dad-gum this is perfect! And the salmon was the perfect done-ness. Thank you for teaching me how to cook salmon.

    • Reply
      July 31, 2018 at 10:31 pm

      Melanie- This is SO nice to hear!! You’re welcome and thank you so much for trying the recipe and letting me know how you liked it :)

      • Reply
        August 11, 2018 at 11:18 am

        Oh! I need to tell you! My step-son, who is 16 yo, just moved in with us recently, and says “it’s weird” about EVERYTHING I cook, LOVED this. Said he has never had salmon that he’s liked and this was good. Thanks for the step-mom score.

        • Reply
          August 11, 2018 at 8:02 pm

          Melanie- YES!! You are SO welcome! Gotta love meals that even please teenagers!

  • Reply
    July 21, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Can I double this entirely to sever 4?

  • Reply
    May 17, 2018 at 7:26 am

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. The butter/lemon ratio and addition of the capers was perfection. The tenting technique was new to me and produced a perfectly cooked fillet compared to less successful attempts where I often under or over cooked the salmon. I wish I had access to northwest salmon but this recipe made even ho hum east coast grocery store salmon absolutely delicious.

  • Reply
    May 14, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Good stuff

  • Reply
    April 30, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Making this for a “Friends Dinner Party” tonight. My husband loves capers with salmon.
    I am serving with steamed asparagus, steamed fresh grated carrots, tomato/cucumber/onion salad, strawberry shortcake, Ice Tea and/or fresh squeezed Lemonade. Yum!

    • Reply
      April 30, 2018 at 3:02 pm

      That sounds like a fantastic dinner!

  • Reply
    March 30, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Made this this evening. It was wonderful. Send with couscous and kale salad.

    • Reply
      March 31, 2018 at 9:49 am

      So glad you liked it! That sounds like the perfect dinner!

  • Reply
    March 30, 2018 at 7:53 am

    Made tthis for today’s brunch. Of corse I taste tested and YUM

    • Reply
      March 30, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      Yay! I am so happy to hear that!

  • Reply
    March 30, 2018 at 7:45 am

    Making this right now for brunch

  • Reply
    January 13, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Quick, easy and delicious. Doesn’t get any better and cleanup is a breeze! Out of all my salmon recipes this is my favorite.

    • Reply
      January 13, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      Wow Marlene! Thank you so much, I am so happy you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    December 29, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    I love this recipe. After the first time I made it for my husband he has asked for it every time he catches a salmon. It leaves the dish so moist and perfect, and the flavor is fantastic!

    • Reply
      January 13, 2018 at 9:29 pm

      Thank you so much Alex! I am so happy to hear that!

    • Reply
      January 13, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      Also! Lucky you to get super fresh salmon like that!

  • Reply
    November 28, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    First time I ever made salmon. Your recipe and directions were perfect. Thank you for such good tips. Love the sauce !!!!

    • Reply
      November 29, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      You’re welcome! I am so happy to hear that you liked it!

  • Reply
    June 27, 2016 at 3:41 am

    Absolutely delicious! Thank you for this recipe :)

    • Reply
      Des @ Life's Ambrosia
      June 27, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    Lauren Fenlon
    March 22, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Absolutely amazing!

    • Reply
      Des @ Life's Ambrosia
      June 27, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Debi Welch
    October 21, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    To imitate a recipe I’ve enjoyed in Gruene, Texas, I added marinated artichoke hearts, sliced kalamata olives, sliced sliced pepperoncini peppers, marinated tomatoes, mushrooms and grilled shrimp to the sauce. Thanks for giving me the base to arrive at a dish similar to one I enjoyed so much which was removed from the menu. I’m sure it’s delicious without all the extra but, I seriously needed a fix to that recipe I’d been craving. Thanks!

  • Reply
    April 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    This was delicious. I ate it with asparagus and sweet potatoes. The sauce and the potatoes went very well together.

  • Reply
    February 18, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Loved this recipe! So simple yet really flavourful ! A must have in everybody’s recipe box! Ty!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2013 at 4:56 am

    Hi Des, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this simple but lovely recipe. I was looking for a very easy baked salmon recipe and wow I have to say, I like this one a lot! I’ve made it twice in a week, and tonight I had it with cooked quinoa (an experiment since this is the first time I’m trying quinoa) and a side of salad, it was wonderful! Thank you again.

  • Reply
    December 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Oh Des! That was delicious! I wanted to prepare salmon using fresh lemons from my parents tree (Central Florida – Legoland area), and your recipe was awesome! I only prepared one filet, but did not reduce the sauce recipe. Instead, I swirled my peas in the remaining sauce, while in the sauce pan, after having bathed my salmon with the capers and half the sauce. Sided with butternut squash leftovers from last night. While I was on the lemon theme, I made a (2) Lemon Drop cocktail(s), too! Now, waiting for the odd December weather to roll through tonight (80+ degrees and possible tornados?). Thank you for your inspiration and direction!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this recipe! I have made it again & again…… it is sooooo gooood.

  • Reply
    Michael Fleischhauer
    June 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I live in Juneau, Alaska and eat fresh fish regularly during the season. We are fortunate enough to be able to buy fish directly from the fishers!

  • Reply
    Michael Fleischhauer
    June 14, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I noticed that in your recipe you were “tempted to use the coveted Copper River Salmon”…
    GOOD FOR YOU!!! for not using it! Those fish are no better than any other “wild Alaskan salmon”…
    They simply had a GREAT marketing plan and they have an early return of fish. They are generally the first fresh salmon available in the season, but are WAAAAAY overpriced. Do yourself (and your audience!) a favor: don’t push too hard on the “Copper River” mystique. It’s just marketing for early fish.

    P.S. I loved this recipe!

  • Reply
    Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)
    October 3, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Made this recipe tonight. SO easy and SO tasty! I’ll definitely be sharing this recipe!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Well I made this recipe with the Copper River Salmon (on sale) and it was delightful. We moved away from the NW recently and this was a nostalgic dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I absolutely ADORE salmon, but I ALWAYS over cook it and had finally and sadly resigned myself to the fact that if I want perfectly cooked salmon I’d have to have someone ELSE prepare it. But I really had an uncontrollable hankering over the New Year weekend AND my market had a killer deal on fresh salmon… After much anxiety and fretting and searching loads of recipes online, I settled on this one. Couldn’t have been simpler and it came out PERFECT! I served it with the lemon butter caper sauce (to DIE for) over orzo – unbelievably delicious! I just finished the last of it for lunch and can not wait to make this again! Deseree, thank you SOOOO very much for this post! I am in HEAVEN!

    • Reply
      January 6, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      You’re welcome Karen! I too used to have hard time with salmon coming out super dry. But sometimes you just gotta keep trying. I’m glad you didn’t give up and I’m glad you liked this recipe. And I love that you served it over orzo. I might have to try that next time :)

  • Reply
    December 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    this recipe is fantastic! everyone loved it so much. It tasted just like the salmon we eat when we go out to cheesecake factory. Thank you so much!!!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Discovered this recipie a few days ago and had to try it! Cooked it today and it was wonderful. Have already written it into my handwritten book of gathered recipies. So I will make it again and again. :)

    Thank you very much!

  • Reply
    June 7, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Your blog site was recommended by my daughter over on “Mindy’s Mouthful” on her Rising Stars list for your Strawberry Lemonade. I was impressed by your site and decided to check out a few of your recipes, including this one. I’m not a fan of salmon, but I love capers and the lemon butter sounded wonderful. I had some tilapia on hand and decided, why not?? It was wonderful!! Thank you so much for a new go-to fish sauce at my house!
    I also figured while I was feeling adventurous, I’d try your Fried Caprese Bites. They were excellent and surprisingly went well with the fish. The tomatoes/basil were a refreshing contrast in tastes with the rest of the meal. My husband loved it all, although he would have loved the salmon too!

    • Reply
      June 8, 2009 at 9:18 am

      Thank you for your nice comments Cyndi and thank you to your daughter for mentioning my blog on her blog, that was very nice of her :) I bet this would be delicious on tilapia. I just love tilapia. It is one of my favorite pieces of fish, the flavor is so light and goes with almost well with pretty much anything.

      I am glad to hear that you and your husband also liked the Fried Caprese Bites. It sounds like a great meal combination :)

  • Reply
    June 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    This is one of my favorite way to serve fish! The lemon caper butter flavour combo is so good!

  • Reply
    Mrs. L
    June 2, 2009 at 11:44 am

    I’m trying to incorporate fish once a week for dinner (something I’m not fond of but my husband is). I like the sound of the caper butter. Maybe if I make twice the amount of the butter I can deal with the salmon!

    • Reply
      June 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm

      haha Mrs. L. Just like bacon, butter makes everything better :)

  • Reply
    May 30, 2009 at 7:34 am

    I agree Shane, there is just something so delicious about the combination of capers and salmon.:)
    That Dijon-Green Peppercorn Sauce sounds delicious Barbara!
    Thanks Carrie!

  • Reply
    May 28, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Marta: While I only worked in the front of the house as a server and host and didn’t get to do any actually cooking at the restaurant, I did get to know many of the guys in the kitchen so they would give me tips and pointers because they knew how much I loved to cook. I second the desire to take a part-time job at a restaurant, sometimes I miss the hussle and bustle of it all. But then again, I enjoy having my weekends and holidays off.

    Thanks for letting me know you made this Natalie! I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    May 28, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I just made this for lunch and love it!

  • Reply
    May 28, 2009 at 8:49 am

    I’ve heard Wild Alaskan is fantastic, I’ve never found it in my store though :(
    This looks lovely, lemony, salty, caper-y, delicious!
    I wish I had worked in a restaurant like you, you must have been exposed to so many cool ingredients and techniques! Sometimes I fantasize about taking a part time job at a restaurant, just for fun, but then I realize I have no free time!

  • Reply
    May 28, 2009 at 4:42 am

    This looks like such a delicious and summery salmon meal!

  • Reply
    May 27, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    I’ll have to try that. Sounds yummy! We often serve salmon, and one of our favorite ways is with a Dijon-Green Peppercorn Sauce. I am always on the lookout for a great salmon recipe since the fish is so good and so good for you.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    In my opinion, capers and salmon is a match made in heaven. They just go so well together! If it weren’t so late, and for the fact that I don’t have any salmon, I would go make this right now. Your photo is making my mouth water!