This is one of those reliable family recipes that doesn’t have an official name, and it changes just a little every time we make it. Does your family have any recipes like that? Other examples that spring to mind: my mom’s “meat and sour cream” dish (sounds gross, but it’s so good), my mother-in-law’s “cranberry dish,” our “family snack board,” and Adam’s “rocco’s pasta” (long story.) We call this one “the salmon with tomatoes and capers,” and it’s also been made with halibut and mahi with great success. We love it so much that I decided it was way past time to actually write down the recipe and give my Mediterranean Baked Salmon a name. Oh, and this time I actually measured ingredients to get the amounts just right for you guys.
This healthy one-dish wonder is perfect for a busy weeknight or a Saturday night with friends. Baking the salmon with the vegetables and lemon slices yields a perfectly tender and flavorful fish every time, since the veggies release their juices to create their own flavorful sauce.
Scroll on for your new favorite dinner that comes together in a flash.
The easiest salmon recipes start at the grocery store. For this Mediterranean Baked Salmon recipe, I usually have the fishmonger remove the skin for me since I don’t want it in the final oven-to-table dish (I just don’t love that slime factor.) Alternatively, I frequently buy frozen salmon filets that already have the skin removed, and thaw them overnight in the fridge.
This is controversial, but I don’t always buy wild salmon (which is usually what you hear recommended from a nutrition standpoint.) I prefer the more mild flavor of farmed Atlantic salmon, plus it’s more affordable and easily accessible. And according to SeafoodWatch.org, Atlantic salmon farmed in indoor tanks with wastewater treatment is considered a “Best Choice” when it comes to sustainability.
The rest of the ingredients are bright, zesty, and super summery! Cherry tomatoes add gorgeous color (I’ve also used chopped heirloom tomatoes here), plus whatever good briny olives you have on hand, salty capers, lots of crushed garlic, and the brightness of lemon slices and chopped parsley – eating this transports me to this little open air seaside restaurant that Adam and I loved on our trip to Sicily a few years ago. And did I mention that you only have one pan to wash at the end of the night? Doesn’t get much better than that.
Keep scrolling for the recipe card and video at the very bottom of this post. And don’t forget to leave us a comment (and a rating!) if you give this one a try.
dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free
- 4 5-ounce salmon filets (I ask the fishmonger to remove the skin)
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1/3 cup pitted olives (whatever kind you like)
- 3 tablespoons capers
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lemon, sliced
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- chopped parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a cast-iron skillet or baking dish, drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to coat the bottom. Arrange the salmon filets in the pan, then scatter tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, lemon slices, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil over and around the salmon. Season with salt and pepper, then bake until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, about 10 - 12 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley, a pinch of flaky salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. I like to serve over quinoa or cauliflower rice. Eat!