Steamed salmon in foil (recipe easy and healthy)

Do you want an easy, healthy, and very quick way to cook your fish? Then this steamed salmon in foil recipe is perfect for you.

What I like about this easy salmon recipe:

This French method of cooking fish is technically called ” en papillote”,  which means “in paper” and is precisely that: wrapping it in tin foil to seal it and cooking it with its own steam, also making it a truly healthy way to cook. Moreover, it’s a very versatile method (and why not say it, with a very attractive and elegant appearance and name) – you can use whatever fish you have on hand or prefer. 

In this case, I’ll be using salmon and I’ll be adding onions, olive oil, black pepper, lemon, sea salt, and dill. 

But you can use the vegetables you have or prefer:

leeks, shallots, carrots, bell peppers, etc. Just make sure to cut them into sticks so they cook through.

On the other hand, you can season it in different ways, put on top of the salmon: 

butter, garlic butter, melted butter, capers, soy sauce, fresh herbs, Cajun seasoning, Old Bay, fresh garlic, fresh parsley, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, chimichurri, dijon mustard, lime or lemon juice, pair with this easy baked salmon.

Moreover, each packet is assembled in individually foil packs, so we can cook each portion with “customized” vegetables and seasonings – something very important if we have a picky eater at home or it´s for a dinner party. Do you see why this is one of my favorite salmon recipes?

Pro tip: This is a trick I learned while working on catering. If you want to prepare the packets in advance for a party and make them with different vegetables and seasonings, don’t make marks on the paper with a pencil, as they will smudge with the steam. However, you can tie the packets with kitchen twine (any cotton yarn will work too) and make different knots or ties. This way, you can differentiate them without having to open them.

About the foil and his folds:

 There are many ways to fold papillotes, the goal of this foil packet method is to ensure that steam and juices from what we are cooking don’t escape. Closing aluminum foil is easier, you just fold the edges, but with parchment paper, it can be trickier (which is why I used it as an example in the video below). 

There are also various techniques, but personally, even though you’ll use a bigger sheet of foil, I like this one for several reasons:

  1. It ensures it won’t open during cooking and will stay well-sealed.
  2. You can open it and reseal it if the fish is undercooked or you want your salmon filet more cooked.
  3. You can easily open it with the handle of a wooden spoon. This might sound odd, but once you open the paper, very hot steam will escape, which, believe it or not, can burn (speaking from experience). So, this detail is quite important (at least for me).

If you want to make a larger piece of fish that does not fit on a paper I recommend this recipe easy baked salmon.

What fishes can we use for cooking in papillote? 

We can prepare almost any fish for this recipe, and I’m not just talking about any kind of salmon: fresh salmon, pink salmon, wild salmon, Atlantic salmon, or farm-raised salmon but rather most white-fleshed fish would work: cod, flounder, trout, halibut, etc

​How to cook this foil-baked salmon recipe:

 That’s another thing I love about this recipe, we can do it in the oven, but we could also do it on the grill or even in a covered frying pan over medium temperature. The exact times will change with every type of cooking, but you can use a meat thermometer and when you register 135 degrees F at the thickest part of the fish it means that is done (that’s why is so important that you can open and close the foil sheet)

If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, pay close attention to the final image in the video. That’s how it looks when the meat separates from the fish when it’s well cooked. Another benefit of this recipe is that if it’s cooked for too long, it won’t become too dry.

What to serve with this flavorful salmon: 

This tasty and light dish pairs perfectly with many preparations, from creamy scalloped potatoes to an easy quinoa edamame salad.

How to store it and how long does it last: 

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can assemble the packets a couple of hours ahead and keep them refrigerated before cooking, so they are ready in case you’re preparing them for guests. This also allows the flavors to marinate better.

Once cooked, you can store the leftover salmon without the foil in an airtight container for up to 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator.

Steamed salmon in foil

Do you want an easy, healthy, and very quick way to cook your fish? Then this steamed salmon in foil recipe is perfect for you.

Course fish, Main Course
Cuisine French, international cuisine
Keyword salmon in foil, steamed salmon in foil
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 portions
Calories 317 kcal


  • 4 cut salmon about 1 1/4 pound total
  • 1 onion peel and sliced
  • 2 lemon sliced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • dill


  1. Preheat oven to 375ªF

  2. In the center of each parchment paper place some onion slices, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in each.

  3. Place the cut of salmon on top of the onions and drizzle each one with salt, black pepper and dill. Put some lemon slices.

  4. Close the parchment paper following the video.

  5. Place the salmons on a baking sheet and bake them for 15 minutos.

  6. Serve inmediatly and enjoy!

Recipe Video

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