Citrus marinated salmon is a simple pan seared salmon recipe with a delicious citrus marinade that can double-up as “seasoning” for accompanying vegetables. Learn how to make this heart-healthy citrus glazed salmon for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Make a complete, satisfying meal out of this recipe by steaming whatever vegetables you have on hand drizzled with the easy lemon-orange marinade.
Making delicious dinner cannot get easier than this. You can cook this low-carb dinner in less than 30 minutes. A simple old-fashioned salmon recipe that’s made on stove-top by marinating and searing salmon with orange and lemon flavors. Apart from oranges and lemon, the citrus marinade for salmon uses just a couple of spices you most definitely have in your pantry.
Why this recipe works
There’s very little you need to do to make an amazing salmon dish since the salmon is already full of flavor. You just need to complement it with some minimum seasoning. 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!
Bonus: This seafood dinner is also full of goodness from salmon, citrus marinade and vegetables. 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.
Another bonus: Not many pans to wash- this recipe almost qualifies as a one-pan dinner.
One more reason you’ll love this recipe: The citrus flavors takes the “fishy” smell out of 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 citrus marinated salmon recipe from a local restaurant that we visit often, just to satisfy our craving for the amazing orange-glazed salmon that they serve. I was wondering, why not make my own version of the orange marinated salmon 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 and now I cook this salmon recipe almost every week and we actually stopped going to the restaurant to enjoy the “orange glazed salmon”.
(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 searing.
Vegetables of your choice, if using. I recommend broccoli, French beans or asparagus. The earthy flavor of these veggies go well with the citrus flavors of the marinade.
Super-easy 5 ingredient citrus marinade:
- juice and zest from oranges
- juice and zest from lemon
- crushed garlic cloves
- dried oregano
- red chili flakes
- salt and pepper
How to make the citrus marinated salmon
Marinate the salmon for a minimum of 10 minutes. Meanwhile, steam or blanch the veggies. Pan-fry the salmon, reserving the marinade.
Now you have 2 options:
- Use the same pan to boil the citrus marinade until it thickens and mix in the cooked vegetables. (for a quick weeknight dinner.)
- Or, simmer the marinade with 1 teaspoon of butter and use it to glaze the salmon. (fancier, if you have guests!!)
What to serve with citrus marinated salmon
This recipe is a complete low carb meal with salmon and vegetables of your choice. If you would like more options, try these sides:
- Mint pesto pasta goes well with the citrus flavored salmon.
- If you need more protein rather than carbs, try the lemon garlic quinoa.
- Make the easy Italian pasta salad or beet orange salad, if you decide to skip the veggies in the recipe and use the second option of glazed salmon.
Love salmon? Try more healthy salmon recipes:
Frequently asked questions
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.
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Thank you and happy cooking!