Simple, healthy and delicious. Three words to describe this easy Dill Salmon recipe that you’ll want to add to your 2023 cookbook. Perfect for those weeknights when time or energy is limited, but you still want a healthy, nourishing meal.
This recipe for dill salmon is so simple, kiddos and beginners alike can help put it together!
Chef Nicole chose to create this recipe with wild Alaskan Keta salmon, which is a milder type of salmon that many of our beginner seafood fans prefer (compared to sockeye, our other go-to dinner salmon). And who doesn’t want a dinner that can guarantee the whole family will be licking their plates clean?
The importance of beginner and kid friendly salmon recipes
When it comes to salmon for kids, the biggest feedback we hear from our customers is that their little ones prefer a milder tasting fish. While we of course love the rich (but not fishy!) flavor of our ruby red wild Alaskan sockeye salmon, it’s clear many kids’ taste buds are demanding something less rich in flavor. And this might very well be the same preference for first-time salmon customers, too!
As parents or salmon beginners, your number one priority is most likely going to be investing in something that you or your family will actually want to eat. Part of that journey also includes finding easy recipes that don’t require a long list of ingredients and have a low intimidation factor.
With this Dill Salmon recipe, you’ll find an ingredients list of just four items and a process that is delightfully quick and easy.
After thawing your salmon, all you need is a few shakes of salt and pepper, a simple slather of mayonnaise, and some fresh dill to top before baking it to completion.
By using Keta salmon, this recipe will also be a great way to get accustomed to cooking salmon with simple flavors you can add on to as you go.
What is Keta salmon?
Also called “chum” salmon, Keta salmon is a species also caught in Bristol Bay, Alaska. It is known for its milder flavor, lighter color and lower fat content than wild sockeye salmon.
Keta is the perfect option, not just for younger picky eaters, but salmon fans of all ages who simply do not like the rich flavor of traditional red salmon.
If you’re new to wild Alaskan salmon altogether or want to start your kids off with simple salmon flavors, we suggest starting by filling your plate with Keta salmon. From there, you can explore what other types of salmon fit with your flavor and texture preferences.
How to make dill sauce for salmon
When it comes to classic salmon pairings, dill is one of the best options out there. The fresh flavor and slightly sweet undertone of dill can bring out the flavor in salmon while not overpowering it.
Dill sauce for salmon is a very popular addition to an easy salmon meal. It is a combination of dill and some sort of cream, such as sour cream, mayonnaise, or greek yogurt.
Many people will also often skip the spread and stick with a lemon dill salmon by adding dill and lemon slices to salmon fillets. It is another classic combo and time saving option, though the citrus flavor is not for everyone.
We prefer the mayonnaise spread in this Salmon Dill recipe specifically because it adds that creamy element that is familiar to kids or salmon beginners and keeps the fillet moist. It also skips the extra step of creating sauce separately and just adds it right onto the fillet - saving you from a few extra dirty dishes!
To cook salmon with dill sauce, follow these steps:
- Thaw your salmon ahead of time. This can be done by placing it in the refrigerator overnight on a plate or bathing it in cold water for roughly 30 minutes before you start this recipe. We like the overnight refrigeration technique as it won’t add to your day-of cooking timeline. For more info on how to safely thaw your salmon, read our blog on Our Best Practices for Shipping, Freezing and Thawing Wild Seafood.
- Salt and pepper your salmon. This step is important as it adds a bit of extra flavor to seep directly into the salmon before your dill sauces covers it!
- Apply a thin layer of mayonnaise. Chef Nicole suggests an even, thin layer that completely covers your fillet so it will keep your fillet moist while avoiding any extra drippage once you take it out of the oven.
- Add a sprinkle of freshly chopped dill. The final herby flavor that will complete your dill sauce and be baked right into the salmon.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Set the oven for 400 degrees and toss it in for 8 to 10 minutes before portioning it into as many servings as needed. You can also pan fry your salmon by portioning it before cooking, though we prefer the baking option as it avoids any babysitting during the cooking process.
For more tips and tricks, be sure to read through Chef Nicole’s Chef’s Notes below before diving into this easy, nutritious and tasty meals!
This recipe for salmon with dill can also be cooked by pan frying with portioned salmon. Add a small amount of the cooking oil of your choice to a medium high heat pan. Place portions skin side down then flip at 4 minutes and cook another 4 minutes to desired doneness.
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Nicole is the in-house Chef at Wild For Salmon as well as a Recipe Developer and Food Photographer from Allentown, Pennsylvania with an Associate degree from The Culinary Institute of America. Her first memories are of planting seeds with her father and grandfather in their elaborate gardens and sharing their abundant harvests with friends and neighbors. The spark of both pride and joy she felt when sharing this food with others and seeing the happiness it brought them was what inspired her to pursue the culinary arts from a young age. Nicole has spent time exploring the Hudson Valley and Philadelphia food scenes, but her current home in the rolling hills of Central PA is where she most enjoys combining her two passions; exploring the outdoors, and good food.