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Salmon with Béarnaise Sauce

Salmon with Béarnaise Sauce

Salmon and Bearnaise Sauce

This simple recipe shows you how to make baked salmon with Béarnaise sauce. This is a very easy recipe and the meal can be cooked in about 20 minutes.

The recipe for the Béarnaise can of course also be used to serve with steak or chicken if you prefer. Béarnaise sauce is a delicate sauce that goes very well with different types of dish.

salmon fillets

How to bake salmon

This recipe bakes the salmon fillets in the oven. They can of course also be pan-seared on the hob, or grilled if you prefer, which will make them crispier on the outside.

However, I find that if you cook them in the oven, you can concentrate better on making the Béarnaise sauce. Making the sauce does require some attention, and you then do not need to be watching the fish fillets in the pan.

During baking, you may notice that a white substance is released from the salmon flesh. This is nothing to worry about. This is called albumin, and it is a protein that coagulates from the flesh of the fish during cooking. It will not harm you and is quite normal.

roasted salmon fillets
Baked salmon fillets showing the albumin

Baking salmon fillets is so simple. You simply spray some olive oil on a baking sheet pan, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon, and cook the salmon fillet skin side down in the oven for between 12 and 15 minutes, depending a bit on the size of the fillet. 

The salmon is cooked when the chunks of meat easily separate from each other. Be careful not to overcook the fish as it will be dry and a waste of your hard-earned pennies. 

When you remove the salmon from the pan you can easily remove the skin and serve it up skinless.

salmon and bearnaise sauce


Making Béarnaise sauce

The only slightly tricky part to making the Béarnaise sauce is to make sure that you do not scramble your eggs while you are whisking them. As long as you whisk enough and do so on a low heat, you will be alright. I do this by whisking by hand in a glass bowl over warm water, otherwise known as a bain-marie.

For this meal, I boiled some new potatoes so I set the potatoes aside and used the warm water from the same pan with a glass bowl on top to whisk the sauce. 

salmon hollandaise

This is the classic way to make the Hollandaise sauce that is the basis for the Béarnaise. Normally the Hollandaise part would include some lemon juice, but I tend to keep that ingredient as an option to adjust the taste if the final sauce is not quite as you want it.

This is because the Béarnaise reduction in this recipe does already include white wine vinegar, which has a similar effect on the taste, and may be enough acidity for your palette.

You could of course also serve up the salmon with Hollandaise sauce if you wanted to. There is nothing wrong with that either.

baked salmon bearnaise
Baked Salmon with Béarnaise Sauce

Salmon always goes well with buttery lemon sauces as well, but I think this combination of Béarnaise with salmon does add something different with the slight aniseed taste of the tarragon.

In this dish, I served it with new potatoes and oven-roasted asparagus, which meant I could cook the asparagus in the oven with the salmon at the same time. Minimum fuss and work.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy trying out this recipe. Let me know how you get on in the comments section below!

How to make baked salmon fillets with a Béarnaise sauce

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salmon with Bearnaise

Salmon with Béarnaise Sauce

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This simple recipe for baked salmon with Béarnaise sauce is a restaurant-quality meal you can have ready on the table in less than 20 minutes.


The Fish

  • 4 x 130g salmon fillets
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Lemon Juice
  • Olive oil spray

Béarnaise sauce

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 25ml white wine vinegar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 100g melted unsalted butter
  • Salt and Pepper


  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


    The fish

    1. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
    2. Spray some olive oil on a baking pan tray, and place the salmon fillets skin down.
    3. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon, and cook the salmon fillet skin side down in the oven for between 12 and 15 minutes, depending a bit on the thickness of the fillet.
    4. When cooked remove the fillet from the pan using a knife to remove the skin on the bottom before you serve. 
    5. While the salmon is cooking make the sauce.

    Béarnaise sauce

    1. Boil a small amount of water in a saucepan and add the chopped tarragon and shallot. Then add about 25ml of white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper and cook on a low heat until reduced to about 1 tbsp of Béarnaise reduction. Remove from the heat.
    2. In a small saucepan melt the butter slowly without burning it.
    3. At the same time, in a bain-marie (or glass bowl on warm water) add the egg yolks and a splash of water. Whisk together on the low heat for about 3-4 minutes until the yolks begin to thicken and you can see the whisk marks in the sauce.
    4. Then slowly add the melted butter bit by bit, whisking as you go until the sauce has the correct consistency. You may not need all the butter. Then remove from the heat and add the Béarnaise reduction from the other saucepan and whisk together.
    5. Taste the sauce and if necessary season with salt and/or pepper and optionally add a squeeze of lemon juice.


Serve with the sauce on the side to mix with the salmon.

I served this dish with some boiled new potatoes and oven-baked asparagus. The asparagus cooked with the salmon in the oven and the hot water from the boiled potatoes served as my bain-marie when I made the Béarnaise sauce.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 515Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 228mgSodium: 237mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 31g

This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate.

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