Festive Whole Baked Salmon Fillet

This festive whole-baked salmon fillet is slathered with lemony, herby, garlicky sour cream sauce and topped with pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. It can be a beautiful centrepiece on your Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas table or you can serve it up for a special dinner. This salmon recipe is gluten-free and low-carb and keto friendly.


whole baked salmon fillet for christmas, thanksgiving or Easter or other holidays

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Festive Salmon

A whole baked salmon fillet is always an impressive fish dish to serve but especially so when it’s smeared with a gorgeous white cream sauce and topped with bright red seeds of pomegranate and green herbs. While the colours might be Christmas-inspired, this salmon recipe is suitable for any holiday.

You can adapt it for Easter with more spring herbs like dill or chives and gorgeous pink radishes; or for Thanksgiving with some dried cranberries and chopped pecans for more autumnal vibes.

I love the look of a whole salmon fillet but you could easily do this dish with smaller, individual pieces of salmon. Bake them close together for a similar look.

👉 If you’re looking for more salmon recipes, check out my sweet chili and soy glazed salmon bites, orange Teriyaki baked salmon (you can adapt this recipe to use with a whole salmon fillet) or my super quick and easy Mediterranean baked salmon.

whole baked salmon fillet for christmas, thanksgiving or Easter or other holidays

What You Will Need

Here is what you need to make this salmon recipe

  • Whole salmon fillet – ask your fishmonger for a whole fillet, deboned but with the skin on. Technically, it’s only half of the whole salmon but it’s a whole fillet. You can often find these in the freezer section as well. Alternatively, get individual salmon pieces and bake them close together.
  • Sour cream – the white creamy on top is made with sour cream, which gives you a lovely tang and I love it as it’s fermented dairy. You can also use Greek yoghurt.
  • Flavours – honey, garlic, lemon, parsley, coriander (cilantro), salt and pepper.
  • Toppings – pomegranate seeds are gorgeous and so festive but you could also use blueberries, dried cranberries, or bright grapes. Pine nuts could be swapped with silvered almonds or almond flakes, chopped walnuts or pecans.
  • You will also need a baking dish and some parchment paper.

How To Make Festive Whole Baked Salmon

Find the full list of ingredients, nutritional info, and instructions in the recipe card below. Here are some step-by-step pictures to guide you along.

  • Preheat oven to 170 C /340F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and grease with butter. Place salmon fillet on top and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • Mix garlic, honey, lemon juice and olive oil and rub all over the salmon. Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Mix sour cream with chopped parsley, cilantro, grated/minced garlic, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  • Transfer the salmon to a plate and spread with the sour cream mixture when it has cooled slightly. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and extra chopped cilantro or parsley on top.
baking whole salmon fillet with cream lemon garlic sauce on top

What To Serve With Festive Salmon

This is a beautiful, rich and flavourful salmon dish that will pair beautifully with light and fresh side dishes. It can be as simple as a crispy garden salad with lemony dressing or pan-fried broccoli or you can go for another festive side dish like butternut squash pomegranate salad or roasted sweet potatoes with walnuts and parsley.

Simple mashed potatoes, crispy smashed potatoes with salsa verde peas or my Greek roasted potatoes are great as warm sides. Mediterranean quinoa salad or couscous salad are also spectacular looking and great matches for this salmon.

Pair with buttery Chardonnay – the richness of the wine complements the salmon’s flavours, and the acidity balances the dish’s richness – or with a dry or slightly off-dry rosé or sparkling white for a festive bubble.

whole baked salmon fillet for christmas, thanksgiving or Easter or other holidays

More Festive Main Dishes


Full Recipe 

Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.

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festive whole baked salmon fillet

Festive Whole Baked Salmon Fillet

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes
Servings: 6
Course: Main
Cuisine: Australian
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Calories: 318kcal
Learn how to make festive whole-baked salmon fillet slathered with lemony, herby, garlicky sour cream sauce and topped with pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. It can be a beautiful centrepiece on your Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas table or you can serve it up for a special dinner.

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 800 grams salmon fillet 1.6-2 lbs skin-on, boneless, whole fillet ideally
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Sour Cream Topping

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 garlic clove grated
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts toasted is best!

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 170 C /340F. Line a baking dish with parchment and grease with a little butter. Make sure the size is suitable for the the salmon fillet.
  • Mix garlic, honey, lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl. Place salmon in the baking dish and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread the honey garlic marinade on all sides.
  • Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Mix sour cream with chopped parsley, cilantro, grated/minced garlic, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the salmon to a plate and spread with the sour cream mixture when it has cooled slightly.
  • Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and extra chopped cilantro or parsley on top. Drizzle with olive oil and serve. You can also use dried cranberries, olives, almond flakes and more for decoration.

Notes

  • Baked salmon can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. However, for the best quality and safety, it’s advisable to consume it within 1-2 days. 
  • If you don’t plan to consume the baked salmon within a few days, you can freeze it for longer-term storage. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminium foil, or use a freezer-safe container. Be sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Baked salmon can typically be frozen for up to 2-3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 404mg | Potassium: 734mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 294IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords: Holiday salmon, Salmon Recipes, Easter salmon, Thanksgiving salmon, Christmas salmon, Baked whole salmon
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Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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