Slow Roasted Salmon with Herb Sauce

salmon served with green sauce on a white plate or summer vegetable salad served on a plate

My intolerance to a plate of crispy-skinned salmon is what tipped me off to my second pregnancy. Having babies always made me sensitive to strong odors, so after cooking a couple of filets in a cast iron pan, the smell was so abhorrent I tossed the leftovers in an outdoor trash can and put the skillet in our backyard until every last fume evaporated. A pregnancy test the next day confirmed my hunch.

Best Oven-Baked Salmon Recipe

Had I known about slow-roasted salmon back then, I may have been able to enjoy the famously healthy fish all those months, bestowing my baby with its invaluable omega-3s. Indeed, slow-roasted salmon is the most effortless, least stinky method I know and yields a fork-tender fillet that’s delicious bare naked and made even better smothered in an herby, garlic-flecked sauce.

Herb Sauce for Salmon

Before we get to the salmon, let’s talk a little bit about the sauce. It’s called The Only Green Sauce You’ll Ever need, an recipe (that sounds gourmet) from the lovely new cookbook, Everyday is Saturday by Sarah Copeland. Made with fresh herbs, garlic, olive oil, and a few other goodies, the sauce is excellent with salmon, but equally good spooned on eggs, spread inside a grilled cheese sandwich, or drizzled over cooked vegetables. It’s also pretty darn emblematic of the kinds of bright, inspired, and simple recipes you’ll find in the cookbook.

Salmon Has a Season

Back to that salmon, which is an excellent thing to cook at the moment, since it’s in season. Although you can buy fresh salmon year-round, wild salmon season doesn’t kick in until April, peaks in the summer, and continues into October, depending on where you get your fish from. Is it expensive? Usually, particularly King salmon, but other varieties, such as Coho and Sockeye are more economical.

How to Defrost Fish

When I can’t get my hands on fresh, wild salmon (or the price tag is too steep) I tend to go for wild frozen fish. Frozen sockeye salmon, for example, is widely available in places like Sprouts Farmers Market and Trader Joe’s and is often more affordable than what’s in the seafood case.

To defrost salmon, transfer it from freezer to fridge and leave it overnight. When you don’t have the luxury of time, immerse the salmon, still in the plastic, in a big bowl of cold water and leave it for about an hour, changing the water once or twice during that time.

Slow Roasted Salmon with Green Sauce

Is Farmed Salmon Healthy?

Alternatively, there’s farmed salmon, available fresh year-round. It’s a source of protein for sure, with an overall fat content generally higher than wild salmon. That gives it richness and flavor, but those fats don’t stack up to wild in terms of heart healthy omega-3s. The good news is that farmed salmon has come a long way in its sustainability. My recommendation is that you buy fish from a reputable source, either a fishmonger you trust or a market that has clear standards for their seafood (which you can uncover with a quick online search). You can also peruse the guidelines on the website Seafood Watch.

How to Make Slow Roasted Salmon — step-by-step

The method for making roasted salmon is easy, with just a few quick steps:

  1. Lay the salmon on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake in a preheated oven at 250 F until opaque and the flesh just begins to flake with a fork.
  3. While the fish cooks whiz up the herb sauce in a food processor. Alternatively, you can serve the salmon with a quick side of Greek yogurt mixed with lemon zest, olive oil, and salt.
  4. Spoon the herb sauce over the top of the salmon and enjoy.

Be sure to check out these other easy, healthy salmon recipes:

Red Thai Curry Salmon

Miso and Ginger-Glazed Salmon

Salmon with Mango Avocado Salsa.

Easy Honey Garlic Salmon by Cafe Delites

salmon served with green sauce on a white plate or summer vegetable salad served on a plate
5 from 3 votes

Slow-Roasted Salmon with Herb Sauce

Roasting salmon low and slow is an easy way to get excellent, fork-tender fish. Pair it with an herby sauce that you whiz up in the blender and slather over the finished fish. If you don’t have herbs on hand, a quick yogurt sauce makes a suitable companion: stir together 2/3 cup Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon olive oil, the zest of 1 lemon, and a generous pinch of salt. Serve on the side. 

Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword slow-roasted salmon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 327 kcal
Author Katie Morford


For the Salmon

  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Green Sauce

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro (or parsley) (about 3 cups)
  • 1 small bunch fresh chives
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 medium avocado
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt (give or take)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. 

  2. Lay the fish, skin-side-down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Run a finger along the top of the filet until you find the row of tiny fish bones. Use a pair of tweezers to pluck them out. Rub the top of the fish with the olive oil and season with salt and a light shower of black pepper. 

  3. Roast until the fish is just barely opaque and begins to flake with a fork. Figure 125 degrees F for medium-rare when an instant read thermometer is inserted in thickest part of the fish, 25 to 30 minutes. (The USDA recommends fish cook to 145 degrees F, but keep in mind that the temperature will continue to rise after you pull it from the oven. )

  4. While the salmon cooks, make the Green Sauce. Add the cilantro, chives, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, avocado, salt, and pepper in a blender and pulse until broken down and easy to dollop with a spoon (adding a tablespoon or more of water if needed to thin and get the blender going)

  5. Transfer the fish to a serving platter and spoon some of the Green Sauce of the top. You will likely have leftover sauce, which is excellent on vegetables, eggs, and toast. 

Green Sauce recipe reprinted with permission from Every Day is Saturday from Chronicle Books, photo by Gentl + Hyers, food styling by Sarah Copeland


06.18.2019 at3:13 AM #

denise choye

Thank you for such easy and healthy recipes.

06.18.2019 at3:45 AM #

Serena Terrazas

I’ve been looking for an easy salmon recipe. Can’t wait to try this one!

06.18.2019 at3:47 AM #


This sounds delicious!!

06.18.2019 at4:06 AM #

Margie Johnson

This sounds amazing! I can’t wait to try it!!
Would LOVE to own this treasure. Thank you for the chance, Katie!

06.18.2019 at4:37 AM #


Will have to add this to my collection!

06.18.2019 at4:49 AM #

Tiffany Cale

I can’t wait to make it. Thank you!

06.18.2019 at5:01 AM #

Amy Levin

I make salmon many ways, but have never tried roasting it. That and the green sauce look amazing. I will definitely give it a try. Thank you : )

06.18.2019 at5:23 AM #


This looks delicious!

06.18.2019 at5:23 AM #


Always looking for new ways to try salmon. My kids only like it with teriyaki sauce.

06.18.2019 at5:33 AM #


This looks so good, and the book so inspirational! I love the idea of slow roasting the salmon.

06.18.2019 at6:23 AM #


I’d love to add this cookbook to my collection. i’m always on the lookout for easy, delicious, and healthy recipes!

06.18.2019 at7:06 AM #


This looks great. What is your *rough* estimate as to how long it will take to cook? Thank you.

06.18.2019 at7:06 AM #

Katie Morford

Hi Sarah, Great question. I actually meant to include that and just added it to the recipe. It’s 25 to 30 minutes for medium to medium rare (time will vary depending on how thick your fillet is).

06.18.2019 at7:34 AM #


Thanks for the giveaway! I am intrigued by the avocado in this green sauce recipe, and am excited to try it!

06.18.2019 at8:09 AM #


Looking forward to trying both recipes! And would love to check out the book.

06.18.2019 at8:30 AM #

Marilyn Yon

Looks delicious.

06.18.2019 at9:31 AM #

Kristen McLane

Thanks! I’m always on the lookout for recipes and strategies for putting healthy homemade meals on the table during the busyness of a regular work/school week.

06.18.2019 at11:37 AM #


I love salmon. My uncle lives in Alaska and when he brings back salmon, I love learning new ways to serve it!

06.18.2019 at11:43 AM #

Lisa D

I don’t eat salmon, but the green sauce sounds fantastic!

06.18.2019 at12:07 PM #

Dorothy Perry

I love a great salmon recipe for my family’s supper! The next day, those salmon leftovers go in a salad for me 😋

06.18.2019 at12:24 PM #

Jennifer Price

Yum! Love salmon and this recipe looks delicious!

06.18.2019 at12:51 PM #


That sauce sounds delicious! I’m a huge salmon fan, but the frozen stuff just isn’t the same. It always tastes fishy to me. :/

06.18.2019 at1:04 PM #


This looks awesome! Adding it to the menu!!

06.18.2019 at2:00 PM #

Holly S

Love salmon. Will only buy wild caught anymore.

06.18.2019 at2:22 PM #


This looks delicious! Thank you for the giveaway.

06.18.2019 at3:45 PM #

Lisa Burke

We love smoked salmon!

06.18.2019 at4:09 PM #


Love love love salmon so going to make this green sauce stat!

06.18.2019 at4:57 PM #

barbara Norton

We love salmon – grilled, baked or poached!

06.18.2019 at5:57 PM #


Love the recipe and salmon facts. My hubby grows all I need for this recipe in the garden. Happening soon!!

06.18.2019 at7:21 PM #

Eileen Carapia

Ooh-I’m absolutely going to make this. Salmon is a healthy option my family of five all agree on. Thank you!

06.18.2019 at7:23 PM #


Thank you for sharing! I’m always looking for a new way to meet our seafood quota for the week. Will be trying this one soon!

06.18.2019 at8:38 PM #


Sounds delicious!

06.19.2019 at4:54 AM #

Christina Mangan

This looks delicious. I am always looking for a way to dress up salmon.

06.19.2019 at7:21 AM #

Janet Miller

Book yes please! Just bought yours for my son in college who only cooks cereal😳! We love love love salmon. Make it on the grill & broil it all the time. I have never slow roasted fish! Going to make this! And that green sauce oh my sounds amazing! Thank you!😋👍🏼😁🐟🐟🐟

06.19.2019 at7:30 AM #


We love roasted salmon at our house. It’s a favorite of the under 5 crowd and adults alike! Love the idea of a sauce on the side to switch it up or leave it plain.

06.19.2019 at7:40 AM #

Nicole Carlson

Salmon was never my favorite while I was pregnant either! This recipe looks delicious though!

06.19.2019 at10:58 AM #


I love all things green sauce! Can’t wait to try this.

06.19.2019 at2:57 PM #


Thanks for the recipe! I’ve never tried roasting salmon before. Looking forward to trying it with the green sauce!

06.19.2019 at9:59 PM #

Joan Rawce

Oooh yes – green sauce – can’t wait to make it!

06.21.2019 at9:07 AM #


This recipe sounds delish! Thanks for the giveaway!

06.21.2019 at10:16 AM #

Jan Hammoxk

I am so pleased do have a slow-Roasted preparation for salmon. I always go for the high heat and this looks delicious and seems to respect the fish and all that it has to offer. Happy Summee Solstice

06.21.2019 at12:00 PM #

Katie Y

Looks amazing, love adding cookbooks to my collections for weeknight inspiration!

06.22.2019 at6:26 AM #


Yum! We love salmon in our house, I’ll ha e to try it with this green sauce!!

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