A quick and easy dinner that delivers! This is honey garlic soy salmon, a dish made from just 6 ingredients in under 35 minutes. Marinate fresh salmon in a 5-ingredient sauce, and then reduce the rest down on the stove to a glaze as the salmon bakes. Serve with thickened glaze, brown rice, and your favorite vegetables for a simple, flavorful, and healthy meal.
Baking is certainly where my heart is, but it’s so much fun to share everyday dinner recipes with you. I struggle to find a meal my entire family enjoys, which includes young children who are often skeptical about what shows up on their plates! Today’s honey garlic soy glazed salmon is usually the answer when (1) I need dinner FAST, (2) I need dinner to be DELICIOUS for everyone, and (3) I need to use as few ingredients and dishes as possible. 😉
This recipe has lived on my website since 2015 and one reader, Leslie, says: “This post is a couple years old but the recipe holds. My family LOVED this! I loved how simple it is but packed with flavor.”
You’ll Love This Honey Garlic Soy Salmon, Too:
- 35 minutes total: 15 minutes to marinate, 15–20 to bake
- Only 6 easy ingredients
- Marinade doubles as the glaze
- Minimal effort, maximum flavor
- Casual enough for the week, fancy enough for guests
- Healthy, wholesome, dairy free
- Easy recipe to halve or double
Marinade Doubles as a Glaze
The 5-ingredient glaze is inspired by delicious Asian cuisine and made with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, honey, and a little sesame oil to help the marinade stick. As a marinade, it’s sweet and salty but has a deeper, more complex flavor from the garlic and fresh ginger. Use half of the mixture for a marinade, and then reduce the rest on the stove for a few minutes to drizzle over the cooked salmon. As a thickened glaze, the flavor is incredibly bold. It’s so, so tasty.
I also LOVE this honey soy sauce glazed salmon from the fantastic food blog Omnivore’s Kitchen. There’s a little whole-grain mustard and chili powder in that sauce.
This marinade/glaze reduction is also great on chicken. Replace the salmon with boneless chicken breasts or thighs and increase the bake time until the chicken is cooked through. See recipe Notes.
You can also skip the protein, make the sauce, reduce down on the stove and pour over a plate of steamed vegetables and rice. I’ve done that often and leftovers are delicious for lunch the next day.
Ingredients You Need & Why
There are so few ingredients in this honey garlic soy salmon dish… and each one has a key job!
- Salmon: The fresher the salmon, the better. You want about 24 ounces (680g) total, and purchasing individual fillets makes prep easier. Try to find salmon fillets that are an even thickness so that they all cook in the same amount of time. There are many different types of salmon and this how to buy salmon guide is a helpful resource. (Not affiliated at all, just a really handy article about fresh/frozen/types.)
- Honey: Honey is one of the main ingredients and pairs so well with garlic, something you may know if you’ve had this honey garlic shrimp before. (A similar, but even quicker dish!)
- Soy Sauce: I typically use Kikkoman less sodium tamari soy sauce, which is labeled gluten free. Again, not sponsored… just a fan! If you’re gluten sensitive or intolerant, you can use that or swap the soy sauce with actual tamari sauce.
- Sesame Oil: This is a new addition over the past couple years and I use it for sticking power. After dozens of times preparing this dish, I found the salmon holds onto the marinade a little better when there’s 1 Tablespoon of oil. If you don’t have sesame oil, olive oil is a fine replacement.
- Garlic: You can use fresh or jarred/minced.
- Fresh Ginger: Ginger gives this dish a warm, fresh, slightly sweet element. It’s one of my favorite ingredients in cooking and you’ll love it in peach pie, too.
Can I Use Frozen Salmon?
Yes, you can use frozen uncooked salmon. Thaw completely and then follow the recipe as written, including marinating and baking. You can use frozen/thawed salmon when making this 5 ingredient honey chipotle salmon recipe too.
Step Photos: How to Make Honey Garlic Soy Salmon
Place salmon in a container or zipped-top bag. I usually use these glass containers for marinating and they work just as well for storing leftovers and freezing meals/baked goods. (See 8 Freezer Meals for some inspiration!) Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour about half over the salmon:
Marinate the salmon for at least 15 minutes and up to 4 hours. You can stretch this to 8 hours if needed. You’ll love that this dish can work with any schedule, in a rush or not!
Place salmon on lined baking sheet; reserve used marinade if desired to reduce with the rest of the unused marinade:
The sauce will caramelize over the salmon as it bakes:
While the salmon bakes, reduce the remaining marinade on the stove to make a glaze. You want a rich, thick glaze:
Drizzle the glaze all over the warm baked salmon. You could even drizzle a spoonful onto the salmon fillets towards the end of the bake time and return them to the oven to finish baking.
And your dinner is hot & ready! Feel free to garnish the honey garlic soy salmon with green onion and/or sesame seeds. I like to steam broccoli and make a packet of brown rice as the salmon bakes.
The edges are crisp, the honey garlic soy salmon is tender, and the flavors are unbelievable!
This simple baked salmon is smothered with a 5-ingredient salty-sweet glaze and is ready in under 35 minutes!
- Marinate the salmon: Place salmon fillets into a large zippered food storage bag or shallow dish/container. In a medium bowl, whisk soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger together. Pour about half of the mixture (just eyeball it) over salmon. Turn salmon to coat. Seal the bag/cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and up to 4 hours.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F (191°C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Line the marinated salmon fillets on the baking sheet, skin side down. You can hold onto this used marinade—see step 5. Bake salmon for 15–20 minutes or until done, which is 10 minutes per inch thickness measured from the thickest part of the fillet. (Salmon is considered done when an instant read thermometer reads the center of the thickest part as at least 145°F (63°C).) Feel free to turn your oven to broil for the last minute to really crisp the edges.
- Meanwhile, as the salmon bakes, pour the remaining unused marinade into a small saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat. If you want, you can add the remaining (used) marinade as well. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3–4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Keep a close eye on it because it can quickly burn. It will bubble up a lot as it reduces. Remove from heat.
- Drizzle thickened glaze over baked salmon and serve with optional garnish.
- Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. Reheat to your liking.
- Make Ahead Instructions: You can marinate the salmon up to 4 hours in advance. If needed, you can extend to 8 hours.
- Sides: To complete the meal, serve the salmon with steamed broccoli and rice. Both are excellent with glaze drizzled on top. You can cook both as the salmon bakes.
- Can I use frozen salmon? Yes, you can use frozen uncooked salmon fillets. Thaw completely before using.
- Can I replace salmon with chicken? Yes, you can replace the salmon with boneless chicken breasts or thighs and increase the bake time until the chicken is cooked through. Marinate the chicken for closer to 1 hour instead of just 15 minutes.
Keywords: garlic honey salmon, ginger garlic salmon
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