How to make Salmon en Papillote: A Seafood Delight

Salmon en Papillote, indulge in the exquisite flavors of tender salmon cooked to perfection, enrobed in delicate parchment, and infused with aromatic herbs.

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Salmon en Papillote is a delightful dish highlighting the flavors of tender salmon fillets cooked perfectly. “En papillote” means sealing ingredients in a parchment paper packet, creating a moist, flavorful cooking environment. This technique lets salmon gently steam in its juices, enhancing its natural taste and texture.

Salmon fillets marinate in a blend of olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, infusing them with tangy, savory goodness. Fresh lemon slices and aromatic basil leaves add vibrant citrus notes and herbal fragrances.

Wrapped in parchment paper, salmon bakes until it’s tender, flaky, and soaked in marinade’s aromas. Opening the packets releases irresistible scents, unveiling succulent fish.

Salmon en Papillote isn’t just delicious but also healthy. Salmon is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. This dish is gluten-free and customizable with veggies or herbs.

Serving it is a sensory experience. As packets open at the table, tantalizing aromas and vibrant colors captivate. Tender salmon, delicately flavored, pairs harmoniously with lemon and basil.

Perfect for a special meal or elegant weeknight dinner, Salmon en Papillote’s simplicity, health benefits, and captivating flavors make it a culinary masterpiece that impresses and satisfies.

salmon en papillote

Recipe description

Salmon en Papillote is a delicious and healthy dish that is elevated when served with Cauliflower Steaks and a drizzle of creamy Tahini Sauce. This flavorful combination is sure to impress your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

The star of the dish is the Salmon en Papillote, which involves wrapping fresh, tender salmon fillets in parchment paper along with an assortment of aromatic herbs and spices. As the fish cooks inside the parchment packet, it steams in its own juices, resulting in moist and perfectly cooked salmon. The delicate flavors of the fish are enhanced by the herbs, creating a delightful blend of tastes.

To complement the salmon, Cauliflower Steaks are added to the plate. These thick slices of cauliflower are roasted to perfection, achieving a tender yet slightly crispy texture. The natural sweetness of the cauliflower pairs beautifully with the savory salmon, providing a satisfying contrast of flavors and textures.

Completing the dish is the Tahini Sauce, a creamy and nutty dressing made from sesame paste. The smoothness of the sauce adds a luxurious element to the ensemble, bringing everything together. With its tangy and slightly earthy taste, the tahini sauce adds depth and richness to the dish, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.

The combination of Salmon en Papillote, Cauliflower Steaks, and Tahini Sauce is not only visually stunning but also a delightful culinary experience. It’s a dish that showcases the beauty of fresh ingredients, thoughtful cooking techniques, and the art of flavor pairing. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply treating yourself to a special meal, this recipe is bound to impress and satisfy even the most discerning palates.

The recipe for Cauliflower Steaks can be found here .

Short history

Salmon en Papillote, which translates to “salmon in parchment,” is a cooking technique that originated in France. While the exact origin is unclear, the method of cooking fish in parchment paper has been used in French cuisine for centuries.

The concept of cooking food in parchment paper can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who used parchment as a cooking vessel. However, the French elevated this technique by refining the flavors and presentation.

The method of cooking salmon en papillote involves wrapping the fish fillets along with vegetables, herbs, and seasonings in a parchment paper pouch. The parchment acts as a seal, trapping the steam inside and allowing the ingredients to cook gently and evenly. This cooking technique helps to lock in moisture, resulting in tender and flavorful salmon.

Salmon en Papillote gained popularity in the 20th century as a French culinary technique. It was embraced by renowned French chefs and later spread internationally, becoming a popular choice for home cooks and restaurant menus alike.

The appeal of Salmon en Papillote lies in its simplicity and the ability to customize the flavors with various ingredients. It offers a healthy and flavorful way to prepare salmon, as the fish cooks in its own juices and the added seasonings.

Today, Salmon en Papillote remains a beloved dish, celebrated for its delicate flavors, impressive presentation, and the convenience of individual parchment packets. It continues to be a go-to choice for those seeking an elegant and flavorful method to prepare salmon while preserving its natural qualities.

Health benefits

Salmon en Papillote offers several health benefits due to the nutritious nature of salmon and the cooking method used. Here are some of the health benefits associated with this dish:

High in Omega-3 fatty acids:

Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These essential fatty acids have been linked to numerous health benefits, including reduced inflammation, improved heart health, and brain function.

Excellent source of protein:

Salmon is a high-quality protein source, providing all the essential amino acids required by the body. Protein is essential for tissue repair, muscle growth, and the production of enzymes and hormones.


The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon have been shown to have a positive impact on heart health. They can help reduce triglyceride levels, decrease blood pressure, and improve overall cardiovascular health.

Rich in vitamins and minerals:

Salmon is packed with important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium, and potassium. These nutrients play various roles in maintaining optimal health, such as supporting bone health, boosting the immune system, and aiding in nerve function.

Weight management:

Salmon is a nutrient-dense food that provides satiety, helping to keep you feeling full for longer. Including salmon in a balanced diet can assist with weight management and promote healthy eating habits.

Anti-inflammatory properties:

The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon possess anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to various health conditions, and consuming foods like salmon can contribute to a more balanced inflammatory response.

Brain health:

The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon play a crucial role in brain development and function. They have been associated with improved cognitive function, memory, and reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Cooking method:

Cooking salmon en papillote helps to retain its natural flavors, nutrients, and moisture. The steaming process ensures that the fish remains tender and juicy while preserving its health benefits.

It’s worth noting that individual health benefits may vary, and it’s important to consider overall dietary patterns and consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice. Nonetheless, incorporating Salmon en Papillote into a balanced diet can be a nutritious and flavorful way to support overall health and well-being.

Here are just a few reasons for why you’ll love this Salmon en Papillote

Flavorful and moist: Cooking salmon en papillote (in parchment paper) helps seal in the flavors and moisture, resulting in tender and juicy fish. The salmon absorbs the delicious marinade and steams inside the packet, enhancing its natural taste.

Easy and convenient: This cooking method requires minimal preparation and cleanup. Simply marinate the salmon, wrap it in parchment paper, and bake it in the oven. It’s a hassle-free way to prepare a delicious and healthy meal.

Versatile: You can customize the flavors by adjusting the marinade ingredients to suit your taste. Add herbs, spices, or additional seasonings to create your desired flavor profile. You can also include various vegetables or aromatic ingredients inside the packet for added depth and freshness.

Health benefits: Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health and brain function. It is also a good source of high-quality protein and essential nutrients. Cooking salmon en papillote helps retain its nutrients while keeping the dish light and wholesome.

Visual appeal: Serving salmon en papillote creates an impressive presentation. When you open the parchment packets at the table, the aroma and vibrant colors of the salmon and accompanying ingredients make for an enticing and visually appealing dish.

Portion control: Cooking salmon en papillote allows you to portion the fish individually. Each piece is wrapped separately, making it easy to serve and control portion sizes. It’s a great option for families or when entertaining guests.

Elegant and restaurant-quality: Salmon en papillote is a classic French cooking technique that adds an elegant touch to your meal. It’s a dish that looks and tastes like it was prepared in a high-end restaurant, making it perfect for special occasions or when you want to impress your guests.

Serving options

Salmon en papillote, also known as salmon cooked in parchment paper, is a delicious and healthy dish that is easy to prepare. Here are some serving options to enhance the flavors and presentation of your salmon en papillote:

  1. Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle some fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, or tarragon over the cooked salmon just before serving. The aromatic herbs will add a burst of freshness to the dish.
  2. Lemon Wedges: Serve the salmon en papillote with lemon wedges on the side. Squeezing some lemon juice over the fish will provide a tangy flavor that complements the richness of the salmon.
  3. Butter or Olive Oil: Drizzle a small amount of melted butter or extra virgin olive oil over the salmon. This will add a lusciousness to the fish and enhance its natural flavors.
  4. Sautéed Vegetables: Prepare a side of lightly sautéed vegetables such as asparagus, zucchini, or bell peppers. The vibrant colors and crisp texture of the vegetables will complement the tender salmon.
  5. Rice or Quinoa: Serve the salmon en papillote on a bed of cooked rice or quinoa. The grains will soak up the flavorful juices released by the fish, adding an extra dimension to the dish.
  6. Roasted Potatoes: Accompany the salmon with roasted potatoes. You can season the potatoes with herbs, garlic, or spices to add more depth to the overall meal.
  7. Salad: Prepare a fresh green salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a light vinaigrette. The refreshing salad will provide a contrasting element to the warm salmon.

Remember to carefully open the parchment paper pouch at the table, allowing the diners to savor the aromatic steam that will escape. These serving options will help elevate your salmon en papillote into a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

The best kind of drinks that go well with salmon en papillote

When it comes to pairing drinks with salmon en papillote, you’ll want to consider flavors that complement the delicate taste of the fish without overpowering it. Here are a few options that work well:

  1. White Wine: A dry or off-dry white wine can be an excellent choice. Look for wines like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Grigio. These wines often have citrus and herbal notes that pair nicely with the flavors of salmon.
  2. Rosé: A crisp and dry rosé can provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the salmon. Choose a rosé with good acidity and fruity undertones to balance the flavors.
  3. Lighter Red Wine: If you prefer red wine, opt for lighter options such as Pinot Noir. Look for wines that are fruit-forward, with moderate tannins and acidity, which won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the salmon.
  4. Sparkling Wine: A glass of sparkling wine, such as Champagne or Prosecco, can be a delightful pairing with salmon en papillote. The effervescence and acidity of sparkling wines cleanse the palate and complement the dish nicely.
  5. Craft Beer: If you’re more inclined towards beer, consider choosing a light, crisp, and slightly hoppy craft beer. Pilsners, lagers, or wheat beers can be good options that won’t overshadow the salmon’s flavors.
  6. Iced Tea: For a non-alcoholic option, a glass of lightly sweetened or citrus-infused iced tea can provide a refreshing and complimentary beverage to enjoy with your salmon en papillote.

Personal preferences vary, so feel free to experiment and find the pairing that suits your taste best.

Tips and Tricks for making Salmon en Papillote

Salmon en papillote is a delicious and healthy way to cook salmon. Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the perfect salmon en papillote:

Choose fresh salmon:

Look for salmon fillets that are fresh and have a vibrant color. The quality of the salmon will greatly impact the taste of the final dish.

Prepare the parchment paper:

Cut a large piece of parchment paper into a heart shape. This will allow you to create a sealed packet to cook the salmon. You can also use aluminum foil if you prefer.

Season the salmon:

Season the salmon fillets with salt, pepper, and any other desired spices or herbs. Popular options include dill, lemon zest, garlic, or a combination of herbs like thyme and rosemary. Be generous with the seasoning to enhance the flavors.

Add aromatic vegetables:

Place thinly sliced vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, zucchini, or asparagus, on the parchment paper before adding the salmon. These vegetables will infuse their flavors into the fish while cooking.

Create a seal:

Fold the parchment paper in half over the salmon and tightly crimp and fold the edges together to create a seal. Make sure to leave some space inside the packet for steam to circulate.

Preheat the oven:

Preheat your oven to around 400°F (200°C) to ensure even cooking.

Cooking time:

The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the salmon fillets. As a general guideline, cook the salmon en papillote for about 12-15 minutes. Check for doneness by opening a packet slightly and checking if the salmon flakes easily with a fork.


Carefully open the packet to release the steam, and transfer the salmon and vegetables onto a plate. Serve it as is, or with a side of rice, quinoa, or roasted potatoes.

Garnish and presentation:

To enhance the presentation, you can garnish the salmon with fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon juice, or a drizzle of olive oil before serving.

Experiment with flavors:

Feel free to get creative with the seasonings and ingredients. You can add ingredients like sliced lemons, capers, olives, or even a splash of white wine for extra flavor.

Recipe variation to explore

Here are a few recipe variations you can explore for Salmon en Papillote:

Mediterranean Style: Instead of the soy sauce-based marinade, use a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, and chopped fresh parsley. Add cherry tomatoes, sliced red onions, and Kalamata olives to the packet along with the salmon. This variation gives the salmon a bright and fresh Mediterranean flavor.

Asian Inspired: Create an Asian-inspired flavor profile by using a marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, grated ginger, minced garlic, and a splash of rice vinegar. Add sliced bell peppers, snap peas, and thinly sliced scallions to the packet. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro before serving.

Citrus Delight: Combine the marinade with a mix of citrus juices such as orange, lime, and lemon. Add thin slices of oranges, lemons, and limes to the packet along with the salmon. The citrus-infused flavors pair beautifully with the salmon, creating a refreshing and vibrant dish.

Pesto Twist: Skip the marinade and instead spread a layer of homemade or store-bought pesto over each salmon fillet. Add halved cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves to the packet. This variation brings a burst of herbaceous flavors to the salmon.

Teriyaki Twist: Replace the soy sauce in the marinade with teriyaki sauce, and add a touch of honey or brown sugar for sweetness. Include sliced bell peppers, carrots, and snow peas in the packet. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onions before serving.

Storing Leftover Salmon En Papillote:

  1. Cool down quickly: Allow the cooked salmon en papillote to cool down at room temperature for no more than 2 hours. This helps prevent bacterial growth.
  2. Remove from the parchment paper: If your salmon en papillote was wrapped in parchment paper, carefully unwrap it before storing.
  3. Divide into portions: If you have a large portion of leftover salmon en papillote, consider dividing it into smaller portions. This makes it easier to reheat only what you need at a later time.
  4. Use airtight containers: Store the leftovers in airtight containers or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. This helps prevent the fish from drying out and protects it from absorbing odors from the fridge.
  5. Label and date: Write the date on the containers or wraps so you can easily keep track of how long the leftovers have been stored.

Reheating Leftover Salmon En Papillote:

  1. Oven reheating: Preheat your oven to around 350°F (175°C). Place the salmon en papillote on a baking sheet and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Reheat for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
  2. Stovetop reheating: For a quicker option, you can reheat the salmon en papillote on a stovetop. Use a non-stick pan or skillet and warm it over medium-low heat. Place the fish in the pan and cover it with a lid. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, flipping once, until heated thoroughly.
  3. Microwave reheating: If you’re short on time, you can use a microwave to reheat the salmon en papillote. Place the fish on a microwave-safe plate and cover it loosely with a microwave-safe cover or microwave-safe plastic wrap. Heat in short intervals of 30 seconds to 1 minute, checking the internal temperature frequently until it reaches a safe temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Repurposing Leftover Salmon En Papillote:

  1. Salad: Flake the leftover salmon and use it to make a delicious salmon salad. Mix it with mayonnaise, lemon juice, chopped onions, celery, and herbs of your choice. Serve it on bread or as a topping for salads.
  2. Pasta: Cook your favorite pasta and toss it with the flaked salmon, olive oil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, and fresh herbs. You can also add some grated Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
  3. Quesadillas or tacos: Transform your salmon en papillote into a tasty filling for quesadillas or tacos. Flake the salmon and combine it with shredded cheese, diced peppers, and onions. Heat the mixture in a pan and use it as a filling for tortillas.
  4. Fried rice: Make a flavorful fried rice by chopping the leftover salmon and stir-frying it with cooked rice, mixed vegetables, soy sauce, and scrambled eggs.
  5. Wraps or sandwiches: Use the flaked salmon as a filling for wraps or sandwiches. Add some fresh lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and a spread of your choice to create a delicious meal.

Remember to always reheat leftovers until they are steaming hot throughout, and discard any leftovers that have been stored for more than 3-4 days or show signs of spoilage.

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Salmon en Papillote with a side of roasted cauliflower drizzled in tahini sauce.

Salmon en Papillote

Salmon en Papillote is a culinary gem. Tender salmon fillets, marinated in a zesty blend, bake inside parchment paper packets, creating an aromatic masterpiece. When unwrapped, the succulent salmon delights the senses with its vibrant flavors. Healthy and customizable, it's perfect for any occasion.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 4
Calories 1700 kcal


  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil: These are essential for creating the packets to cook the salmon. Parchment paper is the traditional choice, but aluminum foil can be used as an alternative.
  • Baking sheet: A baking sheet is needed to place the prepared salmon packets while baking.
  • Mixing bowl: You’ll need a mixing bowl to combine the marinade ingredients and coat the salmon fillets.
  • Whisk or fork: Use a whisk or fork to mix the marinade ingredients together until well combined.
  • Knife and cutting board: You’ll need a knife and cutting board to slice the lemons and prepare the fresh basil leaves.
  • Measuring spoons: Use measuring spoons to accurately measure the ingredients for the marinade.
  • Optional: Kitchen twine or paper clips: These can be used to secure the parchment paper or foil packets, ensuring they stay sealed during cooking.
  • Serving plates: Choose suitable plates for serving the salmon en papillote, as the packets can be opened and the salmon transferred directly to the plates for presentation.


  • – 4 pieces of salmon fillets
  • – Lemon slices
  • – Fresh basil leaves

For the marinade:

  • – 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • – 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • – Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to make the marinade. Add the salmon fillets to the marinade and let them marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Place each salmon fillet on a separate sheet of parchment paper, large enough to wrap the salmon.
  • Place a lemon slice and a few basil leaves on top of each salmon fillet.
  • Fold the parchment paper over the salmon fillet, starting from one end, and fold the edges to seal the packet. Repeat for all the salmon fillets.
  • Place the salmon packets on a baking sheet.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  • Carefully open the packets, being cautious of the hot steam, and transfer the salmon to serving plates.
  • Serve the salmon in papillote with the juices from the packets drizzled over the top. You can garnish with additional lemon slices and fresh herbs, such as basil, if desired.


Keyword baked salmon, salmon, salmon en papillote

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Super easy recipe, love the addition of soy sauce. Also, loved the cauliflower steaks on the side. Served mine with simple aioli, which went well wth fish as well.