One of my favorite weeknight meals is Oven Baked Salmon. Salmon is been my favorite fish to cook over the past six years that I’ve been pescatarian. When I first started incorporating fish in my diet after being a vegetarian for almost 14 years, my mom would make salmon at least one time a week and I thought it was so good.
She would use a bottled Hawaiian jerk seasoning or garlic & herb marinade from the bottle. After I started learning more about clean eating and the unnecessary ingredients in most convenience foods (like these bottled marinades) I decided that I needed to figure out a way to enjoy my salmon without all the extra added high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and preservatives.
I try to keep my cooking very healthy and as easy as possible. While this recipe is not as easy as opening up a jar, it comes pretty darn close. Simply combined dijon mustard, the juice from two oranges, and just a touch of maple syrup and you’ve got yourself a pretty awesome marinade. I love adding pecans on the top of the salmon. It gives the dish an extra crunch.
When I make protein for dinner, I like to make an extra serving for lunch the next day. No, I’m that person that puts fish in the microwave (yuck). I prefer to eat my salmon cold over salad the next day. It’s also amazing paired with quinoa tabbouleh or cauliflower tabbouleh and lettuce in a wrap.
If you’re anything like me, this go to marinade will quickly become your favorite thing to add on all of your protein. The oranges are of course sweet but doesn’t overpower the salmon flavor. The dijon adds that slightly acidic, slightly tangy mustard flavor that pairs so well with both the orange and the salmon. Maple syrup does a beautiful job of balancing out all these flavors; I really think it’s key to the recipe so don’t leave it out unless you have to. Don’t forget the pecans, there is nothing better than the crunch of toasty pecan against that buttery salmon.
Tips on salmon: If using fresh salmon, cooking time will likely be 12-15 minutes. I have found that salmon is best if you allow the fish to rest on the counter for 5 minutes before serving. Cutting into the fish too soon may cause it to become dry. The skin helps keep the fish from drying out during the cooking process, and therefore I find it beneficial to leave on (if available). I personally do not eat the salmon skin but Ms. Pepper Ann is more than happy to help me in that department.
Also remember, if you buy fresh salmon from the grocery store, it likely has been frozen previously. You can ask the people at the fish counter if you are not sure. If previously frozen, you should not refreeze the salmon. That means you need to cook the salmon within 1-2 days of purchase.
Be sure to line your baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, so you don’t have to fight your fish off the pan (that’s seriously the worst). I like that cleanup is a breeze this way as well! I’d much rather be relaxing on the couch than scrubbing pans!
Oven Baked Salmon Orange Mustard Marinade
- 1 - 11/2 lbs. salmon defrosted
- 2 tbs. dijon mustard
- 2 oranges juiced
- 1 tbs. maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- cracked black pepper
- 1/4-1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a small bowl, mix the dijon mustard, orange juice and maple syrup in the bowl.
- Place foil or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Spray with coconut oil. Place salmon skin side down on the baking sheet.
- Using a large spoon, spoon the marinade over the salmon fillets. Let sit 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with pecans and put into oven.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350.
- Take out of the oven and serve with your favorite sides. This is great with salad, It would also be fantastic with quinoa and green beans!
What about you?
- What is your go to marinade?
- Do you make leftovers on purpose for the next day?
- What’s your favorite salmon recipe?