Caramelized sweet and sticky Honey Garlic Salmon is the best salmon recipe for busy weeknights! This 20 minute dinner comes together in one pan with simple ingredients and is crazy good!
Table of contents
This 20 minute honey garlic salmon delivers juicy salmon fillets with a caramelized honey crust, a hint of garlic, and green onions to finish it off. Take it up a notch with a sweet, sticky, garlicky sauce that has just a hint of citrus.
The combination of the honey and garlic in this recipe is all you need to convert even the non-fish lovers. However, there’s always baked honey garlic chicken to fall back on!
Need more dinner time inspiration? Browse these 65 healthy recipes for dinner!
Ingredients for Honey Garlic Salmon
Honey garlic salmon is quick and healthy dish that is high in Omega 3s and incredibly delicious! It is also made with just a few simple ingredients.
- Salmon: According to Healthline wild salmon like sockeye, Coho, spring, and king salmon are healthier choices than farmed salmon.
- Honey: If you have solidified honey, warm it up in a microwave or on the stove to make it easily pourable.
- Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice and not from the bottle is the best!
- Freshly grated garlic: Fresh garlic is the best for maximum flavor.
- Salt and pepper.
- Oil: Any oil for high heat cooking like avocado oil or grapeseed oil. You can also use light olive oil or coconut oil.
- Garnish: Optional finely chopped green onions. A mildly pungent, crispy, fresh finish!
How to Make Honey Garlic Salmon
Here is a quick overview how to make honey garlic salmon. There is full recipe card below.
Prep fish and oven broiler: Slice salmon fillet into 4 slices about 6 oz each and place on a plate. Season each evenly with salt and pepper.
Also time to turn on your oven broiler to 500-550 degrees F and move the oven rack to middle position.
Make sauce: Preheat cast iron skillet or any ovenproof skillet on medium heat. Enough to give it a bit of a sear but not too high to burn it. Add oil, garlic, honey, lemon juice and water. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
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.
Honey garlic sauce shouldn’t be thick yet. Not a glaze at this point.
Pan fry honey garlic salmon: Add the fish to the pan skin side down and cook for 3 minutes, pouring sauce over them with a spoon often.
Broil the salmon: Turn off heat and place skillet under the broiler for 4-5 minutes, basting once or twice. Salmon is ready when browned and caramelized a bit.
Then I like to tuck in a few lemon wedges in the sauce between the salmon pieces. And I garnish with chopped green onion but you can also use fresh parsley.
Cooking Tips for Salmon
- Skin on or off: For this honey garlic salmon recipe as written, it doesn’t matter if you leave the skin on or remove it.
- “Fishy” taste: The skin contains most of the fishy taste. Removing it before or after cooking helps to eliminate part of it.
- Pan fry it: Salmon doesn’t take long to cook at all. A total of 6 minutes, flipping halfway, should be enough. Use your judgment, and eyeball it. Based on your stove and the level of heat, you may need to adjust. Cook it skin side down first, which is easier to flip and then spoon more sauce on top.
- Don’t overcook: Salmon cooks fast and overcooked salmon tastes dry, especially if it’s wild. Everyone likes their salmon differently, just like steak. I flake it with a fork a bit or cut with a knife to check on level of doneness. The average safe temperature for cooked salmon is 145 degrees F, rare – 130 degrees F, medium rare – 120 degrees F.
Variations of This Recipe
- Grill it: With summer around the corner you can grill honey garlic salmon using this grilled salmon recipe instructions! Get fancy with a cedar plank salmon for smoky flavors!
- Other fish: Halibut would be awesome. See, it’s not always about healthy tuna salad! There are many more ways to enjoy fish during the week.
- Add heat: To add a little spice to your sweet and sticky sauce, drizzle in a little Sriracha.
- Bake it: Bake it in the oven uncovered at 400 degrees F for 8 minutes. You can also cook the whole fillet in foil as per the baked salmon in foil recipe. Or turn it into a one pan salmon and veggies using the same sauce.
What To Serve With Honey Garlic Salmon?
Serve honey garlic salmon on a bed of quinoa or brown rice, or low-carb cauliflower fried rice.
Best vegetable side dishes: Below are just some of the many other possibilities.
- Cauliflower mashed potatoes
- Instant Pot broccoli
- Roasted cauliflower
- Roasted asparagus
- Roasted turnips
How Long Does It Keep?
Storing: Keep leftover salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 day. I don’t recommend leaving it for any longer than that.
Reheating: Reheat leftovers in a microwave for a minute or so. Any other method, like baking or sautéing, would overcook it and dry it out.
Eating it cold is just as good!
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.
I do not recommend freezing cooked salmon because its flesh will become tough and rubbery once thawed.
More Recipes To Try
You might also enjoy to browse all my salmon recipes!
Honey Garlic Salmon Recipe
- Sprinkle salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Preheat the broiler and adjust oven rack to middle position.
- Preheat cast iron skillet on medium heat and add oil, garlic, honey, lemon juice and water. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
- Place salmon fillets skin side down and cook for 3 minutes, pouring sauce over them with a spoon often. Turn off heat and place skillet under the broiler for 4-5 minutes, basting once or twice. Salmon is ready when browned and caramelized a bit.
- Serve hot garnished with green onions.