Chile Baked Salmon with Lime Butter
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Cook time
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This is an absolutely delicious recipe that's pretty enough for company but simple enough to be a weeknight dinner! The lime butter is a game-changer; this recipe will make extra so that you can keep some in your freezer! I always use farm-raised salmon for this recipe because it's fattier and juicier.
Serves: 4
Lime Butter Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • zest of 1 lime (about 4 heaping teaspoons)
Salmon Ingredients:
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1-pound filets of salmon
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  1. Make the lime butter: Mix the ingredients together until the zest is evenly distributed throughout the butter. Scoop the butter out onto a sheet of wax paper. Cover with another sheet and lightly roll it out to a uniform thickness of about 1/2 inch. Place it in the fridge to firm up.
  2. Make the salmon: Whisk together the cumin, chili powder, brown sugar, and salt. Rub the spice mix on the salmon filets (on both sides if it's skinless, but on just the exposed side if it's skin-on.) I then cook each filet separately so as not to crowd the pan. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Place the fish in skin side down and cook without disturbing for 4-5 minutes before turning over and cooking for 4 minutes on the other side (thicker cuts might need 6-7 minutes per side -- mine was about 1 inch thick at its thickest point -- but keep in mind the fish will continue to cook when you tent it with foil). Remove the fish from the heat, tent it with foil, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes as you repeat the process with the other filet. The fish will flake apart easily when done. Remove the firmed up lime butter from the fridge and cut out shapes that are about 1- to 2-inches in diameter (if you want to be cutesy -- otherwise, regular pats are fine). Place a pat on each serving of fish. Serve hot with lime wedges for spritzing over the fish. Reserve excess lime butter in the freezer for other uses.
Recipe by Willow Bird Baking at