by Olena

Honey Garlic Salmon

Olena Osipov
4.9 from 59 votes

Honey Garlic Salmon is the best stove top salmon recipe for busy weeknights. Juicy salmon, crispy skin and caramelized sweet and sticky sauce make this 30 minute dinner crazy good!

Love fish? Try our teriyaki salmon or Thai broiled salmon.

honey garlic salmon

Honey Garlic Salmon Recipe

Honey garlic salmon is a super simple recipe that will guide you to perfectly cooked salmon in 30 minutes. It is all you need to convert even the non-fish lovers! Kids love it too!

Juicy salmon fillets with caramelized honey crust with a hint of garlic, then topped with green onion. Salmon is already a flavorful fish, but what really takes this meal up a notch, is the sweet, sticky, garlicky sauce with just a hint of citrus.

It’s a quick, healthy dish high in protein and Omega 3s. Marinate for 15 minutes and then cook for another 10 minutes.

honey garlic salmon garnished with green onion

Ingredients for Honey Garlic Salmon

  • Salmon: Wild salmon like sockeye, coho, spring and king salmon is more healthy choice than farmed salmon (source). Trout or more affordable variety pink salmon work too.
  • Honey: If you have solidified honey, warm it up in a microwave or on the stove to make runny.
  • Lemon or lime juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice and not from the bottle is the best!
  • Freshly grated garlic: Fresh garlic is the best for maximum flavor. You can replace it with about 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder if you absolutely have to.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Oil: Any oil for high heat cooking like avocado oil or grapeseed oil. Can also use light olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Garnish: Optional finely chopped green onions. So good!

How to Make Honey Garlic Salmon

  • Prep fish and marinade: Slice salmon fillet into 6 slices about 3 oz each. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lemon/lime juice, salt, and pepper. sockeye salmon fillets in a white dish
  • Marinate: Place the salmon fillets in a large resealable Ziploc bag, add marinade and seal. With your hands, gently move salmon around to get a nice even coat of marinade on each piece. Flip the pieces inside the bag so that they are all facing the same direction. Place the entire bag with the pieces flesh side down and allow to marinate for 15 minutes in the fridge. honey garlic salmon in marinade in Ziploc bag
  • Prep the skillet: Towards the end of your marinating time, preheat a large non-stick skillet on low-medium heat. Enough to give it a bit of a sear but not too high to burn it. You may need to work in batches if your pan isn’t big enough. You want each piece to have enough room between them for even cooking.
  • Cook: Add the oil, coating the entire bottom of the pan evenly. Add the fish to the pan flesh side down. Cover with a lid and cook for a few minutes. Then, remove the lid and continue cooking for a minute before flipping over. Repeat these steps on the reverse side of the fish. honey garlic salmon with crispy skin on a blue pan

More Tips and FAQs

  • Can I eat the skin? Whether you eat the skin is a personal preference. The skin does have massive amounts of nutrients in it. It also helps keep the moisture in the salmon itself throughout the cooking process. If you don’t like skin, remove it after cooking.
  • Can I use cast iron skillet? It might be tempting to use a cast iron pan for a good sear and more crispy skin. I find salmon sticks really badly to cast iron, especially the skin, unless you use a lot of oil.
  • Can I marinate salmon overnight? You can marinate salmon overnight and up to 12 hours. I do not recommend longer as citrus can start the cooking process (think ceviche).
  • Can I bake honey garlic salmon? Yes. Bake it in the oven uncovered at 400 degrees F for 8 minutes. You can also cook whole fillet in foil as per baked salmon in foil recipe. And you can also make it a healthy one pot meal – check out my one pan salmon and veggies (same honey garlic sauce!).
  • Can I grill it? Yes. You can cook fillets directly on the grill by following this grilled salmon recipe or on a cedar plank.
  • If you don’t like fishy taste: Skin contains most of the fishy taste. Removing it after cooking helps to eliminate part of it.
  • Can I use other fish? Yes, halibut would be good.
  • Add heat: To add a little spice to your sweet and sticky sauce, drizzle in a little Sriracha.

Serving, Storing and Reheating

Serving: Serve honey garlic salmon on a bed of quinoa or brown rice. Once the flavor has permeated the salmon overnight, enjoy again the next day. You could even use the leftovers for a salmon stir fry or even leave it cold and chop some up into leafy green salad at lunch like arugula salad.

Best vegetable side dishes: There are so many options to have as a side to cooked salmon. Below are just some of the many possibilities.

Reheating: I recommend to reheat leftovers in a microwave for a minute or so. I would not recommend to bake or saute cooked fish to avoid over drying. Also highly recommend to try salmon cold – so good!

Freezing: I do not recommend to freeze cooked salmon because its flesh will become tough and rubbery once thawed.

More Salmon Recipes

honey garlic salmon on white plate with quinoa and broccoli

Honey Garlic Salmon {Crispy Salmon Recipe}

Honey Garlic Salmon is the best stove top salmon recipe for busy weeknights. Juicy salmon, crispy skin and caramelized sweet and sticky sauce make this 30 minute dinner crazy good!
4.94 from 59 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Marinating Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 31 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 168kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 - 3 large garlic cloves grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 x 3 oz each salmon fillets skin on
  • 1 - 2 tsp oil for frying I use avocado oil
  • 2 green onions finely chopped

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together honey, lemon/lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Place salmon fillets in a large resealable Ziploc bag and pour marinade over. Squeeze as much air out as possible and seal the bag. Gently move fillets around inside the bag to make sure they are all evenly coated. Place flesh side down and let marinate 15 minutes in the fridge.
  • Preheat large non-stick skillet on low - medium heat and add oil, making sure it coats the bottom of the skillet evenly. Place salmon fillets flesh side down leaving enough space in between them. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, cook another minute and flip over. Repeat: cover, cook for 3 minutes, remove the lid and cook for another minute. If your skillet is not large enough, I recommend cooking in two batches. If you over crowd the skillet, cooking time increases by a few minutes for each step.
  • Serve hot garnished with green onions, alongside quinoa and steamed broccoli - my favourite.

Serving: Serve honey garlic salmon on a bed of quinoa or brown rice. Once the flavor has permeated the salmon overnight, enjoy again the next day. You could even use the leftovers for a salmon stir fry or even leave it cold and chop some up into leafy green salad at lunch like arugula salad.

    Reheating: I recommend to reheat leftovers in a microwave for a minute or so. I would not recommend to bake or saute cooked fish to avoid over drying. Also highly recommend to try salmon cold - so good!

      Freezing: I do not recommend to freeze cooked salmon because its flesh will become tough and rubbery once thawed.

        Video

        Notes

        • Can I eat the skin? Whether you eat the skin is a personal preference. The skin does have massive amounts of nutrients in it. It also helps keep the nutrients and moisture in the salmon itself throughout the cooking process. If you don't like skin, remove it after cooking.
        • Can I use cast iron skillet? It might be tempting to use a cast iron pan for a good sear more crispy skin. I find salmon sticks really badly to cast iron, especially the skin, unless you use a lot of oil.
        • Can I marinate salmon overnight? You can marinate overnight and up to 12 hours. I do not recommend longer as citrus can start the cooking process (think ceviche).
        • Can I bake honey garlic salmon? Yes. Bake it in the oven uncovered at 400 degrees F for 8 minutes. You can also cook whole fillet in foil as per baked salmon in foil recipe. And you can also make it a healthy one pot meal - check out my one pan salmon and veggies (same honey garlic sauce!).
        • Can I grill it? Yes. You can cook fillets directly on the grill by following this grilled salmon recipe or on a cedar plank.
        • If you don't like fishy taste: Skin contains most of the fishy taste. Removing it after cooking helps to eliminate part of it.
        • Can I use other fish? Yes, halibut would be good.
        • Add heat: To add a little spice to your sweet and sticky sauce, drizzle in a little Sriracha.
        •  

        Nutrition

        Serving: 1fillet | Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 233mg | Potassium: 438mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 74IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
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        olena osipov in the studio

        Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

        My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

        95 comments on “Honey Garlic Salmon

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        1. Why would you cook it flesh side down when you put it in the pan? Wouldn’t it be better to put it skin side down to crisp up the skin and keep the flesh from over cooking?

          1. Flesh won’t cook through and will be white residue covered and unappetizing if you just cook it on a skin side. Food on a skillet has to be cooked on both sides, it’s not oven. Try and see what happens, I guess. 🙂

        2. 5 stars
          Hi Olena, i made the honey garlic salmon it was delicious. I have made a few of your recipes really good. Thank you so much

        3. 5 stars
          So good! My husband doesn’t really care for salmon recipes but he knows I love salmon so sometimes I whip up a recipe. I made this for him and he loved it. Thanks so much for sharing 😊

        4. 5 stars
          Loved this recipe! The whole family devoured it; so simple to make, and a nice alternative to grilling when we don’t want to spend the time setting up the charcoal grill for our usual salmon entrees. The coho was nice and moist, and the bright citrus flavor is great for a summer palate. I chose to add chopped cilantro on top, but it certainly was fine without it.

        5. 5 stars
          So easy to make as it was my 1st time cooking salmon for myself, turned out great and so juicy… also made some steamed brussel sprouts for the vegetables. will be making again soon.

        6. 5 stars
          Oh my goodness- so delicious! Have never been a big salmon person but cooked like this it is amazing.

        7. 5 stars
          I made this and it came out so good on my first time! The cooking time and temperature make the perfect salmon, cooked more well evenly to my liking (and not still gushy inside, burnt outside like some salmon recipes!). Thank you for sharing!

        8. 5 stars
          I absolutely LOVE this recipe… it was a smashing success tonight, and I’m printing it out! Thank you for such a fine dining experience through this recipe!

        9. 5 stars
          This was very good! Good flavor and so easy to make. Something that is not only good tasting but healthy.Hard to find recipes now since my daughter is on a pre gastric surgery now to lose weight.

        10. 5 stars
          I’ve made this over a dozen times. It is my go to for salmon. The salmon comes out perfect Everytime!! I’ve cooked for people who swear they don’t like salmon and have brought them over to the salmon side. I have only ever used fresh sockeye salmon

        11. 4 stars
          Hello, love your recipe ideas.

          Is it possible to suggest another way to marinate the salmon other than in plastic. Everyone can contribute to saving the planet. You can influence others too with your videos

          1. So happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes! It is an old video. I wash plastic bags and now recommend it. Or just use bowls. Yes, of course.

        12. 5 stars
          I have made this recipe over a dozen times. It always come out perfect. My family loves it!! My oldest son swore he didn’t like salmon until I made this using fresh Sockeye. He begs me to make for him now. I always squeeze a little lemon and sprinkle with sea salt just before serving.

        13. 5 stars
          It was absolutely delicious! I made it once and my teenage girls keep requesting it. Hubs, who isn’t big on fish, really enjoyed it, too! I’m making it tonight and serving with sautéed asparagus & rice. Thanks!!

        14. 5 stars
          I never make salmon because husband says it’s too fishy so I bought one for myself since it is supposed to be one of the best fish for you and this recipe was amazing! Love

        15. I don’t have any avocado oil or coconut oil & want to make this tonight without going to the market. Can I use olive or or anyother kind of oil?

        16. 5 stars
          I made this for dinner tonight. It was so delicious and easy to make! Possibly the best salmon I’ve ever had. My whole family loved it! Thanks for sharing ?

        17. 5 stars
          Made this for dinner tonight… It is one of the best salmon recipes I have ever tried!! SO good!

        18. 5 stars
          I made this recipe for dinner this evening and it is absolutely delicious! I will definitely be making it again! I do have one question though, can the individual pieces be marinaded overnight?

          1. Yes. You can marinade overnight. Be careful how much citrus you use. It can start the cooking process ( think cerveche). Maybe omit lemon juice until a whit le before serving

          1. Hm, on a cedar plank it might if you cook it untouched. If you grill it directly on the grill it might be just grilled without the caramelization.

        19. 5 stars
          We visited a friend recently and she made your recipe, it was SO good! I’m doing it for a family gathering tomorrow. My question is, I am picking up a large piece of salmon thats not cut into individual pieces – just one large piece. Do you think I can marinade and bake? Maybe broil towards the end for that crispy top? I am not very experienced with salmon and I don’t want to screw it up!

          1. Hi Nora. Yes, you can cook the whole fillet at once. Check out my baked Thai salmon recipe for a broil method. Check the middle with a fork carefully to make sure it is done and if necessary broil a bit longer. Salmon cooks really fast. Also since it is one piece I recommend to marinade for about 24 hours. Good luck!:)

        20. 4 stars
          I made this tonight and it wasn’t too bad. I do have a question. When you begin the cooking phase, do you pour the marinade sauce into the pan and cook it with the fish, or just take the fish out of the marinade and put into pan to cook? I like a lot of “sauce” with my foods, and the fish I cooked didn’t seem to have enough carmelization on each piece of fish with me NOT cooking the marinade in the pan with the fish. Hopefully that made sense. Thanks.

          1. I understand. If you are “a saucy” person, you can make extra marinade, cook it in the pan separately and pour over prepared fish. I do not pour marinade over the fish, just take out fish from marinade and cook it.

        21. 5 stars
          I have made this dish several times and everyone loves it! I am on vacation and in a rental unit that does not have a pan with a lid that will work. Can I wrap the fish in foil and cook it in the oven?

        22. Coming from the Pacific Northwest, I know Sockeye is the best Salmon around. I buy it every chance I get and fix it a lot. I will definitely try this recipe. I’ll even send it to my sisters in California!

          1. I absolutely agree! We stock up for a few years when it is allowed to be fished every 4 years. We are out now and are eating white king salmon which is great, but can’t compare to sockeye. I can’t eat chum anymore although we used to when we first moved to PNW. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

        23. Hi, I was just wondering if the recipe is calling for 1 tablespoon lemon and 1 tablespoon lime juice or just 1 tablespoon of either? Thank you for clarifying!

        24. Thank you for this very easy, delicious salmon recipe! Everyone loved it! The cook timing is perfect! This one was written in my recipe book tonight!?

          1. Hmm, probably some mild tasting fish like halibut maybe…We honestly don’t eat any other fish because of the price or because it is farmed. So, I haven’t cooked it forever…What fish you had in mind?

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