When it comes to easy and quick weeknight dinners, this rosemary salmon checks all the boxes. It’s full of flavor, simple to prepare, and using the foil packet means even fewer dishes (which is always a win).
Baked salmon is the best kind of seafood main dish because it’s so versatile. Serve it with a variety of veggie sides, or a hearty grain. The leftovers make excellent additions to salads the next day, too!
So turn on the oven, grab the few ingredients needed, and let’s get to making this straightforward recipe!
Ingredients & Substitutions
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe! Be sure to see the full recipe card below for details.
- Fresh Rosemary: Rosemary is a super aromatic herb that’s slightly woodsy, with a little hint of pine, lemon, and mint. It’s truly a heartwarming herb and one of my favorites! Feel free to substitute with thyme or combine the two.
- Salmon: I like to use a 1-pound side of salmon for this recipe, but you can also use individual fillets. There are many salmon varieties available, I recommend noting which type you’re using as cook times may vary.
- Red Pepper Flakes: adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the spice mixture brings a little oomph to the mixture. Along with salt and pepper, of course, to season the fillet.
- Olive Oil: keeps moisture up and infuses the salmon with flavor.
Other ideas: add garlic powder or minced raw garlic, or top with sliced lemons!
How about dried herbs? If you use dried rosemary, halve the amount because dried is more potent due to the concentrated flavor. It’s not as delicious as fresh in this recipe, but doable in a pinch.
The Foil Packet Method
If you haven’t cooked fish in a foil packet before, it’s a game changer!
This method uses a parchment paper piece inside the foil packet to lock in extra moisture. I’m convinced it’s that added parchment layer that keeps the salmon even more moist, resulting in the most tender, flakey salmon.
Using parchment also prevents the salmon skin from sticking to the foil.
How to Make Rosemary Salmon
Be sure to see the full recipe card below for specific instructions.
First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Since the foil packet keeps the fish nice and moist, this high heat doesn’t dry it out. You can also make this on a grill!
Then, combine the finely chopped rosemary and spices in a small bowl. While it’s not necessary to combine them before topping, it makes it easier to coat the top of the filet evenly.
Before cooking with seafood or meat, pat it dry with a paper towel. Then, it’s time to assemble.
Prep the Packet
First, you will need to cut a piece of foil almost double the size of your filet (or filets) so that there will be enough overhang to fold it into a packet. If you are preparing individual filets, you can keep them all in one large packet.
Do the same with a piece of parchment paper, cutting it as long as the foil piece.
Place the parchment paper on top of the foil, and the salmon filet on top of the parchment paper. This means when the packet is created, the foil is on the outside.
Season the Salmon
Drizzle olive oil across the top of the salmon somewhat liberally. You want it to be coated but not drenched.
Then, spread the rosemary mixture evenly across the top of the filet, pressing gently onto the top as needed.
You can also add sliced lemons across the top if you have them.
Fold the Packet
Take the long edges of the foil and parchment and crimp them together at the top. This makes a “tent” over the salmon. Then, fold up the two shorter ends of the salmon and crimp them together until closed.
When is salmon done?
Then, bake the salmon. The time will vary depending on the thickness of the filet. Some wild-caught varieties like sockeye or coho are thinner and therefore will cook more quickly.
To determine if the salmon is done, use one of these methods:
- Internal Temperature: the FDA recommends an internal temperature of 145F for seafood. Since the salmon will continue to cook once it’s removed from the oven, I like to take it out once the internal temperature is around 138-140. Then, cover it back with the foil and let it rest for about 5 minutes while the temperature continues to rise.
- Flake test: Use a knife or a fork to flake apart the salmon at the thickest part. If it’s flakey and only a little translucent in the middle, it’s ready. Many varieties will remain pink in color (some very vibrant) so use flake and temperature for the best results.
All in all, it’s important to not overcook the salmon!
This salmon makes an impressive main dish, and when it comes to what you can serve with it – the options are basically endless!
- Veggies! There are so many veggie options you can serve with salmon.
- Try green veggies like roasted broccolini, sauteed Brussels sprouts, or green beans almondine.
- Enjoy it with cumin carrots, or roasted vegetables, or keep it extra easy with Instant Pot steamed carrots.
- Potatoes are also always a delicious side! From crispy roasted potatoes to garlic mashed, or scalloped potatoes, you cannot go wrong!
- Serve it with a grain such as quinoa, wild rice pilaf, or farro.
Leftover Storage & Reheating
If you have leftover salmon, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
I absolutely enjoy leftover salmon on top of a green salad the next day for lunch. There’s no need to reheat it this way, you can enjoy it cold on top.
If you do want to reheat it, you can use a microwave, just do so in short intervals so it doesn’t get a weird texture. Otherwise, heat it in a skillet over low-medium heat or in the oven. You can also reheat it in an air fryer on the lowest setting, until warmed through.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Rosemary Salmon Foil Packet
- Preheat oven (or grill) to 400°F. In a small bowl, mix together rosemary, salt, red pepper flakes, and pepper. Set aside.
- Cut a large piece of aluminum foil (approximately double the size of your salmon so you can fold it up). Also cut an equally sized piece of parchment paper. Layer the parchment on top of the foil.
- Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel, then place it in the center of the parchment paper.
- Drizzle olive oil semi-liberally on top of the salmon. Spread the spice mixture evenly across the top of the salmon, gently patting down as needed. Fold up the long edge of the foil, crimp together, and fold up the ends to create a "packet".
- Place the packet on the center rack and bake for 18-24 minutes, depending on the thickness of your cut of salmon. Remove the salmon from the oven when the internal temperature reaches around 137-140F, then let rest until the internal temperature reaches 145F. You'll also know it's ready once it easily flakes.