Honey Lime Salmon has layers of flavor from a quick marinade, sweet and sour glaze, and is finished with more fresh lime juice. It cooks on a sheet pan under the broiler, resulting in tender fish with a golden brown surface.
Salmon is on the dinner menu at our house almost every week. It’s a favorite for both Frank and I and our three kids, so we keep it in the regular rotation. And even with so much salmon-cooking, I’m always changing the way I prepare it. I have had great results with Slow-Cooked Salmon, Pan-Seared Salmon, and Salmon Satay.
Today’s recipe uses one of my earliest favorite salmon-cooking methods – broiling. See my earliest use of this method in this very old post from 2012 — Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon. Broiled salmon is golden on top and perfectly tender and moist. If you haven’t tried this method, give it a shot, especially with the flavor combination in this Honey Lime Salmon.
Why Cook Salmon Under the Broiler
This is one of my favorite ways to cook salmon. The high heat of the oven’s broiler gives the surface of the salmon a bit of a golden crust without overcooking the interior of the fish. It’s also super fast! Basically like grilling the salmon but inside the oven.
When broiling salmon, just be sure to read the tips included in the recipe. Always line the pan with foil to make clean-up easy, and keep a close eye on the salmon as it cooks. Depending on how hot your broiler runs, this method can create a lot of smoke for the brief time the salmon is in the oven. Have the oven’s hood vent on to keep the air circulating as it cooks.
- Salmon Fillets – I love to use pre-cut fillets for this dish because they are already portioned to serve right after cooking. You can absolutely use one large piece of salmon and slice or shred it after cooking. Skin-on or skinless salmon is just fine. If using salmon with the skin on, be sure to follow instructions in the recipe to cook salmon skin-side facing up first.
- Garlic – Use finely chopped garlic to build flavor in the marinade.
- Fresh Lime Juice – This is the key flavor in the dish, so fresh lime juice is used both in the marinade and squeezed over the finished fish. Don’t skip the step to add it at the end as it makes all of the flavors shine.
- Soy Sauce – Use Tamari if you want to make a gluten-free version of this dish.
- Honey – Use honey in both the marinade and glaze for a great sweet flavor to balance the tartness of the lime juice.
- White Wine Vinegar – If you don’t have white wine vinegar for the glaze, use red wine vinegar, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.
- Butter – Use unsalted butter or reduce the salt in the glaze by half.
- Ground Cumin – This dried spice adds a depth of flavor to the glaze.
- Lime Wedges and Chopped Cilantro – Though totally optional, these are great garnishes for serving over the finished dish.
How to Make Honey Lime Salmon
- Marinate salmon – Marinating the salmon for 30 minutes before cooking helps to infuse the fish with flavor and keeps it moist while cooking.
- Make glaze – Make a sweet and tart glaze with butter, honey, vinegar, salt, and ground cumin.
- Prepare pan – Line sheet pan with foil (don’t skip this step since the glaze really has a tendency to stick to the pan).
- Prepare broiler – You’ll want to place the salmon close enough to the broiler that it will cook quickly but not so close that it will burn on top before cooking through. Placing a rack about 6 inches below the heat source is usually just about right.
- Broil salmon (first side) – Place salmon on the prepared pan and broil it for 2 minutes to get it started cooking. If the salmon is skin-on, cook it skin-side up first.
- Glaze – Flip the salmon and pour half the glaze over top. (Reserve half the glaze to add to the finished fish.)
- Broil salmon (second side) – Cook salmon on the second side until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. (It should be 145°F in the center.)
- Finish salmon – When salmon is done cooking, pour the second half of the glaze over top and finish with some fresh lime juice.
How to Serve Honey Lime Salmon
- Serve over rice or quinoa
- Use on a salad
- Use as filling for fish tacos
- Make it into lettuce cups
More Salmon Recipes
- Lemongrass Roasted Salmon – This Thai-inspired salmon comes together fast and cooks at a low temp in a lemongrass marinade.
- Salmon with Sweet Chili Lime Butter and Roasted Broccoli – This no-fuss recipe for Salmon with Sweet Chili Lime Butter and Roasted Broccoli yields perfectly cooked salmon every time. It’s a one pan, 40-minute, gluten-free recipe.
- Half Sheet Pan – The best sheet pan to use for most sheet pan meals has straight sides like this one. This helps to prevent any of that delicious sauce from dripping off the pan as everything cooks.
Broiled Honey Lime Salmon
- Half Sheet Pan
Salmon and Marinade:
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp Lime Juice
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 Tsp Honey
- 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
- 4 Center-Cut Salmon Fillets (about 6 oz per fillet)
Sweet and Sour Glaze:
- 2 Tbsp Butter (I use unsalted; if using salted butter, reduce salt below by half)
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- 1/2 tsp White Wine Vinegar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
- 2 tsp Lime Juice
- Lime wedges and chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- Marinate salmon: Combine ingredients for marinade (garlic, 3 Tbsp lime juice, soy sauce, 2 tsp honey, and cooking oil). Place salmon in a shallow bowl or baking dish and pour marinade over top, gently turning salmon to coat. (If using skin-on salmon, leave the skin-side up so that the flesh-side is in the marinade.)
- Transfer salmon to refrigerator and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Make glaze: While salmon marinates, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk together butter, 1 Tbsp honey, vinegar, salt, and cumin.
- Turn on the oven's broiler, placing a rack about 6 inches below the heat source.
- Line a sheet pan with foil (see note) and spray with nonstick cooking spray or brush it generously with oil or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
- Remove salmon from marinade (discard marinade).
- Place salmon on prepared pan (if you are using skin-on salmon, cook them skin-side up first).
- Broil salmon: Broil salmon for 2 minutes on the first side.
- Remove pan and flip salmon filets to the other side. Give glaze stir and pour half of the glaze over salmon. (Don’t worry if some of the glaze drips off.)
- Return pan to oven and continue broiling until salmon flakes easily with a fork, 5 to 6 minutes. If you have an instant read thermometer, check the temperature and remove when salmon is 145 degrees F in the center. (Note: any glaze that drips off the sides of the salmon may burn under the broiler. This won’t affect the salmon, but be sure to turn on your stove’s hood vent if needed.
- Finish salmon with glaze and lime juice: When salmon is done, pour the remaining half of the sweet and sour glaze and 2 tsp lime juice over top.
- Serve salmon with extra lime wedges and chopped cilantro.
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