Salmon en Papillote with Lemon Dill Compound Butter and Gremolata

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Salmon en Papillote sounds super fancy but it's a fast and easy recipe, perfect for date night! Not only is the salmon baked with a flavorful lemon dill compound butter, but it's served with fresh and beautiful gremolata.

Salmon en Papillote sounds super fancy but it's a fast and easy recipe, perfect for date night! Not only is the salmon baked with a flavorful lemon dill compound butter, but it's served with fresh and beautiful gremolata.One of the best things about knowing how to cook is wowing people. It's why I love sharing my secrets with you: not only do you get to be wowed, but when you make my recipes, you wow your loved ones.

When I told my husband I was making salmon en papillote for dinner (and for the blog) he said, "Whoa, that sounds fancy! Are you sure people will be able to remake it?" 

Of course, I just laughed.

Because the secret to salmon en papillote is's just salmon steamed in parchment paper.

Salmon in parchment paper on wooden board, topped with gremolata

It sounds way more impressive and romantic in French, though, so it's really perfect for Valentine's Day coming up. Your girlfriend/boyfriend will never guess that this took about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Honestly, it's so easy that I even take this recipe as a go-to weeknight dish. Seriously! This recipe has three very fancy-sounding elements, but they are so simple and easy to do and two of them can even be made ahead of time!

To make salmon en papillote, you need parchment paper. I like cutting it into huge hearts as I learned in culinary school, not to mention it's cute and kinda romantic for your date to open up their parchment packet into a heart.

Salmon en Papillote flat lay with lemon slices

Place a 4-6 ounce skinless piece of salmon on one half of the heart, season pretty generously on both sides with salt and pepper. It's like seasoning potatoes or avocados, you need a nice amount of salt.

After that, I slather on a delicious lemon dill compound butter. Once again, sounds fancy, totally is not. Take softened butter, minced lemon zest, chopped dill, lemon juice, and minced or pressed garlic. Mix it all up, and spread it on the top of the salmon in a thick, buttery layer. 

Fold the other half of the heart over your salmon, and crimp the edges tightly to seal it all up. It'll look like a parchment empanada, and it'll make sure all that buttery goodness stays inside the packet.

Cook this for about 10 minutes. While it's cooking, chop up more of that fresh dill, add in some fresh flat leaf parsley, more pressed garlic, and zip up some more lemon zest. That's it: your fresh gremolata. When the salmon is done, bring a bowl of your gremolata to the table to spoon over your unwrapped salmon. It's the perfect fresh element on your salmon and creates a pretty presentation at the table.

Salmon en papillote being cut into with a fork on wooden board

Boom, your date night entree is done. Que fancy, y'all.

I suggest serving with some crispy garlic parm smashed potatoes, over lemon parmesan risotto with peas, or gnocchi with bacon cream sauce

Or for super easy clean up, add some quick cooking veg into the parchment like asparagus, green beans, shredded carrots, thinly sliced zucchini, or bell peppers. They will all be full of that flavor from the lemon compound butter but won't be overcooked because of the short time in the oven.

Then for dessert: spiced peach shortcakes, these chai trifles, crazy easy chocolate cupcakes, or a couple massive Levain Bakery chocolate chip cookies.

Ready to wow your loved ones this Valentine's Day? Make some salmon en papillote, take a shot, and tag #sweetteathyme on IG so I can see and show your work off! I love seeing you guys in action! 

Looking for more Valentine's Recipes? Check out:
Pan Seared NY Strip with Mushroom Cream Sauce
Shrimp Scampi with Pasta
Pork Tenderloin Diablo
Spicy Tuna Avocado Towers




📖 Recipe

Salmon en Papillote with Lemon Dill Compound Butter and Gremolata

Eden Westbrook
Salmon en Papillote sounds super fancy but it's a fast and easy recipe, perfect for date night! Not only is the salmon baked with a flavorful lemon dill compound butter, but it's served with fresh and beautiful gremolata.
4.89 from 18 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Valentine's Day
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings
Calories 328 kcal



  • 2 6 ounce salmon fillets, skin removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste for salmon

Lemon Dill Compound Butter

  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest freshly grated
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh flat leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened


  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup fresh dill
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Zest of one whole lemon


For Lemon Dill Compound Butter

  • In a small bowl, stir together the softened butter, salt, lemon zest, dill, and parsley. Set aside.


  • Finely chop all the ingredients, then set aside in a bowl for serving.


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Cut two 15 inch long by 12 inch wide pieces of parchment paper. Fold the long side in half and cut into a heart-shape. The parchment paper should be large enough to contain one portion of fish while folded in half. 
  • Place one portion of salmon on each piece of parchment on a baking sheet, then season generously with salt and pepper. Smear the softened compound butter over each portion of fish, covering from end to end.
  • Fold the other half of the parchment paper over the salmon; starting at one corner, tightly crimp the edges of the paper to seal it.
  • Place the pouches (papillote) on a sheet pan and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. When baked, the parchment paper should puff up and brown slightly, this is completely normal. Remove from the oven and transfer the envelope to a plate; the envelope should be carefully opened and the salmon topped with your fresh gremolata.


Serving: 1gCalories: 328kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 77gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 37gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 268mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1g
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  1. Pingback: Lemon Parmesan Risotto with Peas | Sweet Tea & Thyme
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  3. Salmon is my favorite fish. I absolutely love how you flavored it here. Fresh dill is so aromatic. I must give this recipe a try. Saving it for later.

  4. I'm a huge salmon fan and I LOVE how easy and delicious this recipe is!

  5. I love salmon and dill together and this looks like a beautiful dish. Such a lovely light dish.

  6. Looks so delicious and healthy! Perfect for a balanced dinner!

  7. I love delicious salmon dinners and this salmon en papillote is definitely one of them!

  8. Elaine Benoit says:

    Salmon is one of my favorite fish to eat. This looks so delicious and super easy to make! I can't wait to wow my hubby with this, and of course, I'll say the recipe in French. Hehe.

  9. Cooking salmon in parchment is great for keeping it moist and tender. Love the idea of the gremolata on top for a pop of flavor. Yum!

  10. Lisa Bynum says:

    We love salmon in my house and I need more recipes! So glad I can make this on a weeknight.

  11. Stephanie says:

    This has date night or Valentines Day dinner written all over it. Easy & elegant and I love the sound of Garlic Parm Smashed potatoes.

  12. Such a fresh and delightful salmon recipe! And so quick and easy to make...

  13. Taylor Kiser says:

    This needs to happen soon for dinner! We love salmon!

  14. Lemon butter and gremolata? Heaven. I love that it's easy but looks super fancy!!

  15. I always have parchment paper to line my baking sheets but for some reason never think about making a dinner en papillote. I want to try this salmon!

  16. Jacqueline Debono says:

    Reading this post made me so hungry! It looks so good and, as you say, this is a fancy sounding dish that is really quite easy to make! Love the idea of cutting the paper in a heart shape!