A side of salmon is the perfect dish to feed a crowd and the honey and garlic butter gives it the most incredible flavour. A super simple salmon recipe that can all be done in one pan. The perfect blend of sweet and savoury, and flakey salmon with crispy edges. An impressive dish, that takes just minutes to put together.
We love meals that look far more impressive than they actually are, and this honey garlic side of salmon is definitely that. It looks amazing, but it's literally just 4 ingredients mixed together and poured over salmon and then baked. If you haven't cooked fish much, then this is a good place to start.
Ready in just 25 minutes, you get perfectly cooked salmon every time. Serve it with some delicious side dishes for an easy dinner party main, or flake it up and freeze for adding to meals at a later date.
Why you will love it
- Quick and easy - Just a couple of minutes of prep time goes in to making this side of salmon, and then you can just let it cook to perfection.
- Minimal ingredients - Only 6 ingredients are needed to make this.
- All done in one pan - Less washing up is good with us.
- Great for feeding a crowd - Using a side of salmon means that this dish goes a long way, especially when served with lots of sides.
- Salmon - We have used a whole side of salmon for this recipe and wild caught is always best. If that is too much, or you can't buy that, then you could use salmon fillets instead (you would beed to adjust the cooking time).
- Butter - This is what helps to form the sauce, along with the honey and lemon, and keeps the salmon nice and moist. We used an unsalted butter.
- Garlic - This adds a nice kick to the salmon. If you aren't a fan of garlic, then you could leave it out and equally if you love it then you can use more. Freshly crushed is always best, but you could use garlic paste to save time. If you are crushing it yourself, make sure it is finely crushed, as it will ensure even distribution across the sauce.
- Honey - We find that it balances out the tartness of the lemon. Try to use the best quality that you can, as you will be able to taste the difference. You could swap it for maple syrup.
- Lemon - This adds a lovely freshness to the salmon. Make sure it is a nice juicy lemon, otherwise you might have to use more. We use lemon juice and then add some slices on top too, which make it look really pretty.
- Parsley - Lemon and parsley is such a delicious flavour combination. However, you could swap it for rosemary, thyme or basil which all go well with salmon. Always us fresh.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Preheat your oven at 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Melt the butter and add the honey, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix well.
Two: Put the side of salmon on a large baking tray and pour over the mixture. Put slices of lemon on top.
Three: Put in the oven for 25 minutes. Baste half way through.
Four: Scatter over fresh herbs and serve.
Health benefits of salmon
Salmon is a really healthy fish, with many nutritional benefits. Here are just a few:
- It is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure.
- Salmon is rich in protein - a 100g (3.5oz) portion contains 25g of protein.
- Contains high amounts of B vitamins. These are good for repairing DNA and reducing the causes that can lead to heart disease. B vitamins also help maintain optimal brain and nervous system functioning.
- Contains antioxidants.
Lemon, butter and honey are the stars when it comes to this side of salmon. However there are lots of options and flavour combinations that would work well. You can keep it simple with just some olive oil, salt and pepper, but here are some others to try:
- Honey and chipotle
- Lemon and basil
- Garlic and chilli sauce
- Lemon and dill
- Chilli and lime
- Soy, ginger and garlic
- Fajita seasoning
- Cajun seasoning
- BBQ seasoning
What to serve with a side of salmon
If we are keeping this as a light lunch, then we tend to keep it simple with a big green salad. The key to an epic green salad is to use a variety of greens, like romaine, spinach, kale and rocket. You want leafy greens, but crunch too. Then you need the perfect dressing. Why not try our Lemon Vinaigrette, Honey and Mustard Dressing or Tomato and Basil Vinaigrette.
However, if we want it as a more filling meal, or we are serving it up to guests, then we add some sides to it. Cheesy Potato Bake is one of our favourites for total comfort food. Here are some of our favourite side dishes that go perfectly with this oven baked salmon:
- Parmesan Truffle Fries
- Hasselback Potatoes
- Garlic Smashed Potatoes
- Greek Rice
- Garlic Spring Greens
- Easy Roast Potatoes
- Buttered Leeks
- Mustard Potato Salad
- Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli
- No Mayo Coleslaw
- The BEST Air Fryer Chips
- Greek Potatoes
- Mediterranean Potato Salad
Frequently Asked Questions
For this side of salmon to taste its best, you want to choose the freshest that you can. Look for salmon that is moist rather than dried out - moisture content is a good indicator of freshness and it can also tell you how carefully the fish was handled. You also want to avoid salmon with any brown spots around the edges of the fillet or side, or if the skin has started browning and curling up.
You can follow this recipe with skin on or off salmon. We find that keeping the skin on helps to lock in the moisture though. Once the salmon is cooked the skin comes off easily anyway.
We have used a side of salmon, and generally it will take 25 minutes to cook in the oven. But that is for the size of salmon you can see above in our ingredients photo. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your salmon. Always check your salmon at the minimum cooking time and then you can always put it in for an extra 5 minutes if needed.
Salmon should be cooked to an internal temperature of 63°C/145°F. The best way to test the internal temperature is with a meat thermometer. If you don't have a thermometer, you can cut gently into the thickest part of the fish and check the colour. If it has turned from the raw red/orange colour to pink and if the meat starts to flake, then it is done.
Yes, you definitely can. It can go from perfectly moist and flaky, to dry and overdone very quickly. So make sure to follow the guide above to make sure your salmon is perfectly cooked.
Salmon, like other fish, develops a grey-ish, brown layer of insulating fat between its skin and flesh. Yes, you can eat it, although it does have a stronger salmon flavour that some people don't like. This grey layer contains plenty of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids too.
No, this should always be made from fresh. You can make it maybe 30 minutes in advance and keep it in the fridge. However due to the lemon juice that is added, any longer than that it will begin to break down the fish and make it mushy.
To keep the cooked salmon in the fridge, wrap it tightly in foil or plastic wrap, or in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. To freeze the cooked salmon, slice or flake it and wrap it in plastic wrap or parchment paper and then put in freezer bags. Squeeze out as much air as possible and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Read detailed instructions on how to store cooked salmon.
Yes it can. It is best to reheat it slowly though so we recommend reheating in the oven at 150°C/300°F/Gas 2 for 15 minutes. If the salmon is frozen, make sure it has been defrosted in the fridge - this might need to be done overnight. Once the salmon has thawed fully, reheat as mentioned above.
There is lots of salmon here, which is why we usually make it when we have friends over. However, there is still always leftovers and that is fine with us! We love throwing it on top of a salad with avocado or stirring it into some cooked spaghetti with some creme fraiche and fresh dill. Why not try making our Salmon Pate or Easy Salmon Pasta?
Yes, this is gluten free. Just be careful with cross contamination and remember to keep any side dishes gluten free too.
• You don't have to use a half side of salmon, you could wrap individual fillets in foil and roast them.
• You could use this same marinade for chicken or even halloumi too. It is SO good and goes on almost anything.
• If you prefer, you can swap the honey for maple syrup.
• If you want super crispy and charred edges on the salmon, then you could put it under the grill (broiler) for a couple of minutes to finish it off.
• We don't recommend using dried herbs for this recipe, as the this salmon is all about the freshness.
More salmon recipes
Honey Garlic Side of Salmon
- 800 g side of salmon
- 8 tablespoon butter - melted
- 8 tablespoon honey
- 6 garlic cloves - crushed
- 0.5 lemon - juice only
- 0.5 lemon - sliced
- 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
- 5 g fresh parsley - chopped
- Melt the butter and add the honey, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix well.8 tablespoon butter, 8 tablespoon honey, 6 garlic cloves, 0.5 lemon, 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
- Put the side of salmon on a large baking tray and pour over the mixture. Put slices of lemon on top.800 g side of salmon, 0.5 lemon
- Put in a preheated oven at 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 for 25 minutes. Baste half way through.
- Scatter over fresh herbs and serve.5 g fresh parsley
- You don't have to use a half side of salmon, you could wrap individual fillets in foil and roast them.
- You could use this same marinade for chicken or even halloumi too. It is SO good and goes on almost anything.
- If you prefer, you can swap the honey for maple syrup.
- If you want super crispy and charred edges on the salmon, then you could put it under the grill (broiler) for a couple of minutes to finish it off.
- We don't recommend using dried herbs for this recipe, as the this salmon is all about the freshness.