Honey garlic glazed salmon is a quick and easy 30-minute, one-pan dinner recipe that features the most amazing sticky, sweet and savory homemade glaze! This is one of my go-to quick recipes when I am short on time as it uses basic ingredients. It's super flexible - the salmon can be either baked or pan-seared (instructions are provided for both methods). Easy enough to make on a busy weeknight - and fancy enough for entertaining guests. This main course will take only 30 minutes of your time and will surely become a family favorite!
Make sure the salmon doesn't have extra moisture. If using frozen salmon, defrost it completely and get rid of any extra moisture. Prepare salmon by patting it dry with paper towels.
Grease the bottom of the baking dish with butter. Add salmon fillets skin side down.
Sprinkle the salmon with salt and minced garlic on top and around. Add thin slices of butter on top of each salmon fillet.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Note: if you would like to pan-sear the salmon on the stovetop instead, see instructions in the Recipe Notes below.
How to make the glaze
While the salmon is baking, prepare the glaze.
In a medium, high-sided bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of honey, 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime juice, and ¼ cup of fig spread (I like to use Divina brand). Mix everything well. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes to taste. Note: You can skip the red pepper flakes if you use Chili Fig Spread (Divina brand).
Spread the glaze over each salmon fillet.
Return the salmon to the oven for about 2 or 5 minutes or until the salmon is cooked to your likeness.
Note: Salmon is done when it flakes easily with the fork and the internal temperature measures 145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
In this recipe, you can cook the salmon in 2 ways - pan-seared or baked.
Should you bake or pan-sear the salmon? Honey glazed salmon can be prepared in 2 ways: pan-seared on the stovetop or baked in the oven. It's up to you which method to use. I personally prefer the baked version - it's less messy and much more fool-proof to ensure your salmon doesn't fall apart. I use the baking method in this recipe. If you would like to pan-sear the salmon on the stovetop, see the instructions below: ⬇️
How to pan-sear the salmon. Heat a large high-sided cast-iron skillet (10-inch diameter) over medium heat on the stovetop for 2 minutes to heat through. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add seasoned salmon fillets skin side up and cook, undisturbed, for about 5 or 7 minutes. Flip the salmon over to the other side, and cook for several minutes more until it's cooked through.
Other helpful cooking tips
Make sure salmon does not have extra moisture. If using frozen salmon, defrost it completely and get rid of any extra moisture. Prepare salmon by patting it dry with paper towels.
How to make sure the honey garlic glaze doesn't get watery? In this recipe, you will never have a watery glaze. Why? Because the glaze is thickened with the fig spread which provides a sticky texture, volume, and amazing flavor that goes well with the rest of the glaze ingredients (soy sauce, honey, lime juice).
Fig spread is a must-have ingredient that adds texture, flavor, and a "sticky" quality to the glaze. It's a fool-proof way to have a thick glaze that doesn't get watery. I used the fig spread by the Divina brand. It has a nice thick texture. It is usually sold in most grocery stores. This brand also has Chili Fig Spread that I highly recommend - in this case, you can skip the red chili flakes.
Use other fruit spreads and preserves that have a nice thick texture similar to the fig spread. It can be peach or apricot spread, for example. Or a different brand of the fig spread. The most important thing is to pay attention to the texture of the spread - it should be thick.
Add fresh herbs for presentation purposes. Top the salmon with finely chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, fresh basil, fresh thyme, or chives. This will add some color to the glaze.
Helpful step-by-step photos are provided in the recipe post if you scroll up above the recipe card.