Honey Garlic Salmon is the easiest fish dinner you’ll ever make! It’s perfectly flaky with sweet, salty, and sticky honey and soy sauce glaze with bright lemon juice, melted butter, and roasted garlic. It’s pan-fried, and ready in just 20 minutes – the perfect dinner for a busy weeknight!
I love a quick and healthy fish dinner recipe, and this honey garlic salmon is packed with flavor and nutrients! The sweet and savory glaze is the best luscious sauce for these sautéed salmon filets with crispy skin.
The salmon is pan fried quickly on a hot pan which helps it get crispy on the outside, and stay juicy and moist on the inside. The high heat seals in the moisture as you cook the fish.
This baked salmon is a family favorite around here, but I sauté this recipe so I get that super crispy skin! We’re big fans of salmon, and cook it quite often. It’s of nutritional value — packed with protein, high in omega-3s, and low in saturated fat.
For more easy fish dinners, check out my fish piccata, salmon tacos, lemon baked cod and creamy tuscan salmon recipes. They are also ready in just 20 minutes, start to finish!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- This salmon recipe is ready in just 20 minutes with only one pan!
- The honey soy sauce glaze is the perfect complement to the mild fishy salmon flavor.
- If you’re looking for a low carb, low fat recipe that’s perfect for keto, this is it! Each filet is only about 60 calories.
Here’s what you’ll need to make honey garlic salmon:
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Salmon filets: I prefer to buy salmon with the skin on! It works as a protective layer when searing the salmon. Plus, it’s easier to flip the fish when the skin is on, and it becomes crispy. It’s totally edible. When I buy a whole side of salmon, I cut it into 2.5 inch/6cm thick slices. If you can afford it, go for wild salmon as it’s healthier and tastier than farmed salmon.
- Garlic: Everything’s better with garlic! It adds such a soft, sweet buttery flavor to the salmon filets. Use fresh garlic cloves, mince or crush them and do not substitute them with garlic powder. If you absolutely love garlic, feel free to add an extra clove or two to the sauce!
- Honey: I love the sticky glaze honey makes! It adds a little char to the outside and the perfect sweetness to balance the fish.
- Spices: Don’t forget the soy sauce, paprika, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to season the fish. Go for freshly squeezed lemon juice.
I keep this salmon recipe mild. Want to add some spice? Add sriracha or cayenne pepper!
How to Make Honey Garlic Salmon
Follow these steps for the best Asian-inspired salmon recipe:
Before you start, using paper towels, dry the fish filets to remove any excess moisture. This is especially important if you’re using thawed fish. This step will help the salmon get crispy and form a nice crust.
- Season the salmon. First, sprinkle the salmon steaks with paprika, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to gently press the seasonings into the flesh and season the fish from all sides.
- Sear the salmon. Then, in a 12-inch nonstick pan, melt butter over medium-high heat and sear the salmon skin-side down first. Use your spatula to lightly press the filets for full contact with the pan. Carefully flip them after a few minutes, cook until done, then let them rest on a plate when done.
- Make the sauce. Keep the melted butter in the pan, and add the garlic, honey, water, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Cook for a couple of minutes until it begins to thicken.
- Coat salmon and serve. Return the cooked salmon filets to the pan, and cover them with sauce. Cook a couple more minutes until everything is incorporated with the glaze. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley, and serve!
Tips and Tricks
This salmon recipe is so easy, I’m sure you’ll nail it the first time! If you’re looking for more tips, here are my top ones:
- Pick the right Salmon. I usually buy frozen salmon filets from Costco that I thaw in the fridge overnight. If you’re buying fresh filets, make sure that there isn’t a fishy smell to the fish. If you can find wild caught salmon, it tastes much better than farmed salmon. For more info, Taste of Home created an excellent guide on how to buy salmon.
- Let the salmon come to room temperature. I always like to take out my protein out of the fridge 15-30 minutes before I start cooking. This will help it cook more evenly.
- Keep the skin. I like to buy skin-on salmon filets when I can. If you can’t find pre-cut filets, you can always slice up a side of salmon into 2.5 inch slices instead. Freeze any leftover raw salmon for your next dinner!
- Use a nonstick pan. From my experience, flaky fish must be cooked on a nonstick pan rather than a stainless steel pan.
- Let the sauce thicken. There’s nothing worse than a runny sauce that’s just like water! Be sure to let the sauce simmer for a few minutes before adding the salmon back to the pan for the thickest, most luscious honey soy glaze.
- Bake it instead. You can always bake this recipe, too! Be sure to use a rimmed baking sheet, and grease it lightly so the salmon doesn’t stick. Pour the glaze over the salmon and bake until the internal temperature is 145°F/63°C. I do this option when I can’t find skin-on salmon.
- Try it with chicken. I love salmon recipes, but sometimes chicken is easier to find — and more budget-friendly. If you love this sauce, try it with juicy chicken over white rice. Yum!
When you’re checking the salmon fillets, you’re aiming for 145°F/63°C internally. Overcooked salmon is dry and crumbly, so try to get that temp just right! It will also continue cooking a few degrees while it rests.
I love to buy my salmon fillets with the skin still on! If yours have skin, sear that side first. It gives you perfectly crispy skin like a fancy restaurant. It also makes it much easier to flip without tearing the fish.
Cook time always depends on the size of your salmon filets. However, a good rule of thumb is about 3 minutes per side, or until it’s a beautiful golden brown.
The beauty of salmon recipes is you can pair them with almost any side dish! This is a sweeter salmon recipe, so I like to serve crisp veggies and starches, like roasted broccoli and potatoes. If you want a little more flavor in your honey garlic salmon, add a little lime juice, sriracha, shallots, capers, miso, or sesame oil!
What to Serve with Honey Garlic Salmon
Keep it low fat with veggie side dishes: Roasted Asparagus, Shirazi Salad, a simple Tossed Green Salad with an Asian Salad Dressing, or Brussels Sprouts in the Air Fryer.
Have an Asian-inspired theme night: Ramen Noodle Salad, Spicy Kani Salad, Instant Pot Fried Rice, Coconut Rice, or Daikon Radish Slaw.
End the night on a sweet note: Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Soft Monster Cookies, Tiramisu, or Easy Churro Bites.
How to Store
You can keep this leftover honey garlic salmon for up to 4 days in the fridge. I like to add leftovers to my lunch salads.
Got tons of leftovers? Freeze it! Be sure to tightly wrap the filets in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Other Easy Seafood Recipes I Love
This will quickly become your go-to salmon recipe. I don’t know if you’ll love the juicy salmon or succulent sauce more! Make sure to Pin this recipe so more people can enjoy it too!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!
Honey Garlic Salmon
- 4 salmon fillets 8 ounces each (225g) skin on or off, patted dry with paper towels
- ¼ teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves garlic finely minced
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon water
- 5 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Season the salmon fillets with paprika, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to gently press the seasonings into the flesh.
- In a pan, melt butter over medium-high heat and sear the salmon skin-side down first. Use your spatula to lightly press the filets for full contact with the pan. Flip after a few minutes, then let them rest on a plate when done.
- Keep the melted butter in the pan, and add the garlic, honey, water, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Cook for a couple minutes until it begins to thicken.
- Return the cooked salmon filets to the pan, and cover them with sauce. Cook a couple more minutes until everything is incorporated with the glaze. Garnish with lemon slices, parsley, and serve!
- To make the sauce spicy, add sriracha or cayenne pepper.
- Storing: You can keep this leftover honey garlic salmon for up to 4 days in the fridge. To Freeze, be sure to tightly wrap the filets in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen
Leave a Review!