Browned Butter Honey Garlic Salmon with Citrus Glaze

Browned butter honey garlic salmon is an easy pan-fried salmon recipe with a delicious citrus butter sauce! Salmon fillets are marinated in a honey garlic citrus marinade and pan-seared in browned butter. The marinade is then reduced to glaze the salmon.

About the recipe

You might be assuming that this recipe has salmon fillets swimming in butter, but I would like to stop you there. You wouldn’t want me to pair a nice heart-healthy fillet of salmon with tons of saturated fat. That defeats the purpose.

This one-pan salmon recipe is covered in a light and delicious garlic lemon butter sauce with a hint of the nutty browned butter flavor. This way you get salmon fillets with a delicious buttery flavor and a healthy citrus sauce. It’s a win-win!

Cooking a delicious dinner cannot get easier than this. You can cook this low-calorie salmon in less than 30 minutes. Make it a complete, satisfying meal by pairing it with a simple salad.

I always opt for salmon (and you should, too) on days when I’m too busy or too lazy to cook, but still want a delicious and nutritious meal!

There’s very little you need to do to make an amazing salmon dish since the salmon is already full of flavor. Citrus sauces go well with salmon. You just need to complement it with some minimum seasoning, my personal favorite being a simple lemon garlic marinade and a couple of herbs and spices. Add to it some sweetness with honey and orange juice, you get a sauce to die for!

BONUS: This seafood recipe is also full of goodness from salmon and the citrus marinade. Salmon is a highly nutritious fish, rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, along with protein, niacin, selenium, magnesium, vitamins B6 and B12. It is also one of the few good sources of vitamin D and has virtually zero carbohydrates, all of which make it one of the healthiest foods.

One more reason you’ll love this recipe: The citrus flavors take the “fishy” smell out of salmon. This is exactly one of those salmon recipes for people who don’t like salmon! (Try wiping your hands with a little lemon juice after handling the salmon. Rinse and smell your palms. Do you smell anything fishy?!)

How this salmon recipe came about

I got the inspiration for this brown butter honey garlic salmon from a local restaurant that we used to visit often, just to satisfy our craving for the amazing “honey garlic butter salmon” that they serve. I was wondering, why not make my own version that is HEALTHIER with less butter and more spice and citrus flavors so the taste is not compromised. After many trials, I was able to replicate. Well, almost.

Nobody at home realized that I used much less butter compared to the restaurant version. I’m glad I tried! Now I cook this salmon recipe almost every week and we actually stopped going to the restaurant to enjoy the honey citrus glazed salmon.

Ingredients

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this page.)

Fresh salmon fillets, of course.

Butter for frying.

Super-easy citrus marinade:

  1. juice and zest from oranges
  2. juice and zest from lemon
  3. honey
  4. crushed garlic cloves
  5. dried oregano– oregano is a herb with a mild flavor and does not overpower that of salmon.
  6. red chili flakes– a little spice to balance the tangy citrus juices.
  7. salt and pepper

How to make browned butter honey garlic salmon

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this page.)

Mix all ingredients for the marinade. Marinate the salmon for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Heat butter in a pan on low heat until it melts and foams. As soon as it turns brown and gives a nutty aroma, crank up the flame to medium. Shake off the excess marinade from the salmon fillets and place them skin-side down. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until browned. Keep basting with butter. Flip and cook the other side for 3 to 4 minutes.

The cooking time depends on the thickness of the fillets and how well done you want your salmon. For a salmon fillet that is about 1.5 inches on its thickest part, I cook for roughly 4 minutes on each side and they turn out perfectly cooked.

Citrus butter sauce

Remove the salmon fillets and add the marinade to the pan with 2 tablespoons of water. Stir to get out all the yummy bits stuck to the bottom of the pan and combine with the marinade. The sauce will slowly change to a darker brown color. Simmer on low flame until it becomes thick with a saucy consistency. Drizzle the yummy garlic lemon butter sauce on the salmon or serve in a small bowl with the salmon.

What to serve with Citrus Glazed Salmon

Mint pesto pasta goes well with the citrus flavors of the salmon.

If you prefer more protein rather than carbs, try the lemon garlic quinoa.

The citrus salmon tastes great with tomato feta pasta salad or beet orange salad.

Craving more salmon recipes?

Common questions about cooking salmon

How long does it take to marinate salmon?

Salmon needs only 15 minutes (up to a maximum of 30 minutes) to marinate. If the marinade is citrus in nature, it actually softens and “pre-cooks” the salmon. So marinating the salmon for more than 30 minutes will dry out the salmon when pan-frying.

Do you marinate salmon in the fridge?

Yes, salmon should be marinated in the fridge. If you’ve frozen the marinated salmon, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before cooking.

What flavors go best with salmon?

Citrus flavors like lemon and orange go very well with not only salmon but any seafood. Most importantly, if you want salmon to not taste “fishy”, marinating with lemon juice is the easiest solution.

How do you keep salmon from sticking to the pan?

First, the obvious solution: Use a non-stick pan.
Second, ensure the butter in the pan is hot enough that it sizzles when you place the fish. (Test with a small piece.)
Third, use a little more butter if you’re pan-frying salmon for the first time. Once you get used to it, the quantity can be reduced.

Looking for more seafood recipes?

More quick and easy dinners

browned butter honey garlic salmon with citrus glaze in a white plate

Browned Butter Honey Garlic Salmon with Citrus Glaze

Browned butter honey garlic salmon is an easy pan-fried salmon recipe with a delicious citrus butter sauce! Salmon fillets are marinated in a honey garlic citrus marinade and pan-seared in browned butter. The marinade is then reduced to glaze the salmon.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Marinating time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course dinner, LUNCH, Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 3
Calories 322 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 salmon fillets (about 200 grams/ 7 oz each)
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Marinade

  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

Instructions
 

Prepare the citrus marinade

  • Zest both the oranges and lemon, carefully leaving out the white part, which is bitter.
  • Extract juice from the oranges and the lemon.
  • Mix the zest and juice with crushed garlic, oregano, chili flakes, honey, salt and pepper.

Pan-fry the salmon fillets

  • Clean the salmon fillets and marinate with the prepared citrus marinade for 10 minutes (up to 30 minutes if time permits).
  • Heat butter in a pan on low flame until it melts and foams. As soon as it turns brown and gives a nutty aroma, increase the flame to medium heat.
  • Shake off the excess marinade from the salmon fillets and place them skin-side down. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until browned, frequently basting with butter.
    Flip and cook the other side for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • If the fillet is too thick, cook each side for additional 1 to 2 minutes. If the skin starts sticking to the pan, add a little more butter.
  • Remove the salmon fillets onto a serving platter. Pour the marinade with 2 tablespoons of water into the same pan. Deglaze the pan by stirring, so the flavorful bits stuck to the bottom of the pan would be incorporated in the sauce. The sauce becomes a darker brown in colour. Simmer until it reduces to a thick, sticky sauce.
  • Drizzle the citrus butter sauce over the seared salmon, or serve it in a small bowl alongside salmon.

Notes

  • Fry the salmon fillets on a non-stick pan to avoid them from sticking to the bottom. If using a regular metal pan, use an additional tablespoon of butter.
  • Cook the salmon on medium flame to get salmon fillets that are perfectly browned and flaky on the outside and juicy inside.
Browned Butter Honey Garlic Salmon with Citrus Glaze
Keyword browned butter honey garlic salmon, citrus butter sauce, citrus glazed salmon, citrus salmon marinade, garlic lemon butter sauce, orange butter sauce for salmon, orange glazed salmon

★★★★★Did you try this recipe? Please give a star rating in the comments below.★★★★★

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Thank you and happy cooking!

– Sheeba.

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10 thoughts on “Browned Butter Honey Garlic Salmon with Citrus Glaze”

  1. 5 stars
    This sounds delicious! We eat a lot of salmon so it’s good to have inspiration for new ways to serve it 🙂
    Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare.

  2. 5 stars
    I love salmon in any form and this recipe looks like simple perfection. Thanks so much for posting Sheeba, will definitely be making this soon.

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