This Baked Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze is fancy enough for a party but simple enough for a weeknight dinner. Start to finish it takes less than 30 minutes and the seasonings are amazing! Check out my salmon buying tips to pick the perfect fish!
I never thought I liked salmon until somebody made it right! Then I was hooked! I’ve been baking salmon ever since.
The Secret to Great Salmon in the Oven
My secrets for great salmon are buying a good wild caught fish, using the right combination of spices, and being careful not to overcook the fish. Simple, right?
A nice wild salmon won’t taste strongly of “fish” but instead will have a lovely light flavor. The combination of pepper and smoked paprika sweetened with brown sugar is the perfect compliment.
I serve this fish for special events and for a quick weeknight dinner with salad and rice. It is flavorful but not spicy and even kids enjoy it. Don’t be surprised when there are no leftovers!
This salmon has excellent flavor by itself but I love tarter sauce with fish. My homemade sauce just takes a few minutes to make and delicious!
Baked Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze
- 1 salmon fillet 2-2 ½ lbs
- ¼ cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. black pepper coursely ground
- ½ tsp. salt
- Update: Make sure to check the fish every few minutes while it is cooking. Sugar glazes can burn easily under a broiler and should be monitored closely.
Tip: Use the vent fan on your stove. The sugar glaze will melt into the fish and some will run off onto the foil. The glaze on the foil may burn but the fish and the glaze on the fish are fine. When the fish is done, lift it off the pan and place it on a serving platter. Discard the foil (in an outside trash) and you are all set.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika, pepper and salt.
- Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source. Line a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides) with aluminum foil, and spray with nonstick spray.
- If you plan to eat the skin, remove the scales by scaling the fish skin with the back side of your knife. (If you are unfamiliar with this there are lots of instructional videos online.)
- Place the salmon fillet skin-side down on the prepared pan. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the fish.
- Broil the salmon until it is cooked to your desired level of doneness - 12-15 minutes. Some people like it a bit under done and some people like it well done where the fish is almost hard and flaky through. My suggestion is to cook it until the entire fish is just firm but does not quite flake into solid chunks. This is a medium option that has good flavor and is not too dry.
Fix your recipie. I followed it exactly and it burned my fish and left an awful odor. If you left anything out fix it this recipe could set a house on fire. Think woman
First of all I am very sorry the recipe did not work out for you. I did go back and look over as you requested and the recipe is correct as written. I’ve made this quite a bit. When following any recipe it is a good idea to keep in mind that you should keep an eye on what you are cooking as all ovens cook differently. If you don’t keep an eye on your cooking you actually could set a house on fire (I know somebody who did that!)
One last thought: The way you gave your feedback hurt my feelings. I’m a real person who writes recipes in her home office and shares them free with you on this blog. I have feelings and hurtful comments are just as hard for me as they would be for you.
I agree with the cook. No one likes a nasty comment. If something went wrong,ask for help. Dont assume it’s in the directions. Appreciate someone took the time to give you a free recipe. That took a lot of time,effort and heart.
Shame on you!
Thank you, Jackie.
Agree..with the cooks comments. Watch what you bake because all ovens are different. My last house my oven was Great. My new house my oven tends to get super hot. I have to adjust.
I tend to dip salmon (and soak venison in milk for a day to get game taste out) in milk to get some of the fish tastes a little mellow. Then dry off dip in melted butter (be careful butter hot) and than dip in brown sugar with spices. A little different approach but the same outcome.
We just moved in May and the house we bought came with a new stove/oven. It was a well liked brand and considered high quality but for some reason ours was funky. I could not make a decent cookie to save my life! After tons of tweaking (and a few tears) we tossed it to the curb and replaced it. I have several friends with consistent baking issues that resist trouble shooting and now I wonder how often a faulty or unpredictable oven may be to blame! I love the idea of soaking it in milk and dipping in butter! It is on my must try list. Thank you for sharing!
I unfortunately had the same experience. It was quite awful. I don’t know if we’re misunderstanding the broil part but my house was filled with smoke and the smell was terrible. Not exactly pleasant for a pregnant lady. Maybe if you could provide clarification that might help.
Oh Laura – I’m so sorry. Pregnancy is hard enough without a house full of smoke and a nice dinner ruined! I’ve added a recipe note at the beginning to watch the fish closely checking every few minutes which I hope will help. But I am going to pick up some salmon today or tomorrow and make this again ASAP. I have not made it in several months and I want to check and see if there is somehow an error I’m forgetting in the recipe. My goal is to make sure recipes are easy for any level of cook to create in their own home. If I’ve missed that mark I want to correct it. When I’ve had a chance to work the recipe over I will make any needed updates and check back with you.
Laura, I wanted to get back to you and let you know I tested the recipe again just to see if I could figure out what is happening. I used a different oven than the one I used last time to see if maybe there was something oven specific. From my trials I think what you were experiencing was some of the sugar glaze running off the fish and burning on the foil. While the glaze on the foil is burned the fish is still fine. However, with that in mind I don’t think this is a good fit for pregnancy! But then I’m a pregnancy uber wimp – my body just does not do great with it. I’ve put a extensive note at the top of the recipe to try to make sure this is clear for future users. I’m sorry you for the hassle you went through.
I just made this and the glaze is amazing! I definitely had to throw out the foil right away because of the smell/smoke though. I will definitely be using this glaze recipe again, but next time bake it in the oven and add the glaze topping in the last 5 min or so and broil only for a few min
Hi Sarah – thanks for your honest feedback! I want to try the glaze on the grill next summer and see how it does. It seems this is one that would do well as an outdoor recipe! Your adaptations sound like a good option 🙂
I just tried this recipe and it was awesome! I set my jennair oven on high broil and cooked it for 12 minutes and it came out perfect and juicy! I love the sweet, smoky, spicy flavor! Thanks for sharing this recipe! It’s definitely one of my faves!
Hi Marvin! Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad you liked the recipe. This is one of my favorite ways to do salmon 🙂
I made this tonight and it was amazing! I will definitely make this again. I used just a little more brown sugar because I like the crustiness on the top of the salmon.
Hi Mary – Thank you so much! So glad to hear it was wonderful 🙂 That brown sugar crust – YUM!