Honey Glazed Salmon is an exquisitely delicious, 20-minute, pantry friendly, one skillet recipe worthy of any restaurant menu!
This honey glazed salmon is a sticky, sweet and garlicky one skillet winner for your weeknight dinner rotation! It may look and taste gourmet, but it’s simple to make with just a handful of pantry friendly ingredients. This honey glazed salmon recipe is buttery tender, juicy and gloriously flavorful thanks to a light dredging in seasoned flour before pan frying then bathing in the honey garlic sauce spiked with soy sauce, lemon juice and sriracha. The salmon caramelizes while soaking up the addictive savory-sweet sauce for one of the best easy salmon dinners of your life. Serve your honey garlic glazed salmon with fluffy rice and your favorite veggies and give into your desires to lick your plate.
Buttery tender salmon is always a winning way to break up the monotony of chicken! Head here to see all my quick and easy salmon recipes! If you’re looking for more salmon recipes, be sure to check out: Tuscan salmon, sheet pan garlic butter salmon, salmon pasta, teriyaki salmon, blackened salmon in creamy Cajun sauce, baked Greek salmon with dill sauce, Asian BBQ salmon, sheet pan fajita salmon, lemon piccata salmon and chipotle salmon with mango salsa.
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honey glazed SALMON RECIPE
This mouthwatering honey glazed salmon recipe is here in time for upcoming Mother’s Day, but you’re going to want to make it every day! What’s not to love about a quick and easy 20-minute, pantry friendly, one skillet recipe worthy of any restaurant menu? It’s simple, satisfying and will never let you down.
Here’s why this recipe will become a favorite at your dinner table:
Quick and Easy. Salmon is one of those astonishingly easy proteins to cook, and this recipe is no exception – except for the exception that it tastes like a million bucks. To make, you’ll dredge the salmon in seasoned flour to create a flavorful crust, sear the salmon and add the sweet and savory sauce while the salmon is cooking to create the most addicting, simple pan-seared salmon that cooks in just 10 minutes! Best of all, the salmon and the sauce cook in one skillet which means it’s not only extra flavorful with gorgeous caramelization, but you only have one pan to clean, making it perfect for weeknight dinners, or anytime you don’t feel like doing dishes!
Pantry friendly. What makes this recipe special is that the sauce is made of only 6 simple pantry ingredients in perfect proportions: soy sauce, honey, garlic, sriracha, lemon juice and cornstarch. Just keep some frozen salmon handy and you can make this honey garlic glazed salmon any night of the week!
The sauce! That leads me to the magic sauce. The sauce may taste a little flat upon first examination but the magic happens as it reduces and caramelizes in the skillet, seeping into the salmon and enveloping it in a liquid gold glaze. The honey garlic glaze is sweet and nutty from the caramelized honey, tangy from lemon juice, infused with salty, umami from the soy, punchy from the garlic with a little kick from the sriracha; and there’s buttery butter too.
INGREDIENTS FOR honey GARLIC glazed salmon
This honey glazed salmon recipe is made of a few simple ingredients that become exponentially more delicious upon caramelization. Here’s what you’ll need for this easy salmon recipe:
- Salmon fillets: You can use either four 6-8 oz. skinless salmon fillets OR one wild Alaskan salmon fillet that you slice into fillets.
- Honey: The key to our sweet and sticky glaze. I don’t recommend any other sugar because honey is a liquid sweetener that caramelizes beautifully to create the perfect consistency of the glaze.
- Soy sauce: Balances the honey and grounds the sauce with its salty umami. I recommend using reduced sodium soy sauce or the sauce may be too salty.
- Lemon juice: Cuts through the sweetness of the honey and saltiness of the soy to brighten the glaze.
- Garlic: Adds a punch of garlicky goodness to the glaze; use more or less as desired.
- Sriracha: The sweet and savory glaze needs a kick of heat to complement the flavors. I used sriracha but you can use your favorite chili sauce.
- Cornstarch: Just ½ teaspoon helps thicken the glaze to its gorgeous sticky consistency without overcooking the salmon.
- Flour: Combines with seasonings to create a crust of flavor that insulates the salmon as it cooks. I used all-purpose flour, but I’m sure a gluten-free alternative would work just as well.
- Seasonings: The salmon fillets are seasoned with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, and ground ginger. Seasoning the salmon independently adds another layer of flavor and makes a world of difference in the end result.
- Neutral oil: You want to use a neutral oil to cook the salmon in such as vegetable oil, grapeseed oil or canola oil. This allows the honey garlic sauce to shine without hints of olive oil.
WHAT TYPE OF SALMON SHOULD I USE?
Although this honey glazed salmon recipe is a little pricier than a chicken dinner, it can serve your family at a fraction of the cost of dining out – and tastes 10X better! If you’re going to the expense of baking salmon at home, don’t shortchange yourself by using the wrong type of salmon. You will want to use wild-caught salmon fillets for the very best flavor and texture. Here’s what to look for:
- So, what is quality salmon? Always look for wild caught salmon (preferably Alaskan) and avoid farm-raised Atlantic salmon. Wild caught salmon includes king, coho and sockeye salmon. King salmon is the richest tasting, but it is also the most expensive, so don’t feel like you have to buy it – the other varieties will also taste delicious.
- What size salmon is best? You can use either 4 6-8 oz. skinless salmon fillets OR one wild Alaskan salmon fillet that you slice into fillets (which tends to be less expensive).
- Can I use frozen salmon? Absolutely! Frozen salmon fillets are a fabulous option. Look for wild caught fillets and thaw them before cooking. Wild caught salmon is always better than farmed salmon – fresh OR frozen.
- What salmon should I avoid? Avoid farm-raised Atlantic salmon as it is fatty, less nutritious (due to its artificial diet), waterier and can cook up mushy.
- Do I use skin on or off salmon? I recommend removing the skin so the entire surface of the salmon can caramelize in the luscious glaze. If you keep the skin on, it will just become soggy.
- Where to purchase salmon? I usually purchase salmon at the seafood counter of my grocery store so I know the fillets are fresh and can select fillets of uniform size. Costco also has a good selection of salmon and even frozen wild caught salmon fillets in the freezer section which are awesome to have on hand,
What skillet should I use?
You will need to use a large non-stick skillet to cook this salmon recipe otherwise the honey garlic sauce will stick and burn as it caramelizes in the skillet.
HOW TO MAKE honey gLAZED salmon
This honey garlic salmon recipe comes together in under 30 minutes. It’s perfect for weeknight dinners or entertaining (post pandemic). Guests will never know this impressive dish took so little time to make!
STEP 1: Make the honey garlic sauce
Whisk the honey, soy sauce, lemon juice, sriracha, garlic and cornstarch in a medium bowl or liquid measuring glass. A liquid measuring cup makes pouring the sauce into the skillet super clean and easy.
STEP 2: DREDGE THE SALMON
Pat the salmon fillets dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and spices. Dredge the salmon with the flour mixture, then shake off any excess. Place the fillets on a plate. This creates a crust to carry flavor and to insulate the juicy fish.
STEP 3: SEAR THE SALMON
Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the salmon and cook until golden brown on the bottom, then flip and cook another couple of minutes.
Step 4: Add Sauce
Add a couple tablespoons of butter and the honey garlic sauce to the middle of the pan. Cook the salmon for a minute while basting with the sauce.
Step 4: Caramelize Salmon
Turn the fillets over one last time to fully caramelize the other side and cook for another couple minutes, until salmon is cooked to desired doneness and easily flakes with a fork.
HOW LONG TO COOK SALMON?
The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of your salmon fillet. For a standard fillet that’s about 1″ thick at the thickest part, cook 3 to 4 minutes on the first side and 3 to 4 minutes on the second side for medium doneness. If you like your salmon more well done, cook an additional 1-2 minutes on each side.
For this recipe, I advise cooking 3 minutes on the first side, 2 minutes on the second side, then flipping the salmon over again to finish cooking. This ensures both sides of the salmon are coated in the glaze and have had a chance to caramelize.
HOW TO TELL WHEN SALMON IS DONE
As salmon cooks, it changes from bright pink (raw) to opaque pink. The outside of the salmon should be completely opaque but the center should still be a bit translucent, a moist coral color, but not raw. If the salmon is completely opaque all the way through, it won’t be as juicy and tender.
Cooked salmon will also easily flake with a fork along the muscle fibers. The most accurate way to test your salmon, however, is with an instant read meat thermometer. Take care not to overcook your salmon because it will only remain buttery, juicy and tender as long as it isn’t overcooked. It is better for salmon to be under-cooked than overcooked in my opinion.
The FDA advises salmon should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, HOWEVER, if you cook your salmon to this temperature, it will be dry, chalky and overdone because the temperature will continue to rise after you remove salmon from the skillet.
Instead, America’s Test kitchen suggests cooking your salmon to about 125 degrees F (52 degrees C) to avoid dry, overcooked salmon. 125-140 degrees will be medium to medium-well. I like to cook mine to 125 degrees F and the results are always perfect after a 5-minute rest.
TIPS cooking salmon
- Purchase quality salmon: Refer to the section on how to purchase salmon above. Cooking Light also has a great article on how to pick the best salmon at the grocery store.
- Use salmon quickly: If you’re using fresh salmon, make sure to use it within one day otherwise it can go bad very quickly.
- Remove salmon from the fridge: Never cook salmon cold straight from the refrigerator otherwise it will cook unevenly. Instead, remove the fish from the refrigerator about 15 to 20 minutes before you’re ready to start cooking.
- Do NOT rinse and dry fillets: You should NOT rinse your fish before cooking! The USDA cautions: “do not rinse raw fish, seafood, meat, and poultry. Bacteria in these raw juices can splash and spread to other foods and surfaces. Cooking foods thoroughly will kill harmful bacteria.”
- Dry fillets: Pat salmon dry with paper towels before seasoning to help the flour and seasonings stick – and since we are not rinsing the salmon, we are just drying any moisture from the packaging.
- Use a large nonstick skillet: Use a skillet that is large enough to comfortably hold all of the salmon so each side can sear and not just steam. If you use a standard skillet and not nonstick, the glaze can easily burn and will ruin the entire taste of your dish; not to mention a pain to clean!
- Don’t try to flip the salmon if it is sticking: Salmon will naturally release from the pan when it’s ready to be flipped. If it’s sticking to the pan, give it another minute or so to cook.
- Turn heat down if needed: You may need to lower the temperature if your salmon is browning too quickly. This could happen if you have extra thick salmon fillets or you like your salmon more well done.
- Thin sauce, if needed: If the sauce becomes thicker than you like, then stir in a water a tablespoon at a time.
- Don’t over-cook salmon: Take care not to overcook your salmon because it will only remain buttery, juicy and tender as long as it isn’t overcooked. Aim for 125-135 F degrees and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving. If you have different size salmon fillets, you may need to remove one fillet from the skillet before the rest are done.
What is the healthiest way to eat salmon?
If you’re looking for the healthiest way to eat salmon, baking and grilling are the way to go because you don’t need any extra oil. Still, this stovetop version only uses 1 tablespoon of oil because it’s cooked in a nonstick skillet, so it’s a good option too. I’ve included grilling and baking instructions below.
GRILLED honey glazed SALMON
For grilled honey glazed salmon, I suggest cooking the fillets in foil packets and skipping the flour with the seasonings. Preheat grill to 400 degrees F. Simmer the sauce in a saucepan until thickened but still pourable, then allow to cool for a couple minutes. Meanwhile, grease foil, then add seasoned salmon. Brush both sides of the salmon with the glaze and top with a pad of butter (optional) then tightly enclose. Grill at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until cooked to desired doneness.
baked honey glazed SALMON
For baked honey glazed salmon, I suggest skipping the flour with the seasonings. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Simmer the sauce in a saucepan until thickened but still pourable, then allow to cool for a couple minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray or line with foil and spray for the easiest cleanup. Dredge the salmon in seasonings and line in a single layer in the pan. Pour the glaze over the salmon then top each fillet with a pad of butter. Bake for 6 minutes, baste the salmon with the glaze that’s collected in the pan, then continue to bake until the salmon is cooked to your liking, another 6 to 8 minutes for 1-inch fillets. Spoon more glaze over top of the salmon before serving.
HONEY GLAZED SALMON VARIATIONS
This salmon recipe scrumptious as-is, but is also easy to mix up to suit your personal taste preferences.
- Adjust honey garlic glaze: This is YOUR honey glazed salmon recipe! Make it sweeter by adding more honey, tangier by adding more lemon juice, spicier by adding more sriracha or more garlicky by adding more garlic depending on your personal preference.
- Make it spicy: Add 1 tablespoon sriracha to pack a punch of heat. You can also add red pepper flakes or your favorite chili garlic sauce.
- Use lime juice: Mix up the flavor profile by swapping lime juice for the lemon juice in equal proportions. You can also play around with pineapple or orange juice but these will likely need to be combined with lemon/lime juice or vinegar because they aren’t as tangy.
- Add ginger: Make the sauce ginger forward by adding 1-2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger directly to the sauce.
- Add sesame: Add 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil to the sauce and garnish the honey glazed salmon with toasted sesame seeds.
CAN I PREPARE honey glazed SALMON IN ADVANCE?
This honey glazed salmon recipe is best eaten immediately after cooking because the salmon is juiciest if only cooked once. In order to prep ahead, you can do the following:
- Prep the salmon: Dredge the salmon and store in a single layer, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- Make the sauce: Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
HOW TO STORE honey GLAZED SALMON
Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. You can enjoy the honey glazed salmon warm or cold in salads, rice bowls, sandwiches, wraps etc.
HOW TO FREEZE honey garlic SALMON
You can freeze leftover honey garlic glazed salmon for up to 3 months. To freeze, place salmon fillets in a freezer size bag along with the glaze, squeeze out excess air to prevent freezer burn, label and freeze.
HOW TO REHEAT honey GLAZED SALMON
- From the fridge: Gently reheat the honey glazed salmon in a nonstick skillet, covered, for about 5 minutes or in the microwave at 30-second intervals. You can also warm in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 275 degrees F, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F to 130°F. Take care not to overcook the salmon or it will become dry.
- From frozen: Thaw salmon in the refrigerator overnight then reheat per any of the above methods.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH honey garlic glazed SALMON?
This honey glazed salmon recipe is super flavorful so it pairs well with a neutral side such as rice or mashed potatoes, a salad or steamed/roasted or sautéed veggies. Here are some tasty options:
- Carbs: I like jasmine rice or brown rice but any rice will work. Just pop the rice in your rice cooker for a hand’s off, easy side. Coconut rice or pineapple cashew rice would also be amazing. Mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes are also tasty with a sumptuous pad of butter.
- Low carb. Cauliflower rice, quinoa, broccoli rice or a blend of brown rice and any of the aforementioned options. You can also use low carb noodles such as zoodles or spaghetti squash.
- Veggies: Go as simple as steamed or stir-fried veggies or other tasty options include Glazed Carrots, Roasted Root Vegetables, Roasted Cauliflower or Roasted Brussels Sprouts (try the honey sriracha variation!)
- Salads: Some of our favorite Asian inspired salads include Crunchy Asian Salad, Chinese Salad, and Asian Pineapple Salad. You can also go more traditional with Strawberry Spinach Salad, Green Bean Salad or Spinach Berry Salad in the spring/summer and Apple Walnut Salad, Fall Salad, Beet Salad, Roasted Butternut Squash Salad in the winter.
- Fruit: I particularly love honey glazed salmon with fresh pineapple or fruit salads with pineapple such as Pina Colada Fruit Salad Perfect Fruit Salad and Tropical Fruit Salad.
HELPFUL SALMON FACTS:
Do I have to rinse my salmon first? Actually, you should NOT rinse your fish before baking! The USDA cautions: “do not rinse raw fish, seafood, meat, and poultry. Bacteria in these raw juices can splash and spread to other foods and surfaces. Cooking foods thoroughly will kill harmful bacteria.”
Is salmon skin safe to eat? Absolutely! In fact, the skin contains more of the same minerals and nutrients contained in salmon, so it is highly nutritious. I usually remove the skin or purchase salmon without the skin if I am going to be cooking it in a sauce like in this recipe when I won’t the skin to become soggy.
How much salmon should I buy? Although a whole fillet looks like a lot of protein, it goes down surprisingly easy! There are quite a few variables to when it comes to serving size such as what you are serving with your salmon and how big of eaters your audience is, but the general rule of thumb is about ½ pound per person, so one 8 oz. salmon fillet.
Can I eat salmon every day? Like everything, salmon is great in moderation. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two 3.5-ounce servings of fatty fish like salmon every week. It should not be eaten every day, however, due to concerns about the trace amounts of mercury in seafood.
What are the health benefits of salmon? Salmon is be a low-calorie protein source that is rich in heart-healthy omega-3s, and low in saturated fat. It is also an excellent source of several B vitamins, antioxidants and potassium. Studies show that salmon can help lower inflammation, which may reduce the risk factors for several diseases. A growing number of studies also suggest that including salmon in your diet might improve brain function and even reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and the risk of age-related memory problems.
Does salmon improve skin? The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are linked to reducing inflammation which may help skin retain moisture. Salmon is also a good source of vitamin E and zinc which are good for the skin.
Can you eat salmon while pregnant? COOKED salmon is safe to eat during pregnancy but pregnant women should not eat raw salmon, including sushi. They should also take care when handling raw salmon because raw fish could contain parasites or harmful bacteria.
Tools Used in This Recipe
Honey Glazed Salmon
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- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 6-8 oz. salmon fillets, skin off
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ tsp EACH salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Whisk the flour and salmon seasonings together in a shallow dish. Dredge the salmon in the mixture, shake off excess and transfer to a dry surface.
- Add the butter and the honey garlic sauce to the middle of the pan and simmer for 1 minute while basting the fish with the sauce. Turn the fillets over one last time (to fully caramelize the other side) and finish cooking salmon to desired doneness, 1-2 minutes (until it easily flakes with a fork, 125-135 degrees F). If the sauce thickens too much before your salmon is done cooking, just add water 1 Tbsp at a time.
- Garnish salmon with parsley, cilantro or green onions and serve with rice or potatoes and veggies.
HOW TO STORE and reheat
- To Store: Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. You can enjoy the honey glazed salmon warm or cold in salads, rice bowls, sandwiches, wraps etc.
- To freeze: Place salmon fillets in a freezer size bag along with the glaze, squeeze out excess air to prevent freezer burn, label and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw salmon in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
- To reheat: Gently reheat the honey glazed salmon in a nonstick skillet, covered, for about 5 minutes or in the microwave at 30-second intervals. You can also warm in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 275 degrees F, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F to 130°F. Take care not to overcook the salmon or it will become dry.
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