This 10-Minute Sweet and Smoky Oven Baked Salmon has everything you love in a quick and easy meal! Each bite is perfectly balanced between sweet and savory and the easy herb salad on top adds layers of fresh flavors. It’s delicious, family-friendly, and perfect for lunches!Jump to Recipe
Easy spicy baked salmon recipe
There’s never a bad time for an Oven Baked Salmon Recipe! It takes almost no time to prep and cook salmon in the oven. Dressed in a miso glaze, simple herbs, and seasonings, or a parmesan herb crust, there are a million ways to flavor and serve oven-baked salmon for dinner.
When you’re craving big flavors, turn to this 10-Minute Sweet and Smoky Oven Baked Salmon. The salmon filet is seasoned and dressed with simple ingredients to create sweet, smoky, and herbaceous bites. All you need is:
- Brown sugar
- Pantry-staple spices
- And a fresh herb salad
This sweet and savory baked salmon is delightfully tender, moist, and flaky. The herb salad on top helps tone down the spice and freshens up every bite. It’s all done in 10 minutes, making for a delicious and easy weeknight dinner!
Tools you will need for this Oven Baked Salmon Recipe
Sweet and smoky salmon ingredients
- Salmon filet – Because salmon is the star of the show, try to go with a high-quality, wild-caught filet. I used a 2 pound boneless, skin-on filet. When shopping, look for a coho, king, or sockeye filet that’s bright pink and without any blemishes.
- Brown sugar – This is the “sweet” in this sweet and savory salmon recipe! The rich, molasses-like sweetness from brown sugar complements the flaky, buttery salmon perfectly.
- Smoky seasonings – Chili powder, sweet paprika, and garlic powder are mixed together to create a smoky rub for the salmon. The end result is perfectly balanced between smoky, savory, and sweet.
- Herb salad – Fresh cilantro, chives, and mint dressed in lemon juice and olive oil is a simple, fresh, and bright finishing touch. It really helps every bite pop.
How to make a sweet and smoky oven baked salmon
This simple salmon recipe tenderizes in the oven and is nowhere near as oily as pan-fried salmon. It’s a really easy 10-minute recipe you can make for family dinners, meal prep, or healthy lunches:
- Prep the salmon filet.
Place the filet skin side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and dry both sides really well with paper towels. Brush the flesh with olive oil and sprinkle salt on top.
- Mix the sugar and spices together.
Add the brown sugar and spices to a small bowl and mix to combine. Rub it all over the salmon.
- Bake the salmon.
Bake the sweet and smoky salmon for 10 minutes or until it begins to turn opaque on the outside.
- Make the herb salad.
Chop the herbs and place them in a bowl. Toss the herbs in olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with a little salt to taste.
- Serve and enjoy!
Serve each slice of salmon filet with herb salad on top and rice on the side. Enjoy!
Tips and variations
- You can make this recipe with frozen salmon. Just thaw it in the fridge before baking.
- The recipe calls for sweet paprika, which is brighter and sweeter than regular paprika. If you can’t find sweet paprika, use regular paprika instead.
- For a stronger smoky flavor, replace the sweet paprika with smoked paprika.
- Can you handle some spice? Then add a small pinch of cayenne pepper to the dry rub.
- Squeeze some fresh lime juice over the cooked salmon for a pop of citrus.
How to serve sweet and spicy baked salmon
The options are practically endless here. Serve your salmon filet any way you like:
- As a main: There’s nothing quite like a simple 10-minute salmon recipe for dinner. Serve this quick meal next to more healthy sides, like cauliflower mash, baked asparagus, and street corn salad.
- In grain bowls: Cook up some brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice and add it to a bowl. Add a few cubes of the spicy baked salmon on top along with a ton of fresh toppings like pickled red onions, avocado, greens, and radishes.
- In tacos: Chop up the salmon and layer it into corn tortillas with avocado, cabbage slaw, and spicy mayonnaise.
- For meal prep: A slice of baked salmon with roasted vegetables and salad makes for a healthy and filling weekday lunch.
- For dinner parties: It’s sure to wow a crowd!
Frequently asked questions
High-quality wild-caught salmon is very nutritious and full of vitamins and minerals. It’s a great source of omega 3’s, B vitamins, protein, potassium, and so much more!
A 2-pound salmon filet should only need to bake for 10 minutes in a 400ºF oven. If your filet is a little bigger, leave it in for an extra 3 to 5 minutes.
The finished salmon filet will go from a pink color to opaque on the outside and slightly pink on the inside. If you aren’t sure if it’s done, use an instant read thermometer to check the doneness. A rare to medium filet will have an internal temperature of 115°F – 125°F, and a well-done filet will be between 125°F – 140ºF. If your salmon is over 140ºF, then it’s overcooked.
The salmon is ready to bake as soon as you add the dry rub! There’s no need to let it marinate.
Sure! Bake the salmon 1 day ahead of serving and keep it covered in your fridge. The leftovers are delicious the next day as is or with a salad or a rice bowl!
Looking for more easy salmon recipes?
If you give this 10-Minute Sweet and Smoky Oven Baked Salmon a try, let me know in the comments below. I love seeing your pictures too, so please tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog and use #lenaskitchenblog so I can share them on my page!
10-Minute Sweet and Smoky Oven Baked Salmon
Sweet and Spicy Salmon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lb salmon filet skin on, bones removed
Fresh Herb Salad
- 1 cup cilantro leaves and soft stems, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup chives roughly chopped
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves only, roughly chopped
- 1 medium lemon zested
- ½ medium lemon juiced
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sweet and Spicy Salmon
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Place the salmon fillet skin-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pat the salmon dry on both sides with a paper towel. Brush the flesh of the salmon with olive oil. Sprinkle it with salt.
- Add all the spices and sugar into a small bowl and mix to combine. Sprinkle on salmon evenly.
- Bake for 10 minutes. (If your salmon is thicker, add an additional 3-5 minutes.) Remove to a platter for serving.
Fresh Herb Salad
- While salmon cooks. Chop all your herbs, add to a bowl. Add olive oil, lemon zest, and juice. Season with salt. Toss gently.
- Once salmon is done cooking, top with herb salad. Enjoy with a side of rice.
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