Lemon Pepper Salmon

Lemon Pepper Salmon

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
491 Calories
19g Fat
64g Carbs
31g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 491
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 1667mg 72%
Total Carbohydrate 64g 23%
Dietary Fiber 14g 50%
Total Sugars 29g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 273mg 1,365%
Calcium 150mg 12%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 1394mg 30%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Lemon pepper salmon is a healthy weeknight meal that can be ready for the dinner table in no time. It may be quick and easy to use your favorite store-bought seasoning blend, but once you learn how to make homemade lemon pepper seasoning you will never go back. After you've prepared the seasoning, the dish only takes about 20 minutes to whip up.

Homemade lemon pepper seasoning is simply a blend of dried lemon zest, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Once you have prepared a batch of seasoning, store it in an airtight container and keep it on hand to use in your favorite recipes. Not only is it delicious sprinkled over salmon, but it also adds zest and flavor to your favorite vegetables or even pasta dishes.

This recipe for lemon pepper salmon is first sprinkled with the homemade lemon pepper seasoning and then topped with thin slices of fresh lemon as well as sprigs of fresh thyme. This infuses an extra layer of bright lemon flavor into the fish. Just before serving, add a few extra twists of cracked black pepper for added flair. Lemon pepper salmon is wonderful when served with orzo or rice and roasted asparagus.


For the Lemon Pepper Seasoning:

  • 4 fresh lemons

  • 1 tablespoon freshly-ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

For the Salmon:

  • 1 pound salmon fillet

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 fresh lemon, thinly sliced

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2 grinds freshly-ground black pepper, to serve

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 250 F. Cover a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Lemon Pepper Salmon ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Zest the lemons and spread out the zest on the prepared baking sheet. Dry out the zest in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure the zest is dried but not burned.

    Lemon zest on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Cool completely on a wire rack before mixing with the other ingredients.

    Dried lemon zest cooling on the pan

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. In a small container with a lid, combine the dried lemon zest, freshly ground black pepper, coarse salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir to combine. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

    Lemon Pepper in a container

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. When ready to prepare the lemon pepper salmon, preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick foil. Place the salmon fillet on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

    Salmon on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the prepared lemon pepper seasoning, or as needed to cover the surface of the salmon. Store the remaining homemade lemon pepper seasoning in an airtight container for later use.

    Salmon seasoned with lemon pepper

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  7. Fan the fresh lemon slices over the salmon and place the fresh thyme sprigs on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through. The salmon should easily flake with a fork.

    Lemon Pepper Salmon ready to be baked

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  8. Serve immediately with additional fresh herbs and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

    Lemon Pepper Salmon on baking sheet

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

How to Use Lemon Pepper Seasoning

This recipe makes more lemon pepper seasoning that you'll need, which is a good thing—you'll have it on hand for the next time you make salmon, plus you can use it for a variety of other dishes:

How to Store

Homemade lemon pepper seasoning will keep for a few weeks in an airtight container at room temperature.