Easy Lemon Basil Sauce: Perfect for Salmon, Scallops and More

If I’m in a rush to serve a company meal, I rely on this bright, light easy lemon basil sauce, which I typically pour over baked salmon. And it’s a regular on my family dinner table too.

healthy lemon basil sauce recipe

The lemon basil sauce comes together in about 5 minutes – literally! I’m lucky to have a wonderful fish market nearby, but it’s pretty darn yummy when it dresses nearly any fish fillet that I’ve taken from my freezer and cooked. Whatever fish you have, drizzle with a bit of lemon juice before baking or broiling. It’s equally delicious on scallops cooked on the stove top in a bit of olive oil.

For a quick, no-fuss company meal, I’ll serve this with a salad of seasonal greens, a whole grain like quinoa or brown rice, and a green vegetable such as roasted broccoli or steamed green beans with toasted almonds. The garlicy lemon basil sauce mixes deliciously with everything on the plate.

By the way, this recipe is in my newest book Prediabetes: A Complete Guide. I hope you’ll check it out.

It’s not just delicious, super easy and wholesome, this is a very low sodium recipe. There’s no need to salt the fish before cooking. The flavors in the lemon basil sauce are so bright, you don’t need any salt. That’s the beauty of cooking with citrus and fresh herbs.

healthy lemon basil sauce for fish

Easy Lemon Basil Sauce for Salmon, Scallops and More

Be sure to use a good quality olive oil. And sprinkle the fish with a bit of lemon juice before cooking.
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Course: Dinner
Servings: 1 1.5 pound fillet
Calories: 72kcal
Author: Jill Weisenberger MS, RDN, CDE, FAND


  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1/8 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves


  • Whisk all of the ingredients together. Pour over prepared fish just before serving.


Serving: 3- 3/4 teaspoons | Calories: 72kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 0.8mg | Fiber: 0g

If you follow me much, you know that I’m all about getting more fish in the diet. And I want to make it as simple – and delicious – as possible. One of the 3 most popular recipes on my site is a simple fish recipe that I usually make with frozen fish fillets – Fish with Lemon Mustard Caper Sauce. I confer superhero status on frozen fish fillets because of their convenience, among other things. I simply pull out the number of individually-wrapped fillets that I need for dinner and place them in a bowl of cold water. They defrost while I prep a salad or change out of my work clothes. In a few minutes, the fish is ready for my touch. Also simple is Asian-Inspired Barramundi, which won a recipe contest.

Another technique I use to get a healthy meal on the table quickly is to cook in packets. Here is a recipe for Foil-Baked Norwegian Salmon that I found on the Norwegian Seafood Council website. You’ll get nearly a full meal in one packet. Now how simple is that!

How do you get a healthy fish meal on the table quickly? Do you have a favorite company-worthy recipe?

Jill Weisenberger

Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, is a Nutrition, Culinary & Diabetes Expert, Wellcoach®-certified health and wellness coach, Freelance Writer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's also the author of four books, including a best-seller. She's a nationally-recognized media expert in high demand for print and online interviews, as well as corporate and one-on-one nutritional counseling. Jill's philosophy is that nutrition science should be understandable, realistic and oh so delicious.

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Like most of my patients and clients, I lead a busy life. You probably do too. Fortunately, you don’t need weeks, days or even hours to start living better and healthier. This blog offers timesaving strategies and bite-sized nutrition and health information. Come by often for tips and inspiration to healthy living – no matter how busy you are. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist offering credible, practical nutrition advice to keep busy people healthy. Yes indeed, we can be both busy and healthy.

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