This 5-ingredient honey garlic salmon marinade produces wildly flavorful and perfectly fork-tender, flaky fillets from the grill, oven, or air fryer in record time! Made with a touch of honey, a drizzle of savory soy sauce, a healthy dose of zesty garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, you’ll never make salmon any other way again. Includes multiple cooking methods and step-by-step photos, too!

Close-up overhead shot of a white platter with a serving fork and pieces of salmon covered in glaze and topped with fresh parsley.

5 star review

“Made this one for dinner tonight and cooked the salmon in the air fryer. It was delicious and so easy to put together. Will be making again!”

– Ale

Step-by-Step Visual Guide: Salmon Marinade

Jump to Recipe Instructions

Testing Notes from Robyn

Most weeknights, spending hours in the kitchen making complicated recipes is not possible.

But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a home-cooked meal during the week!

These situations are where I fall back on super fast, minimal ingredient dinners, like this marinated salmon.

One of the quickest marinade recipes I’ve created, the salmon only needs to marinate for 10 to 15 minutes and cook for another 15 minutes.

And, yes, salmon is delicious on its own with salt and pepper, but why not take it to the next level with the best 5-ingredient marinade?

This sweet and spicy marinade combines honey, soy sauce, garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes for a take on hot honey, which is the perfect pair for salmon.

Once grilled, baked, or broiled, the salmon is bursting with flavor and has a little bit of caramelization thanks to the honey.

If you can’t get enough of this flavor profile, you’ll have to make teriyaki chicken marinade and honey soy marinade.

Side angle close-up of a white plate with a fork, white rice, salmon with a glaze, broccoli, and parsley. A jar of honey is in the background.

How to Prepare Marinated Salmon Ahead of Time

Since salmon is delicate, don’t marinate the fish longer than 1 hour as it will start falling apart.

However, you can still save time by meal prepping the marinade up to 4 days in advance (just store in the fridge).

With the marinade prepped in advance, all you have to worry about is marinating and cooking the salmon the night of!

Tips for Grilling Salmon

Grilling salmon produces beautiful grill marks, but it can be a bit finicky since the salmon flakes when it’s cooked, and the sugar can cause it to stick. If you are nervous about grilling, simply grill skin-side down. You won’t get the grill marks, but you will get the delicious grill flavor. Otherwise, baking or broiling the salmon is equally as delicious.

Overhead shot of the following ingredients: honey, oil, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, mince garlic.

Ingredient Notes

Oil: Feel free to use avocado oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil.

Soy Sauce: For gluten free, use tamari.

Honey: If you don’t have honey, you can use brown sugar. With brown sugar, the marinade won’t be as sticky and therefore won’t stick to the salmon as well, but it’s just as delicious.

Garlic: Since there are so few ingredients in this recipe, fresh garlic is best. Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of garlic based on your preference.

Red Pepper Flakes: These are key for the hot honey profile, however, if you’re not a fan of spice, you can reduce the amount or leave it out.

Salmon: Any cut of salmon works – whole pieces, filets, or defrosted frozen pieces. I call for 1 ½ pounds of salmon in this recipe, but if you use about half the amount of salmon, simply half the marinade recipe.

Serving Suggestions

Keeping dinner simple is the goal here, so don’t overcomplicate the side dishes. One of these super easy BBQ side dishes perfectly round out this easy salmon meal (some can even be made in advance!).

Overhead shot of a white platter with a serving fork and pieces of salmon covered in glaze and topped with fresh parsley on a piece of parchment paper. Platter is surrounded by bowls of fresh parsley and red pepper flakes and jars of glaze and honey.

This Recipe Is…

Close-up overhead shot of a white platter with a serving fork and pieces of salmon covered in glaze and topped with fresh parsley.
5 stars (2 ratings)

Honey Garlic Salmon Marinade (5-Ingredients!)

This 5-ingredient honey garlic salmon marinade produces wildly flavorful and perfectly fork-tender, flaky fillets from the grill, oven, or air fryer in record time! Made with a touch of honey, a drizzle of savory soy sauce, a healthy dose of zesty garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, you'll never make salmon any other way again.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ pounds salmon

Instructions 

Make the Marinade

  • Whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, honey, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl until smooth.

Marinade the Salmon

  • Pat the salmon dry and check for and remove and pin bones. Add half of the marinade along with the salmon to a 1-gallon zip-top bag or baking dish. Set the remaining half of the marinade aside.
  • Toss the salmon to coat, then press as much air out of the bag (if using) as possible, or cover with plastic wrap (if using a baking dish). Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, or up to 60 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes.

Grilling Instructions

  • When ready to grill, heat a grill or grill plan to medium high. Remove the salmon from the marinade, shake off any excess, and discard any remaining marinade from the bag or dish.
  • Place the salmon flesh side down and grill for 5-7 minutes, then rotate and grill 2-5 additional minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 135F at the thickest part (the salmon will be slightly underdone at 135F, but will continue to cook while it rests).
  • Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then drizzle with remaining marinade and serve.

Baking Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Add the salmon and marinade to a medium baking dish. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 135F at the thickest part (the salmon will be slightly underdone at 135F, but will continue to cook while it rests).
  • Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then drizzle with remaining marinade and serve.

Broiling Instructions

  • Set the oven to broil. Add the salmon and marinade to a baking sheet. Broil for 5-8 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 135F at the thickest part ((the salmon will be slightly underdone at 135F, but will continue to cook while it rests).
  • Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then drizzle with remaining marinade and serve.

Air Fryer Instructions

  • Set the air fryer to 400F. Remove the salmon from the marinade, shake off any excess, and discard any remaining marinade from the bag or dish.
  • Place the salmon skin side down and air fry 6-11 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 135F at the thickest part (the salmon will be slightly underdone at 135F, but will continue to cook while it rests).
  • Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then drizzle with remaining marinade and serve.

Notes

For more ingredients & modifications, make ahead tips, and more, see the blog post above.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 (of 6), Calories: 262kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 62mg, Sodium: 555mg, Potassium: 586mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 70IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutrition disclaimer
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