This is an incredibly easy way to cook salmon fillets that are packed with flavour. Using a mixture of brown sugar, smoked paprika and garlic, salmon is baked to perfection for a quick healthy dinner. I’ve included recommendations on how to serve this salmon for a balanced meal.
- Really, really easy to prepare and cook. Combine spices, pat onto salmon fillets and bake. That’s literally it. The spices are dried spices that you scoop out with a spoon, there’s no chopping, blending or grinding.
- Super fast cooking time and ready in 15 minutes. One of the best things about cooking with fish is the quick cooking times! Depending on the thickness of your salmon fillets, this recipe requires only around 15 minutes cooking time. So you can definitely make this one during the week, even if you’re strapped for time!
- Salmon is a fish that is packed with essential nutrients. Salmon is a type of fish that is particularly rich in essential omega 3 fatty acids. In fact, it’s one of the richest food sources of omega 3 fats. For optimal nutrition you want to be having an oily fish like salmon regularly.
All you need is a few pantry spices, olive oil and your salmon!
- Salmon fillets. You can use skin on, or skin off salmon fillets for this recipe. I prefer skin on fillets as I think they hold together better and I like the slightly fatty layer just under the skin! But it really doesn’t matter for this recipe. Get the nicest salmon that you can.
- Brown sugar. This is essential for creating the caramelised crust/glaze on the salmon and the flavour is so good.
- Smoked paprika. Make sure to get smoked paprika and not sweet or regular paprika for this recipe.
- Garlic powder. Garlic and smoked paprika are a match made in heaven, it’s a simple yet effective spice combination for this recipe.
- Extra virgin olive oil. You’ll need a little bit of this for cooking the salmon, it adds flavour and helps the spices to hold onto the salmon.
- Salt and pepper. Essential ingredients to complete the spice mixture.
- Lemon. A squeeze of lemon juice is optional but is lovely for serving the salmon.
See the recipe card for ingredient quantities.
I recommend serving this salmon with a simple kaleslaw salad and either baked potato or brown rice. The ingredients you would need to serve the salmon as suggested are:
- Packet of kaleslaw salad mix. Regular coleslaw veggie mix would work too but I love the extra greens in a good kaleslaw mix.
- Salad dressing. I used a mix of greek yoghurt, mayonnaise and a squeeze of lemon juice to dress the salad pictured, though you could also use something like ranch dressing.
- Feta cheese. A little crumble of feta cheese works really well! Try it. It’s pictured in this blog post.
- Potato or brown rice. Personally I just have to serve a carbohydrate with my main meals, you could leave this out and just do salmon and slaw if you wanted.
Step 1. Combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
Step 2. Line a small baking sheet with baking paper and pop on the salmon, skin side down. Drizzle over some olive oil and then sprinkle on the spice mix. Use your fingers to pat the spice mix into the salmon.
Step 3. Bake the salmon until just cooked through and so the spice mix has caramelised on the top. Serve immediately with your preferred sides.
- Be mindful not to overcook the salmon. Unless you have really, really thick fillets of salmon, they are going to cook quickly and will be done within 15 minutes. Generally speaking it’s nicer if slightly undercooked rather than overcooked.
- This salmon recipe is designed to be enjoyed freshly cooked, however it’s possible to store leftovers for up to two days and eat them cold. It’s quite nice served cold, flaked through a salad.
- I don’t recommend making any alterations to this recipe because there aren’t too many ingredients and each has a role to play! One thing you can do though is add a pinch of chilli flakes if you’d like a spicy edge.
Yes, you can use the brown sugar spice mix with other fish! The same spice mix could be used on other fillets like ocean trout, barramundi, snapper, ling or another firm fish fillet that stands up well to baking.
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see it! Tag me on Instagram or leave me a comment below and let me know how you served up the salmon!
- 300 g salmon fillets (divided into 2 pieces)
- 1 lemon
- salt and pepper extra to season
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 180℃.
- Prepare the spice mix. Combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder and a generous pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Prepare the salmon. Line a small baking sheet with baking paper and place the salmon on the sheet, skin side down. Drizzle over the extra virgin olive oil and then sprinkle the spice mix on top of the salmon. Use your fingers to gently pat the spice mix into the top and sides of the salmon fillets.
- Bake the salmon until it’s just cooked through and the spice mix has caramelised and started to crisp on the top. This will take approximately 15 minutes, give or take a few minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon fillets.
- Serve the salmon immediately with your preferred sides, I recommend kaleslaw, crumbled feta, brown rice and a squeeze of lemon juice.