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Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon

Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon is a quick and easy dinner recipe for any night of the week.
Fresh lemon zest is combined with salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Salmon with Lemon Pepper Baked in a Skillet

I’m a HUGE fan of salmon.

It’s such a quick protein to make on busy evenings — you can have a fancy-ish meal on the table in less than 20 minutes if you plan ahead just a little bit.

Cast Iron Skillet Baked Salmon

Honestly, it doesn’t look all that appealing…

But, I promise you it is fork-tender, silky and delicious.

The lemon zest gives a brightness that balances the richness of the fatty Omega 3s. 

fork tender salmon

How do you make Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon?

Lemon Pepper Salmon Ingredients


  • Salmon
  • Lemon Zest
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

Kitchen Tools You’ll Need:

Step one: get out a plate

We’ll use this plate to create our lemon pepper seasoning.

What is lemon pepper seasoning made of?

Lemon pepper seasoning in a jar is kind of gross — lots of people use it, but I think it has a terrible after taste, with a very fake lemon taste. 

Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning is SUPER simple: lemon zest + salt + pepper

What should I season my salmon with?

You have endless combinations of seasonings for salmon — everything from simple salt and pepper to miso! Take a google search and see the possibilities!

Microplane Zesting Lemon

On the plate, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper.

Zest one lemon over the plate, and “mix” with the salt and pepper.

Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Step Two – lay your salmon on the plate

Salmon Fillet

I love salmon skin, so this fillet has the skin still on — lay it on the lemon pepper seasoning. 

Salmon topped with Lemon Pepper

On this side of the salmon, you’ll need to sprinkle a little more salt, crack more pepper, and zest more lemon.

Salmon with Lemon Cheek

Slice off a lemon cheek — leaving the seeds behind — and then squeeze over the top of the whole fillet. 

Squeezing Lemon Juice over Lemon

Step Three – put your cast iron skillet in the oven and turn it to broil

Your salmon can hang out while the skillet preheats under the broiler for 10 minutes.

Place the salmon skin-side down on the VERY HOT skillet — be careful!!!

Using a hot oven mitt, slide the cast iron skillet into the oven under the broiler.

Broil for 8+ minutes. 

Stay close by — and set a timer for 7 minutes – at the 7-minute mark, check the salmon.

If you are unsure of how salmon looks when it’s cooked to the perfect temperature, invest in a simple instant read thermometer.

How do you know when salmon is finished?

The color will change on the sides from that bright pink salmon color to an opaque pink salmon color.

What is the proper temperature to cook salmon?

It is suggested to cook salmon to 145˚ — I like to cook it to 138˚ and then let carryover cooking take it the rest of the way.

How do you cook salmon without drying it out?

A lovely coating of olive oil helps salmon not dry out — however, if you leave the salmon skin on, it’s very hard to overcook when you pay attention to the coloring of the salmon.

Simple Salmon Recipe

Take the salmon out and serve!

What goes well with salmon?

How long does leftover salmon keep?

2-3 days max. 

Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon is delicious any night of the week — comes together super quickly, and will have your hanger under control in no time!

Save this pin to your favorite seafood board on Pinterest – and give it a try soon by printing the recipe below.

Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon from Sweetpea Lifestyle

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Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon

5 from 9 reviews
  • Author: Sweetpea
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 8
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Category: seafood
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: seafood


Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon is a quick and easy dinner recipe for any night of the week.
Fresh lemon zest is combined with salt and fresh cracked pepper.


  • 1 pound salmon fillet, with the skin
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp fresh black pepper, divided
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • The juice of one lemon [the same you used for zesting!]
  • Drizzle of EVOO


  1. On a plate, sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper — followed by zesting half the lemon onto the plate.
  2. Lay the salmon SKIN SIDE DOWN on the lemon, salt, and pepper.
  3. On top of the salmon sprinkle remaining salt and pepper over top + zest the other half of the lemon.
  4. Slice off lemon cheeks [slicing around the seeds], and squeeze over top of the salmon.
  5. While the salmon marinates for 10 minutes, pop a cast iron skillet into the oven, and turn on your broiler.
  6. After 10 minutes of preheating, using oven mitts remove the skillet and place the salmon fillet skin side down into the HOT HOT skillet.
  7. Drizzle some extra virgin olive on top of the salmon just before placing back into the oven under the broiler. THE SKILLET IS VERY HOT, PLEASE USE CAUTION.
  8. Set a timer for 7 minutes, and then begin checking to see if it the fish is done to your liking. You might need a few extra minutes depending on your oven’s broiler.
  9. An opaque hue, with a semi-firm texture should make for perfectly cooked salmon.
  10. If you’re unsure, use an instant read thermometer and check the internal temperature for about 140˚ — while it rests, it will cook to 145˚ out of the oven, and be the perfectly tender and moist fish you want!

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  1. Salmon is probably my favourite fish, and I love that this one is baked, not fried! It would make a delicious dinner, especially with some baby new potatoes on side!

    1. Oh yes!!! I often add a sprinkle of fresh dill to this lemon pepper seasoning, and then add fresh dill to the potatoes, as well!

  2. I am obsessed with salmon, we have it at least once a week and I love finding new flavours combinations to make it with. This looks delicious and I’m definitely going to try it! I love lemon and pepper together!

  3. I love the simplicity of this, and that you use real ingredients instead of a lemon pepper spice mix. Adding to my weeknight dinner rotation!

    1. I’m just now a huge fan of the premade stuff! There is some after taste I really don’t like — So I just make my own when I need it!

  4. This sounds like such a delicious combination of flavours – the salmon, the lemon and the pepper altogether! Super tasty.

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