Foil Baked Salmon with Leeks and Bell Peppers

LentGluten-FreeLow CarbSalmon

Salmon fillets, baked in foil over a bed of julienned red bell peppers and leeks. Gluten-free, paleo, and low-carb!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

The first and most important thing I learned about cooking fish, is that you should only buy the freshest fish you can, and then cook it the day you buy it.

The second most important thing I learned is that salmon can smell up the house if you cook it on the stove-top, so unless you can easily air out your kitchen, it’s best to poach it, or bake it in the oven.

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Actually, I learned both tips from my father, who, in spite of being raised in land-locked Minnesota, loves all forms of seafood, and has a keen eye for freshness and high standards when it comes to fish.

Salmon Foil Packets with Leeks and Bell Peppers

Easy Foil Wrapped Baked Salmon

Here is a kitchen aroma friendly way to prepare salmon fillets. It’s also incredibly easy and delicious!

In this recipe we prepare julienned bell peppers and thinly sliced leeks, gently cooked in butter and olive oil. Then we create a bed of the cooked peppers and leeks on a large piece of aluminum foil, top it with a salmon fillet, and wrap up the salmon in the foil. Bake it for 10-12 minutes and it’s done!

The salmon cooks in its own juices while the foil makes sure none of the flavor escapes.

Tarragon is especially good with salmon prepared this way, but if you don’t have any you can easily use thyme.

Foil Baked Salmon with Leeks and Bell Peppers Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds (680 to 900 g) of salmon fillets, cut into 4 portions
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, cored and sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 3 medium leeks, cleaned and sliced, white and light green parts only (see How to Clean Leeks)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (can sub thyme)
  • 4 teaspoons dry vermouth or dry white wine (optional)
  • 4 lemon wedges


1 Sauté leeks and bell peppers: In a large sauté pan, heat the butter and olive oil on medium heat until the butter is melted and foamy.  Stir in the sliced leeks and bell peppers, sprinkle with salt and dried tarragon, and gently cook until completely soft, 10 to 15 minutes.

2 Prepare foil packets: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Prepare 12x12-inch foil pieces for each of the salmon fillets. Portion out the leek and bell pepper mixture evenly onto the centers of each of the foil pieces. Top with a salmon fillet. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Sprinkle each fillet with a teaspoon of dry vermouth or white wine if using.

Fold up the foil packets to allow some room over the salmon, but seal so that steam is not allowed to escape. (There are many ways to fold the foil, do which ever way works best for you!)

3 Bake: Place the salmon filled foil packets on a baking sheet and  place in the oven in the middle rack. Bake at 375°F (190°C) about 12 to 15 minutes, or until just barely cooked through.

Sprinkle with lemon juice to serve or serve with lemon wedges.

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Salmon Foil Packets with Leeks and Bell Peppers

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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18 Comments / Reviews

No ImageFoil Baked Salmon with Leeks and Bell Peppers

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Shane Dickson

    For better taste, as long as you aren’t cooking this way explicitly for the aroma, sear on both sides for two minutes at a diagonal on a hot grill pan over medium high heat. To make sure you get the perfect salmon that isn’t dry all you need to do is stick a thin knife or skewer into the center of the fillet, or its thickest point, and touch the knife or skewer to your finger. If it’s warm then it’s done. I specialize in seafood and I was shocked at how seemingly undercooked perfect salmon actually is. All in all it’s a great recipe, I love that I can just walk away for awhile!

  2. Eileen

    This recipe surpassed expectations. I had some end of season peppers and leeks in my garden that needed to be used or pitched. Only change I made was a dash of rice vinegar to the leek pepper mixture to make the flavor pop a bit. Balanced the bitter/bland I was tasting. I did cook longer and used 1 large piece of foil and cooked whole filets rather than pieces. Tasted far better than I expected. This is a keeper.

  3. Graeme Lane

    This is a great recipe, but as others found, the recommended cooking time is too short. But it should be adjusted depending on the thickness of the fillet, the type of oven etc. and it is not a problem at all to unwrap the parcels to check, then cook longer if needed. In my case it took 25 minutes, and I was extremely happy with the results. Absolutely delicious, and I look forward to cooking this again!

  4. hapless cook

    Update: it was cooked this time; next time I’ll put it directly for 22 min or so. It was good. The fish was moist and the sauteed leeks and bell peppers were lovely.

    Show Replies (1)
  5. hapless cook

    Hm, just took the salmon out of the oven after 12 min, and thankfully I checked before serving it because it was pretty much raw. Popped in for 12 more minutes and hoping for the best :-/

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