Honey Lemon Salmon

5 from 79 votes

You can make this Honey Lemon Salmon with only a handful of ingredients and any skillet. It's quick & easy for healthy weeknight dinners or fancy occasions

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This honey Lemon Salmon is delicious and so quick to make. I’m talking on the table in 20 minutes! It’s so full of flavor, too. Tender, flaky salmon, pan-fried and covered in a sweet, sticky lemon glaze. Serve your lemon honey salmon with a hearty salad or rice side dish, and you’ve created a fast and family-friendly dinner that hits all the marks.

Plate of kale quinoa salad topped with honey lemon salmon

Table of Contents

  1. Recipe At a Glance
  2. Ingredients to Make Honey Lemon Salmon
  3. Popular Substitutions & Additions
  4. How to Make Honey Lemon Salmon
  5. Tips for making the best honey lemon salmon
  6. What to Serve With Lemon Honey Salmon
  7. How to Store & Reheat Honey Lemon Salmon
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. More Salmon recipes:
  10. Honey Lemon Salmon Recipe

If you’re like most home cooks, you stay away from cooking fish at home for fear of making it too dry or getting a fishy taste. But this lemon honey salmon might be just what you need! It’s pretty much a foolproof method of cooking salmon on the stovetop with only a handful of ingredients, resulting in golden and caramelized salmon with a tender, flaky interior. 

This cooking method works with as few ingredients as salmon, salt, pepper, and olive oil. But I’ve added a sweet and tangy honey lemon sauce to make it a little more special. Still, the technique is the same and adaptable for any other sauces or seasonings you’d like. 

Salmon with honey and lemon might be the perfect weeknight dinner recipe, but it’s also impressive enough for fancy occasions. Make for your next dinner party and be prepared for recipe requests! 

Recipe At a Glance

Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Stovetop
Dietary Info: Dairy-free, can be gluten-free with tamari
Key Flavor: Buttery and sweet
Skill Level: Beginner

Summary

  • Quick recipe with easy clean-up: Pan fried honey lemon salmon is fast to make, and the one-pan prep makes clean-up easy, too. 
  • Foolproof pan-searing method: Pan-searing is an easy way to cook salmon quickly and perfectly, with a golden caramelized exterior and a tender, flaky interior. 
  • Versatile recipe: This delicious weeknight dinner recipe is also special enough for fancy occasions.
  • Healthy & nutritious: Salmon is a hearty, nutrient-dense food. It’s high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids while low in saturated fats. The lemon adds a little boost of vitamin C, too!

Ingredients to Make Honey Lemon Salmon

Ingredients to make the recipe including salmon, lemon, honey, coconut oil, along with kale, quinoa, cherries and feta cheese for the salad
  • Salmon: I like to use fresh, wild-caught, skinless salmon for this recipe.
  • Honey: Adds sweetness and lends a sticky quality to the glaze.
  • Lemon: Use the zest and the juice for the brightest, zingiest flavor.
  • Soy sauce: Adds salty, umami flavor that pairs perfectly with salmon and honey-lemon flavors.
  • Herbs & spices: Garlic powder, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  • Olive oil: Full of healthy fats and with a subtle fruity flavor, olive oil is a great choice for pan-frying salmon.
  • Swap out the honey: If you don’t have honey on hand, pure maple syrup or agave syrup are good substitutes.
  • Replace the lemon with lime: Lime is delicious with salmon! Replacing the parsley with cilantro will set off the lime flavors even more.
  • Make it gluten-free: Soy sauce contains gluten, so if you’re looking for a gluten-free option, try subbing in tamari sauce or liquid aminos.

How to Make Honey Lemon Salmon

This salmon recipe couldn’t be easier to make! First, you stir together the short list of sauce ingredients in a small bowl, then prepare the salmon and sear it in your skillet. Finally, add the sauce to the skillet with the salmon and finish cooking the salmon while the sauce thickens into a sticky glaze.

Prepare the honey lemon glaze

  1. Add the honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, soy sauce, and garlic to a small bowl.
  2. Whisk together until combined.
2 image collage showing glaze ingredients in a bowl and then whisking together.

How to make honey lemon salmon

  1. Pat both sides of the salmon dry with a paper towel.
  2. Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the olive oil to the skillet. When hot, add the salmon.
  4. Carefully flip the salmon and continue cooking.
  5. Pour the glaze over the salmon.
  6. Let the glaze bubble and thicken, spooning it over the salmon fillets as it thickens.
6 image collage making recipe: 1- patting salmon dry with paper towels, 2- salmon seasoned with salt and pepper, 3- salmon in a skillet, 4- after flipping over, 5- glazed poured over, 6- after the glaze has thickened and coats the salmon.

Tips for making the best honey lemon salmon

  • Dry the salmon with a paper towel. There is a lot of moisture in salmon, so you want to make sure to pat it dry before cooking it.
  • Make sure the pan is hot before adding the salmon. When you heat the oil in the pan, you want to make sure it’s shimmering but not smoking. I recommend heating the oil on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. If you hear a sizzle when the fillet hits the pan, you know it was heated well!
  • Don’t crowd the pan. If the skillet is crowded with salmon, there will inherently be a lot of moisture in the pan, which could affect the sear on the salmon. To avoid that, cook in batches or use an extra large skillet so that the salmon fillets are not touching in the pan.
Flipping the salmon over to sear the skin side

What to Serve With Lemon Honey Salmon

How to Store & Reheat Honey Lemon Salmon

Cooked salmon will keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, add a bit of oil to a skillet to keep the salmon from sticking, place the cooked salmon in the warm skillet, and cook until warmed through.

How Long Does Salmon Last in the Fridge?

It will last in the refrigerator for about three days.

Can I Freeze Salmon with Honey and Lemon?

Yes! Wrap your cooked salmon tightly in plastic wrap or place it in a freezer-safe container. It will last for up to three months. 

To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat the cooked salmon in a skillet. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know when salmon is cooked?

Salmon will change in color from a translucent red when raw to an opaque pink when cooked. To check for doneness, try to flake the thickest part of the fish with a fork. The color should be opaque pink and it should flake easily.

What is the best type of salmon to eat?

It depends on your preference! Wild-caught varieties have a stronger salmon taste, and farmed, often labeled “Atlantic” salmon, tends to be milder. Both are full of beneficial nutrients.

Can I use a different type of fish?

Yes, other types of fish will work with this cooking method too. Cooking times can vary, though, depending on the type of fish and how thick it is.

Honey lemon salmon on a bed of greens

Honey Lemon Salmon is so full of flavor and such a terrific dinner recipe, whether it’s a weeknight or a special occasion. Nobody can resist this perfectly pan-fried honey lemon salmon with its sweet-and-tangy glaze, and when served up with a simple side salad or potatoes, it’s the perfect cornerstone of a hearty and healthy meal.

More Salmon recipes:

If you try this feel good Honey Lemon Salmon recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

Honey Lemon Salmon

You can make this Honey Lemon Salmon with only a handful of ingredients and any skillet. It's quick & easy for healthy weeknight dinners or fancy occasions
5 from 79 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Calories 349
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 4 6- ounce skinless salmon fillets
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Lemons wedges for serving
  • Chopped parsley for serving

Instructions

  • Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, soy sauce, and garlic. Set the glaze aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the salmon presentation side down, and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  • Carefully flip the salmon and continue cooking for 1 more minute.
  • Pour the honey lemon glaze over the salmon fillets in the pan. Allow the glaze to bubble and thicken for about 3-4 minutes, spooning it over the fillets as it thickens.
  • Serve immediately, drizzling any remaining glaze from the pan over the fillets.

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last up to 3 days in the fridge. To reheat, place on a pan and reheat until warmed through.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • Instead of lemon juice, you can use lime juice or another type of vinegar like red wine vinegar.
  • Instead of honey, you can use maple syrup or agave syrup. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1fillet, Calories: 349kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 94mg, Sodium: 619mg, Potassium: 899mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 75IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Entree

This honey lemon salmon recipe was originally published on June 10, 2019 and has recently been updated with a new and improved glaze, step by step instructions, and new photography.

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Comments

    1. Yes,I haven’t tested it yet but I do have a method for Air Fryer Salmon here, you could just swap the seasoning up by basting the salmon with the honey lemon mixture two times during the cooking process.

      1. Thanks so much!!!! Discovered your blog last night, we just bought the air fryer, did a google search for recipes …. got fascinated with your blog, got lost into so much goodness!!! will let you know how dishes turn out 🙂

    1. To make the salad, I tossed kale, quinoa, feta cheese, and pitted cherries with lemon juice and olive oil to serve with the honey lemon salmon.

  1. This was delicious but my salmon skin stuck to the pan and didn’t get crispy. Any suggestions?

  2. I made this tonight for dinner! It was yummy! I love all of the recipes that I’ve tried so far! You have made my life easier! Can’t wait to try other recipes!