Take your salmon dinner up a notch and glaze it with rich and tangy citrus sauce! Orange glazed salmon is an easy recipe bursting with the best sweet, spicy, and tangy flavor.
Why you’ll love it: Orange glaze adds excitement and great flavor to this easy salmon recipe.
How long it takes: 40 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: an oven safe skillet
- 1 Recipe Overview
- 2 Crispy Orange-Glazed Salmon
- 3 Why You’ll Love This Glazed Salmon Recipe
- 4 Ingredients you’ll need
- 5 An Essential Kitchen Tool
- 6 How To Make Orange Glazed Salmon
- 7 How To Tell If Salmon is Done
- 8 Tips for Success
- 9 FAQs
- 10 What to serve with orange glazed salmon
- 11 Make This Salmon Recipe Your Own
- 12 Make-Ahead Ideas
- 13 Storage & Reheating Tips
- 14 Free Meal Plan
- 15 More Salmon Recipes
- 16 Get the Recipe: Orange Glazed Salmon
Crispy Orange-Glazed Salmon
I’m excited about this orange glazed salmon though. The orange juice and soy sauce glaze is so flavorful. The salmon can be a weeknight dinner or an easy dinner for entertaining guests. It’s super tasty and the glaze really dresses up the salmon. It’s also kind of gorgeous looking, isn’t it?
Why You’ll Love This Glazed Salmon Recipe
While I’m certainly always looking for exciting new recipes to share with you, my everyday cooking routines are probably pretty similar to yours. That’s why this orange glazed salmon is the perfect weeknight meal! Here’s why:
- Asian-inspired flavors. If you are a fan of the orange chicken often served in Chinese restaurants, you’re going to love this salmon. The glaze for the salmon is based on the recipe I have for orange chicken. Why should chicken have all the fun?
- Pan-seared and roasted. The cooking method used for this salmon is one that I’ve been using more often (it’s how we cook our BBQ salmon, too). The top sides of the salmon fillets are seared in a smoking hot skillet, then they’re flipped and the whole business goes in the oven to finish cooking.
- Perfect texture. The salmon gets that desirable crust on top but finishes cooking more gently in the oven. It works perfectly every time. While the salmon is in the oven, you can putz around and get the glaze ready.
Ingredients you’ll need
I’ll run through the recipe here and give you a few pointers. As always, look for specific measurements, instructions, and nutrition information on the recipe card below.
- Salmon: A serving of salmon is four to six ounces and this recipe is written for 4 servings. If you buy one large fillet, cut it into four equal portions. If you are using frozen salmon, thaw it according to package directions.
- Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt: These three seasonings are rubbed into the salmon fifteen minutes or so before it’s cooked.
- Oranges: You’ll need a couple of oranges. Orange juice is the base of the sauce. Zest the oranges before juicing them; you’ll need both the zest and juice for the glaze.
- Garlic: A couple of cloves of fresh garlic provide just the right amount. It’s not overpowering at all but gives the glaze a nice savory flavor.
- Soy Sauce: Choose low-sodium soy sauce if you can.
- Maple Syrup: Natural maple syrup balances out the tangy orange juice and rice vinegar. If you don’t have real maple syrup, substitute honey or brown sugar.
- Rice Vinegar: Look for plain rice vinegar, also called rice wine vinegar. They are the same thing but avoid seasoned rice vinegar which has a lot of added salt.
- Ground Ginger: Ground ginger is very easy to use but if you prefer, substitute fresh ginger instead.
- Red Pepper Flakes: Dried red peppers add a bit of tingle to your palate. Feel free to increase the amount if you like more heat, or decrease it if you’re sensitive to spiciness.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is added to thicken the glaze just slightly so it nicely coats the salmon. You’ll only need a teaspoon. If you’re not familiar with cornstarch, look for it in the baking aisle. It’s a fine white powder often used for thickening sauces, gravies, or soup. It’s the “secret” ingredient in my chewy chocolate chip cookies, too.
How To Make Orange Glazed Salmon
This easy glazed salmon recipe comes together fast in one skillet! Here’s how to make it:
Prep the salmon. Pat the fillets dry with a paper towel, then rub the fillets with chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Let the salmon rest for 15 minutes at room temperature (this is key to flavorful salmon, see the FAQs section if you’d like to know why).
Cook the salmon. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and heat an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the salmon to the pan, top sides down (skin side on top). Allow the salmon fillets to cook undisturbed for 3 minutes.
Flip and bake. Take the pan off the heat and carefully flip the fillets over. They should release fairly easily if they’ve been seared properly. Put the skillet into the oven and bake the salmon at 400ºF for 8 minutes, so that it finishes cooking.
Prepare the glaze. While the salmon is baking, stir together the glaze ingredients. I like to use a glass measuring cup. When the salmon is cooked, take it out of the oven and carefully transfer the fillets to a plate. Using paper towels, carefully blot out the excess grease remaining in the pan.
Thicken the glaze. Pour the glaze ingredients into the hot skillet and heat it over medium heat. Bring the glaze to a boil, stirring frequently. It will thicken and turn clear within a few minutes.
Glaze the salmon. Add the salmon back to the skillet and spoon the glaze over the fillets until they are nicely coated. Serve immediately.
How To Tell If Salmon is Done
The most accurate way to check the salmon is to insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest portion of the salmon. The recommended internal temperature is between 135 and 145°F. The salmon should flake easily and be opaque all the way through; the center should not be red or translucent.
Tips for Success
Cooking fish can be intimidating, but isn’t as hard as you might think! These are my tips for the best orange glazed salmon:
- Check the salmon for bones. Salmon filets sometimes have “pin bones” that are normally removed before purchase. However, it’s a good idea to check! Run your finger over the filets to find leftover pin bones, and pull them out using tweezers if needed.
- You’ll need an oven-safe skillet, preferably a cast iron skillet or an enameled cast iron skillet. Many nonstick skillets are oven-safe; be sure to check yours beforehand.
- Cook salmon to the right temperature. The USFDA recommends cooking salmon to an internal temperature of 145ºF.
- If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, check that the salmon is done by poking it with a fork at the thickest part of the filet. Salmon that’s cooked through will flake easily with a fork.
According to the USDA, you should not wash fish, including salmon, before cooking. Rinsing raw meat does little to remove the bacteria, and it actually increases the possibility of cross-contamination in your kitchen. Cooking the meat to the proper temperature is the best way to kill bacteria.
Resting salmon for 15 minutes before cooking allows the seasonings to permeate, and gives the salmon time to warm to room temperature. Ice-cold salmon doesn’t cook as evenly; the outside layer gets done before the insides have a chance to heat up.
What to serve with orange glazed salmon
Steamed jasmine rice and broccoli (as pictured) are easy sides for salmon because they benefit from the orange sauce, too. Creamy mashed sweet potatoes and sautéed Brussels sprouts also make a fine meal with this flavorful salmon recipe!
Or, serve your salmon alongside a hearty salad. Try quinoa salad with orange & grapes. Since the salad also has oranges, it’s perfect with the orange salmon. You can make it up to one day ahead. We also love this quinoa chickpea salad with blackberries & candied pepitas or a kale sweet potato salad.
Make This Salmon Recipe Your Own
There are many ways that you can adapt this easy glazed salmon to suit your tastes. Try these variation ideas:
- Add fresh rosemary. Enhance the orange glaze with bits of fresh rosemary. Add a teaspoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary to the glaze and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
- Grill the salmon. If you prefer grilled salmon instead of oven-baked, cook the glaze in a small saucepan and add it to the salmon after it’s grilled. Try soy-marinated grilled salmon.
- Air fry the salmon. See the recipe card for instructions.
- Prefer teriyaki? Try my teriyaki salmon. The homemade teriyaki sauce is easy to make and can be used on chicken, pork, or shrimp, too.
- More seafood and citrus combinations: Try shrimp with chimichurri rice. It’s loaded with orange segments, juice, and zest. Another citrusy favorite is easy fish tacos with blood orange salsa. The salsa is so good! The classic lemon salmon with dill is always a crowd-pleaser, too.
To save time, prepare the glaze up to 1 day ahead of time. Stir together all the ingredients (don’t cook them) and refrigerate. Be sure to give the sauce a good stir before adding it to the skillet because cornstarch has a tendency to settle.
Storage & Reheating Tips
- Refrigerate: While salmon is best served right away, leftovers are good, too. Cover the salmon with plastic wrap or put it into an airtight container. Refrigerate for three to four days.
- Freeze: You can freeze leftover salmon if needed, however, the texture will suffer a bit. Allow the cooked salmon to cool completely to room temperature before packaging in a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze salmon for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- Reheating: To reheat individual portions, microwave in 30-second bursts until heated. If you prefer, reheat salmon in a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat.
For the Salmon:
For the Glaze:
- ½ cup fresh orange juice, about 2 oranges (zest your orange first!)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
- Cut salmon into 4 serving size pieces if you have one large fillet. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Sprinkle the top of each salmon fillet with salt, chili powder, and garlic powder. Let salmon sit at room temperature about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F.
- Heat large cast iron or enameled skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan or enough to lightly cover the bottom of the skillet. Place salmon fillets in skillet, skin side up, and sear for 3 minutes. Remove pa from heat and flip fillets over. Salmon should release fairly easily from pan.
- Place skillet with salmon in preheated oven and bake for 8 minutes (until internal temperature reaches 145°F or desired temperature).
- While the salmon bakes, prepare the glaze. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
- When the salmon finishes baking, remove from pan and place on a plate. Carefully wipe oil from pan using a paper towel.
- Place pan back on the stove over medium heat and add glaze ingredients. Cook, stirring frequently, until glaze thickens, 3-4 minutes.
- Return salmon to pan, spooning glaze over fillets. Serve immediately.
- If you’re cooking for two, simply halve all the ingredients.
- Air Fryer: Season salmon as directed. Air fry at 400°F skin side down for 8 to 10 minutes or until done. Meanwhile, prepare glaze. Cook glaze in small saucepan until clear and thickened, about 5 minutes. When salmon is done, remove from air fryer and brush with glaze. Air fry 1 to 2 minutes to set glaze, if desired.
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.