This easy Salmon Marinade is savory, zippy, fresh, and will make your fillets taste the best! Just 30 minutes is all you need to give salmon big-time flavor, using simple pantry ingredients.
When it comes to fast, healthy dinners, salmon is a star.
It lends itself well to a variety of preparation methods, is high in nutrients (omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and more!), and individual salmon portions cook in fewer than 10 minutes.
Sure, salmon tastes nice enough with salt and pepper, but it can get a little dull.
Adding a marinade to salmon is a fast, easy, and ultra-effective way to elevate it to a dish that’s worthy of a restaurant.
Grilling salmon makes dinner feel fresh!
Why You’ll Love this Salmon Marinade Recipe
This recipe is my go-to, absolute favorite salmon marinade for the oven, grill, air fryer, or however you like to cook your salmon.
- It uses soy sauce for salt and umami, honey or pure maple syrup for sweetness (salmon loves sweet!), and Dijon mustard for balance and zip.
- This easy salmon marinade takes all of 2 minutes to stir together, and I love that it calls for pantry ingredients so you can whip it up any time.
- You can use it for any preparation method. Grilled Salmon, Baked Salmon, Air Fryer Salmon, Instant Pot Salmon, Broiled Salmon, and Grilled Salmon in Foil are all possible ways to use this tasty marinade.
Salmon Marinating Tips and Tricks
- Marinate Salmon for 30 Minutes or Up to 1 Hour. If you marinate it for longer, the fish can start to cure, which means it will actually cook itself in the marinade.
- Room Temperature. If you are marinating the salmon for 30 minutes, you are fine to leave it at room temperature (refrigerate to marinate for longer). Prior to cooking, let the salmon stand at room temperature.
- Work with What You’ve Got. Marinades need salt, acid, and fat, and the rest is up to you. If you don’t have soy sauce, use a pinch of salt. No Dijon? Try adding a squeeze of lemon juice. Love Italian herbs like parsley? Toss ‘em in here! Hot for heat? Add some red pepper flakes.
- DO NOT OVERCOOK THE SALMON. No matter what cooking method you use or how carefully you marinate the fish, if you overcook it, it will taste dry. The best way to know if your salmon is done to
The Best Salmon Marinade Recipe
This simple, worthwhile soy salmon marinade works quickly to give you succulent, flavorful salmon.
No time to marinate? Use this Salmon Seasoning instead!
- Salmon. Salmon is an ideal candidate for a marinade, because it can stand up to a wide range of flavors. The fish absorbs the flavors and moisture from the marinade, ensuring it stays juicy during the cooking process. Salmon is rich in protein, omega-3s, and vitamins.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Adds richness and moisture to the marinade. Olive oil also acts as the binding agent for all the marinade ingredients.
- Soy Sauce. Umami-packed soy sauce gives this marinade a flavor boost and acts as the salt to ensure it’s properly seasoned.
- Honey. I opted for honey to naturally sweeten the marinade. The honey caramelizes during the cooking process, creating exceptionally tasty texture and flavor.
- Dijon Mustard. Zippy and tangy. It’s the ideal acidic complement to the savory soy sauce and sweet honey.
- Spices. Garlic powder and black pepper are all that’s needed to complete this flavorful marinade.
- Dry the salmon and place it in a ziptop bag.
- Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Pour the mixture over the salmon.
- Seal the bag, then marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour.
- Remove the salmon from the marinade, and cook it using your preferred method. For the oven, bake the fish on a baking sheet at 400 degrees F for 11 to 14 minutes for 6-ounce fillets or 15 to 18 minutes for a single side. Let rest.
- For the grill, place the fish skin-side down on the grill grates over medium-high heat. Grill for 6 to 7 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 to 4 minutes. Let rest. ENJOY!
More Ways to Season Salmon
Here are some additional ideas of what to season your salmon with:
- To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
- To Reheat. Very gently rewarm salmon in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze salmon in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Whisk the marinade ingredients together up to 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate the mixture until you’re ready to add the salmon.
What to Serve with Marinated Salmon
- Measuring Cup. When marinating salmon, I like to use a measuring cup like this to prepare the marinade.
- Baking Sheet. Use the pan to bake or transfer the salmon fillets to the grill.
- Instant Read Thermometer. The best way to check your salmon for doneness.
This soy sauce/honey/Dijon/garlic situation is a timeless combination.
You’ll cook salmon with this healthy marinade again and again!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can certainly adapt this salmon recipe as you wish or come up with a different marinade altogether. Delicious salmon marinades require a blend of salt, fat, and acidity. Have orange juice on hand? Use my Orange Chicken Marinade for inspiration. Prefer lime juice? My Chicken Thigh Marinade is a great recipe to reference for ideas.
Salmon should marinate for no longer than 4 hours in the refrigerator. I HIGHLY recommend marinating for an hour or less if possible. It only takes a short time to marinate salmon effectively. If you marinate salmon for too long, the fish can start to break down.
No, you do not have to use a marinade for salmon (as my Pesto Salmon and Pan Seared Salmon prove). However, using a marinade enhances the flavor of salmon and helps keep it moist.
Yes, you can marinate frozen salmon, but you need to ensure it’s thawed completely first. The marinade won’t work properly if the fish is still frozen in the middle.
Pat the salmon dry and place in a ziptop bag.
In a measuring cup with a spout or mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, honey, Dijon, garlic powder, and black pepper.
Pour over the top of the fish.
Seal the bag, removing as much excess air as you can, then set in a dish or on a plate to catch any possible drips. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 1 hour (after 1 hour, fish tends to get mushy when marinated but if you MUST, you can refrigerate for up to 4 hours).
Cook the salmon, using your preferred method. OVEN: Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper and place the salmon in the center (if using fillets, make sure they do not touch). Bake at 400°F for 11 to 14 minutes for 6-ounce fillets or 15 to 18 minutes for a single side, until the salmon registers 135°F on an instant read thermometer inserted at the thickest part of the salmon (the FDA recommends 145°F; I prefer to remove the salmon and let it rest so that it doesn’t taste dry). Remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes.
GRILL: Place the salmon skin-side down on a HOT grill. Let cook without disturbing until the salmon releases easily with a spatula, about 6 to 7 minutes. Flip and cook on the flesh side, about 2 to 4 minutes more depending upon your grill temperature. Remove to a plate and let rest 5 minutes.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
- TO REHEAT: Very gently rewarm salmon in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze salmon in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Serving: 1 (of 4)Calories: 406kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 35gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 94mgPotassium: 898mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 74IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 2mg
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