Pineapple Glazed Salmon
Unless you are about to depart for the Virgin Islands, live in Hawaii, or earn your living as a snow truck driver, I highly recommend you shut down your Facebook feed. The current onslaught of warm-weather vacation photos being posted by extended acquaintances can be a little demoralizing. Dear wife of the guy (James? John?) who took me to freshman homecoming: I envy your tan. Also, we’ve never met. I could become bitter, but instead I’m fighting back and updating my status with a giant photo of today’s Pineapple Glazed Salmon with Avocado Salsa. It’s a beach vacation in every bite!
As I shared in my monthly newsletter, Ben and I responsibly resolved to resist the siren call of Mexico and save our vacation days for a longer trip this fall. It seemed like a smart decision at the time, though as I sit and type this with wool socks on my feet, a space heater inches from my torso, and a weather app telling me it’s a “feels like” of negative five outside right now, I can’t help but question our judgment.
Fortunately, for those of us in landlocked states near and far, enjoying a taste of the tropics doesn’t require a plane ticket or suntan lotion. Today’s recipe for Pineapple Glazed Salmon with Avocado Salsa is refreshing, simple to make, and bursting with beachy flavor.
The marinade for the salmon is a beautiful balance of sweet and savory: pineapple juice, soy sauce, and a little cayenne for kick. It also does double duty. Once the salmon has chilled in the marinade long enough for the flavors to become friendly and take hold, it’s reduced into a sweet, sticky sauce for brushing over the salmon as it bakes. The result is tender, flakey pineapple salmon with a gorgeous glaze and big-time tropical taste.
While the Pineapple Glazed Salmon is yummy on its own, a quick pineapple avocado salsa upgrades it to first-class. I kept the avocado salsa quick and easy by using diced canned pineapple, though if you don’t mind extra chopping, fresh pineapple would be fabulous too. Jalapeno and red onion give the pineapple salsa the right amount of bite, a squeeze of fresh lime juice makes it pop, and creamy, dreamy avocado rounds out the flavors. (This tomato-avocado salsa on Whole30 Salmon is another winner!)
The pineapple avocado salsa is good enough to eat on its own with chips. Combined with the Pineapple Glazed Salmon, however, it tricked my brain into believing that we really were in Mexico—at least until it came time to do dishes.
Maybe it was one too many bites of the Pineapple Glazed Salmon (or maybe it was the aforementioned “feels like” of negative five), but a few days ago, I lost my resolve to stay put in Wisconsin all winter and spontaneously booked Ben and myself a short trip to Charleston, South Carolina. Although I won’t be basking on a beach, I’m looking forward to leaving my puffy coat at home and taking advantage of the fresh oysters and southern hospitality. We leave soon, so if you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them!
In the meantime, here’s my recommendation to you: ignore the temperature outside, put an umbrella in your drink, and make this Pineapple Glazed Salmon with Avocado Salsa. A little Beach Boys/Johnny Buffet background music will seal the mood. Whether it’s for a romantic date night affair (Psssst boys, Valentine’s Day is this weekend) or casual Tuesday night dinner, this Pineapple Glazed Salmon is the perfect way to escape the business of the week and take a vacation without leaving your kitchen.
Pineapple Glazed Salmon with Avocado Salsa
For the Pineapple Marinade and Salmon:
- 2 salmon fillets — (6 ounces each)
- 1 cup pineapple juice — drained from 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple tidbits
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Pineapple Avocado Salsa:
- 1 cup pineapple tidbits — from drained can used for juice above
- 1 avocado — pitted and diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper — seeded and diced
- 1/2 small red onion — diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Place the salmon fillets in a small shallow baking dish. In a small bowl, stir together the pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Pour over the fish, cover tightly with plastic, then refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
While the salmon marinades, prepare the salsa: Combine the pineapple tidbits, avocado, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Pour lime juice over the top, then toss gently to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. While the oven preheats, remove the fish from the refrigerator. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then coat with non-stick cooking spray. Remove the salmon from the marinade, shake of any excess, then place the salmon flat-side down on the prepared baking sheet.
Transfer the marinade to a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium high, stirring often, until the marinade is reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Brush liberally all over the top of the salmon.
Bake the salmon for 5 minutes, brush again, then bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve topped with pineapple salsa.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 fillet + 1/4 of salsa) — Calories: 412, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 85mg, Sodium: 713mg, Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 18g, Protein: 39g
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