Toaster Oven Salmon with Lemon Basil Butter

Toaster Oven Salmon has luscious salmon topped with a simple Lemon Basil Butter. This is a low sodium dinner for two, ready in 30 minutes. Cooking salmon in the toaster oven gives you a delicious dinner and is SO easy to make. Basil flavor and acidic lemon “cut” the buttery goodness so you will not miss the salt.

If you are looking for a low sodium salmon recipe, made easily in the toaster oven (or conventional oven), this is the recipe for you. Mine is not a blog that caters to diets or restrictions, but I am in a situation caring for someone that needs to limit their salt intake. And so I wanted to create a special recipe that would be enjoyed and the salt would not be missed.

Also, I had two more goals: I wanted to cook for just two people without leftovers and I needed to do it in a toaster oven. I was also cooking for someone I adore with all my heart, so I really wanted this salmon recipe to taste special and be just right.

plated salmon topped with lemon basil butter on serving plate with rice and sliced lemon

Why this recipe works

I am a heavy salter. Know this when you make my recipes – I want that salt to be there when I eat. So, making a low sodium salmon recipe was a challenge. In researching I learned that adding a touch of acid acts in the place of salt to create the same, or similar, sensation of bringing out the flavor of the food.

Immediately, lemon and salmon came to mind and here we are. This recipe works because it is a small batch recipe for two, you can make it in a toaster oven on the counter or bake in a conventional oven, and the flavors combine deliciously… even without adding any salt whatsoever.

plated recipe on plate with sliced lemon and rice

Ingredients

For this recipe, I stuck to basic, predominantly pantry ingredients as much as possible. This is an approachable recipe, intended for someone that is unable (or unwilling) to get fancy. Simple, easy ingredients, and not a lot of them.

  • Unsalted butter. I always sing the praises of unsalted butter in cooking, but in this case it is also to limit sodium.
  • Onion powder.
  • Garlic powder.
  • Zest of 1 lemon.
  • Fresh basil leaves. I am a fan of “semi-dried” basil now available in the produce section. Dried basil can also be used.
  • Salmon filets, skin removed.
  • Fresh cracker pepper. Or use regular black pepper, whatever. We only need a pinch.
  • Cooking spray. I prefer olive oil cooking spray, but regular is fine. Salmon will stick if we don’t use a little spritz.

This is intended to be a low sodium salmon recipe, but if sodium restriction is not your thing, add a pinch of kosher salt to both the butter mixture and to season the salmon.

compound lemon butter wrapped in plastic wrap

How to cook Toaster Oven Salmon

Make the Lemon Basil Butter

I have been all about compound butters lately, like my Sundried Tomato Basil Finishing Butter, and this Lemon Basil Butter is essentially that: a compound butter, sliced and melted on our cooked salmon as a grand finale.

Simply mash the butter, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon zest, and basil together in a bowl. Then scoop it onto a piece of plastic wrap and wrap it up like a cute little log. Refrigerate.

This butter can be made a day in advance, which is even better to give the butter time to take up the lemon flavor from the zest.

raw salmon on bake pan
Note the light seasoning on the salmon. Garlic powder and pepper add flavor to make up for the lack of salt, but too much would overpower the flavor of the salmon.

Cook the salmon

Heat the toaster oven or conventional oven to 425 degrees F. Line the oven pan with foil for easier clean-up (though this is optional).

Lay the salmon filets on the foil/pan. Season each lightly with a pinch garlic powder and pepper. It helps to pour seasoning in your palm, then grab a pinch from there to be sure not to dump too much on the fish.

Bake in the toaster oven for 12-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and flakes with a fork. If cooking in a conventional or convection oven, the fish will cook faster (as little as 10-12 minutes).

Slice the Lemon Basil Butter and lay slices on the salmon. Return to the toaster oven for a minute until the butter melts. Serve.

collage of 2 photos: sliced lemon basil butter on cooked salmon; melted compound butter on salmon

FAQs

Can dried minced onion be substituted for the onion powder?

Minced onion can be substituted, but I would recommend letting the lemon basil butter refrigerate longer so the minced onion has opportunity to absorb moisture.

What is the rice on the side in the photo?

I get this question a lot, so I’m including it preemptively here. I took plain white, long grain rice and added a bit of garlic powder, squeeze of fresh lemon juice, basil, and sliced cherry tomatoes.

But Erica, you always say to get salmon with the skins still on…

Yeah yeah yeah, I do. And I mean it. But this salmon is for cooking in the toaster oven which, because of the small space, doesn’t dry out like a convention oven, so I went skinless. It’s just a gentle bake here, and the fish will not even get sizzly. So, salmon with the skin removed is preferable.

close, side view of cooked recipe serving on plate
plated recipe on plate with sliced lemon and rice

Toaster Oven Salmon with Lemon Basil Butter

Erica
Toaster Oven Salmon has luscious salmon topped with a simple Lemon Basil Butter. This is a low sodium dinner for two, ready in under 30 minutes. Cooking salmon in the toaster oven gives you a delicious dinner and is SO easy to make. Basil flavor and acidic lemon "cut" the buttery goodness so you will not miss the salt.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 344 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Lemon Basil Butter

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pinches dried onion powder
  • 2 pinches dried garlic powder
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh basil leaves

For the salmon

  • 2 (4 ounce) salmon filets skin removed
  • 1 pinch dried garlic powder
  • 1 pinch fresh cracked pepper
  • cooking spray

Instructions
 

Make the Lemon Basil Butter

  • In a small bowl, use a fork to mash together the ingredients for the butter.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap forming a ~2-inch long log, and refrigerate.

Cook the salmon

  • Heat toaster oven or conventional oven to 425°F.
  • Lay the salmon on oven pan lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Season with garlic powder and black pepper.
  • Bake at 425°F for 12-15 minutes until just cooked through and flakes with fork.
  • Slice the Lemon Basil Butter and lay slices on the fish. Return to the oven to melt the butter. Serve.

Notes

If cooking in a conventional or convection oven, the fish will cook likely faster, so start checking for doneness at 10-12 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 344kcal (17%) | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 24g (48%) | Fat: 27g (42%) | Saturated Fat: 11g (69%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 30mg (10%) | Sodium: 55mg (2%) | Potassium: 6mg | Sugar: 1g (1%)

Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Keyword lemon basil butter, low sodium salmon recipe, toaster oven salmon
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let me know!

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