This salmon en papillote is cooked in parchment paper for delicious, juicy salmon that is baked to perfection in the oven. It's cooked on top of a bed of shallots and carrots for a delicious meal that can easily be made Whole30 or paleo.
According to Aimee, salmon en papillote is the very first dinner I ever cooked for her. I had to break it to her that this was my go-to dish for impressing the ladies. It checks all of the boxes:
- Sounds fancy – salmon en papillote just means “salmon in parchment” but when heard in my outrageous French accent just makes your knees weak.
- Looks cool – few homemade meals allow for such dramatic presentation. For this dish you plate the bag and the diner tears into it like a present…allowing the steam and savory smells to waft almost magically from the bag.
- Looks complicated (but super easy) to make – it uses one pan and a cookie sheet, so clean up is super easy too.
- Healthy and light – this recipe uses just 1 tablespoon of butter or oil and salt and pepper to taste.
What is salmon en papillote?
This is salmon that is cooked in parchment paper. This is usually done by baking it in the oven. The parchment paper allows the salmon to steam perfectly alongside the other veggies you cook with it.
- Salmon filets
- Oil or butter
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon zest
- Lemon slices (for garnish!)
Should you skin your salmon?
Yes! In this recipe you should. Otherwise the salmon skin just gets soft. We like to leave salmon skin on when we're doing something like pan-frying the salmon and getting the skin crispy, but this is not that recipe.
Can you use other types of fish?
Absolutely! You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly to adjust for the thickness of the fish, but you could definitely use mahi mahi, cod, or other fish!
First, prepare the parchment heart. Take a large piece of parchment, fold it in half, and cut out a heart shape.
Repeat, so that you have two hearts.
Next, dice up the shallots and grate your carrots. Heat a little oil or butter in a pan, and saute the carrots and shallots.
While the shallots and carrots are cooking, skin the salmon if needed. And remove any pin bones if you find any.
Once the shallots and carrots are softened, divide the mixture among the two hearts.
Place a piece of salmon on top of each bed of shallots and carrots.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add lemon zest.
Fold up the edges of the parchment heart so the parchment package is sealed. Then place on a baking sheet to cook.
Once cooked, serve on plates in the parchment paper so each person can tear open. Top with lemon slices if desired.
Salmon en Papillote: Fish in a DIY bag
- 3 carrots shredded
- 1 shallot chopped
- 2 salmon fillets skin and bones removed
- 1 tbsp. butter or olive oil
- 1 tbsp. lemon zest
- 2 sheets of parchment cut roughly 15in x 20in
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat butter or oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté carrots and shallot until soft (3 - 4 minutes) adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Fold the parchment in half so it is 15in x 10in and cut a half heart shape so when unfolded it looks like a Valentine’s heart.
- Divide the sautéed vegetables onto the wider part of the hear parchment, close to, but not overlapping the fold. Place the fish on top of the vegetables. Top with lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Place the left half of parchment over the fish in the same way you cut out the heart.
- Folding: Starting at the top inseam of the heart fold over a 1 inch section of parchment toward the center of the heart. Working your way around the open side of parchment ½ inch at a time, continuing to fold the sections making sure you overlap the previous section so that no steam escapes. Once you get to the end, fold the long tail of the heart around a few times and tuck it underneath the bag.
- Place the bags in the oven on a cookie sheet for 9 or 10 minutes.
- Serve and tear in.