This honey mustard salmon recipe features perfectly flaky salmon fillet covered in a quick homemade honey mustard sauce with fresh garlic, smoked paprika, and a pinch of cayenne. Slightly sweet, smoky and all sorts of delicious! You can make this salmon recipe in the oven or on the grill (I've provided instructions for both).
Adding one more to the list of easy salmon recipes because it seems I can't have enough!
This is another winner that can feed a small hungry crowd in minutes! And while the flavors may not immediately scream Mediterranean, you can totally add this one to the list of Mediterranean diet recipes.
Honey mustard salmon recipe
Salmon with whole grain mustard and honey could not be easier to make, and a fun way to dress up a salmon fillet.
This salmon recipe is as easy as: Make a quick honey mustard sauce and spread over the salmon fillet. From there, it's your choice to bake or grill the fish, which can take anywhere from 12 to 20 minutes or so. That's it!
What's in the honey mustard sauce
All the work and flavor in this easy salmon recipe is in the tasty honey mustard sauce.
This sauce is the perfect balance of tangy, sweet, smoky, and all sorts of delicious, thanks to a few ingredients:
- Whole grain mustard (affiliate link). This kind of mustard has more texture and an extra punch that I personally like. If you don't have it, you can use Dijon mustard instead (but do not use yellow mustard in this recipe).
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh Garlic
- Smoked paprika. I used only 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika here, which added depth and a subtle smoky flavor.
- Cayenne and black pepper. Just a small pinch of each of these peppers provides enough of a kick.
What I love about a homemade honey mustard sauce like this one is that you can change it up to suit your taste.
For me, someone who loves all things smoky, I might go up a notch on the smoked paprika. If you like the sauce to be sweeter, increase the amount of honey. And for an extra spicy kick, add a whole teaspoon of cayenne instead of just a small pinch. Totally make it your own!
Two ways to make this salmon recipe
You've got a big beautiful salmon fillet. And have your homemade honey mustard sauce. Season the salmon on both sides with salt. Glaze the top side of your salmon with the sauce.
Choose how you want to cook your honey mustard glazed salmon:
- Baked honey mustard salmon. To bake, I like to set the oven on 375 degrees. The glazed salmon goes on a lightly oiled sheet pan (I like a sheet pan here, but you can use a baking dish if you want). Cover tightly with foil (this will help the salmon cook evenly and quickly without drying out). Once baked for about 15 to 20 minutes, uncover and place under the broiler super briefly (about 2 to 3 minutes).
- Grilled honey mustard salmon. For the grill option, your gas grill can be set to a medium-high temperature (around 400 degrees F). With sturdy fish steak like swordfish, I typically place it directly on the grill. But with this salmon fillet, because it's a large piece and because it's glazed with a sauce, to prevent it from drying up and falling apart over the grill, I like to enclose it in a lightly-oiled piece of aluminum foil. Using foil in cooking is a hot issue that's debated; if you like, add a piece of parchment paper to the bottom part of the foil and still give it a brush of oil before adding the salmon). Grill, covered, for about 12 minutes or so, then carefully open up the foil and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
Either way you choose to cook this honey mustard glazed salmon, it is delicious!
It's important to remember that salmon can go from under-cooked to dry and overcooked in seconds.
How do I know if salmon is ready?
Overcooked salmon is super firm, dry and chalky. A perfectly cooked salmon, whether it's pan seared salmon or a baked honey mustard salmon, on the other hand, is tender and moist and all sorts of delicious.
Be sure to check your salmon even earlier than the recipe indicates because cooking time will vary depending on how thick your salmon fillet is and depending on your oven or grill.
Your salmon is ready when it easily flakes at the touch of your fork.
If you like, you can use an instant read thermometer to check the fish for doneness. While the USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145°F, which should be measured at the thickest part of the fish fillet, some chefs advise that salmon is best enjoyed when it’s cooked to medium where the internal temperature, measured at the thickest part, registers 125°F. Do what feels right to you!
What to serve with honey mustard salmon?
I like to finish my honey mustard salmon with a squeeze of lime juice (do this while it's fresh out of the heat). And here are options to serve along:
Easy Honey Mustard Salmon Recipe (Two Ways)
- Sheet Pan
- Aluminum Foil
- 2 lb salmon fillet
- Kosher salt
- ½ tsp Extra virgin olive oil
- Lime wedges to serve
- Parsley garnish
- To cook in the oven, heat the oven to 375 degrees F and position a rack in the middle. To grill, heat a gas grill to medium high (about 400 degrees F).
- Pat the salmon fillet dry. Season with salt on both sides.
- Prepare the honey mustard sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey mustard sauce ingredients (whole grain mustard, honey, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, smoked paprika, cayenne and black pepper).
- To Bake. Place the salmon on a lightly oiled sheet pan or baking dish (if using salmon with skin on, place the salmon skin side down in the dish). Spread the honey mustard sauce evenly over the surface of the salmon. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and place under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes.
- To grill. Place the salmon (already seasoned with salt) on a large, lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil. Spread the honey mustard sauce on top of the salmon. Fold both sides of the foil over the salmon and tightly close it at the top. Place on a medium-high gas grill. Cover and let cook for about 10 to 12 minutes (grill time will vary depending on the thickness of your salmon, begin to check earlier in the process). Open the top of the foil up so the fish is exposed (lots of hot steam with be released, so be careful). Continue cooking about 3 minutes or so on the grill.
- To serve. Remove from the heat. Squeeze a bit of fresh lime juice and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!
- Cook’s Tip: You can adjust the honey mustard sauce to your liking by adjusting the amount of mustard or honey, if you like it a bit more on the sweet side. If you're looking for more of a smoky finish, add a pinch more smoked paprika and for an extra kick of spice, add more cayenne.
- Cook's Tip: Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your salmon fillet and your oven or gas grill, begin to check on your salmon at an earlier point to make sure you do not over cook it. Once you remove salmon from the oven or the grill, if it still appears underdone, you can wrap the foil back over the top and let it rest for a few minutes. Don’t leave it too long, Salmon can easily go from under-cooked to way over-cooked quickly.
- How do you know if Salmon is ready? While the USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145°F, for a flakier, more moist and tender salmon filet many chefs advise that it’s best enjoyed when it’s cooked to medium where the internal temperature, measured at the thickest part, registers 125°F.
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