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Quick, easy, fuss-free, and bursting with flavor, this Basil Salmon is absurdly delicious! Featuring succulent salmon slathered with rich fresh basil butter, wrapped in foil, and baked in the oven, this is the simple salmon and basil recipe you’ve been searching for! (Ideal for family dinners, date nights in, or entertaining.)

Overhead shot of Oven Baked Basil Butter Salmon with Burst Tomatoes on a white board with a neutral linen, lemon wedges and bowls of chives and sea salt surrounding the board.

Update: This post was originally published in September 2017. I’ve updated the post below to include more information about Butter Salmon. Plus, I’ve included a step-by-step video to show you how easy this baked butter salmon in foil recipe is to make! 

Hi friends! Get excited because today we are eating succulent salmon slathered with basil butter and served with a side of fresh burst summer tomatoes. This salmon recipe is a really good one, and it happens to be super simple too, so let’s get to it!

Angled shot of an uncooked salmon filet on a small antique sheet pan - photo of the main ingredient in Oven Baked Basil Butter Salmon in Foil recipe.

About this salmon basil recipe

Also known as absurdly luscious salmon that will make you weep tears of pure joy!

Flaky, rich, tender salmon slathered with decadent, silky, basil studded and lemon kissed butter; paired with warm, meltingly tender, outrageously juicy blistered tomatoes that taste like savory candy.

The mouth-feel of the salmon and burst tomatoes is SUPER luxurious. Like, this dish SO melt in your mouth luscious that it boarders INSANITY.

PLUS, it’s ridiculously easy to throw together. I’m talking this is a one sheet pan meal! One and done!

In case you weren’t in love with this dish already, it also works for any kind of situation…

Weeknight family meal. Date night weekend meal. Let’s have the entire neighborhood over and entertain meal. Essentially, it just encompasses ALL the meal possibilities. ALL of them.

I mean, basically this oven baked salmon is the beginning of the rest of your life, friends!

If you’re looking for more delicious salmon dinners, be sure to try these recipes next: Quinoa and Salmon recipe, Adobo Salmon, Salmon with Green Sauce.

What is basil salmon? 

Basil butter salmon, also known as salmon with basil butter, is an elegant fish dish featuring fresh salmon baked in the oven with a flavorful butter sauce. Butter salmon recipes make a wonderful seafood dinner because they’re quick and easy to prepare, require a handful of simple ingredients and just 30 minutes – or less!

If you have fresh basil leaves leftover, make sure that you store fresh basil properly and then put them to good here: Recipe for Basil Hummus, Basil Tomato Soup, and this Strawberry and Basil Cocktail.

Overhead shot of the ingredients to make Basil Butter in the bowl of a food processor.

How to cook salmon with fresh basil?

Butter salmon is incredibly easy to cook and only requires a few simple steps! I’ve found the best way to cook it is in a foil packet so the salmon soaks up the delicious butter sauce while baking!

  • Make the Basil Butter: In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the butter, basil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper. Stir until combined.
  • Prepare the Salmon: Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place another sheet of aluminum foil large enough to fold over and seal salmon on top of lined baking sheet. Arrange the salmon (skin side down) in the middle of the of the foil. Using a brush or spoon, brush the salmon with the basil butter. Season the salmon generously with salt and pepper. Fold and wrap the the foil so that all sides are properly sealed and the sauce doesn’t leak.
  • Bake the salmon at 425 degrees Fahrenheit until almost opaque, about 10 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven.
  • Switch oven to broil. Unseal and open the foil around the salmon to expose the top. Return salmon to the oven and broil for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the salmon is just opaque in center and the top is caramelized. Keep an eye on the fish so it does not burn! Remove from oven, transfer the salmon to a serving plate and enjoy!

Tips for the best salmon with basil butter

  1. You can either use a (roughly 1 ½ pound) side of salmon for this recipe, or you can use 4 (6 ounce) filets. The end results will be exactly the same, it just depends what kind of aesthetic and meal you are going for. However, if your filets are thick, keep in mind you will need to cook your salmon for a bit longer than stated in the recipe below.
  2. The length of time the salmon needs to cook in the oven depends on your preference and the thickness of your salmon. I cooked mine for a total of 13 minutes and it was cooked to my liking, medium (145 degrees).
  3. You can either make the basil butter using a small food processor, or you can make it by hand by finely chopping the garlic and basil with a knife. I actually think doing it by hand is easier and requires a little less clean up.
  4. The basil butter can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Just make sure you remove the butter from the fridge and let it soften on the counter for 30 minutes before using.
  5. You can substitute balsamic vinegar for the red wine vinegar in the tomato marinade if you would like.

Step-by-step photos: making fresh basil salmon at home

Overhead photo collage showing how to make baked butter salmon in foil step by step.

FAQs: frequently asked questions

Why wrap salmon in foil?

Wrapping salmon in foil, also known as the foil packet method, is an incredibly simple technique and produces perfectly cooked, moist and tender fish!

There are a few reasons why you should wrap salmon in foil before baking, roasting or grilling:

  • Wrapping salmon in foil prevents the salmon from drying out. The foil keeps the fish tender and moist by trapping moisture inside the foil.
  • The foil packet method allows you to bake different flavors and seasonings into the salmon.
  • Bonus – by baking the salmon in aluminum foil there is no clean up required!

How to wrap salmon filet in aluminum?

Wrapping salmon in foil is simple!

  • Place salmon in the middle of a rectangular piece of foil. Make sure you use enough aluminum foil to wrap around the entire piece (or pieces) or salmon.
  • Brush salmon with olive oil or infused butter and season as desired. You can also add vegetables to the inside of the foil if you would like!
  • Lift the edges of the aluminum foil up and over the salmon so that the aluminum fully wraps around the fish.
  • Crimp and fold the edges together to seal the foil closed and create a foil pack.
  • Bake, roast or grill the salmon until desired doneness. If you are baking or roasting the salmon foil packet, I recommend putting the foil packet on a baking sheet.

What temperature to bake salmon pouch?

Most recipes call for baking salmon in foil in an oven preheated to between 400-425 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long will salmon cooked in foil last?

Cooked and cooled salmon should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, salmon will keep for up to 3 days.

Cooked salmon also freezes well! To freeze, store cooled salmon in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

How to make butter salmon sauce?

Butter sauce for salmon is incredibly quick and easy to make! And, it’s easily customizable! You can substitute olive oil for butter. And feel free to swap the basil out for your favorite variety of fresh herbs.

Plus, butter salmon sauce can be made in the microwave or on the stovetop depending on your preference!

  • Microwave butter salmon sauce: Add butter to a small microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Microwave at 50% power, checking every 15 seconds, until it is almost completely melted. Remove butter from the microwave and stir until it’s completely melted. Add in the basil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper. Stir until combined. Use as desired!
  • Stovetop butter salmon sauce:  In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in the basil, lemon zest and juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Cook for an additional 1 minute. Use as desired!

How to use basil butter?

Basil butter isn’t just for salmon! Double the butter recipe and keep half on hand to easily spruce up family dinners!

Pro-top:  If making basil butter to keep on hand, do not melt the butter! Use softened butter and mash the basil butter ingredients together in a small bowl. Once combined, use plastic wrap the form the butter into a log. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap to seal.

Ways to use basil butter:

  • Spread is on crostini and top with tomato bruschetta with balsamic vinegar.
  • Melt basil butter over fish, chicken, pork or steak.
  • Stir butter into hot, cooked pasta.
  • Mix butter into cooked rice.
  • Stir butter into mashed potatoes, polenta or grits.
  • Serve softened butter with an assortment of artisan breads.
  • Use butter as a spread for grilled vegetables or corn on the cob.

Got leftover basil leaves? Make sure you store basil correctly. And put those leaves to good use in this Strawberry Basil Vodka CocktailBasil Hummus, and Tomato Basil Soup.

Storing leftovers

How long does basil butter last?

Prepared basil butter should be kept tightly sealed in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator. Properly stored, butter will keep for up to two weeks.

Can you freeze basil butter?

Basil butter freezes beautifully! Store butter in the freezer for up to a month.

Angled shot of partially flaked and cut into basil butter salmon on a white board with burst tomatoes and two forks.

Decadent, yet packed with protein, omega 3’s and anti-oxidants PLUS ridiculously easy to prepare, this basil on salmon with burst tomatoes NEEDS to make an appearance on your dinner table!

Until next week, friends, cheers! To one pan wonders.

Cheyanne

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More easy oven salmon recipes!

If you love this dish, try one of these quick and easy salmon recipes next:

Oven Baked Butter Salmon in Foil recipe, plus step-by-step video👇

Basil Salmon in Foil Packet

5 from 14 votes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Quick, easy, fuss-free, and bursting with flavor, this Basil Salmon is absurdly delicious! Featuring succulent salmon slathered with rich basil butter, wrapped in foil, and baked in the oven, this is the simple oven baked salmon salmon recipe you've been searching for!

Equipment

  • 1 Mixing Bowl (for making basil butter)
  • 1 baking sheet – with aluminum foil (for baking salmon basil)

Ingredients 

  • 5 TBS Unsalted Butter – melted
  • 6 large fresh Basil Leaves – chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 small Clove Garlic – minced
  • 1/2 large Lemon – zested and juiced
  • To Taste Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 (6 ounce) Salmon Filets – Patted Dry (SEE NOTE)
  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 medium Shallot – peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 TBS Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 TBS Fresh Chives – thinly sliced
  • Optional Garnishes/ For Serving Flakey Sea Salt, Parsley, Lemon Wedges, Crusty Bread

Instructions

  • Arrange oven rack to the center position. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet aluminum foil. Set aside.
  • Prepare the tomatoes: In a medium bowl add the tomatoes, shallot, oil, vinegar, ¼ teaspoon salt and a generous pinch of pepper. Toss to combine. Set aside at room temperature to marinate.
  • Make the Basil Butter: In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the butter, basil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper. Stir until combined.
  • Prepare the Salmon: Place another sheet of aluminum foil large enough to fold over and seal salmon on top of lined baking sheet. Arrange the salmon (skin side down) in the middle of the of the foil. Using a brush or spoon, brush the salmon with the basil butter. Season the salmon generously with salt and pepper. Fold and wrap the the foil so that all sides are properly sealed and the sauce doesn't leak.
    Scatter the tomatoes around the packet of salmon.
  • Bake the salmon until almost opaque, about 10 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven. Remove tomatoes from baking sheet and transfer them to a serving plate or bowl.
    Switch oven to broil. Unseal and open the foil around the salmon to expose the top. Return salmon to the oven and broil for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the salmon is just opaque in center and the top is caramelized. Keep an eye on the fish so it does not burn! Remove from oven and transfer the salmon to a serving plate.
  • To serve: Sprinkle the salmon with chives and basil. Serve with flakey sea salt, lemon wedges and crusty bread. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  1. Salmon: You can either use a (roughly 1 ½ pound) side of salmon for this recipe, or you can use 4 (6 ounce) filets. The end result will be exactly the same.  However, if your filets are thin, keep in mind you will need to cook your salmon for a bit less time than stated in the recipe.  And vice versa- if your salmon is thick, it may require more time.
  2. Baking Salmon in Oven: The exact length of time the salmon needs to cook in the oven depends on your preference and the thickness of your salmon. I cooked mine for a total of 15 minutes and it was cooked to my liking, medium (145 degrees).
  3. The basil butter can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Just make sure you remove the butter from the fridge microwave on 50% power until melted.
  4. Vinegar: You can substitute balsamic vinegar for the red wine vinegar in the tomato marinade if you would like.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and the nutrition facts are an estimate based upon 4 servings. Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.

Nutrition

Calories: 427kcal    Carbohydrates: 6g    Protein: 35g    Fat: 28g    Saturated Fat: 11g    Cholesterol: 131mg    Sodium: 91mg    Potassium: 1111mg    Fiber: 1g    Sugar: 3g    Vitamin A: 1235IU    Vitamin C: 28.6mg    Calcium: 40mg    Iron: 2.3mg

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