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Want salmon dinner ideas? These easy salmon recipes are some of the best ways to include this tender fish on your table!

Salmon recipes

Looking for salmon dinner ideas? This tender fish is a popular choice when it comes to dinner, but it’s notoriously tricky to cook it right. Here at A Couple Cooks, we’ve become salmon experts by testing out all the best salmon recipes to make dinnertime delicious! Try it seared, baked, or grilled, with a butter sauce or smothered in a sticky glaze. Or think outside the fillet with burgers, tacos, salad and more!

Looking for basics? Try pan seared salmon, marinaded salmon, grilled salmon, or baked salmon. Learn how to buy good salmon and how to tell when it’s done. Or find out what to do with leftover salmon.

And now…our top salmon recipes!

Tips for buying good salmon

When buying salmon for these salmon recipes, there’s one rule to keep in mind: get the best quality fish you can find and afford! Low quality salmon can taste very fishy and have a mushy texture, or have a lot of that white stuff when it’s cooked (see below). The quality of the fish can make or break a dish. Here’s what to look for:

  • Look for wild caught salmon. Fish that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. (There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.)
  • Tend toward fresh salmon. Buying salmon fresh from the fish counter usually has the best flavor. But frozen can work too. Just try to find higher quality frozen salmon and not a big economy-sized bag (we’ve found this type can taste very fishy).
  • Know your types of salmon. Coho salmon has a nice mild flavor: it’s a good middle of the road option in terms of price. Of course, King salmon is incredible but it’s on the expensive end. Atlantic salmon is often farmed, but can be a sustainable option; we find it’s better when purchased from a fresh counter (versus frozen). Ask about its source at the fish counter.

Main methods for cooking salmon

There are five major methods for how to cook salmon, which are reflected in the salmon recipes above! No matter the method, we recommend using a food thermometer to assess doneness. Salmon is done when the internal temperature measures 125 to 130°F at the thickest point for medium cooked salmon (medium rare is 120°F). The fish will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat. To ensure full safety, the FDA recommended temperature for seafood is 145 degrees, or well done.

Salmon Cooking MethodCook Time (depends on thickness)
Pan Seared Salmon4 to 8 minutes on medium high heat
(2 to 3 minutes skin side up, then flip for 2 to 5 minutes more)
Baked Salmon13 to 16 minutes at 325°F
Broiled Salmon4 to 5 minutes for very thin, or 7 to 10 minutes for 1-inch thick salmon
Grilled Salmon5 to 10 minutes on medium high heat (375 to 450°F)
(3 to 5 minutes skin side up until grill marks appear and it releases from the grates, then flip and cook 2 to 5 minutes more)
Poached Salmon
7 minutes for thin salmon and 10 minutes for thick salmon

The white stuff: albumin

Ever noticed that gooey white stuff that sometimes appears on the surface of the fish after it’s cooked? It’s perfectly normal: it’s coagulated protein that seeps to the surface while cooking, called albuminThe amount of albumin varies greatly depending on the specific piece of fish you buy, so it’s not something you can control. (Read more here.) It’s safe to eat, but it does look less than appetizing on top of a beautiful fillet. Here are a few ways to reduce the albumin when you cook salmon:

  • Cook it at a lower temperature to cook it more gently (325 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Brine the salmon in a salt and water solution before baking.

More with salmon

There are so many ways to enjoy this tasty, tender fish! Here are a few more ideas:

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Honey garlic salmon

35 Easy Salmon Recipes

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This honey garlic salmon recipe bursts with sweet and savory flavor from the sticky glaze! It’s an easy salmon dinner idea that will impress everyone.


  • 1 pound salmon fillets, skin on
  • ½ tablespoon neutral oil, for pan frying
  • ¼ cup regular soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • For the garnish: Minced green onions, toasted sesame seeds


  1. Place the salmon on a plate on the counter and allow it to come to room temperature before cooking, about 15 to 20 minutes (this is about the time it takes for the oven to preheat). Pat the fillets dry, then rub neutral oil on all sides of salmon. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce (makes ½ cup): In a small saucepan, combine the soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, oil, garlic powder, grated ginger and grated garlic over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and whisk until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. (Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.) Divide the honey garlic sauce into a bowl with 3 tablespoons and a bowl with the remainder.
  5. When the oven is preheated, heat a dry oven-proof skillet over high heat until very hot. Place the salmon skin side up onto the hot skillet. Cook without touching for 2 to 3 minutes to sear the top of the salmon, until the center of the salmon is starting to cook and you see a layer of cooked flesh. Turn off the heat and use a thin spatula to flip the salmon. Brush the top and sides of the salmon with the reserved 3 tablespoons honey garlic sauce.
  6. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes (depending on thickness of salmon), until just cooked through. The internal temperature should be between 125 to 130°F when measured at the thickest point of the fillet.
  7. Use a hot pad to remove the skillet from the oven. Spoon the desired amount of remaining honey garlic sauce onto the top (typically we use another 3 tablespoons). Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onions and serve.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Salmon recipes, salmon recipe, easy salmon recipes, salmon dinner ideas

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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