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Slow Roasted Salmon with Gremolata (35 Minutes)

Slow roasted salmon, cooked at a low heat, is incredibly succulent and tender. Top it with a vibrant gremolata for a dramatic and flavorful finish.

This uncomplicated yet refined dish with just a few simple ingredients is a brunch favorite of mine. I serve it at room temperature as an alternative to smoked salmon for something different.

roasted salmon pieces on plate topped with gremolata.

This recipe is great summer lunch fare, easily transportable for potlucks and a nice appetizer served on plain crackers or small plates. It’s easy to make it for a crowd – served hot, room temperature or cold.

What to expect

I typically cook salmon at a high temperature, especially on weeknights, because it only takes 10-12 minutes. It comes out perfectly as long as you don’t overcook it – but timing is everything. Even 1-2 minutes will make a difference (I hate dry fish!).

Slow-roasted salmon cooks evenly, is more forgiving, and almost impossible to overcook. And it still takes only 20-30 minutes to cook.

The sumptuous texture of the salmon cuts like butter. Because it maintains a bit of translucency, you might think it is undercooked. If a knife can pierce it easily with no resistance, it’s cooked.

The gremolata topping of parsley, garlic and lemon zest adds a bold and zesty contrast to the mild salmon. Delish.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

salmon filet, green onions, garlic, parsley, lemon, oil, salt, pepper.

Salmon: Choose either individual fillets or one larger portion, skin off or on. I prefer the center cut (instead of the tail) for even cooking. Frozen or fresh will work well. You can substitute cod or artic char for the salmon.

Salmon seasonings: Olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped green onions. If you like heat, add a little chili crisp or a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Gremolata (the garnish or topping): Classic gremolata is a mixture of parsley, lemon zest and garlic typically used as a condiment or topping. You can use either flat leaf or curly parsley. Feel free to play with other herbs like oregano, cilantro and basil instead of the parsley. Here are 5 ways to vary your gremolata.

Wine: The white wine used in the recipe to roast the fish is optional, but I find it adds a subtle and enhanced flavor.

Step by step instructions

raw salmon fillet topped with chopped green onion on parchment lined pan.
Season salmon and top with chopped green onions. Wine is optional but good!
baked salmon fillet topped with chopped green onion on parchment lined pan.
Bake fish in a low-heat oven for about 30 minutes.
chopped parsley, minced garlic and lemon zest on cutting board.
Meanwhile, zest the lemon, grate the garlic and chop the parsley.
gremolata in bowl.
Combine to make a gremolata. Add a splash of olive oil for moisture if you like.
roasted salmon pieces on plate topped with gremolata.
Garnish salmon with gremolata and serve.

What to serve with slow cooked salmon

Toppings: I love to top the salmon with fresh, vibrant gremolata, pictured here and in the recipe. But there are lots of other condiments that pair well, too, such as:

Sides: Here are several sides and salads that go well with the slow cooked salmon – instant pot risotto with grilled vegetables, coconut jasmine rice with chili crisp, broccoli cauliflower salad with avocado dressing, and an easy Thai mango salad.

As an appetizer: I love to serve this salmon on cucumber rounds or crackers as an appetizer. It goes fast!

Make Ahead

  • The salmon recipe can be made ahead, cooled to room temperature and served as an appetizer or a main dish. Or it can be refrigerated for a day or two and served cold.
  • The gremolata is best when made within 4-5 hours, but you can store it in an airtight container for 3-4 days if needed.

Recipe FAQs

How will I know when salmon is cooked at a lower temperature?

The salmon is cooked when there is no resistance when pierced with a knife. It will be moist and warm pink inside (not white). The FDA recommends cooking salmon to 145F/63C, but most chefs from 125F/52C -130F/54C.

What is gremolata?

Gremolata is an Italian chopped herb condiment. The classic version is typically a mixture of finely chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest. I like to add a splash of oil for moisture. The vibrant color is exceptional. 

What else can I serve with gremolata?

Gremolata is typically used to brighten up stews and meats, but I also love it on crispy baked fish, shrimp, crispy roasted potatoes and smeared on chicken. Very versatile! Or how about a garnish for soup as in this Food & Wine recipe for celery root bisque with walnut-parsly gremolata?

How do I avoid bitter gremolata?

To avoid bitterness in gremolata, make sure you chop the parsley finely (flat-leaf parsley is easier) and finely grate the garlic.

roasted salmon pieces on plate topped with gremolata.

Other easy fish recipes

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roasted salmon pieces on plate topped with gremolata.
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Slow Roasted Salmon With Gremolata (35 Minutes)

Slow roasted salmon, cooked at a low heat, is incredibly succulent and tender. Top it with a vibrant gremolata for a dramatic and flavorful finish.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 (or 3 larger portions)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillet, skin on or off (or 3-4 separate salmon fillets of 6-8 oz each)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white wine (optional)

Gremolata, Note 1

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped curly or flat leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN TO 275F/135C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up. If you don't have parchment, use foil sprayed with oil. Note 2 on oven temperature.
  • PREPARE SALMON: Place salmon fillet (skin side down if salmon has skin on one side), on sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil (1-2 tsp) and sprinkle salmon with salt and black pepper. Spread chopped green onion evenly over surface. Sprinkle wine (if using) on pan around salmon.
  • ROAST SALMON: for about 30 minutes. Check it after 20-25 minutes. When cooked, the salmon will still have a slightly raw look, but a sharp knife will easily pierce the thickest part of the fish without any resistance. It will start to flake.
    Use an instant thermometer to check internal temperature of the cooked salmon:
    °120F/49C for medium rare – slightly translucent, will look a little uncooked on top even though it isn't.
    °125F/52C for medium – still warm pink inside
  • MAKE HOMEMADE GREMOLATA: While salmon is roasting. combine parsley, garlic, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside until salmon is cooked.
  • FINISH AND SERVE: Slip a spatula between skin and flesh of salmon if your salmon has skin on the bottom. Lift salmon off (separating it from skin) to a serving platter. Leave in larger portions or cut into large pieces (which is what I do). Sprinkle gremolata on top of the fish. Drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon slices on the side for a nice presentation.

Recipe Notes

  1. Gremolata options: Instead of parsley, try fresh cilantro, basil or oregano. Here are 5 ways to vary your gremolata.
  2. Oven temperature and timing: Slow roasting in the oven can be done anywhere from 225F to 300F (107C to 149C). Lower temperatures will take longer and higher temperature will be faster. At low temperatures, you might see some white protein coagulate on top of the salmon as it’s cooking. Don’t worry about it – just wipe it off with a paper towel.
  3. Variation to add some heat: spread 1-2 teaspoons of chili crisp on the salmon before roasting. Or sprinkle a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes on top of the fish. 
  4. Make Ahead:
    • The salmon recipe can be made ahead, cooled to room temperature and served as an appetizer or a main dish. Or it can be refrigerated for a day or two and served cold.
    • The gremolata is best when made within 4-5 hours, but you can store it in an airtight container for 3-4 days if needed.
 
Nutrition values are estimates and include the white wine. 

Nutrition

Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 517mg | Potassium: 901mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 760IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg
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The slow roasted recipe was inspired by Jennifer Segal from Once Upon a Chef. 

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