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Crisp on the outside and tender and buttery on the inside, this bourbon glazed salmon is an easy dinner that’s ready in less than 30 minutes!

Overhead shot of a skillet of bourbon glazed salmon on a table.
Table of Contents
  1. What is bourbon glaze made of?
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to Make Bourbon Glaze for Salmon
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. Storage
  6. Recipe Variations
  7. Tips for the Best Bourbon Glazed Salmon Recipe
  8. Bourbon Glazed Salmon Recipe

There’s a cozy restaurant at Graves Mountain Lodge here in Madison, where they serve bourbon glazed salmon on the special Valentine’s Day dinner buffet. After enjoying the sweet and savory fish earlier this year, I came home determined to recreate the dish in my own kitchen. Best of all, it’s a quick and easy meal that’s perfect for any night of the week — no reservations required!

Seasoning salmon with salt and pepper.

What is bourbon glaze made of?

This sweet and savory bourbon glaze is made with just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. You’ll need butter and oil, brown sugar to sweeten the glaze and give it that thick consistency, garlic and green onions for savory flavor, and soy sauce for that rich, salty, umami taste. Plus, don’t forget the bourbon!

Whisking bourbon glaze for salmon recipe in a small green bowl.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a skillet of bourbon glazed salmon. As always, specific measurements and step by step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Salmon: use as many 6-ounce fillets as you need. For instance, cut the recipe in half and prepare just two salmon filets if you’re feeding a smaller family. This is coho salmon (since that’s what is readily available near me), but you can use wild-caught Alaskan salmon, Atlantic salmon, or farm-raised salmon. Whatever you prefer — it all has great health benefits and is full of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: to season the fish.
  • Butter and vegetable oil: to sear the fish in the skillet, and add an essential fat component to the glaze.
  • Garlic and green onions: for savory flavor.
  • Light brown sugar: sweetens the glaze and gives it a thicker texture.
  • Bourbon: for rich flavor. I recommend Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, or Jim Beam, for example.
  • Low-sodium soy sauce: gives the glaze a salty, umami flavor that balances the sweetness of the brown sugar.
Spooning bourbon glaze for salmon recipe in a skillet

How to Make Bourbon Glaze for Salmon

This easy bourbon glazed salmon recipe starts on the stovetop and finishes in the oven under the broiler. The glaze simmers in the skillet right alongside the fish, seasoning the salmon and thickening as it cooks. I’ve included detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version:

  • Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
  • Whisk together the bourbon glaze.
  • Simmer the glaze with butter and oil in a hot skillet for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the salmon and cook for 3 minutes, basting with the glaze.
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven so that the fish can finish under the broiler, becoming crispy and caramelized on the top.
Square overhead shot of bourbon glazed salmon in a skillet with a side of bread and green beans

What temp should salmon be cooked to?

You know the salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork. If you’re using an instant read thermometer, the USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145°F, which should be measured at the thickest part of the fillet.

Side shot of a plate of bourbon glazed salmon

Serving Suggestions

Serve the salmon with bourbon glaze alongside any of these easy options:

What wine goes with bourbon glazed salmon?

As a general rule, rich fish like salmon pairs nicely with full-bodied white wines such as oak-aged Chardonnay, Viognier, White Rioja, White Burgundy, and White Pinot Noir. If you’d like a red wine with your bourbon-glazed salmon, try a light red like a Barbera or Pinot Noir.

Four pieces of bourbon glazed salmon in a cast iron skillet

Storage

Leftover salmon will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Leftovers can also be frozen for 4-6 months, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Thaw cooked salmon in the refrigerator or immersed in cold water. Use cooked, thawed salmon in salads or as a substitute for canned salmon in casseroles, pasta dishes, sandwiches, or wraps.

Overhead image of bourbon glazed salmon on a plate with rice

Recipe Variations

  • Season the salmon with even more herbs and spices. For instance, add a dash of garlic powder, onion powder, or paprika; try our favorite all-purpose seasoning blend; or use parsley, rosemary, thyme, or basil.
  • For even more flavorful “kick,” add fresh ginger to the bourbon glaze.
  • Cooking Just for Two? Cut the recipe in half and bake according to the recipe instructions.
  • For a larger group, bake even more salmon fillets.
  • Garnish with sliced green onion, fresh herbs, lemon juice or lime juice for a bright, fresh touch. Crushed red pepper flakes add a delicious spicy flavor, while toasted sesame seeds give the fish extra crunchy texture and subtle nutty flavor.
Overhead image of bourbon glazed salmon with a side of green beans and bread.

Tips for the Best Bourbon Glazed Salmon Recipe

  • If you’re starting with frozen salmon, let the salmon thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using in this recipe.
  • Pat the fish dry with paper towels before seasoning.
  • Use a cast iron skillet that’s at least 12-inches in diameter. This allows for plenty of space in between salmon fillets, which helps the fish cook evenly and crisp on the edges (rather than steam). This is the skillet shown here.
  • If you don’t have an oven-proof skillet, transfer the salmon and the glaze to a baking dish, rimmed foil-lined baking sheet, or other oven-safe pan before placing it under the broiler.
  • Broil the fish on the middle rack in the oven. If the salmon is on the top rack (closest to the broiler flame), the glaze will burn before the fish cooks through.
  • The total cooking time will vary depending on the size, temperature, and thickness of your fish when it goes under the broiler. As a result, keep a close eye on the salmon and remove it as soon as the outside is crisp and the inside flakes easily with a fork. If using a meat thermometer, you’re looking for an internal temperature of 145°F in the thickest part of the fish.
Close up side shot of bourbon glazed salmon in a cast iron skillet

More Easy Salmon Recipes to Try

Square overhead shot of bourbon glazed salmon in a skillet with a side of bread and green beans

Bourbon Glazed Salmon

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 11 minutes
Total: 21 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 461 kcal
This easy bourbon glazed salmon recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes!

Equipment

  • 12-inch cast iron skillet

Ingredients
  

  • 4 salmon fillets (about 6 ounces each)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large cloves garlic, grated or minced (about 2 teaspoons total)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Pat salmon dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
    Seasoning salmon with salt and pepper.
  • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the broiler. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, brown sugar, bourbon, soy sauce, and green onions.
    Whisking bourbon glaze for salmon recipe in a small green bowl.
  • Add the butter and oil to a large, oven-safe skillet (at least 12 inches) over medium-high heat. Once the butter melts, whisk in the bourbon mixture. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly, for about 1-2 minutes. Add the salmon, skin side down (if using salmon with skin); cook for 3 minutes. Baste the salmon with the sauce by spooning the sauce over the salmon periodically as it cooks.
    Spooning bourbon glaze for salmon recipe in a skillet
  • Transfer the skillet to the middle rack under the broiler. Broil salmon for 5-6 minutes, basting with the bourbon glaze about halfway through, until the salmon is caramelized on top and the fish flakes easily with a fork.
    Overhead shot of a skillet of bourbon glazed salmon on a table.

Notes

    • If you’re starting with frozen salmon, let the salmon thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using in this recipe.
    • Pat the fish dry with paper towels before seasoning.
    • Use a cast iron skillet that’s at least 12-inches in diameter. This allows for plenty of space in between salmon fillets, which helps the fish cook evenly and crisp on the edges (rather than steam). This is the skillet shown here.
    • If you don’t have an oven-proof skillet, transfer the salmon and the glaze to a baking dish or other oven-safe pan before placing it under the broiler.
    • Broil the fish on the middle rack in the oven. If the salmon is on the top rack (closest to the broiler flame), the glaze will burn before the fish cooks through.
    • The total cooking time will vary depending on the size, temperature, and thickness of your fish when it goes under the broiler. As a result, keep a close eye on the salmon and remove it as soon as the outside is crisp and the inside flakes easily with a fork. If using a meat thermometer, you’re looking for an internal temperature of 145°F in the thickest part of the fish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the salmon and glazeCalories: 461kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 35gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 703mgPotassium: 951mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 303IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: bourbon glaze for salmon, bourbon glazed salmon, bourbon glazed salmon recipe
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Sonja Lillie says:

    5 stars
    Love all your recipes Thank-you HAPPY MOTHERS DAY !!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thank you, Sonja! 🙂

  2. mcj says:

    whoever’s wedding ring is in the picture- it’s a really nice design!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Hah! Thank you! That’s my ring, but it’s not my engagement ring. It’s a ring that I wear on my right hand, which my parents gave me. They worked with a jeweler to design a ring that would use the sapphires and diamonds from one of my grandmother’s rings. So it’s sentimental, too!

  3. Terry Payne says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe. One my favorites

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Thank you, Terry!

  4. Andrea says:

    My husband is not a big fan of salmon but he loved this!! Great recipe and super simple!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      I’m so glad to hear that, Andrea. Thank you!

  5. Curran says:

    Nice recipe. WAY WAY to many ads. Be nice.

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      We’re glad you enjoyed the recipe! We do our best to limit the ads but don’t always have control over their placement. We do hope you continue to enjoy the site!