Easy Salmon Recipe with Lemon Zest and Fresh Herbs makes a great dinner for company or a quick weeknight dinner for family!

Easy Salmon Recipe with Lemon Zest and Fresh Herbs

If you’re looking for an easy salmon recipe for grilling or broiling, this is it. Originally published in the New York Times, and then adapted by famed Southern Chef Virginia Willis, this recipe uses fresh herbs and lemon zest to bring out the flavor of salmon. And it could go on any fish: tilapia, swordfish, halibut, even fresh Georgia trout. The possibilities are endless!

Virginia suggests using the Copper River salmon, and if you’ve never had it then you need to run out and find some right now. It is absolutely the best salmon I have ever eaten. It’s only available for a short time, and it’s pretty pricey ($32.99 per pound at Harry’s last week), but I have bought it at Costco several times and it’s not too badly priced there. More expensive than the other fish but definitely worth the splurge.

Easy Salmon Recipe

All you need for this easy salmon recipe is a lemon, an assortment of fresh herbs, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, sesame and olive oil. Mix it all together until it forms a paste.

Easy Salmon Recipe with Lemon Zest and Fresh Herbs

Then just pour over the salmon, turning to coat both sides. Use your hands to spread the paste evenly so the salmon is well covered.

Easy Salmon Recipe with Lemon Zest and Fresh Herbs

Now just let it sit in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes and until about half an hour before you’re ready to cook it. Allow the salmon to come to room temperature and then either grill or broil it 8-10 minutes until done.

Easy Salmon Recipe with Lemon Zest and Fresh Herbs

So easy and yet so delicious!

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5 from 1 vote

Easy Salmon Recipe

Easy Salmon Recipe with Lemon Zest and Fresh Herbs
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 3 lbs. salmon fillet, skin removed
  • ¼ chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup fresh herbs: rosemary, parsley, thyme or other combination
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • salt and pepper


  • Cover a sheet pan with foil and place salmon on pan. Salt and pepper the fish on both sides.
  • Mix all the other ingredients and pour over salmon. Turn to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for minimum 30 minutes.
  • Remove salmon from refrigerator about half an hour before cooking. Broil 4 inches from heat for 7-8 minutes, depending on how done you like it.
  • Serve immediately.


Serving: 8servings, Calories: 392kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 34g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 93mg, Sodium: 328mg, Sugar: 6g
Course: Fish
Cuisine: American
Calories: 392
Keyword: easy salmon recipes, salmon with lemon zest and herbs
Love this recipe?Mention @southernfoodandfun or tag #southernfoodandfun!
Lucy standing behind a counter with a cheese board and glass of wine.

About the author

Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a home cook, writer, food and wine fanatic, and recipe developer. I’ve created and tested hundreds of recipes so that I can bring you the best tried and true favorites.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I love this salmon! Thanks so much for sharing and liking it. So easy.
    Always great to read your site and grateful to be included.
    Bon Appetit, Y’all! Best VA