This slow roasted salmon with citrus and capers is incredibly moist and silky. The salmon is cooked to buttery perfection, and the citrusy sauce with salty capers gives it the bright, zesty flavor that compliments it so well. If there is one salmon recipe you need to make over and over, this is the one. It's so easy and forgiving!
Salmon is a delicious, fatty fish that has the potential to be so moist and buttery, but at the same time is easy to overcook. And dry salmon is sad salmon.
On Instagram stories, I have preached and preached about cooking salmon at a low temperature for a longer time. It has become quite popular among my followers and now I'm frequently asked to share the method. So finally, I put together the whole recipe for you in this post.
- Salmon: Look for a fresh, vibrant, and firm whole salmon fillet. You can also buy fillet portions instead if you don't want a whole fillet.
- Citrus: Lemons and oranges are used to create a bright, zesty sauce.
- Dijon mustard: It adds a tangy flavor and some creaminess to the sauce.
- Olive oil: It adds flavor and moisture to the salmon.
- Salt and pepper: Enhance and add flavor.
- Parsley: Used as a garnish to add color and freshness.
In a small bowl, add the lemon juice, orange juice, dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined and set aside.
Use paper towels to pat dry the salmon fillet to get rid of excess moisture, then place it in a baking dish.
This is optional, but I like to score the fillet into individual sized portions so that the sauce can get in between the slits.
Rub some olive oil evenly all over both sides of the salmon, and place the salmon skin side down.
Sprinkle some salt over the salmon, then pour the sauce all over, getting in between the slits you made.
Arrange the lemon and orange slices over the salmon, then place in a preheated oven at 225°F for about 25 minutes or until the thickest past of the salmon flakes easily with a fork.
If you have a meat thermometer, an internal temperature of 130°F in the thickest part of the salmon will yield the best texture and moisture in my opinion.
Substitutions and Variations
This recipe is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free.
- Fish - Steelhead trout is a great substitute for salmon.
- Spicy - Add some cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper to the sauce if you want some heat.
- Honey - If you like a little sweetness, whisk in a couple teaspoons of honey into the sauce.
- Marinade - Feel free to use your favorite salmon marinade and follow this method of slow roasting for the best, silky salmon.
Tips on Making the Best Slow Roasted Salmon
- Start with good quality fish. Always look for fresh, wild caught salmon if possible. Salmon that is farm-raised without antibiotics is also a good option. Make sure it is firm, bounces back when you poke it, and doesn't smell fishy.
- For best flavor and texture, avoid salmon that looks fresh but is labeled as "previously frozen".
- Trust the process and don't overcook the salmon! Slow roasting salmon takes approximately twice as long, but because of the low temperature, the salmon still appears a little translucent even after it's cooked. Don't let that scare you. This is a normal result of cooking at such a low temperature. As long as the salmon flakes easily with a fork in the thickest part of the fillet, it is done.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have tried every oven temperature to cook salmon, and slow roasting is by far the best in my opinion. The low and slow method yields super silky salmon that melts in your mouth like butter. It also cooks the salmon more evenly, without drying out the thinner sides. The low temperature also makes this recipe very forgiving - if you leave the salmon in the oven a few minutes longer by accident, you won't be stuck with dry, overcooked salmon like if you left it in a 400°F oven.
That white stuff is called albumin. Albumin is a protein that's naturally found in salmon, and when it is subjected to heat, it coagulates into a jelly consistency all over the salmon. I have found that cooking salmon at higher temperatures results in more coagulated albumin appearing on the surface, and using this slow roasted method results in very minimal albumin on the surface. In any case, it's edible, so you don't have to worry about it. But if the appearance bothers you, you can just brush it off before serving.
The USDA recommends cooking fish to an internal temperature of 145°F in the thickest part of the salmon. The result is dry, firm, and overcooked salmon - I don't recommend it. In my experience, an internal temperature of 130°F is perfect. Keep in mind that wild-caught salmon is leaner than farm-raised salmon, so you'll want to cook it a couple minutes less because it is more prone to drying out. Farm-raised salmon is more forgiving.
Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days.
The same principle of low and slow applies here. Place the leftover salmon on a baking sheet, and if you have extra sauce in the leftovers container, scoop some of the sauce over the salmon. Place it in a 275°F oven until warmed through.
This salmon is delicious flaked in big chunks over some lemon pasta or a caesar salad. You can also use leftovers to make salmon cakes, grain bowls, salmon tacos, and so much more!
See My Latest Recipes For More Delicious Ideas:
- Lebanese 7 Spice
- Chickpea Fatteh (Fattet Hummus)
- Balila (Lebanese Chickpeas)
- Hummus with Spiced Meat and Pine Nuts
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If you’ve tried making this Slow Roasted Salmon with Citrus and Capers or any other recipe on Forks & Foliage, then please don't forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! I would be so happy to hear how it turned out for you. And if you took any photos or videos, please share them with me on Instagram @forksandfoliage so I can see the deliciousness you made!
Slow Roasted Salmon with Citrus and Capers
- Preheat the oven to 225°F. Pat dry the salmon fillet with paper towels then place it on a large baking sheet or in a baking dish. Optionally, you can score the fillet into about 6 portions without cutting all the way through. Rub one to two teaspoons of olive oil all over both sides of the fillet, and sprinkle evenly with one teaspoon of salt.
- In a small bowl, add the rest of the olive oil and salt as well as the dijon mustard, capers, black pepper, and the juice of one and a half lemons and half an orange. Mix the sauce well until combined. Cut the remaining citrus halves into very thin slices.
- Pour the citrus caper sauce all over the salmon fillet, making sure it is fully covered and that the slits are filled with sauce too. Arrange the lemon and orange slices all over the salmon.
- Place the salmon in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the thickest part of the salmon flakes easily with a fork. If using a meat thermometer, the thickest part should read 130°F.
- Let the salmon rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and may vary.