This herb-stuffed salmon makes for a stupendously simple yet superlatively impressive supper. Part of the reason we adore it so is the opportunity it provides to indulge in crisped salmon skin. The uber-crisped, ocean-y rendition of pork rind tastes (arguably) even better than its piggy counterpart. One last boon—it makes ample servings and is lovely served cold so you can take leftovers to work the next day and be the envy of the office.–Renee Schettler

A whole herb stuffed baked salmon filled with bread crumbs and herbs and tied with kitchen twine.

Herb-Stuffed Baked Salmon

5 from 1 vote
This easy, healthy herb-stuffed baked salmon is filled with sourdough bread crumbs, fresh herbs, chile flakes, and lemon slices.
David Leite
Servings8 servings
Calories387 kcal
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour


  • Kitchen string


For the stuffing

  • 2 thick slices sourdough bread, torn into chunks
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • Handful mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, oregano, and thyme leaves, chopped
  • Pinch dried chile flakes

For the baked salmon

  • One (3-to 4-pound) side of wild salmon, skin on, pin bones removed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for the roasting pan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 2 large lemons, thinly sliced


Prepare the oven

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).

Make the herb stuffing

  • In a food processor, combine the bread, pine nuts, garlic, mixed fresh herbs, and chile flakes until you end up with coarse bread crumbs.

Prepare the baked salmon

  • Rinse the salmon and pat it dry. Trim the thin ends and sides to create a neat rectangular shape, reserving the scraps to cook for something else, such as pasta or salad. Rub the salmon, both the skin and the fish, with the oil, salt, and pepper. Cut the rectangle in half to create 2 squarish pieces.
  • Place 4 lengths of kitchen string (each about 18 inches) on a work surface perpendicular to you and parallel to one another, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  • Place half the dill sprigs on the strings, placing the dill perpendicular to the strings. Place a square of salmon on the dill, skin-side down. Place a quarter of the lemon slices along the center of the salmon and then press the bread crumb mixture onto the lemon and salmon. Make another row with 1/3 of the remaining lemon slices along the top of the bread crumb mixture. Place the other square of salmon on top, skin-side up, placing the thick end of the top piece over the thin end of the bottom piece so you get a roughly even thickness all over.
  • Cover the salmon with the remaining dill sprigs and tie the strings, securing the salmon squares together. Don't tie the salmon too tightly. You want it just secure enough to hold everything in place.
  • Generously oil a roasting pan just large enough to hold the salmon. Arrange the remaining lemon slices in the pan and place the stuffed salmon on top of them. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes if you like the salmon to be a little rare in the middle. If you don't care for salmon this rare, roast it a little longer.
  • Let the salmon rest for 5 minutes. Transfer it to a platter and cut the strings. Slice the salmon with a sharp knife into fillets—it will fall apart as you do so—and make sure you scoop up ample stuffing and lemon with each fillet.
Eat Ate

Adapted From

Eat Ate

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 387 kcalCarbohydrates: 4 gProtein: 35 gFat: 26 gSaturated Fat: 3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 12 gCholesterol: 94 mgSodium: 83 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2009 Guy Mirabella. Photo © 2009 Earl Carter. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Some might read “side of salmon”, “kitchen string” and think uh-oh… complicated. Have no fear. Dragging my food processor out of the pantry to make the stuffing was more complicated then layering said ingredients and tying up this baby.

Oh, and bonus…since it serves 8 we had lunch the next day, too. Cold baked salmon over raw chopped kale salad. Yum!

I found this recipe easy, thoughtful, and delicious. This is a keeper!

What a great way to prepare salmon! As easy as a weeknight meal but nice enough for the weekend.

The ingredient list isn’t complicated and it allows for a little variety in the herbs used. The stuffing came together very quickly in the food processor. I was worried that using so much dill in the dish might be too much, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t overwhelming at all. Rather, it made a nice background to the fish.

My baked fish was done in 30 minutes and letting it rest for 5 or 6 minutes gave me enough time to make a salad. I will definitely make this winner dinner again and might even substitute trout fillets for the salmon next time, making individual servings.

None of us is big salmon fans, apart from our toddler (because it’s a pink fish and pink is her favorite color), and, well, everyone loved this simple recipe.

The salmon was cooked to perfection, although I had to add a few more minutes to the oven time. The stuffing was flavorful and great in combination with the salmon.

What a wonderful mess this herb-stuffed baked salmon recipe is! I love finding new ways to cook salmon, and this stuffed and layered version was quite intriguing. Once you assemble the ingredients, it’s a cinch. In fact, you also “cinch” the salmon square layers before you bake them with kitchen twine so that they keep their shape afterwards.

Even though the stuffing fell out, the lemon slices were slightly undercooked, the dill fronds blackened, and I accidentally used a plain baguette instead of a sourdough one for the rough crumbs, it still worked.

As the method indicates, though, be prepared for undercooked-in-the-middle salmon unless you add a few more minutes to the cooking time.

Also, I would put the leftover stuffing in a small casserole, dot it with butter, bake it, and have it as a side dish. You need more of the almost buttery blend of fresh herb, garlic, and pine nuts in every bite to balance the tartness of the fresh lemon.

I layered the strings, salmon, stuffing, and the rest right in the pan. It was cleaner and easier than on the counter. You can make this year-round, though it’s particularly attractive when you can find the fish on sale, the herbs for a reasonable price, and ways to use the quantities of remaining herbs within a few days.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I baked it for a bit longer than the recipe called for, as it came out a bit underdone the first time, and it came out perfect and moist. I would add something spicy to the fish-perhaps rub some crushed red pepper and chili powder directly onto the fish. That’s just me, though-I need my kick. Thank you!