Cowboy Butter Baked Salmon

Cowboy Butter is the brainchild of The Pioneer Woman. Don’t you just love Ree Drummond and her smiley, happy face? I can’t help but smile when I watch her. She makes a lot of “cowboy friendly” dishes and cowboy butter has become a favorite in our house! I make it a bit differently to suit my families taste buds, but we’re still going to call it cowboy butter because my gosh, I really love the sound of it.

This cowboy butter is garlicky, tangy and spicy! Taste as you go and tweak it to your liking if desired. I decided to leave out the lemon juice that many cowboy butter recipes called for. I wasn’t too fond of how butter and lemon juice separated.  This butter is so full of herbs and seasonings.

I used dried herbs in this recipe but I’m sure fresh would give it an even bolder flavor! And salmon, bless its heart, needs all the character and boldness it can get, IMO. I’ve had cowboy butter on chicken and steak, but there is just something about it on salmon! It just soaks in all of that buttery goodness and is downright addictive!


  • 12 oz wild-caught salmon, room temperature, washed and dried
  • olive oil (about 2 teaspoons)


  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon brown sugar


  • 4 tablespoons sweet cream unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon parsley
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons thyme, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil paper. (I used an oiled grill pan)
  3. In a bowl, combine cowboy butter ingredients.
  4. Remove about 2 tablespoons of the cowboy butter and set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together seasoning mix.
  6. Place salmon on baking sheet and coat very lightly in olive oil (top and bottom)
  7. Sprinkle seasoning mix evenly over salmon (top and bottom).
  8. Pat on half of the reserved cowboy butter.
  9. Bake salmon on middle rack for 6 minutes (or until halfway done)
  10. Remove from oven and brush salmon generously with remaining reserved cowboy butter.
  11. Return to oven and bake for another until the fish flakes very easily with a fork (do not overcook or salmon will be dry. My thin fillets only needed 5 more minutes)
  12. When fish comes out of the oven, garnish with parsley, paprika, red pepper flakes and fresh lemon zest.
  13. Serve salmon with the remaining cowboy butter on the side.


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