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This easy Salmon Marinade is savory, zippy, fresh, and will make your fillets taste the best! Just 30 minutes is all you need to give salmon big-time flavor, using simple pantry ingredients.

the best salmon marinade on a plate with rice and greens

When it comes to fast, healthy dinners, salmon is a star.

It lends itself well to a variety of preparation methods, is high in nutrients (omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and more!), and individual salmon portions cook in fewer than 10 minutes.

Sure, salmon tastes nice enough with salt and pepper, but it can get a little dull.

Adding a marinade to salmon is a fast, easy, and ultra-effective way to elevate it to a dish that’s worthy of a restaurant.

Grilling salmon makes dinner feel fresh!

the best 30 minute salmon marinade on a plate

Why You’ll Love this Salmon Marinade Recipe

This recipe is my go-to, absolute favorite salmon marinade for the oven, grill, air fryer, or however you like to cook your salmon.

  • It uses soy sauce for salt and umami, honey or pure maple syrup for sweetness (salmon loves sweet!), and Dijon mustard for balance and zip.
  • This easy salmon marinade takes all of 2 minutes to stir together, and I love that it calls for pantry ingredients so you can whip it up any time.
  • You can use it for any preparation method. Grilled Salmon, Baked Salmon, Air Fryer Salmon, Instant Pot Salmon, Broiled Salmon, and Grilled Salmon in Foil are all possible ways to use this tasty marinade.
easy and quick salmon marinade

Salmon Marinating Tips and Tricks

  • Marinate Salmon for 30 Minutes or Up to 1 Hour. If you marinate it for longer, the fish can start to cure, which means it will actually cook itself in the marinade.
  • Room Temperature. If you are marinating the salmon for 30 minutes, you are fine to leave it at room temperature (refrigerate to marinate for longer). Prior to cooking, let the salmon stand at room temperature.
  • Work with What You’ve Got. Marinades need salt, acid, and fat, and the rest is up to you. If you don’t have soy sauce, use a pinch of salt. No Dijon? Try adding a squeeze of lemon juice. Love Italian herbs like parsley? Toss ‘em in here! Hot for heat? Add some red pepper flakes.
  • DO NOT OVERCOOK THE SALMON. No matter what cooking method you use or how carefully you marinate the fish, if you overcook it, it will taste dry. The best way to know if your salmon is done to

Best Instant Read Thermometers

simple salmon marinade on a plate

The Best Salmon Marinade Recipe

This simple, worthwhile soy salmon marinade works quickly to give you succulent, flavorful salmon.

No time to marinate? Use this Salmon Seasoning instead!


The Ingredients

  • Salmon. Salmon is an ideal candidate for a marinade, because it can stand up to a wide range of flavors. The fish absorbs the flavors and moisture from the marinade, ensuring it stays juicy during the cooking process. Salmon is rich in protein, omega-3s, and vitamins.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Adds richness and moisture to the marinade. Olive oil also acts as the binding agent for all the marinade ingredients.
  • Soy Sauce. Umami-packed soy sauce gives this marinade a flavor boost and acts as the salt to ensure it’s properly seasoned.
  • Honey. I opted for honey to naturally sweeten the marinade. The honey caramelizes during the cooking process, creating exceptionally tasty texture and flavor.

Substitution Tip

You can swap the honey for maple syrup if you prefer.

  • Dijon Mustard. Zippy and tangy. It’s the ideal acidic complement to the savory soy sauce and sweet honey.
  • Spices. Garlic powder and black pepper are all that’s needed to complete this flavorful marinade.

The Directions

salmon in a bag for a quick 30 minute salmon marinade
  1. Dry the salmon and place it in a ziptop bag.
simple healthy salmon marinade in a jar
  1. Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.
marinating salmon with soy sauce and honey
  1. Pour the mixture over the salmon.
quick salmon marinade in a bag
  1. Seal the bag, then marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour.
marinated salmon ready for grilling on a plate
  1. Remove the salmon from the marinade, and cook it using your preferred method. For the oven, bake the fish on a baking sheet at 400 degrees F for 11 to 14 minutes for 6-ounce fillets or 15 to 18 minutes for a single side. Let rest.
grilling marinated salmon recipe
  1. For the grill, place the fish skin-side down on the grill grates over medium-high heat. Grill for 6 to 7 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 to 4 minutes. Let rest. ENJOY!

More Ways to Season Salmon

Here are some additional ideas of what to season your salmon with:

salmon marinated in a easy salmon marinated on a plate

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • To Reheat. Very gently rewarm salmon in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave. 
  • To Freeze. Freeze salmon in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Meal Prep Tip

Whisk the marinade ingredients together up to 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate the mixture until you’re ready to add the salmon.

salmon marinade with soy sauce and dijon on a plate

Leftover Ideas

Use leftover salmon to add protein to Homemade Fried Rice or Vegetable Lo Mein.

What to Serve with Marinated Salmon

  • Measuring Cup. When marinating salmon, I like to use a measuring cup like this to prepare the marinade.
  • Baking Sheet. Use the pan to bake or transfer the salmon fillets to the grill.
  • Instant Read Thermometer. The best way to check your salmon for doneness.

This soy sauce/honey/Dijon/garlic situation is a timeless combination.

You’ll cook salmon with this healthy marinade again and again!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make My Own Marinade?

Yes, you can certainly adapt this salmon recipe as you wish or come up with a different marinade altogether. Delicious salmon marinades require a blend of salt, fat, and acidity. Have orange juice on hand? Use my Orange Chicken Marinade for inspiration. Prefer lime juice? My Chicken Thigh Marinade is a great recipe to reference for ideas.

How Long Can You Marinate Salmon Before Cooking?

Salmon should marinate for no longer than 4 hours in the refrigerator. I HIGHLY recommend marinating for an hour or less if possible. It only takes a short time to marinate salmon effectively. If you marinate salmon for too long, the fish can start to break down.

Does Salmon Need to Be Marinated?

No, you do not have to use a marinade for salmon (as my Pesto Salmon and Pan Seared Salmon prove). However, using a marinade enhances the flavor of salmon and helps keep it moist.

Can I Marinate Frozen Salmon?

Yes, you can marinate frozen salmon, but you need to ensure it’s thawed completely first. The marinade won’t work properly if the fish is still frozen in the middle.

Salmon Marinade

4.43 from 14 votes
The best easy salmon marinade for the grill or oven made with soy sauce, honey, Dijon mustard, and garlic. Simple and super flavorful!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 45 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  


Instructions
 

  • Pat the salmon dry and place in a ziptop bag.
  • In a measuring cup with a spout or mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, honey, Dijon, garlic powder, and black pepper.
  • Pour over the top of the fish.
  • Seal the bag, removing as much excess air as you can, then set in a dish or on a plate to catch any possible drips. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 1 hour (after 1 hour, fish tends to get mushy when marinated but if you MUST, you can refrigerate for up to 4 hours).
  • Cook the salmon, using your preferred method. OVEN: Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper and place the salmon in the center (if using fillets, make sure they do not touch). Bake at 400°F for 11 to 14 minutes for 6-ounce fillets or 15 to 18 minutes for a single side, until the salmon registers 135°F on an instant read thermometer inserted at the thickest part of the salmon (the FDA recommends 145°F; I prefer to remove the salmon and let it rest so that it doesn’t taste dry). Remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes.
  • GRILL: Place the salmon skin-side down on a HOT grill. Let cook without disturbing until the salmon releases easily with a spatula, about 6 to 7 minutes. Flip and cook on the flesh side, about 2 to 4 minutes more depending upon your grill temperature. Remove to a plate and let rest 5 minutes.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Very gently rewarm salmon in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze salmon in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 (of 4)Calories: 406kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 35gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 94mgPotassium: 898mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 74IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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34 Comments

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  1. Needed a quick and easy recipe and this fit the bill! Everyone thought it was delicious and I will definitely make this again.5 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t to your taste, Terry. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it. I (and many other readers) have enjoyed it, so I really wish they would’ve been a hit for you too!

  2. This had really nice flavor. I grilled it and followed the timing guidelines in the recipe and it was moist and perfectly done. We have a hard time getting any decent salmon in the desert so we settle for what we can get. We pre-soaked the salmon in salt water and then rinsed and dried it before adding to marinade for an hour. It took away the fishy taste and smell and the marinade flavors shined. Thank you for a great recipe. We are saving this one.5 stars

  3. Amazing! Perfect blend of maple with a touch of soft spice from the mustard. We had friends over for a dinner party 100% loved it and wanted recipe to boot, even a friend who strongly dislikes salmon decided to try it and had seconds!!
    I used garlic infused olive oil and deleted the garlic powder instead,
    stripped the skin off then grilled it!
    I love pantry ready recipes with great hints to boot!
    Thanks a bunch5 stars

  4. Used this recipe for my first time cooking salmon and it was delicious! Marinade was simple to make and super tasty. Also the tip about taking the salmon out a few minutes before it hits 145 degrees gave me perfectly cooked fish. Definitely adding this recipe into my rotation!5 stars

  5. Followed recipe almost exactly, used 2 tablespoons of low sodium soy instead of 3…everybody loved it!…..it was delicious!!!……making again tonight!!!5 stars

  6. I was looking for a recipe that I could make with ingredients that I already had at home, this was it. I hate when people review a recipe and say “I changed this that or the other” so, forgive me, LoL. I did season the salmon with a citrus garlic seasoning that I get from Trader Joe’s, I love garlic and the citrus calms the fishy taste. I cooked the fish in the air fryer. I put it in my meal prep salads for the week. The flavor was mild enough to blend but strong enough to add to my dish. This will be my go to and I’ll definitely be sharing!5 stars

  7. We just finished eating and I had to say how much we both love this recipe! I used wild caught sockeye and opted for the maple syrup, marinated for about 45 minutes, at room temp. Started it on a preheated fish griddle on the bbq grill and followed your instructions closely. Wonderful, thank you!

  8. Love the recipe! Husband & I use it about once a month, we whip up the marinade & let frozen salmon rest in it for a few hours in the fridge, then sous vide the filets.5 stars

  9. This was wonderful! Simple to make and great flavor. We served on whole grain buns with onion, lettuce and choice of condiments just for fun. Great recipe, as always!5 stars

  10. Just googled for a quick salmon recipe. This came up and i have to say was lovely. I did it in the air fryer after marinating the salmon for an hour and a half. Delicious.
    Thankyou.5 stars

  11. Awesome marinade!!! We cooked our salmon on a Traeger with your marinade recipe and we are so happy. This will be our “go to” marinade for salmon.
    Thank you 😎5 stars

  12. Let’s see, dry the salmon and then put it in the wet marinate? Ok. This might work if the fish were grilled. I used the oven and the result was dreadful. My salmon was 135, no crust, no anything, just at piece of wet barely flavored ssoggy salmon.. DONT use the oven. If might work on the grill but my expensive piece of salmon barely eatable.1 star

    1. Hi Jan, I’m sorry to hear you had issues with the recipe. Yes, you pat dry the salmon to remove any blood or juice from the salmon, as you would if you were making chicken. It’s a pretty common practice when marinating just about any kind of meat. There wouldn’t likely be a crust, you’d need to place it under a broiler to achieve that result. Make sure to remove the salmon from the marinade when adding it to the baking sheet or it could produce a soggy result.

  13. i was SO bummed that i couldn’t find my lemon-pepper store-bought marinade to marinate my salmon, but boy am i glad, or i never would have found this gem of a marinade. it was absolutely DELICOUS…so much so that i am writing it down and sticking it in my recipe box. yes, i’m that old. thanks for sharing. quick and easy and fabulous!