Charming, delightful and crowd-pleasing, Parmesan Breaded Salmon with Herb Mayonnaise will be the star of your next gathering. I’ve been serving this timeless recipe at my dinner parties for years. Not only is it fresh, enticing, and full of flavor while not overpowering, it’s also easy to prepare. All the prep work can be done the day before, leaving you to enjoy your guests!
Parmesan Breaded Baked Salmon with Mayo
Table of Contents
Parmesan Breading Ingredients
Mild, buttery salmon is crusted with a surprisingly light topping and then baked. The crunchy, citrusy topping ingredients include:
- homemade (or Panko) breadcrumbs,
- fresh parsley,
- fresh thyme leaves,
- grated Parmesan cheese,
- lemon zest, and
- melted salted butter.
You can certainly modify this list of ingredients to your taste and/or dietary requirements. Here are a few suggestions:
- Use gluten free breadcrumbs in place of regular.
- Add other herbs, or use them in place of the parsley and thyme, including fresh tarragon, dill, basil or chives.
- Add lime zest to the lemon, or use in its place.
- Substitute chopped shallots for the garlic.
How To Bake Salmon in the Oven
You will be amazed at how easy it is to make this moist and tender salmon recipe! Here are the steps:
- Prep oven and baking dish.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a shallow baking pan (or rimmed baking sheet) large enough to hold the fish. (Put a pat of butter on a small piece of paper towel and rub it generously around the bottom and sides of the dish.) You can also line the pan with parchment paper.
- Prepare topping ingredients.
Place the parsley (leaves and soft stems), grated Parmesan cheese, thyme leaves (no stems), lemon zest, salt and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Make sure the ingredients are distributed around the bowl. Pulse just until finely chopped and mixed together.
- Finish topping.
Transfer herb-cheese mixture to a medium mixing bowl and mix in breadcrumbs (I like to do this by hand). Melt butter in the microwave; stir into breadcrumb mixture.
- Place crust on fish and bake.
Place the salmon, skin side down, in the prepared pan. Pat the breadcrumb mixture over the top. Bake, uncovered, 10 to 12 minutes per 1 inch of thickness (measured at thickest part) or until desired doneness. I like to cook it to around 135 to 140 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
- Let salmon rest; serve.
Remove fish from oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Note that salmon will continue cooking for a few minutes after you take it out of the oven.
Herb Mayonnaise Ingredients
A super pungent mayonnaise is the perfect complement to serve on the side. The flavorful ingredients include:
- fresh Italian parsley (leaves and soft stems),
- fresh cilantro (leaves and soft stems),
- green onion,
- red wine vinegar,
- oregano (fresh or dried),
- freshly ground black pepper,
- cayenne pepper, and of course,
- mayonnaise (I like Best Foods or Hellman’s Mayonnaise with Olive Oil)
Again, you can adjust these ingredients to make the mayo your own. Try other fresh herbs (chives, tarragon, dill, basil), switch out the green onion or garlic for shallots. Just use your imagination – and your pantry!
Parmesan Breaded Salmon – Frequently Asked Questions
I plan on 4 to 6 ounces of fish per person. The range depends on the quantity and richness of the side dishes, as well as the appetites of my guests. In general, men tend to eat more than women at dinner parties; younger people tend to eat more as well.
Yes, you can use frozen salmon. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, rinse and pat dry before proceeding.
In this recipe the salmon should be baked uncovered. Otherwise the bread topping can become soggy and won’t brown.
In general you bake fish for 8 to 10 minutes per 1-inch of thickness (measured at the thickest point) or for 10 to 12 minutes per 1-inch if it has a crust or other topping.
The best way to determine if your fish is done is to use an instant read thermometer inserted into the middle of the thickest portion. Per USDA guidelines, the “safe” internal temperature for fish is 145 degrees. However, keep in mind fish will keep cooking after removing from the oven, so you can safely take it out at a lower temperature (135 to 140 degrees) and let it sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Both the herb mayo and Parmesan-crumb mixture can be made the day before, covered and refrigerated. Bring both to room temperature before using. I don’t recommend placing the crust on the salmon until just before baking, so it doesn’t become soft or soggy.
Store any leftover salmon in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Reheat in a 275 to 300 degree oven for around 15 minutes.
Cooked salmon, in a well-sealed container, will last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Note that the bread topping may become moist but should crisp up when reheated.
Sides that go well with Salmon
There are many, many side dishes that pair well with this salmon, including:
- Roasted new potatoes with Truffle Oil (in my cookbook A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®)
- Steamed new potatoes tossed with melted butter and chopped fresh parsley
- Roasted Green Beans
- Green Beans with Cashew Gremolata (in my cookbook A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®)
- Lemon Rice
- Quick and Easy Sautéed Asparagus
- Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
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- 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup mayonnaise
Crusted Baked Salmon
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or more to taste)
- 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 2 to 2 1/4 cups homemade (or Panko) bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
- 2 1/2 pounds salmon fillet or 3 pound fillet if thick and serving 8 (in one piece)
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the parsley, cilantro, onions, vinegar, garlic, oregano and peppers.
- Stir in mayonnaise.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Crusted Baked Salmon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter (or line with parchment paper) a shallow baking pan large enough to hold the fish.
- Place the parsley, Parmesan cheese, thyme, lemon zest, salt and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped and mixed together. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and mix in breadcrumbs (we like to do this by hand). Stir in melted butter.
- Place the salmon skin side down in the prepared pan. Pat the breadcrumb mixture over the top.
- Bake, uncovered, 10 to 12 minutes per 1 inch of thickness (measured at thickest part) or until desired doneness. I like to cook it to around 135 to 140 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
- Let cooked fish sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Note that salmon will continue cooking for a few minutes after you take it out of the oven.
- Serve, passing mayonnaise mixture on the side.
Make ahead: The mayonnaise and crumb mixture can be made the day before, covered separately and refrigerated. Bring both to room temperature before using.
- Category: Main dish, Fish and Seafood, Make ahead
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Fresh
Keywords: salmon, Breaded, Parmesan crust, easy to prepare