Parchment Salmon With Herb Butter

November 18, 2011 in Categories: by

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This is a recipe that makes enough herb butter for about 16 portions of fish.  I spoon tablespoons of the herb butter onto a big sheet of tin foil, cover with more tin foil, and freeze until solid.  Then I can put all the little balls of herb butter into a plastic container and use them whenever we have this meal.  This makes for a very fast and convenient supper and I have even been known to stick completely frozen fish in the oven with herb butter on a day where I am too busy to organize supper beforehand.

I usually wrap two salmon fillets together in one “parchment envelope”  You can wrap as many as will fit on your pan in one envelope (or one giant fillet with several spoons of herb butter) or you can wrap each fillet individually… whatever floats your boat.  I actually usually use tinfoil because it’s easier to fold.  A nice alternative presentation of this dish is to wrap individual pieces of fish in parchment and serve with the top of the parchment torn open slightly (which just isn’t as pretty with tinfoil).

For paleo enthusiasts who avoid all dairy, you could try this with coconut oil.  The butter is mostly a vessel for the herbs.  To make this autoimmune protocol-friendly, use coconut oil (or other fat of choice) and omit the pepper.

My toddler LOVES this fish, whether I make it with salmon or trout.  I think toddlers who like fish in non-fishstick form are in the minority, but I am still going to label this Toddler Friendly!


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • Rind of a whole lemon, either zested fine or ground in a food processor
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • A 6-8oz fillet of salmon or trout per person (larger pieces of fish can work, but adjust cooking time accordingly).


1.    Combine lemon zest and herbs in a small food processor and pulse until very finely chopped.
2.    Add herb mix to butter in a bowl and mix with a fork until well combined.
3.    Preheat oven to 350F
4.    Prepare the parchment envelope for the fish.  Place a large sheet of tinfoil or parchment paper on a baking sheet (I actually find tinfoil much easier to use in this recipe).  The parchment paper should measure a little over twice the length of your fish fillets placed side by side.
5.    Place fish on one half of parchment paper, leaving 3-4 inches of space (in addition to one long side) around it for folding parchment paper over.  Spoon a healthy Tablespoon full of herb butter onto each fillet.  Also add approximately 1 Tbsp of water around the fillets.  Fold over long side of parchment paper to cover the fish than triple fold all three open sides to form a seal.
6.    Place in oven (still on baking sheet) and bake for 20 minutes, or until fish is opaque throughout and segments flake apart easily.
7.    Store leftover herb butter in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


I made this 2 nights ago and it was a hit! I have plenty of leftover herb butter in the freezer now for future dinners. I’ve never been a huge fish fan, this one is tasty and easy.
-Jennifer K

I tried to do this last night, made the herb butter but then when I opened up the salmon, it smelled off. :(. Sigh. SO, I tried using this with a burger. Nt bad with a burger. I tried adding some of the butter to the mashed potatoes. REALLY GOOD. Then I tried adding some to the sautéed green beans (in shallot infused coconut oil with a squeeze of lemon) and OH MY GOD INCREDIBLE.

So thank you! This was my first compound butter, but it (and others) are about to become my new best friends. I foresee a happy couple of hours googling other compound butter recipes too!

Oh my. It’s so simple, but so good! I’ve been on a quest to make the perfect fish from frozen salmon fillets, and this 100% fit the bill. I made this tonight and after my first bite, remarked to my family that I’m never using any other recipe, I didn’t eve follow the proportions exactly, just eyeballed things, and the fish came out SO moist and flavourful — thank you for this great recipe! (I baked them from frozen just under 20 mins.)

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