Parmesan Crusted Salmon is one of the easiest weeknight meals you can throw together! Serve it up with a side of rice and some steamed veggies or a salad.
Parmesan crusted salmon is one of those recipes that we come back to over and over again. Only 8 eight ingredients, 20 minutes to make from start to finish and the perfect amount of crunch and light cheesiness from the topping. What’s not to love?!
Serve it with a starch, such as Boiled Potatoes with Fresh Herbs or Brown rice pilaf with orzo, and a veggie side like Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad or Greek Sugar Snap Peas.
If you're a salmon fan like me, you'll want to dive right into 40 Healthy Salmon Recipes. Salmon recipes for weeks!
What you need for this Parmesan Crusted Salmon:
These are the main components of this recipe (affiliate links included):
- SALMON: Either a full 1-pound fillet of salmon or four smaller pieces will work. If you start with a full fillet, you can cut it into four portions either before or after cooking. One benefit to dividing it into portions ahead of time is that you can remove the thinner pieces from the oven sooner to avoid overcooking them.
- PANKO: Panko breadcrumbs add amazing crunch to this topping! Either whole wheat or regular panko will do.
- PARMESAN: Freshly grated Parmesan definitely beats out pre-grated cheese, plus it doesn’t include the fillers that the pre-grated stuff contains to stop it from clumping. When measuring lightly pack the cheese into the measuring cup.
- HERBS: Minced flat-leaf parsley and dried thyme. If using fresh thyme, about 2 ½ teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves can be subbed for the ¾ teaspoon of dried thyme.
- OLIVE OIL: Just a little drizzle to help bind the breadcrumbs and cheese.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
💙 What’s to love about parmesan salmon:
▪️THE TOPPING: Who doesn’t love a crispy, golden brown topping?! The taste and texture pair perfectly with the tender fish. I use a similar topping on my Baked Cod with Panko recipe.
▪️QUICK & EASY: The ingredients list is short and the recipe can be made, from start to finish, in under 20 minutes.
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How to make Parmesan salmon recipe:
This herb crusted salmon is a breeze to make and there really aren’t many rules to follow. Well, except one…do your best not to overcook the salmon! More on testing the doneness in a bit.
Let's talk details...
PREP THE BAKING SHEET: Line a baking sheet with foil. Easy clean-up is practically mandatory for weeknight meals. Am I right?
PREP THE SALMON: Arrange the salmon skin side down (if your fillets have skin). Once cooked, the salmon will easily separate from the skin. Pat the salmon dry with some paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
MAKE THE TOPPING: In a bowl, mixture together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and seasoning. Then drizzle in a little olive oil and toss it all together to coat the breadcrumbs. You can mix it with a fork or toss with your fingers.
TOP THE SALMON: Divide the topping between the salmon fillets, gently pressing down to “secure” the topping.
BAKE IT: Bake the salmon until the fillets are just cooked through. This should take 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
SERVE: Serve immediately while the salmon's tender and juicy. If you like a sauce on the side, try an easy salmon sauce.
How to tell when salmon is done:
If you’ve been here before, you already know my favorite trick for testing fish for doneness. But it’s so handy that it’s worth repeating over and over again.
Stick a small, sharp knife into the deepest part of the fillet and hold it there for 10 seconds. Carefully (yep, sharp and hot knife) lay the side of the knife (the non-sharp part) either on the inside of your wrist or on your upper lip. Both places are very sensitive to temperature. It the knife is hot, the salmon is done!
If using a thermometer, the USDA recommends cooking fish to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, or 62.8 degrees Celsius.
You can also cut into the fish. If the fish is opaque and flakes easily, it’s done.
Cooking time varies with the thickness of the fillet. And remember that the fish will continue to cook for a couple of minutes after being removed from the oven.
Can I use regular breadcrumbs instead of panko?
If you don’t have panko on hand and running to the store isn’t on the agenda, go ahead and swap it with regular or homemade breadcrumbs. But next time you’re at the store, be sure to pick up some panko. The crunch is fabulous!
My preference order for the type of breadcrumbs you use is 1) panko, 2) homemade breadcrumbs and 3) regular store-bought breadcrumbs.
Panko breadcrumbs are typically found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores, alongside the regular breadcrumbs.
Other healthy salmon recipes:
Grilled Salmon Burgers with Avocado Sauce
Baked Teriyaki Salmon with Cabbage
Maple Dijon Baked Salmon
Salmon Tostadas with Guacamole
Parmesan Crusted Salmon Recipe
- 1 pound salmon cut into 4 fillets
- ¼ + ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt divided
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 6 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs whole wheat if you can find them*
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
- ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and set the oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Dry the salmon fillets with paper towel. Arrange on the baking sheet and season with ¼ teaspoons salt and the ground pepper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley and thyme.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the breadcrumbs. With your fingers or a fork, toss to coat the breadcrumbs with the oil.
- Pile the breadcrumb mixture on top of the salmon fillets, pressing gently to secure.
- Bake until the salmon is just cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. This will vary depending on the thickness of the fillets. Take care not to overcook the salmon.
This post was originally published on December 10, 2020 and updated on July 13, 2022.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
This looks absolutely ravishing, I can't wait to try it!