This Baked Parmesan Crusted Salmon is a stunning show stopper that’s very easy to make. The parmesan crust is insanely delicious and the Lemon Cream Sauce for the salmon is the essential finishing touch. A spectacular salmon for Christmas dinner or other special occasions, and yet so fast you could make it midweek. Plus you can prepare everything ahead- even the sauce!
Food that tastes like a million dollars and yet is simple to make and made with every day ingredients. That is the absolute essence of the food I love and share here on RecipeTin Eats.
This Parmesan Crusted Salmon is pretty much me on a plate. Well, on a platter. A large platter. Because the best sort of food is food that is shared with family and friends! 🙂
Every year, I do a Thanksgiving and Christmas menu (see below recipe for list with links). It’s my mission to make you the most popular person at gatherings with finger food your friends will go mad over, and to make holiday feasting stress free with easy to make, mostly prepare ahead recipes. And insanely delicious of course. Taste first and foremost!
For this year, the centrepiece of my Christmas Menu is this Baked Parmesan Crusted Salmon, served with a heavenly Lemon Cream Sauce.
Please don’t skip the sauce! I know many people make similar recipes without a sauce. I really, really, really think that the Lemon Cream Sauce is necessary because this salmon is not marinated or glazed. Whole salmon fillets are quite thick and meaty so unless it is marinated or has lots of yummy glaze to use as the sauce, it lacks flavour inside.
Don’t get me wrong, the flavour of plain salmon is lovely. But the sauce just puts this over the top from tasty to exceptional. 🙂
Plus, look how the sauce clings onto that crunchy parmesan topping. Swoon….
I promised you this Baked Parmesan Crusted Salmon is easy to make and here are some prep photos to prove it! It starts with a very simple panko and parmesan topping. With one little trick. I like my crumb to be beautifully golden all over rather than splotches of burnt bits here and there which is what happens if you bake rather than fry crumbed things.
So my little trick that truly makes all the difference so your salmon comes out of the oven with a beautiful deep golden brown topping (without overcooking the salmon!) is to lightly toast the breadcrumbs on a baking tray. You can see a comparison of toasting vs not toasting the panko breadcrumbs in my Easy Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu. 🙂
Psst This is much easier, less effort and more even browning than toasting in a skillet. Plus less cleaning up because I use the same tray for the salmon. 🙌
My next trick – getting that beautiful parmesan topping to stick to the salmon. Easy fix – just spread Dijon mustard on the salmon like you’re buttering toast. Mustard is the perfect glue because it’s got a bit of tang (perfect match for rich salmon) plus flavour.
Bake it for 20 minutes in a fairly hot oven and this is what you get…..
So beautiful and tastes incredible, especially served with a simple Lemon Cream sauce. Yes the sauce has cream in it but I promise it doesn’t make this too rich! In fact, that’s a specific point my taste testers made. You hear the word “cream sauce” and assume it is very rich. But actually, this sauce is quite tangy from the lemon. It adds moisture to this dish as well as the zing cutting through the richness of the salmon.
And before I forget – yes I put my Christmas Menu up for critique by taste testers! As it so happens, all my friends have real life jobs and aren’t just hanging around on standby for taste testing sessions. 🤷🏻♀️Luckily, my mother has a group of willing friends who pop over to the local golf course for a round before dropping by for a taste testing session. 🙂
I love how honest they are with their feedback – trust me, they don’t hold back and I have actually held off posting a handful of recipes until I improve them further!!
This Baked Parmesan Crusted Salmon received high praise. Woo hoo! – Nagi x
More fish recipes!
- Christmas Baked Salmon: Easy & Make-ahead – Super easy, eye-catching centrepiece!
- Crispy Pan Fried Fish
- Baked Fish with Lemon Cream Sauce
- Brazilian Fish Stew
- Honey Garlic Salmon and Lemon Honey Glazed Salmon – super quick!
- Homemade Baked Filet-O-Fish Burger
- Fish Pie!
- See all Fish recipes
PS Don’t forget to scroll down to see a) 2016 Christmas Menu Preview b) Dozer sulking through Christmas
Baked Parmesan Crusted Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce
- 1 (1 - 1.4 kg / 2 - 2.8 lb) side of salmon (Note 1)
- 3- 4 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (50g) (Note 2)
- Oil spray
- 50g / 3 tbsp butter , melted
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan , store bought (1/2 cup fresh grated) (Note 3)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt
Lemon Cream Sauce
- 30g / 2tbsp butter
- 1 eschallot / finely chopped (Note 4)
- 1 1/4 cups dry white wine (Note 5)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream / thickened cream
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon wedges
- Fresh dill
- Take salmon out of the fridge to bring to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 200°C / 390°F (180°C fan).
- Spread panko on baking tray, spray generously with oil then bake for 3 to 5 minutes until light golden brown. (Note 6) Scrape into bowl immediately.
- Add butter and stir, then add remaining Parmesan Crumb ingredients.
- Line same tray with foil. Place salmon on foil.
- Spread Dijon on salmon using a butter knife. Just a thin coating - like buttering toast.
- Sprinkle Crumb all over.
- Bake for 20 minutes for just cooked juicy perfection, or to taste. (Note 7)
- Remove from oven. Loosen salmon from foil using egg flip or butter knife - skin will hopefully be stuck to foil.
- Plate watercress on serving platter.
- Use foil to lift salmon onto watercress on serving plate, then slide out the foil from under it (see video under recipe). Serve with Lemon Cream Sauce and lemon wedges on the side.
Lemon Cream Sauce
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add eschalots and cook for 2 minutes. Add wine and bring to boil. Leave to boil rapidly for 5 minutes or until reduced by 3/4 or so.
- Turn heat down to medium. Add cream, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir, then add lemon juice and mustard. Stir again. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened (see video). Adjust salt, pepper and lemon to taste. Be generous with the salt - remember the salmon is not marinated, the only salt is in the topping.
- Optional: strain. I don't bother.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so. It will thicken as it cools. It can be served warm or at room temperature.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Baked Parmesan Crusted Salmon recipe video!
LIFE OF DOZER
There’s always someone sulking during festive times…..
Christmas 2016 Menu Sneak Preview
Every year here on RecipeTin Eats, I share a Thanksgiving and Christmas menu. Always easy, always something a little bit special, lots of it make ahead. Here’s a little sneak preview of the 2016 Christmas Menu….coming soon! I’ll write up a full post with links through to all the recipes and how to prepare ahead etc. 🙂
Here are the previous Christmas / Thanksgiving Menus I have done:
- 2016 Thanksgiving – “Going South” A Southern Feast starring a One Roasting Pan Cajun Turkey Breast and Dressing and all the essential sides.
- 2015 Christmas – “Family Japanese Christmas” Starring a family recipe, my mother’s Miso Marinated Side of Salmon plus our favourite sides!
- 2015 Thanksgiving – “Dry Brining is Genius” A Genius Dry Brined Turkey Breast plus classic Thanksgiving sides
- 2014 Thanksgiving and Christmas – ” Easy Christmas” Making the festive season super easy with my Juicy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy
And here’s a sneak peak at the 2016 Christmas Menu! Coming soon…..