Last Updated on November 20, 2022 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD
Baked salmon with mayonnaise is a simple, healthy and ultra-delicious recipe. The salmon is baked in a creamy, beautifully-balanced sauce, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth piece of fish.
This easy baked salmon recipe starts with mayonnaise in a simple, flavourful sauce and is flaky, moist perfection every time.
Perfect for weeknights when you’re looking for something healthy and a little special that can be made in a jiffy.
I love a good speedy weeknight dinner, don’t you?
This salmon is a cinch to make and layered with hits of umami and maple syrupy sweetness. I think you’ll love the taste as much as I do.
Why You’ll Love Baked Salmon Recipe With Mayonnaise
- Although it is easy to make, this recipe has a restaurant-quality edge to it. It’s special occasion worthy.
- It’s made with everyday pantry staples that you don’t need to search high and low for.
- The result is perfectly balanced as the mayonnaise mixture reflects salty, savory, and sweet and has a hit of garlic.
- It can be doubled up, and the leftovers can be used as meal preparation for the next day. I love having extra salmon in the fridge to eat for lunch. I make a big healthy salad as a side dish and have that with it.
- 5 minutes of prep time. What more can I say?
What You’ll Need To Make It
Here’s a list of the handful of everyday ingredients you’ll need to gather for this recipe:
- Mayonnaise. The mayonnaise is the base for the creamy sauce and what makes it so succulent.
- Maple syrup. Salmon does well with a bit of sweetness added to it as it brings out the flavor in the fish.
- Soy sauce. This is the salty component of the dish. You could use regular or low sodium.
- Minced garlic. Garlic gives this dish a little zing. You could use minced shallot if you don’t have any garlic.
- Salmon. While you can use frozen salmon for this recipe, I always try to use fresh fish as it gives the best result, especially the texture. This recipe can also be made with individual salmon fillets too.
- Sliced almonds. You could switch out the almonds for chopped pine nuts or cashews. These give the salmon a nice little crunch.
- Minced chives or onion. I sometimes omit the soy sauce and maple and use fresh dill, parsley, or basil as a stand-in for the chives for an herby variation (just season the fish with salt first).
How To Make Baked Salmon With Mayonnaise
Here are the instructions for making this baked salmon dish. Baking the fish in this dreamy sauce is how the magic happens.
The fish gets drizzled with the sauce, baked, and then rested.
This process allows the sauce to permeate the fish, resulting in butter-soft fish flakes.
- First, make the mayonnaise mixture in a small bowl by whisking together the mayonnaise, maple syrup, soy sauce, and garlic.
- Place the salmon on a sheet pan, skin-side down, and spread over the mayo mixture. It is important to just coat the fish and not let the sauce run over the pan (because the natural sugars in maple syrup will burn). I like to keep the extra sauce behind for serving. Sprinkle over the almonds.
- Bake your salmon in a preheated oven at 425ºF. The total cook time will be in the range of 12-16 minutes, but here’s the most crucial step. Test with an Instant read thermometer from 6 minutes. As soon as it reaches 120ºF-125ºF, it can come out of the oven. Watch your fish closely during this time, don’t pop out anywhere.
- Using a rimless baking sheet, transfer the salmon off the baking pan to stop the cooking process.
- Lastly, rest the salmon for 5 minutes before serving with a little of the extra sauce.
What To Serve It With
With the speediness being a key draw to this recipe, I love to serve simple boiled potatoes and fresh steamed green veg like broccoli or asparagus to go with it.
Try basmati rice with steamed green beans. Drizzle them with a tablespoon of olive oil or avocado oil.
A little salt and cracked black pepper over the veggies will do nicely.
I also love serving this as a platter in the middle of the table when we have friends over for lunch.
Alternatively, I load tha baking pan up with veggies tossed with salt and oil to bake right alongside the salmon. (You’ll just have to use a rimless baking sheet to remove the fish when it’s done, as the veggies take longer.)
The result is crunchy vegetables to balance the creamy salmon.
Another side to serve with it that looks and tastes wonderful is my Easy Couscous Salad with Lemon Dressing & Fresh Herbs.
How To Cook Salmon Without Drying It Out
The way I cook juicy, succulent salmon is by checking the internal temperature from about 6 minutes into the cook time.
I let it get up to about 125ºF, then take it out of the oven and transfer it with a rimless baking sheet off the hot baking tray to stop the cooking process. It continues to cook by carry-over cooking, but won’t dry out.
Salmon comes in all shapes and sizes, so it’s best to use the internal temperature as a guide. This will help prevent overcooking it.
The wonder of this particular recipe is that the mayonnaise mixture actually insulates the fish with moisture, which will also help it to stay moist and soft.
What Is the Best Temperature To Bake Salmon At?
Bake salmon at 425ºF to take advantage of the quick-cooking nature of fish.
Cooking salmon at a lower temperature allows for more even cooking and less shrinking, but I love a hot oven sear on a good salmon filet, and it makes for dinner at lightning speed.
How Long Does It Take For Salmon To Cook In the Oven?
Generally speaking, a piece of fish around 3/4 of an inch thick will take around 12-16 minutes to cook.
There are so many variables when it comes to the cooking time of salmon.
The total time will vary based on how cold your salmon was when it went into the oven, how thick it was, how long your oven was preheated, even the colour of your baking sheet.
I strongly recommend using the internal temperature to know when it’s done.
Other Recipes You Don’t Want To Miss:
Here are a couple of other quick and moreish weekday dinners to try out:
Baked Salmon with Mayonnaise (Easy, 5-Minute Recipe!)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 ½ lb fresh salmon fillet
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- 1 tbsp minced chives or green onion
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Whisk together first 4 ingredients and spread this sauce over the salmon to just coat (don't pour it over the pan). Reserve remaining sauce to serve.
- Sprinkle fish almonds and bake 12-16 minutes, until 120ºF-125ºF internal temperature is reached.
- Rest salmon for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve with more sauce.
- It is important to just coat the fish and not let the sauce run over the pan (because the natural sugars in maple syrup will burn).
- The total time will vary based on how cold your salmon was when it went into the oven, how thick it was, how long your oven was preheated, even the colour of your baking sheet. I strongly recommend using the internal temperature to ensure perfectly flaky, buttery-soft results.