Oven-Poached Salmon with Cucumber Sauce

Oven-Poached Salmon with Cucumber Sauce

This week, make fish the centerpiece of one of your weeknight dinners with this recipe for oven-poached salmon that cooks to succulent perfection in minutes.

For most of my twenties, I avoided cooking salmon because it was a pricier meat and I was afraid to overcook it and ruin a good piece of meat.

So, I understand how you might find cooking fish a little intimidating. Especially if you didn’t grow up eating it. Nobody wants to screw up when cooking fish because it can quickly become dry and chalky, a flavor that should be reserved for cafeteria lunches or airplane travel. If that.

That’s where poaching comes in. Poaching salmon in the oven is an easy solution that anyone can learn to do successfully. Cooking the fish in liquid keeps it moist and helps it cook evenly, and it’s more forgiving if you go down an Internet rabbit hole and leave the salmon filets in the oven a minute or two too long.

To oven-poach, simply place raw salmon filets in a glass baking dish filled with enough water so half the salmon is submerged. Season with salt and pepper, fresh herbs like dill or rosemary, and lemon juice (you can even place lemon slices on top of each filet for extra flavor). Cover with foil, then bake the fish in a 375° F oven for 18-22 minutes, or until it flakes easily. Thinner fillets will cook faster, so start checking the meat after 15 minutes, as you might want to remove it earlier if you like a more tender piece. Take the fish out of the water as soon as it’s done, keeping in mind it will continue to cook a bit more as it cools.

To finish your dish, top the oven-poached salmon with a refreshing tzatziki-style yogurt and cucumber sauce. If you like the tanginess that lemon zest gives, go ahead and add more to the sauce. Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy!

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Oven-Poached Salmon with Cucumber Sauce

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 22 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Servings 2 servings


For Poached Salmon:

  • 2 (4-oz.) raw wild salmon fillets
  • 3 fresh dill sprigs chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)

For Cucumber Sauce:

  • Water
  • ¼ medium cucumber finely chopped
  • 4 fresh dill sprigs chopped (reserve a small amount for garnish)
  • ¼ cup reduced fat (2%) plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ tsp finely chopped lemon peel
  • Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Place salmon, skin-side down, in baking dish. Top with dill and drizzle with lemon juice.
  3. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  4. Add water to submerge salmon halfway. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 190
Total Fat: 8 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 64 mg
Sodium: 352 mg
Carbohydrates: 3 g
Fiber: 0 g
Sugars: 2 g
Protein: 26 g

P90X/P90X2 Portions
1½ Protein
½ Vegetable

P90X3 Portions
1½ Protein

Body Beast Portions
1 Vegetable
3½ Protein

Portion Fix Containers
½ Green
1 Red

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Photos by Kirsten Morningstar