Whether you’re looking for a fast healthy dinner, or an easy salmon recipe for entertaining, this Salmon with Caper Sauce is a recipe worth looking into. Adding orange juice and capers to plain Greek Yogurt brings a smooth creamy citrus topping for roasted Salmon.
About this Recipe and Why it Works
This roasted salmon with caper sauce is an easy family dinner.
Buttery salmon is roasted to perfection with a topping of grated orange zest to bring a bright flavor. Then topped with creamy tangy Greek Yogurt that’s been spiked with briny capers and orange juice.
The textures work together and the flavor profile is spot on.
And one of the best things about this recipe?…. It’s easy.
For this recipe, the salmon is roasted using salt and orange zest. The salmon retains its natural flavor with a hint of sunshine from the orange zest.
While the salmon is roasting, you can stir together the simple caper sauce and prepare side dishes of your choice.
This salmon with yogurt sauce makes a lovely combination both in flavor a texture. It looks and eats fancy.
But don’t save this easy salmon recipe for weekends. This is quick enough for a weekday dinner. After all, even hectic days deserve balanced healthy delicious meals just as much as slower paced weekend dinners.
The best option to purchase wild salmon is through a company that blast freezes the meat soon after the catch at its peak of freshness insuring that beautiful fresh flavor. Look for wild caught frozen salmon in your super market, or there are several companies in Alaska such as Sitka Salmon Shares. An Alaskan community supported fishery of small-boat fishermen that takes the experience further, by delivering the delicious seafood right to your doorstep.
Oven roasting takes the fuss out of cooking salmon. There’s no turning the fish to make sure it cooks through through properly. This is particularly important with thicker fillets. Seasonings and herbs stay put because you’re not turning the fish. Herbs can also burn in that oil in a hot pan, transferring a bitter flavor to the fish. Most important its hands off. As you roast salmon in the oven you’re free to prepare side dishes while it cooks.
How Do I Tell When Salmon is Done Baking?
I like the fork test. Simple pull out the oven rack enough to have access to the salmon. Using the back of a fork, press gently on the top of the salmon. It it pulls apart and starts to flake, the salmon is done. If albumen is present (the white protein that seeps from the seams) the salmon is just starting to over-cook. Remove it from the oven immediately. You can also use an instant read thermometer. Insert it into a thick part of the meat. When the thermometer reads 145 degrees, the salmon is done.
I always leave the skin on the salmon. That layer of skin will aid in locking in moisture to keep that salmon filet tender and flaky. The skin easily pulls away from the fish once it’s cooked.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Mise en place. Always gather ingredients before starting any recipe. It will save you time and organize your mind.
- Greek Yogurt: I’m all about full fat for most recipes. Of course you can use low fat Greek Yogurt, but the flavor and texture will be compromised.
- Orange Juice: You’ll need an orange for the orange zest. Use the juice from the orange for the best fresh squeezed experience.
- Cilantro: Fine chopped.
- Orange Zest: You’ll need two oranges for enough zest for the salmon and the caper sauce.
- Salmon: This is a recipe for two people. So purchase 1/2 to 3/4 pound of salmon. I used a Coho Salmon fillet and cut it in half after it was cooked.
- Olive Oil: We’ll use olive oil both to rub over the salmon fillet to keep it from drying out in the oven and the rest will go into the recipe for yogurt sauce.
- If you don’t have or don’t like Greek Yogurt, substitute with a mixture of half sour cream and half mayonnaise.
- Any type of salmon will work for this salmon with caper sauce recipe. Use Alaskan King Salmon, Coho Salmon, or Sockeye Salmon.
- If you don’t have oranges, turn this recipe into a lemon yogurt sauce by substituting lemon zest and lemon juice. The sauce will be too tart, so add a teaspoon of honey to sweeten things up.
- Parsley. If you don’t like or don’t have cilantro, substitute with parsley.
Step by Step Instructions, It’s Easy!
Be sure to see the recipe card below for complete ingredients and instructions.
- Step 1: Place the salmon fillet on a sheet pan that’s been lined with parchment paper or oiled. Sprinkle with salt and a generous helping of freshly grated orange peel. I like to use my sheet pan with a wire rack. Having the salmon elevated helps air to circulate around the meat for more even cooking. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cook salmon 15 – 20 minutes, or until the fish flakes when pressed with the back of a fork.
PRO TIP if you start to see albumin seeping out of the flakes of fish, that means the salmon is done. Albumin is the white protein that exists in the raw salmon fillet. When the salmon starts to cook, the albumin becomes semi-solid and turns white. Once you start to see albumen it’s time to remove it from the heat. Too much albumin will indicate that the fish will be dry.
How to make the creamy caper sauce.
- Step 2: While the salmon is cooking, stir together the yogurt sauce recipe. It’s easy with plain greek yogurt, capers, chopped cilantro, orange zest, olive oil and orange juice.
Step 3: Using a fork, stir until the ingredients are well blended.
To serve, simply plate the salmon fillets with a generous dollop of the caper sauce.
Tips for Success
- The best temperature for baking salmon: 400 – 425 degrees. But know your oven. Ovens are not created equal. Temperatures may not be true, Some cook slower, some cook hotter. Cooking salmon at high temperatures insures that it will sear the outside while keeping the inside moist and tender. Depending on the thickness of your fillets, your salmon could take anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes to cook. I like to rub the fillets with olive oil before adding spices. It helps keep the salmon moist and helps the herbs and spices to cling to the meat.
- Ideas for left overs and reheating salmon. This recipe is best enjoyed the day it is made. However, if you do have leftovers, a great idea is to use the cold left-over salmon on top of salad greens. You can use a little of the sauce for dressing. If you want to reheat the salmon, please do so ever so gently. Using the microwave and heating in 15 second increments on 50% power. You don’t want to cook the meat, you just want it warm enough to enjoy.
Recipe for Salmon with Caper Sauce
I hope you give this easy oven salmon recipe a try, and if you do, please come back and give the recipe a star rating and leave a comment about your experience with the recipe.
What to serve with this Orange Salmon With Caper Sauce?
You’re preparing a very easy salmon dinner recipe, so keep things simple. I served the salmon with steamed broccoli and pearl couscous. Garlic Butter Baked Potatoes would be divine, or even just a special tossed salad would make this a light meal.
And if you’re looking for more seafood recipes, don’t miss my Seafood Category, you’ll find lots of recipe ideas, including the most popular on my site for Heavenly Halibut.
More Easy Oven Salmon Recipes
Baked Salmon with Creamy Caper Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for the baking sheet
- 1/2 – 3/4 pound salmon fillets thick cut, skin-on, center-cut, pin bones removed
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest finely grated
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 Cup plain Greek Yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons Cilantro fine chopped, or parsley
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons capers drained, rinsed, and chopped
- 1 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet.
- Arrange the salmon skin side down on the baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, and sprinkle with 1 tsp. of the orange zest, the salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Gently rub the seasonings into the fish. Let sit at room temperature while the oven heats.
- Combine the yogurt in a small bowl with the remaining 1 T, of olive oil, 1/2 t. orange zest, and the parsley, capers, and orange juice. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. The sauce can be made up to several hours ahead and kept refrigerated.
- Roast the salmon until just cooked through, with a trace of bright pink in the center (cut into a piece to check), 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately, drizzled with the yogurt sauce.
Salmon with Caper Sauce … It’s whats for dinner
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If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on my website, please leave a star rating in the recipe card below. And write a review in the comment section. I always appreciate your feedback.
Lise LeBlanc says
Hi Lea Ann,
I made this last night for dinner and it was so good and easy to make! The sauce was heavenly! I will be making this again for sure. Thank you for the inspiration to cook salmon in a different way!
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
It is citrus season in my area right now and your recipe is a great way to use some just picked oranges.
Lea Ann Brown says
Hi Karen. Good to hear from you. Let me know what you think.
Bobby and I love salmon, but never get enough of it. It’s hard to find quality wild salmon here. Thanks so much for the info on Sitka Salmon Shares. I’ve already checked it out and it looks like a great way to get a variety of wild caught seafood. I do have a couple of questions – So you get one piece of each type of fish and if so, is it big enough to feed 2 people? I have one piece of wild salmon from WF in the freezer that is going to get this caper sauce on top because I LOVE capers! For lunch we have smoked salmon with capers and onions. 🙂 Thanks for the recipe and the info!
Lea Ann Brown says
Hi MJ. Yes, one piece of fish will feed two people.
We are always looking for new salmon recipes and this one looks delicious.