Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon

October 23, 2021

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Easy Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon – Rich salmon fillets brushed in a simple brown sugar, mustard and garlic mixture then they’re oven baked until tender and flakey. A quick dinner with vibrant and slightly sweet flavor!

Photo of four salmon fillets coated with a brown sugar glaze resting on a blue rectangular platter on a white marble surface.

5-Ingredient Brown Sugar Salmon

For this recipe you only need 5 ingredients (plus the standard salt and pepper)! And the prep couldn’t be easier.

You don’t even need to remove the skin from the salmon. It will just easily peel away after baking.

The glaze is sweet and tangy and pairs deliciously well with the buttery salmon. The combo of brown sugar and mustard works wonders here and a little lemon zest highlights those flavors.

Pair it with steamed rice and asparagus for a quick, minimal-ingredient meal that’s both filling and delicious!

Photo of brown sugar salmon with serving suggestion of steamed asparagus. Served on a blue plate with a blue cloth to the side.

Brown Sugar Salmon Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 (7 oz) skin-on salmon fillets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced fresh parsley (completely optional)

Photo of salmon, dijon mustard, brown sugar, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper.

How to Make Glazed Brown Sugar Salmon

  • Heat oven, prepare baking sheet: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet (13 by 9 or 18 by 13-inch) with aluminum foil, spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place salmon over, season: Align salmon pieces on baking sheet leaving some space between them. Season top with salt and pepper.
  • Make glaze: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, mustard, lemon zest, and garlic.
  • Spread over salmon: Spoon and spread brown sugar mustard mixture evenly over salmon.
  • Bake until done: Bake in preheated oven until cooked through, about 11 – 14 minutes, depending on thickness of salmon.
  • If desired garnish with parsley for a little pop of color.

Collage of four photos showing steps of making brown sugar glaze with mustard, garlic and lemon zest. Then shows brushing over salmon.

Helpful Tips for the Baking Salmon

  • Use fillets that are close in thickness so they finish baking at the same time.
  • Don’t forget to grease the baking sheet or salmon sticks.
  • To cut out extra work, you can leave the skin-on individual fillets then just remove after baking. You can do this before serving or we usually just flake it away from the skin as eating with a fork.
  • Check internal temperature of salmon for doneness (using an instant read food thermometer) so salmon doesn’t end up dry.
  • I prefer salmon cooked internally to medium doneness for a tender flakey texture that’s moist (it’s still slightly rare looking in the center).
  • Keep in mind once salmon is removed from heat the internal temperature will continue to rise about 5 degrees.

Temperature to Cook Salmon

Just like with meat, I recommend taking the internal temperature of salmon. While the possibility of food borne illness isn’t quite as risky with salmon as it is with beef or chicken, I still like to take the temperature because it takes out the guess work and you’re less likely to overcook the salmon.

Note that the USDA recommends an internal temperature in the thickest portion of the fish to 145 degrees for food safety.

Here’s a breakdown of temperatures for salmon doneness:

  • Rare: 110
  • Medium rare: 115 – 120
  • Medium: 125 – 130
  • Medium well: 135 to 140
  • Very well: 145

Possible Variations

  • You can bake a whole side of salmon (2 lb portion) rather then baking as individual fillets. Bake time will need to be increased by about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • If you want to make it healthier you could sub honey for the brown sugar.
  • For an added herby flavor you can try with herbs such as dill or thyme.

Close up photo of glazed baked salmon fillet.

More Easy Salmon Recipes You’ll Love

Photo of four salmon fillets coated with a brown sugar glaze resting on a blue rectangular platter on a white marble surface.
5 from 1 vote

Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon

Rich salmon fillets brushed in a simple brown sugar, mustard and garlic mixture then they're oven baked until tender and flakey. A quick dinner with vibrant and slightly sweet flavor!
Servings: 4
Prep15 minutes
Cook12 minutes
Ready in: 27 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 (7 oz) salmon fillets, skin-on or skinless
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet (13 by 9 or 18 by 13-inch) with aluminum foil, spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Align salmon pieces on baking sheet leaving some space between them. Season top with salt and pepper.
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together brown sugar, mustard, lemon zest, and garlic.
  • Spoon and spread brown sugar mustard mixture evenly over salmon.
  • Bake in preheated oven until cooked through, about 11 - 14 minutes (depending on thickness of salmon and desired degree of doneness. I cook to internal temperature in the thickest portion of 125 to 135 degrees, but for food safe the USDA recommends 145 which is well done).
  • If desired garnish with parsley for a little pop of color.

Notes

Nutrition estimate is based of skins being removed before eating (they're soft and oily with this cooking method, not recommended to eat), or using skinless salmon.
Nutrition Facts
Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon
Amount Per Serving
Calories 370 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 109mg36%
Sodium 175mg8%
Potassium 1005mg29%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 40g80%
Vitamin A 241IU5%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 38mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.