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Honey Chipotle Salmon

Honey chipotle salmon is spicy, smoky and slightly sweet and will quickly become your new favorite way to eat salmon. Ready in just 15 minutes, this chipotle salmon recipe is easy enough for weeknight meals but fancy enough for company.

Chipotle salmon on sheet pan, spatula picking up salmon from sheet pan.
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Why you will love this recipe

  • Fun new way to enjoy salmon – the honey chipotle sauce gives the salmon a whole new flavor! The simple sauce is sweet, smoky, and a little spicy and reminds me a bit of adding a spicy bbq sauce to the salmon.
  • Simple ingredients – the chipotle honey sauce is made with pantry staples, so you likely have everything you need on h and right now to make this honey chipotle salmon recipe.
  • No marinade required – simply blend up the sauce, coat the salmon then cook the salmon in the oven. Add more sauce right before serving. The sauce is so flavorful that you don’t need to marinade the salmon in advance.
  • Quick and easy – cooking salmon is one of the easiest weeknight dinners. It’s ready in 15 minutes, and if you put parchment paper down, has a very easy clean up too!
Ingredients to make chipotle honey salmon on marble countertop.

Ingredients

  • Salmon – be sure you are buying fresh salmon or frozen salmon that you have defrosted fully. I recommend buying wild caught salmon (if your budget allows it) as it’s got more Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Spices: Salt, garlic powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika – these spices help to season the salmon to ensure it’s packed with flavor. The cumin and smoked paprika give the salmon a smoky flavor.

Honey chipotle sauce

  • Honey – honey gives the sauce sweetness, which helps to balance out the spice from the peppers. You could also use maple syrup or your favorite low carb sweetener.
  • Chipotle in adobo – these canned chipotle peppers are spicy and smoky and give the sauce so much flavor. If you don’t love spice, only add 1 or 2. If you love spice, feel free to add an additional jalapeno.
  • Olive oil – olive oil is needed to help thicken the sauce and also helps to balance out the heat from the chipotle peppers. You could also use avocado oil.
  • Apple cider vinegar – vinegar is needed to help balance out the sauce and also helps to reduce the spice from the peppers. You could also use lime juice.
  • Spices: Salt, garlic powder, cumin – these simple spices add balance, umami and smokiness.

How to make honey chipotle salmon

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Make the honey chipotle sauce: Put all the ingredients in a blender (or food processor) and blend until smooth (about 1-2 minutes).

Prep the salmon: Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Place salmon on parchment paper (skin side down), sprinkle salt, garlic powder, cumin and smoked paprika over the salmon then pour about 3-4 tablespoons of the sauce over the salmon (be sure not to contaminate the leftover sauce, you will be using it later).

Bake the salmon:  Bake in a 425F oven for 12-15 minutes depending on how thick the salmon is and how “done” you prefer your salmon.

Sauce and serve: Add more honey chipotle sauce over top of the cooked salmon and serve.

Top tips

  • Remove about 3 tablespoons of the honey chipotle sauce and put it in a separate container to brush the fish with. You don’t want to contaminate the rest of the sauce.
  • If you are short on time, you can make the honey chipotle sauce up to a week in advance. I like to use my countertop air fryer oven to bake salmon in since it doesn’t take as long to preheat.
  • Be sure that if you are using frozen salmon that it’s completely defrosted before baking.

What to serve along side chipotle salmon

Salmon with chipotle sauce flaked on a white plate.

Common questions

What to look for when buying salmon

I typically recommend buying frozen salmon and defrosting it yourself at home for the best quality. Did you know that most salmon comes to the store frozen, then is defrosted and let to sit in the store hoping for someone to buy it.

Note: If you are buying frozen salmon and it’s in a vacuum sealed container, it’s recommended that you poke a hole in the vacuum seal to allow some oxygen in while the salmon is defrosting. There is a bacteria that causes botulism that can thrive in an oxygen poor environment like vacuum sealed fish.

If you choose to buy fresh salmon at the store, there are three areas to look for when buying fresh salmon:

  • Smell: The salmon should not have a foul or fishy smell. If it does, it’s already going bad.
  • Look: The salmon should look bright and plump, not look dried out or mealy. There should not be any brown or green spots around the edges.
  • Cut: If you get the choice of the cut, go for the thicker, center cut pieces vs getting the tail piece which tends to be thinner and will cook quicker than the thicker center cut pieces.
Honey chipotle salmon on sheet pan with silver spatula on side.

Can you cook salmon with the skin on?

Yes! Once cooked, the salmon is easy to remove from the skin (much easier than trying to remove it before cooking). Since this salmon is roasting in the oven (not going into a hot skillet) the skin won’t get crispy, so it’s best to slide the salmon off the skin before serving.

If you want crispy skin, preheat a cast iron skillet in the oven at 400F for 15 minutes. Add the honey chipotle salmon, skin side down to the cast iron skillet. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.

How to know when salmon is done cooking?

Salmon should flake in the thickest part when done cooking through.

Every person has a different level of “doneness” they like their salmon. Personally, I tend to like mine closer to well done. I find that salmon often has carry over cooking time, so take it out of the oven before you think it’s done.

Cooking time will depend on how thick the salmon fillets are and what kind of salmon you are cooking. According to a study from America’s Test Kitchen, wild caught salmon is best cooked to an internal temperature of 120F and farmed salmon to an internal temperature of 125F. Note the USDA recommends that the salmon be 145F internal temperature, but the salmon will be very well done at this internal temperature, so most people do not agree with this temperature.

Spatula picking up a salmon fillet coated in honey chipotle sauce.

Storing leftovers

Fridge: This honey chipotle glazed salmon is best right out of the oven but you can store leftovers for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Reheating – you can reheat salmon in the oven, air fryer or microwave

  • Oven: Reheat in a 350F oven for 6-8 minutes.
  • Air fryer: Reheat in a 350F air fryer for 3-4 minutes.
  • Microwave: Reheat on high power for 1 – 1:30 minutes.

If you love making salmon at home, you should try

Greek Salmon Sheet Pan Meal

Tahini Crusted Salmon

Pesto Salmon

Teriyaki Salmon and veggies

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Honey chipotle salmon being lifted off baking sheet with spatula .

Chipotle Honey Salmon

Honey chipotle salmon is easy to make, ready in 15 minutes and packed with flavor. Easy enough for weeknight meals but fancy enough for company. This healthy salmon recipe has a homemade chipotle honey sauce that is made with simple ingredients.
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Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chipotle honey salmon, chipotle salmon, honey chipotle salmon
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Honey Chipotle Salmon

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Make the honey chipotle sauce. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
  • Place parchment paper over a baking sheet. Add salmon (skin side down) onto baking sheet. Add salt, garlic powder cumin and smoked paprika to the salmon. Then add the chipotle honey sauce (about 3-4 tablespoons). Be sure not to contaminate the rest of the sauce.
  • Once the salmon is coated in honey chipotle sauce, bake at 425F for 12-15 minutes until cooked through to your liking.
  • Once the salmon is done, add additional chipotle sauce over the salmon and serve.

Equipment

Notes

Top tips
  • Remove about 3 tablespoons of the honey chipotle sauce and put it in a separate container to brush the fish with. You don’t want to contaminate the rest of the sauce.
  • If you are short on time, you can make the honey chipotle sauce up to a week in advance. I like to use my countertop air fryer oven to bake salmon in since it doesn’t take as long to preheat.
  • Be sure that if you are using frozen salmon that it’s completely defrosted before baking.
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
306
Fat
 
16
g
Carbohydrates
 
11
g
Fiber
 
1
g
Sugar
 
9
g
Protein
 
28
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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