If you love dill pickles then this recipe is for you! This Roasted Salmon with Brown Butter Pickle Sauce might sound fancy but it's so easy and delicious you will want to make it all the time! Marinating the salmon filets in pickle brine keeps the salmon so moist it melts in your mouth!
This recipe is a crowd-pleaser but is also fast and easy enough for a weeknight meal. Serve with this Sautèd Lemon Garlic Kale, Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts, or Creamy Cauliflower & Celery Root Puree to finish it off nicely. Or how about a nice refreshing salad like this Creamy Fennel and Cucumber Salad. If you love salmon you might want to check out this Grilled Salmon with BBQ Rub too!
- salmon filets, skin on
- dill pickle brine
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- dill pickles, finely diced (I used reduced sodium Bick's garlic dill pickles)
- red onion or shallots
- fresh parsley (optional)
See recipe card for quantities.
I tried a "new to me" roasting method for the salmon. I came across it in an America's Test Kitchen book called Foolproof Fish and couldn't wait to try it! It's a great reference book with perfect recipes if you are looking to add to your cookbook collection.
- With a sharp knife, make 3 to 4 shallow slashes into the salmon skin, trying not to cut into the flesh. A serrated knife works well for this if you don't have a sharp enough knife.
- Pour pickle brine into a dish large enough to just fit the salmon filets. Place salmon, skin side up, into the brine. Add more brine if necessary to submerge all of the flesh. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. You can skip this step if you don't have any pickle brine handy or don't want to wait 30 minutes.
- When the salmon is almost done marinating move oven rack to the lowest position. Line a baking sheet with foil and place it on the bottom rack. Preheat your oven and the tray to 500°F. This will make the tray nice and hot when you add the salmon and help crisp the skin.
- Remove salmon from brine and pat dry. No need to rinse. Drizzle filets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Turn the oven down to 275°F, remove tray and place salmon skin side down. Return to the oven and roast for 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F or the fish flakes easily with a fork in the thickest part of the flesh.
Brown Butter Pickle Sauce
Brown butter can sound a bit intimidating but trust me when I tell you that it's easy! It just requires your full attention but only for less than 5 minutes.
- Melt the butter in a stainless steel pan over medium-low heat. Add the red onion and saute until the onion is soft and butter has started to brown. About 5 minutes. It might start to foam but don't let it alarm you. It's perfectly normal and will subside as it cooks and when it cools down.
- Remove from the heat and add the 4 tablespoons of pickle brine and chopped dill pickles. Serve warm on top of the salmon.
Hint: Use a pan that doesn't have a black non-stick coating so that you can see the changes in colour of the brown butter.
Since there are so few ingredients in this recipe there aren't many substitutions.
- The Brown Butter Pickle Sauce can be used to top roasted vegetables or roasted chicken, pork or beef.
- Make it dairy free by using a dairy-free butter.
Store cooked salmon in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Dill pickle sauce will last one week or more. The sauce will solidify in the fridge but you can easily warm it in the microwave or in a pan on the stovetop when ready to serve.
- Leaving the skin on helps the filets to cook evenly by protecting the bottom on the hot tray. If you prefer not to eat the skin you can easily remove it after cooking. Simply use a spatula to lift the salmon from the skin before serving.
- Don't overcook the salmon. It should flake easilly but still be slightly pink inside at the thickest part of the filet. Use a quality thermometer to cook to perfection. My favourite is this Thermapen by Thermoworks (affiliate link).
What to serve with this dish
This salmon is delicious served over rice, pasta, cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles and/or one of these side dishes:
- Sautéed Lemon Garlic Kale
- Creamy Cauliflower & Celery Root Puree
- Corn Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing
- Easy Dill Pickle Chopped Salad
Roasted Salmon with Brown Butter Pickle Sauce
- 4 salmon filets, skin on
- 1 cup dill pickle brine (plus 4 tablespoon for sauce)
- olive oil, salt and pepper
Brown Butter Pickle Sauce
- ¾ cup dill pickles, finely diced (about 4 small to medium pickles)
- ¼ cup red onion or shallots, finely diced
- ½ cup butter, cubed
- 4 tbsp dill pickle brine
- chopped fresh parsley
- With a sharp knife, make 3 to 4 shallow slashes into the salmon skin, trying not to cut into the flesh. A serrated knife works well for this if you don't have a sharp enough knife. This prevents the skin from curling up when cooking.
- Pour pickle brine into a dish large enough to just fit the salmon filets. Place salmon, skin side up, into the brine. Add more brine if necessary to submerge all of the flesh. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- When the salmon is almost done marinating move oven rack to the lowest position. Line a baking sheet with foil and place on the bottom rack. Preheat oven to 500°F.
- Remove filets from brine and pat dry. Drizzle filets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Turn the oven down to 275, remove tray and place salmon on tray skin side down. Return to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F or the fish flakes easily with a fork in the thickest part of the flesh.
Brown Butter Dill Pickle Sauce
- Melt the butter in a stainless steel pan over medium-low heat. Add the red onion and saute until the onion is soft and butter has started to brown. About 5 minutes (see photo above). Remove from heat and add the 4 tablespoons of pickle brine and chopped dill pickles.
- Serve warm on top of salmon.
Loved this recipe Andrea! Such a great combination of flavours with pretty simple ingredients! Roasted asparagus tossed in the sauce was a great side too
Sounds like a perfect addition! So happy you enjoyed it!
Barb and Rob says
What a fantastic dish! Now we are eating our dill pickles quickly so we can have more brine to poach the salmon in! Delicious!
I love that! I actually have drained a jar of it's brine to use it. The pickles are still good without it 👌😀😆
Barb Barraclough says
This was another amazing recipe Andrea! We had it last night for dinner. Thank you for such wonderful recipes!
I'm so happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for commenting!
Yummy. Another hit! Thanks Andrea
My pleasure Pauline!
Outstanding Andrea…so very delicious.!We used Rainbow Trout and served it with your Sautéed Kale recipe. Will definitely become a staple in our recipe rotation!
Hi Jo-Ann! I'm so happy you enjoyed the recipes! Thanks for commenting!
Lynn Bond says
Made this tonight but I used Basa didn’t have salmon. My husband said it was his new favourite way to eat fish. I used the method for the kale dish but used broccoli, it was delicious.
I'm so happy you enjoyed it!!! It's great with any type of fish...also chicken! 👌