Panko crusted salmon is flaky, tender, and filled with flavor. Salmon fillets are topped with a layer of dijon mustard and a crispy lemon panko crust. Ready in 20 minutes!
Salmon is a versatile and easy to prepare fish, making it perfect for quick weeknight meals. It's high in omega-3 fatty acids and a great source for protein.
This panko crusted salmon is packed with flavor, from the butter-dijon spread to the toasted lemon panko crust. Plus, it comes together in minutes! Salmon cooks quickly in the oven, meaning you can have this salmon recipe on the table in about 20 minutes.
Serve panko crusted salmon for a quick and easy weeknight meal. Pair with a side salad or roasted zucchini for a low calorie meal. Or, serve with some lemon pasta or mashed potatoes for a hearty dinner.
Ingredients and substitutions
You'll need four, 6-ounce salmon fillets for this recipe. Your salmon can be frozen and thawed, or fresh. Be sure to place your salmon skin side down (like shown above) when preparing.
Panko bread crumbs can be substituted with regular, unseasoned breadcrumbs if needed. I recommend panko bread crumbs because they're crunchier and add a nice texture to the salmon when toasted.
Butter can be substituted with olive oil - but butter will add a better flavor to your salmon.
Toasting your breading
I highly recommend taking a few minutes to toast your panko bread crumbs on the stove top. It's totally worth the effort!
Since your salmon only needs 10-12 minutes to bake, the crust will not have time to brown in the oven.
Taking a few minutes to toast them in a skillet gives them a beautiful, golden brown color and a crunchier texture. Your finished salmon dish will also look more appetizing with a crunchy, golden crust!
Tips for cooking salmon
- Leave the skin on - it helps protect your salmon and hold the fillet together while baking.
- Before cooking, check your salmon fillet for pin bones. Gently run your hands across the top of your salmon fillet. You'll feel a hard bit protruding from your fillet. Use pliers or your fingers to gently pull the bone out.
- It is easy to overcook salmon! Salmon does not need as long to cook as other cuts of meat, like beef or chicken.
- Testing for doneness - use a fork to pierce into the largest part of your salmon fillet. If it flakes apart easily, it's done.
- Another way to test for doneness - use a thin metal rod like a cake tester or skewer to poke into the center of your salmon. Then, touch the skewer with the back of your hand. If your salmon is hot in the center, it's done. If your salmon is barely warm or cold, it needs more time in the oven.
What to serve with panko crusted salmon
Panko crusted salmon pairs well with a side salad, roasted vegetables, or even a plate of lemon pasta. Here are my favorite side dishes:
- Parmesan Asparagus with Lemon Butter
- Creamy Asparagus Bow Tie Pasta
- Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (Spaghetti with garlic and oil)
- Green Beans and Onions
- Roasted Zucchini and Squash
- Kale Cranberry Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Easy Panko Crusted Salmon
- 4 6-ounce salmon fillets
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add salmon fillets to prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart and skin side down.
- In a bowl, combine dijon mustard, melted butter, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Spoon mustard sauce over fillets and spread into an even layer. Set aside.
- In a skillet over medium heat, add panko bread crumbs and toast until golden brown, stirring frequently. This should take about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon zest, stirring to combine.
- Sprinkle bread crumbs over salmon, pressing gently so that bread crumb layer sticks to dijon layer.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes (for a 1 inch thick salmon fillet), or just until salmon flakes apart easily in the center when tested with a fork.
- Before cooking, check your salmon fillet for pin bones. Gently run your hands across the top of your salmon fillet. You'll feel a hard bit protruding from your fillet. Use pliers to gently pull the bone out.
- Testing for doneness - use a fork to pierce into the largest part of your salmon fillet. If it flakes apart easily, it's done. Or, use a thin metal rod like a cake tester or skewer to poke into the center of your salmon. Then, touch the skewer with the back of your hand. If your salmon is hot in the center, it's done. If your salmon is barely warm or cold, it needs more time in the oven.