Salmon with Capers

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This salmon with capers is oven baked in foil until its perfectly tender, then topped with a delicious garlic butter sauce. An easy healthy dinner recipe!

Salmon with capers

Looking for an easy healthy dinner recipe? Here at A Couple Cooks, we eat mostly plant based foods. But every now and then, well spring for some seafood: and this salmon with capers is where its at. The salmon is baked with lemon and herbs until its perfectly moist. Then its topped with a silky butter sauce made with garlic and capers. Just a small drizzle packs a huge punch and the modest quantity keeps it healthy. Heres how to make this tasty salmon recipe, which comes together in 30 minutes.

Whats in this salmon with capers recipe?

This salmon with capers is easy to make and results in one perfectly moist piece of fish. This recipe uses a few tricks that will stick with you, like how to bake salmon to perfection, and the beautiful briny tang that capers bring to a recipe. Heres what youll need for this recipe:

  • Salmon fillets: you can use any type of salmon here; we like using pre-cut fillets that are about 6 ounces each
  • Lemon to bring a pop of flavor
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Fresh thyme or oregano are optional, but add nice flavor to baked salmon
  • Butter, garlic & capers to make the butter sauce

Capers bring big flavor!

Capersare the magic behind this salmon with capers recipe. What are they exactly? Capers are a berry of the caper bush thats native to the Mediterranean. Theyre round and dark green gray, about the size of a peppercorn.Youll find them inItalianand Mediterranean recipes. Here, we added them to a garlic butter to add a big pop of briny, salty flavor to the fish.

Capers taste tangy, briny and salty, and add big flavor to any dish. Theyre served pickled, so youll find them in jars near the olives at the grocery story. If you buy a jar for this recipe, also try them in our Roasted Eggplant Pasta.

Salmon with capers

How to bake salmon perfectly? Brine it first.

Whats a great tip for baking salmon? Brine it first. Alex and I had seen this trick for a while, but we werent sure it was necessary. However: we found placing the salmon in water and salt for 15 minutes before baking it does make it perfectly moist when baked. Guess what? This doesnt even add any extra time to the recipe! You can do it while your oven preheats.

Even better, placing the salmon in a brine solution helps to cut down on the white stuff. Wait, what? Keep reading.

Baked salmon

Whats that white stuff on salmon when cooked?

Have you ever noticed that when you cook salmon, gooey white stuff appears on the top of the fish? Well dont worry: it happens to everyone! And its perfectly normal. The white stuff is simply coagulated protein that seeps to the surface while baking. It even has a name: albumin. The amount of albumin varies greatly depending on the fish, so its not something you can particularly control. (Read more here.)

The white stuff is absolutely safe to eat: but it does look a little wacky sitting there atop your beautiful fillet. Here are a few ways to reduce the albumin when you cook salmon, which we implemented into this salmon with capers recipe:

  • Cook it at a lower temperature to cook it more gently
  • Brine the salmon in a salt and water solution before baking
Salmon with capers

Baking salmon in foil: some tips

Here are a couple more tips about baking salmon! In this salmon with capers recipe, we decided to bake the salmon in foil to seal in that moisture. Here are a few notes on getting the perfect salmon:

  • Brine the salmon while the oven preheats (see above).
  • Add lemon wheels. Keep the lemon to the side of the salmon, otherwise the top of the fish gets a gooey texture.
  • Herbs are optional but tasty. If you have access to fresh thyme or oregano, adding a few sprigs looks beautiful and adds a nice flavor.
Salmon with capers

Buying sustainable seafood

Are you looking at buying sustainable salmon? (If so, kudos!) Here are a few pointers when youre at the grocery store:

  • Look for wild-caught fish if possible. If you live in the US,look for US caught. 90% of the seafood we eat in the US is imported. Imported seafood runs the risk of being overfished, caught under unfair labor practices, or farmed in environmentally harmful ways.
  • How your fish is caught matters.Look forhook and lineas one example of a sustainable gear type. Bottom trawling is considered the most destructive and least sustainable method.

Ways to serve salmon with capers

How to make this salmon with capers recipe into a meal? Were glad you asked. There are so many sides to go with salmon. And this recipe is great because it can make a 30-minute weeknight meal or a fancier meal for Valentines Day or date night. Here are a few we recommend:

  • Best Steamed Broccoli or Simple Sauteed Broccoli An easy, healthy side dish that turns out bright green and crisp tender every time!
  • Fennel Orange Salad A refreshing and easy side dish, it pairs juicy orange and the subtle licorice essence of fennel with a citrus vinaigrette.
  • Easy Baked Asparagus A classic pairing with salmon, this beautiful asparagus is spritzed with lemon and baked with Parmesan cheese.
  • Perfect Wild Rice If you have the time, this wild rice makes for a showy dinner party side dish.

This salmon with capers recipe is

Gluten-free and pescatarian.

Salmon with capers

Salmon with Capers

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4


This salmon with capers is oven baked in foil until its perfectly tender, then topped with a delicious garlic butter sauce. An easy healthy dinner recipe!


  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for brining
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 lemon slices (from 1 lemon)
  • Fresh oregano or thyme sprigs (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons jarred capers, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • To garnish: finely chopped Italian parsley, chives, or other herbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Brine the salmon: While the oven preheats, in a shallow dish mix together 4 cups water and 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Place the salmon in the water and wait for 15 minutes.
  3. Place the salmon in foil: Place a large sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and brush it with olive oil. Pat each piece of salmon dry and place it on the foil. Sprinkle the salmon with 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt for each fillet and fresh ground pepper. Place the lemon slices and fresh herbs around the salmon (not on top). Close and seal the foil around the salmon.
  4. Bake: Bake the salmon for 10 minutes in the foil. Then open the foil packet so steam can release and bake again for 3 to 6 minutes, depending on thickness, until just tender and pink at the center (the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130F in the center). A 1 inch thick fillet should cook in about 15 minutes total.
  5. Make the caper butter: Meanwhile, melt the butter over low heat. Once melted, add the capers and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  6. Serve: When the salmon is done, squeeze with some lemon juice from remaining lemon slices. Spoon the butter sauce over each piece of salmon. Garnish with finely chopped parsley or chives.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Salmon with Capers, Baked Salmon

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

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