This slow roasted salmon recipe is your way to tender, evenly cooked, never-dry piece of fish! Salmon fillet, flavored Mediterranean-style, with garlic, fresh thyme and rosemary and slow baked with baby potatoes because who doesn’t love a one-pan dinner!
Salmon is a fatty fish, and slow-roasting it with a bit more good-for-you-fat in the form of olive oil, produces just the most succulent, almost custardy, perfectly flaky fish you just won’t be able to resist!
When you take this slow roasted salmon out of the oven, don’t even bother cutting it into even pieces, just bring the flaky, tender, salmon to the table and you can break it up with a fork or the back of a spoon into tender flakes everyone can partake of. Trust me, the messy presentation is part of the fun!
And because this is a one-pan salmon and potatoes dinner, you don’t need to add a thing but a big side salad like Greek salad (okay, and maybe a cold bottle of white wine).
How do you cook salmon without drying it out?
Salmon is easily one of most popular fish options out there, and thankfully there are endless ways to cook it (lots of salmon recipes here on the blog).
And I’ve shared some easy ways to make perfectly tender salmon, this popular baked lemon garlic salmon recipe is one of my favorites. And slow roasted or slow baked salmon is yet another winner!
Slow roasting is one easy method to ensure you cook salmon perfectly without drying it out. It's super easy to do. In this slow roast salmon recipe, you’ll set your oven to a low 250 degrees Fahrenheit, this lower temperature cooks the salmon more gently and allows it to retain its natural moisture and oils, and cooking the fatty salmon with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil will help fortify that moisture, giving you a delicious melt-in-your-mouth entree. Depending on the thickness of your salmon, it may cook for 15-18 minutes for medium rare, or up to 25 minutes for medium.
How should I season salmon?
The best place to start, even before seasoning, is picking a quality salmon fillet from the store. Color and smell are the best indicators of quality. Look for a salmon that has a vibrant pink hue and smells clean and not too fishy. When possible, opt for wild salmon. If that’s not available, frozen or sustainably raised salmon are good options too.
To season your salmon, begin with a good pinch of kosher salt on both sides. From there, you can add other flavor makers. No surprise here, I went Mediterranean!
I am a big fan of anything with garlic, but it is especially delicious with fish. In addition to garlic, I use thyme, rosemary and a drizzle of quality Greek extra virgin olive oil . The lemon juice added at the very end when you take the salmon out of the oven is the perfect way to finish this dish, and it's a necessary step because the acid compliments the healthy fatty oils of the salmon.
How do you know when salmon is ready?
Salmon is done when it flakes easily using a fork. With this cooking method, the top of the salmon may still look a bit transparent when you take it out of the oven, this is simply because it was slow baked but the inside is cooked.
To be sure, you can use an instant read thermometer to check the fish for doneness. Measured at the thickest part of the fish, its internal temperature should read 125 degrees F for medium cooked salmon or 145 degrees F for well-done salmon. The USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145°F (but to me, this could taste too well-done and borders on dry).
How to Make Slow-Roasted Salmon and Potatoes
This is a straightforward recipe, it just takes a few simple steps:
- Cook the potatoes: if you’re adding potatoes to this recipe, you’ll start at a higher temperature (450 degrees F). I recommend baby potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half so they will cook quickly and crisp up. Toss the potatoes in extra virgin olive oil with kosher salt and the same seasonings you’ll use for the salmon (rosemary, thyme, and minced garlic). Cook them for about 25 minutes in the high-heated oven.
- Cook the fish: You’ll take the same pan of potatoes out of the oven. Add some more olive oil to the pan and scoot the potatoes over to make room for the salmon filet. Turn the heat down to 250 degrees F. Season the salmon with kosher salt on both sides, and before you put it all in the oven, make sure you drizzle a little more olive oil and the remaining garlic and herbs on top of the salmon filet. Roast for 15-18 minutes for medium rare, or up to 25 minutes for medium, depending on thickness of fish (remember, when you take it out, the top may still have a bit for transparent look; this is simply the result of low-roasting, but it is cooked inside. When the salmon flakes easily with a fork, it is ready).
- Add the finishing touches: Once you’ve taken the slow-cooked salmon out of the oven, squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top and serve!
Serve it with
With the salmon and potatoes recipe, you barely need anything else but a big salad, but you can always add more sides if you have the time. Here are some ideas:
- Salads: like orzo salad; Mediterranean lentil salad; fattoush; balela; or Greek salad
- More Veggies: like baked zucchini; Italian roasted veggies; these simple roasted carrots
What sauce works with salmon?
I'm all for fun sauces to to top salmon, like a bright Tzatziki (Greek yogurt and cucumber sauce) or a rich and lemony tahini sauce. I also love an eggplant dip next to this salmon like baba ganoush or it's Greek cousin, Melitotzanosalata.
How long will it last in the fridge?
Make sure to keep the salmon in the olive oil so it stays juicy, then you can store leftover salmon in a sealed container or tupperware in the fridge for up to 2 days. Personally, I'll eat leftover salmon cold so as to not dry it up when heated.
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Slow Roasted Salmon and Potatoes Recipe
- 1 lb baby potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 tsp + 1 tbsp fresh thyme divided
- 2 tsp rosemary (dry rosemary) divided
- 5 garlic cloves minced and divided
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb salmon fillet
- If you’re making the potatoes, start by heating the oven to 450 degrees F. If not, skip to step 5.
- Put the halved potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Season with kosher salt, black pepper, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme and 1 teaspoon dry rosemary. Add 2 teaspoons minced garlic and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Toss to make sure the potatoes are well coated.
- Arrange the potatoes, cut side down, on a sheetpan or baking dish. Roast in the heated oven for about 25 minutes.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven and push the potatoes to one side of your pan to make room for the salmon.
- Turn the oven heat down to 250 degrees F. Wait for the heat to lower to this point.
- Brush the bottom of the sheet pan where you made room for the salmon with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. Season the salmon with kosher salt on both sides and put it in the pan next to the potatoes.
- Drizzle about 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over the salmon fillet. Spread the remaining fresh garlic on top (I use the back of a spoon to spread the garlic evenly all over the fish fillet). Sprinkle the remaining rosemary and fresh thyme.
- Roast the salmon in the 250 degree F heated oven for 15-18 minutes for medium rare, or up to 25 minutes for medium, depending on thickness of fish (insert a fork in the thickest part of the salmon, it should meet no resistance and should flake easily). To be sure, insert an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the fish, it is ready when the internal temperature registers 125 degrees F for a medium-cooked salmon.
- Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top of the salmon. Serve immediately.
- Note: when you take the salmon out of the oven, the top may look a bit translucent, this is just