Wild Caught Salmon with Za’atar Butter

Wild Caught Salmon with Za'atar Butter

With the heat this summer I’ve been hesitant to turn on my oven for any reason at all, and so we’ve been eating a lot of salads recently (you might have noticed), hummus, mutabbal, and so on. I grew up near the sea, though – and despite living an eighteen (yes, eighteen, I know – this pains me) hour drive from any ocean I am obsessed with seafood. I was craving fish, and when I saw these salmon fillets at the store I figured only having my oven on for 15 minutes or so was perfectly acceptable in exchange for flaky, rich salmon for dinner.

This dish is very simple and quick to prepare (perfect for when you don’t want your oven on for long, heating your house) and is also wonderful grilled if you have access to one (we don’t, currently). I served it on a plate covered in a lemony orzo salad with summer squash, preserved lemon, and mint. The bright, lemony salad is the perfect compliment to the richness of the fish and butter. Za’atar is pretty essential to this dish, and you can find it at most spice retailers these days, but also online. You’ll want to cook your salmon for fifteen minutes or so (ours was quite thin) but if yours is thicker, you’ll want to go a little longer – 18 to 20 minutes, or until a thermometer registers a 120°F (49°C) internal temperature.

(The recipe for the orzo salad shown in the photograph is here.)

Wild Caught Salmon with Za'atar Butter
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5 from 1 vote

Wild Caught Salmon with Za’atar Butter

This is a simple dish with complex, bright flavours. Wild caught salmon is generously coated in butter and za'atar and baked.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Fusion, Lebanese, Levantine, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keyword: baked salmon, peanut butter, salmon, wild caught salmon, wild salmon, za’atar
Servings: 6 people
Author: The Elegant Economist


  • Sheet pan large enough for your fish


  • 1½-2 lb filet of salmon (680-900g)
  • 2 Tbsp good salted butter
  • 1 Tbsp za'atar spice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder (or 2 tsp toum)
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • ½ tsp coarsely ground white pepper (or black pepper)
  • lemon slices for garnish (optional)
  • ¼ tsp Aleppo pepper for garnish (optional)


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Melt your butter and add your za'atar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Rub or brush this mixture on to your salmon and place onto a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Garnish the salmon with lemon slices and Aleppo pepper flakes if desired.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 120°F (49°C). Remove from the pan and serve.
September 2, 2019



  1. Reply


    July 30, 2020

    5 stars
    Made this today as pictured with the named spices…it was AWESOME! A keeper recipe!

    • Reply


      July 31, 2020

      Thanks, Alan! So glad you enjoyed it.


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