Salmon With Fennel Baked in Parchment

Quick and easy, salmon fillets, nestled on a bed of fennel, dotted with lemon and butter, baked in a pouch of parchment paper.

Salmon and Fennel Baked in Parchment
Elise Bauer

Have you ever baked salmon in parchment paper?

It can look somewhat fancy and intimidating, but I assure you, it's crazy easy to do. The fillets basically steam in their own juices, which are all contained in the parchment pouch.

Preparing these salmon fillets takes just 30 minutes, including cooking time.

If you don't have parchment paper, you can use aluminum foil. The cool thing about the paper is that it's pretty, and you can even serve the salmon in the parchment pouches, letting the diners unwrap them on their plates.

Salmon and Fennel Baked in Parchment
Elise Bauer

This salmon with fennel baked in parchment is a classic French dish—saumon au fenouil en papillotte.

Place a salmon fillet over thinly sliced fennel on parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, lemon juice or white wine, top with lemon slices, fennel fronds and butter, wrap in the parchment, and bake. That's it!

The sealing of the parchment paper so that it doesn't come apart may seem intimidating, but it's a lot easier than it looks.

Added bonus? None of the salmon odors that can overwhelm a kitchen after cooking salmon on the stovetop. Everything that escapes the salmon while it cooks, stays within the parchment pouch.

What's your favorite food to cook "en papillote"? Please let us know in the comments.

Salmon and Fennel Baked in Parchment
Elise Bauer

Salmon With Fennel Baked in Parchment

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 servings

You can use dry white wine instead of, or in addition to, the lemon juice.


  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced paper thin (a mandoline helps for this)

  • 4 (6-ounce) portions fresh salmon fillets (skinless is best)

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Lemon juice, to taste

  • 12 very thin slices whole lemon (from 1 to 2 lemons)

  • Several sprigs fresh fennel fronds

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 4 (12 x 18-inch) pieces parchment paper (can sub aluminum foil if you don't have parchment paper)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)
  2. Create a crease in parchment paper:

    Lay down a square of parchment paper on a flat surface. Fold the parchment in half to create a crease, then open it up again.

  3. Layer fennel, salmon, fronds, lemon, butter on parchment below the crease:

    Place several slices of fennel bulb below the crease of the parchment paper in a mound, and sprinkle with salt.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    Place one fillet of salmon on top of the fennel bulb slices. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the salmon (anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon, or to taste). Sprinkle the salmon generously with salt and pepper.

    Lay sprigs of fennel fronds over the salmon. Lay 3 thin slices of lemon over the fennel fronds and salmon (more if you want). Or you could put the lemon sliced down first and top with the fronds, your choice. I think the slices on top look better. Dot the top with butter.

  4. Fold the parchment over the salmon and secure close:

    There are several way that you can accomplish this.

    One easy and particularly attractive way is to fold a corner near the folded edge of the parchment paper into a triangle. Then about halfway down that triangle, fold another triangle over the previous triangle.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    Working down and around the parchment edges, you can create folds all around the edges. When you come to the last folded edge, tuck the corner under the parchment.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    There is an excellent video available that shows this technique here: How to Wrap Fish in Parchment. This technique works well with individual portions.

    You may find it easier to wrap a large (multi serving) fillet in the following way. Arrange the fillet so that its long side is facing you, and the two shorter ends are to the left and right. Then lift up the parchment edges closest to you, and furthest from you, bring them together, and fold them over a few times. Then tuck the left and right edges under the fillet.

  5. Bake:

    Place on a roasting pan or baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.

    Serve immediately. To serve, you can either carefully transfer each salmon fillet and mound of fennel slices to individual plates, or you can serve the salmon in the pouch itself, on a plate.

    To eat, you can either unwrap the pouch, or cut through the top with a sharp knife to expose the salmon inside.

Salmon and Fennel Baked in Parchment
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
459 Calories
27g Fat
18g Carbs
40g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 459
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 122mg 41%
Sodium 243mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 98mg 492%
Calcium 85mg 7%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 988mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.