This tender Citrus Salmon is perfectly seasoned, drizzled with olive oil, and slow-roasted in the oven with lemon and orange slices. And the best part? This elegant mouth-watering baked salmon recipe comes together in just over 30 minutes!

Fillet of salmon in skillet with slices of oranges and lemons

A "fancy" and easy salmon dinner!

It's no secret that I love cooking salmon. Eating fish is a huge part of the Mediterranean diet (lifestyle) which means that I prepare it twice a week or so. Though I love trout and other white fish too, salmon is one I turn to regularly.

One of the surest ways to cook salmon perfectly is to slow-roast it. Since salmon is already full of natural healthy fats, when you slow-bake it with olive oil the end result is tender, perfectly flaky fish that you won't even need to cut. Add a few spices and you never need to worry about a dry or bland salmon fillet.

This citrus salmon recipe is a spin off of my slow roasted salmon and potatoes recipe . The technique is the same but I've changed up the seasonings and dressed up my salmon in lots of citrus! The result is an elegant and delicious dinner that feels somewhat "fancy" but so easy to make!

I love how the citrus slices and bright colors take a simple salmon recipe and turn it into a beautiful - yet edible! - piece of art. This is a great dinner to make when you feel like enjoying a fancy meal, but don't want to go crazy with the effort. It comes together in less than an hour, and you just need a simple side like potatoes or veggies to accompany it for a complete meal.

Ingredients for citrus salmon recipes

What flavors go well with salmon?

Salmon being a heafty fish can take on a number of flavors without being overwhelmed. A variety of herbs and spices will work to flavor your salmon, but for me, the key flavors I always use on my salmon are: garlic and citrus.

In today's baked salmon recipe, I kept the seasoning simple and relied more heavily on citrus using fresh lemon juice and slices of lemons and oranges. The citrus slices, arranged below and on top of the salmon, really offer a special presentation while infusing the salmon with flavor.

You can use any combination of oranges, lemons, or limes in this recipe. The citrus adds brightness to the fatty salmon, lightening up the flavor. And it doesn't hurt to finish the dish with a few dill fronds for a pop of green.

What you'll need to make this salmon recipe

For this simple citrus salmon, all you need is a handful of high-quality ingredients!

  • Oranges– I like to use blood oranges or cara cara oranges, which are sweeter and pink-fleshed. Navel oranges or other oranges will work as well.
  • Lemon - Lemon juice and lemon slices
  • Salmon fillet – Choose fillets with a vibrant pink hue that smell clean instead of fishy. Opt for wild salmon if you can.
  • Seasonings – I used a combination of dried oregano, mint, salt and pepper, and Aleppo pepper flakes, along with a few cloves of minced garlic. Aleppo pepper has a little kick and a sweeter finish, but if you don't have it, red chili flakes will work
  • Extra virgin olive oil – Be sure to choose a high quality olive oil, as the salmon gets roasted in it and the quality definitely affects the flavor.

How to choose salmon fillets

Choosing the best salmon fillet is an important part of making this dish. For this recipe, I like a center-cut salmon fillet which is meatier and more uniform in shape.

When choosing a salmon fillet at the store, look for one with a vibrant pink hue that smells clean. Avoid fillets with a dull color or a strong, fishy smell.

Opt for wild salmon if at all possible. Otherwise, frozen or sustainably raised fillets will work too. If using a frozen fillet, be sure to thaw it before beginning this recipe.

How to make citrus salmon:

This salmon dinner takes only 10 minutes of hands-on work, and even though we are slow-roasting the salmon, it will be ready to serve in just over 30 minutes. Here is how:

  • Prepare the salmon. Season each side of the fillet with salt and pepper. Then add 1 each teaspoon dried oregano, dried mint, Aleppo pepper flakes (or use ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes if you don't have Aleppo pepper) to both sides.

    Put the salmon in a lightly oiled baking dish over a few slices of oranges and lemon, then top with minced garlic, lemon juice, and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (trust me, this is key to rich, tender salmon). Arrange the beautiful citrus slices on top.

    Raw fillet of salmon prepared in cast iron skillet
  • Roast at low temperature. Cook the salmon for approximately 25 minutes, until it reaches an appropriate internal temperature or easily flakes with a fork. Serve immediately.

How do you know when salmon is ready?

The easiest way to tell when salmon is done, is when it flakes easily using a fork. The slow-roasting method often means the top still looks a bit transparent due to the low temperature but if it flakes easily, you can be sure the inside is cooked.

If you want to double-check, you can use an instant read thermometer and check the temperature at the thickest part of the fillet. The internal temperature should read 125 degrees F for medium-cooked salmon or 145 degrees F for well-done salmon. While the USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F but I prefer it a few degrees under that, as salmon cooked to 145 degrees F sometimes tastes too well-done and dry to me.

Salmon baked in cast iron skillet

Tips for best results

Ready to impress your dinner guests with this flaky, mouth-watering citrus salmon? Just keep these few tips in mind:

  • Choose quality salmon fillet. I mentioned a few things up in the post, but it's worth repeating to buy from reputable fishmonger and opt for a center-cut piece of salmon that looks moist and shiny and does not smell odd or extra fishy.
  • Don't overcook the salmon. Salmon cooks quickly, so once it has finished cooking, remove it from the pan so it doesn’t continue to bake. If you’re not sure if the salmon is done, check it with a meat thermometer vs just leaving it in the oven for a few extra minutes. The internal temperature should read 125 degrees F for medium-cooked salmon or 145 degrees F for well-done salmon (I take mine out at 125 degrees F, knowing that I can cover it for a couple of minutes to let it continue cooking).
  • Prepare your sides first. Even with the slow-roasting method, salmon takes like 25 to 30 minutes to cook. Be prepared to enjoy it as soon as it’s finished by preparing any side dishes first or at least starting them so they finish just before the salmon.
Salmon in cast iron skillet with slices of oranges

Serve it with

When it comes to side dishes for citrus salmon, choose recipes that compliment that flavors of the salmon, without overpowering.

The salmon is so beautiful, fresh and flaky on its own that you don't need a show-stopping side dish. Try something like sauteed asparagus, grilled zucchini salad, boiled potatoes or lemon roasted broccoli.

How to store and reheat leftovers

Leftover slow-roasted salmon can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Be sure to store it with the olive oil, which will prevent it from drying out.

You can reheat on the store but you will dry the salmon out a bit. Honestly, I prefer to eat leftover salmon cold because I never like the texture after reheating. If you don't want to eat cold salmon on its own, leftover citrus salmon would make a great addition to a salad or a grain bowl.

More salmon recipes:

Browse more Mediterranean Recipes. Visit Our Shop.

4.64 from 30 votes

Easy Citrus Salmon Recipe

Suzy Karadsheh
Salmon in cast iron skillet with slices of oranges
Elegant and simple, Citrus Salmon is slow-roasted in the oven over a bed of lemon and orange slices, drizzled with olive oil and a handful of seasonings to create an unforgettable flavor. This mouth-watering dinner is perfect for impressing dinner guests and comes together in just over 30 minutes. See tips for best results.
Prep – 10 mins
Cook – 25 mins
Total – 35 mins
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Serves – 5 servings
Course:
Dinner, Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 1 to 2 large orange, blood orange, car acara or other variety, sliced into rounds
  • 1 large lemon thinly sliced into rounds, plus juice of half a lemon
  • 1 ½ pounds salmon fillet, skin removed
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes or ¾ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  • Lightly oil the bottom of a baking dish and arrange some of the orange and lemon slices on it.
  • Season the salmon with kosher salt and black pepper on both sides. Mix together the oregano, mint, and Aleppo chile flakes. Rub this seasoning mix over the salmon.
  • Place the seasoned salmon in the baking dish over the arranged citrus slices. Top with the minced garlic, lemon juice, and drizzle with 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Arrange the remaining citrus slices on top of the salmon and drizzle with a bit more olive oil.
  • Roast in the heated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, watching carefully to make sure the salmon does not overcook (the top may look a bit translucent still, but if the salmon flakes easily, it is ready).

Video

Notes

  • Do not overcook the salmon. Begin to check your salmon earlier as ovens will vary. The slow-roasting method often means the top still looks a bit transparent due to the low temperature but if it flakes easily, you can be sure the inside is cooked. If you have a thermometer, the internal temperature of the salmon should read 125 degrees F for medium-cooked salmon or 145 degrees F for well-done salmon. While the USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F, I prefer it a few degrees under that, as salmon cooked to 145 degrees F sometimes tastes too well-done and dry to me.
  • Leftovers:Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Be sure to store it with the olive oil, which will prevent it from drying out.
  • Visit Our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils and spices

Nutrition

Calories: 214.6kcalCarbohydrates: 5.7gProtein: 27.6gSaturated Fat: 1.4gCholesterol: 74.8mgSodium: 296.7mgPotassium: 757.3mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 194.9IUVitamin C: 25.6mgCalcium: 42.2mgIron: 1.5mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    That was fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing .
    Cooked it on the gas grill (my oven is broken) on indirect heat ~300F for approx 30min for the 145 internal temp. Melt in your mouth goodness! Served w/couscous and roasted Brussels sprouts.

  2. 3 stars
    This didn't work at all for me. I have an oven thermometer and had it at 250, but it took well over an hour to get flaky, and then the edges were dry. I started checking at 25 min and it was raw. After 40 minutes it was 105 internal temp and I increased the oven to 300. I finally got to 130 internal at an hour, but by then my sides were cold 🙁 Flavor was good, but would not use this cooking method again.

      1. 2 stars
        250 Degrees for 25 minutes was way too low for this dish It was still raw. New oven. So I know it's the recipe not oven. Did you mean 325 or 425 degrees? Giving it another 25 mins.

  3. Your video you say 300 degrees F, however printed instructions say 250 degrees. Could you please tell us which one? Thanks.

    1. Hi, Lynn. Either will work in this case. The important point in the post is to cook at a low temperature and keep a close eye on the salmon so it doesn't overcook, as ovens will vary. I really recommend using a meat thermometer to check for doneness. The internal temperature of the salmon should read 125 degrees F for medium-cooked salmon or 145 degrees F for well-done salmon.

  4. I plan on making this tomorrow. I expect to have some leftover, because I got a large piece of wild salmon. What is the best way to reheat the leftover?

    Thanks.

    1. Hi, Laura. The best way to reheat salmon is low and slow. Set the oven temperature to around 275 degrees F and leave the salmon in just long enough to be warmed all the way through. It might also be helpful to cover with foil.

  5. 5 stars
    We thought this was excellent! It took almost 45 minutes to cook. We ended up putting it under the broiler to finish it up. Should i next time cook iti at a higher heat?

    1. Hi, Stephanie. Sorry about that... ovens do vary. You may, indeed, need to bump up the heat a bit. Just keep a close eye on the salmon so it does not overcook.

    1. Hi, Diane. I don't recommend that. If you marinate salmon too long in citrus, the acid can break down the flesh of the fish and really affect the texture.

    1. Hi, Gabrielle. Either will work in this case. The important point in the post is to cook at a low temperature and keep a close eye on the salmon so it doesn't overcook, as ovens will vary. I really recommend using a meat thermometer to check for doneness. The internal temperature of the salmon should read 125 degrees F for medium-cooked salmon or 145 degrees F for well-done salmon.

  6. 5 stars
    I just made this last evening , what’s huge hit!!! It looks fancy, but very easy to make and on top of that tastes awesome. I was amazed at how tender the salmon was. My son and daughter-in-law have recently moved in with me.for the summer. They are like wow, your a good cook LoL 😂. Thank God I found this site!!!!!

  7. Hi! Just a question on baking time and temperature. For some reason the salmon always takes much longer to cook for me than it says in your recipe. It is completely raw if I cook it at 250 for 30 minutes. Is this because of my oven? Could it have to do with higher elevation? Pan frying is the same, I have to cook each side much longer than suggested for most recipes. And I don't like salmon overcooked! Let me know what you think. Thanks!

    1. Hi, Kelly! Yes, it could be the difference in ovens or the elevation. I suggest investing in a meat thermometer (they are not very expensive) and go by temperature to ensure a perfect level of doneness.

  8. 5 stars
    Suzy,
    Great night at our house. Made Citrus Salmon and Pasta Primavera. Great combination. Each week we get organic vegetables from Misfits. Used fennel, red pepper summer squash, Brussels sprouts, shallots and I also roasted the tomatoes 1/2 way through. AMAZING! Salmon was also great. Would be perfect for a large party. I trusted you on this one, not a fan of mint, but tried it (FRESH) and I liked it. PS, I love your Aleppo Pepper.

  9. 5 stars
    OMG! Does it get any better than this? ! This was the best tasting Salmon I tasted in a long time. Everyone loved it & I can wait to make it again. Thank you!

  10. Salmon is one of the best fishes out there to try. It can be used in a variety of recipes. As mentioned in the recipe, the best way to cook a salmon is slow cooking. The dish is delicious and easy too

  11. Hey, there Suzy! I enjoy reading all your recipes! I’m just curious—what would you recommend as a meat substitute for vegetarians, in a dish like this? I think of portobello caps… Or other hearty veggies… What are your thoughts? 🙂

    1. Hi, Virginia! It's hard to come up with the prefect vegetarian substitution for salmon here. But if you do try Portobello caps or even eggplant steaks, I'd be curious to hear.