Maple Glazed Salmon

Fresh salmon marinated in sweet-salty maple-syrup and soy sauce, then dusted with pepper and baked. Simple enough for a weeknight, special enough for company.
Maple-Glazed Salmon ♥, simple salmon marinated in maple syrup, dusted with pepper and baked. Simple enough for a weeknight, special enough for company. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.

  • "Our dinner was extra-special, thanks to you!" ~ Manisha
  • "Wowwwwwwww. Talk about easy and really good." ~ Lesley

Every week, another story emerges about the miracles worked by salmon. If the claims are to be believed, it’s the cancer-curing, figure-fending, wrinkle-ravaging, memory-mothering, clock-stopping, energy-saving, chocolate-tasting (okay, not that last one) food of the decade.

Whether the claims prove true hardly matters since salmon is so readily available, tastes so great and gets to the table so fast.

My recipe box includes a dozen great ways to cook salmon but this maple syrup-glazed treatment trumps them all. It’s a reincarnation of the French-classic and 1980s-trendy peppered steak, this time with buttery fish and cooked in just minutes under high heat.

Truth be told, it is a miracle food.


Sweet & peppery marinated salmon
Up-front prep: 5 minutes
Then marinate 4 – 48 hours
Then prep: 5 minutes
Then time to table: 25 minutes
Serves 8 (easily halved or quartered or even "eighth-ed" for a single serving)
  • 2 pounds salmon (see ALANNA’s TIPS)
  • 3/4 cup (220g) maple syrup (see TIPS)
  • 1/4 cup (65g) soy sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • Plenty of coarse black pepper (see TIPS)

Combine the salmon, maple syrup and soy sauce in a ziplock bag. (If you like, place the bag in a bowl to hold it up straight.) Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (no skimping!) and as long as 48 hours, turning occasionally.

Move an oven rack to the top position and preheat to 500F/260C.

Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spritz with cooking spray. Remove the salmon (discard the remaining marinade) and arrange (skin-side down for filets with skin) on the baking sheet. Thickly and firmly, press the pepper into the top side.

Cook the salmon for about 6 minutes for individual filets or 10 minutes for fat filets or steaks. (The rule of thumb is 10 minutes per inch of thickness or use a digital thermometer to cook to 145F/65C.) The salmon is done when the flesh has turned pale pink but remains moist.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS This salmon pairs beautifully with Roasted Zucchini with Lemon. Both require a 500F oven, a rarity. I also like to serve the marinated and peppered salmon over fresh asparagus, combining this recipe and the one for Roasted Salmon & Asparagus.

RESOURCES Arrgh, it's easy to both overcook and undercook fish, extra hard since salmon is not inexpensive. That's why I rely on a digital thermometer to get the temperature right each and every time. I think this is especially important for someone who doesn't cook often and so isn't as familiar with the visual cues of perfectly cooked fish. My Disclosure Promise

ALANNA's TIPS Salmon steaks, individual filets and thick filets from warehouse clubs all work well. If the skin’s still on one side, the salmon will be slightly tastier. Believe it or not, pancake syrup, even sugar-free pancake syrup, is a decent substitute for pricey maple syrup. My aunt uses sugar-free syrup to make this salmon and recommends the sugar-free syrup from sugar-free syrup from Joseph's. (Not a sponsored link.) Commercial coarse pepper works better than freshly ground pepper. Do use a lot of pepper, more than seems imaginable! as much as a quarter cup. If it’s too peppery for someone, it’s easy to scrape off later. The salmon can be grilled as well.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 207 Calories; 3g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 58mg Cholesterol; 536mg Sodium; 19g Carb; 0g Fiber; 17g Sugar; 23g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 4 & PointsPlus 5 & SmartPoints 6 & Freestyle 4 FREESTYLE TECHNICALITIES Salmon marinated in anything sweet doesn't technically qualify for Freestyle, nor does salmon skin. Me, I choose to ignore the first technicality but not the second. I ignore the first on the basis of (1) frequency and (2) consistency and (3) real food. At least in our home, salmon is a special treat, so it's not like this is the supper choice every night or even every week or every month. Freestyle works in other recipes with sugar, you just do the math and depending on the other ingredients, there's a point or two difference in points between SmartPoints and Freestyle. And this recipe calls for maple syrup, a whole food, not processed sugar. So for me, Maple-Glazed Salmon works with Freestyle so long as there's no skin (or the skin is uneaten) and I use maple syrup (vs other sweeteners). To be conservative, I also assume that 100% of the maple syrup is eaten, even though not all of it is absorbed by the fish as it marinates. If these Freestyle stretches don't work for you, then may I suggest, use the "SmartPoints" figure in your count or choose another recipe, either Roasted Salmon & Asparagus or Simple Grilled Salmon?
Adapted from a recipe from my cousin Lynda.

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous7/19/2007

    Alanna, this sounds delicious. My b-i-l makes something similar with halibut that he grills. He does not discard the marinade. He cooks it till it thickens and pours it over the halibut as a sauce. Which is what I would be inclined to do, too.

    I've never cooked salmon but every time I eat salmon that someone else has cooked or with every recipe I read, I am getting closer and closer to taking the plunge! My first encounters with salmon were not very delightful - the steak was thick, very dry and tasteless but the people around me all oohed and aahed over it. Recently though, I've had excellent salmon, thin filets, so I am getting there! Who knows maybe even this weekend!

    Any tips on grilling salmon? Do I need a basket to hold the fish or will I need to put foil on the grill?


  2. Hi Manisha ~ This would be a terrific debut salmon. Seriously, it's just that good. And it will be completely moist and flavorful.

    My family and I have been going back and forth on what to do with the sauce. I think it's completely okay to boil it and use it - but my cousin is experimenting with freezing it and then reusing. But honestly because Kitchen Parade has a big readership in print, I didn't want to recommend something that seemed doubtful, food safety wise.

    I'm the last person advice about grilling anything, let alone fish. But Helen from Beyond Salmon (there's a link to the right) recently did a post on grilling fish. She's a terrific source.

    As ever, thanks for stopping in! I love the conversation!


  3. Anonymous7/19/2007

    Alanna, I asked him and while I thought it was the same - it's not. He uses white wine, molasses (the sweet taste which I thought was maple syrup), fresh ginger and fresh ground pepper. His recipe is from the recipe book Fish from Williams-Sonoma, which as it turns out, I have too! It was a gift from him so the whole conversation took a very sheepish tone from my side! The recipe says to boil the marinade for 2 minutes and this is in print, so I guess you're covered. ;-)

    The recipe also says to toss wedges of lemons and oranges on the grill for about 2 minutes. I had never had grilled oranges before and they complemented the fish very well.

    I have to admit that before I asked him, I was considering adding fresh grated ginger to your recipe. I *love* ginger; we all do - so I am still mulling over it. I'll let you know what I do and how it turns out.

    Thanks for the pointer to Helen from Beyond Salmon. I'm off to see what she recommends!


  4. Hi again Manisha ... white wine, molasses, ginger, pepper, sounds like a winner! And I agree that ginger would be a marvelous addition to this marinade. At the same time, there's something quite spare and special about just the sweet and the salt and the hot. Let me know what you decide to do and how it turns out!


  5. Anonymous7/19/2007

    I did it! I would have gone nutso if I hadn't! And, yes, I added ginger. I can't explain it, I had to. I just posted my adaptation of your recipe on my blog. Take a peek whenever you get a chance.

    Our dinner was extra-special, thanks to you!


  6. Anonymous7/19/2007

    Alanna, that is one good looking salmon. Came here after seeing Manisha's version, and the two of you seemed to have convinved me that this salmon recipe ought not be missed.


  7. Hi Gini - Nothing like a first-time salmon cook to persuade one, indeed!


  8. Anonymous7/19/2007

    Alanna, any tips for reheating?

    I reheated in the oven at 400F for 5 mins. It wasn't as hot as I would have liked it to be but then I didn't want to overcook the fish either.


  9. I'm not sure I've ever had that "problem", Manisha: no leftovers! Or hmm. Maybe once. Turned into a nighttime salad so no reheating.


  10. Anonymous7/19/2007

    Didn't think of that! Using it in a salad. You're an amazing source of ideas!


  11. Wowwwwwwww. Talk about easy and really good. My hubby and I loved this. I've made 4 things off your site since I found it Sunday, and everything has been great.

  12. Lesley ~ Thank you, thank you, for all the sweet words. You have made my DAY!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna