Easy Maple Sesame Salmon

Easy, flavor-packed, and healthy 6 ingredient maple sesame salmon is on the table in only 35 minutes!

Like, really easy. This is the kind of carefree dinner you make when you:

1) don’t have a lot of ingredients

2) don’t have a lot of time

3) don’t have a lot of energy

4) crave a seriously good dinner

Which is every single night of the week, am I right? Who knew dinner could be so awesome, checking off this many lifesaving positives. 6 ingredients, on the table in 35 minutes, and approximately 2 dishes to clean. This salmon is a total game changer and it’s nearly impossible to screw up. → There! Another positive!

Easy, flavor-packed, and healthy 6 ingredient maple sesame salmon is on the table in only 35 minutes!

This easy maple sesame salmon is 85% what I’ve been eating lately and the other 15% is a mish-mash of leftovers and peanut butter sandwiches. I currently live in two different places as we slowly move into our new house. All good and incredibly exciting stuff (our first home!), but I haven’t had a normal week of cooking and baking in awhile. I’m out of my groove. And I miss it! Long story short: I’ve been trying to sneak in home cooked dinners when I can, so 6 ingredient maple sesame salmon has been on regular rotation. Makes me feel like I have my life together!

Another positive to this easy maple sesame salmon (do we even need more?!): it’s clean eating at its finest getting most of its flavor from pure maple syrup. None of that imitation breakfast syrup stuff. Feel good meal right here. All we have to do is whip up a quick 4 ingredient marinade combining pure maple syrup, sesame oil, soy sauce, and garlic.

Here’s how I always marinate fish and meats:

marinating salmon

It’s pretty glamorous, isn’t it? The only way we do it around here.

You can let the salmon marinate for anywhere between 10 minutes to 8 hours. Obviously the longer the more flavorful and scrumptious, so just stick the salmon into a ziplock bag with the marinade before heading to work. Then it’ll be ready to cook when you get home. Before putting the salmon in the oven, cover it with sesame seeds. The sesame seeds will help lock in the moisture, making the salmon oh-so-flaky inside. And they’re kind of fancy right? Sesame crusted somethings just always sound super impressive to me. I don’t know what it is?

Oh! And the sesame seeds get all crunchy and toasty in the oven. Combined with the flaky salmon… just so many textures happening in blissful harmony right now.

Conveniently, the marinade also becomes the sauce we drizzle on top of the salmon once it’s finished in the oven. We’re not wasting that good stuff! Just let the marinade gently simmer and thicken on the stove as the salmon bakes. Poured over the crisp salmon, it’s lick-your-plate-clean delicious. The perfect balance of salty and sweet, easy and healthy. The kind of sauce you want to drizzle over anything and everything. I mean, it literally is awesomesauce.

Easy, flavor-packed, and healthy 6 ingredient maple sesame salmon is on the table in only 35 minutes!

If I had my act together, I’d serve this with brown rice or quinoa alongside a beautiful green salad. But guess what. I’m half discombobulated and half hot mess at the moment, so steamed asparagus with an unassuming pat of butter it is!

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Easy Maple Sesame Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 4 salmon filets, skin removed (about 2 lbs total)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds (1 Tablespoon per salmon fillet)
  • optional for garnish: chopped scallion

Directions:

  1. Place the salmon filets in a large zipped-top bag. Whisk the maple syrup, soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic together in a medium bowl. Pour over the salmon filets, coating them thoroughly. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or up to 8-9 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F (191°C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  3. Line the marinated salmon filets on the baking sheet and top each with sesame seeds. Hold onto the used marinade-- see step 4. Bake the salmon for 15-20 minutes depending on thickness (about 10 minutes per 1-inch inch thickness-- measured from the thickest part of the filet). You can broil the salmon for the last 3 minutes for crispier edges.
  4. Now, the glaze: Pour the used marinade into a small saucepan or skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat low-medium and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken.
  5. Remove cooked salmon from the oven. Garnish with a little chopped scallion and serve with thickened maple glaze. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. Reheat to your liking.

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Any super quick, minimal ingredient recipes out there that you love? Do share!

Easy, flavor-packed, and healthy 6 ingredient maple sesame salmon is on the table in only 35 minutes!

Easy, flavor-packed, and healthy 6 ingredient maple sesame salmon is on the table in only 35 minutes!

59 comments

  1. I can’t believe you’re blog cooking and posting while mid-move! I have moved a ton and I always pre-cook because I know for like 2-3 weeks I will be eating random bags of rice cakes, butterscotch chips, and whatever else odds and ends are in my pantry I don’t want to move 🙂 Congrats on your new place!!

    Salmon looks great and so does that marinade!

    • Thanks Averie! I have one working kitchen until June– and the kitchen supplies and photography props will be the last thing in the moving truck!

  2. This looks absolutely delicious! 

  3. I would never have thought to combine maple and sesame, but it sounds soo amazing. I don’t always have time to cook after work so this simple recipe with just a few ingredients is exactly what I’m looking for. Congratulations on your first home! That’s sooo exciting!

  4. Omg, this looks killer girl! Maple and sesame together sounds like my dream come true!

  5. I’ve been on  the salmon bandwagon forever, since I eat it at least three times a week. Marinating it just adds a special extra burst of flavor. This looks insanely good because, I mean, maple. That’s all we need in life!

  6. I LOVE salmon. Easy dinners are my middle name! Thank you for sharing Sally! <3

  7. Will the salmon still stay moist without the layer of seeds?  My girls will absolutely not eat them (ordering burgers in restaurants and praying the buns are “clean” is super fun).  These look awesome and I know they’d be a hit otherwise.  Congrats on the new house!
    And sorry to be a butt head and ask about altering the recipe!  

    • It’s no problem! I understand kids (and adults!) don’t necessary like all the ingredients in recipes or perhaps even have an allergy. Sometimes subbing or leaving out is not an option but the sesame seeds are another story. You can leave them out without an issue!

  8. I am sold!  this salmon looks amazing, Sally!  I’ve been eating a lot more fish recently, and I’m looking forward to trying this recipe out!

  9. the recipe looks amazing except for one thing, I don’t eat fish!  Can you substitute chicken without any problems?

  10. You hit ALL of my musts for meals right now: quick, easy, healthy, SALMON (growing baby M needs lots of those good Omega-3s!), and delicious. Can’t wait to add this to my weekly salmon rotation!!! 

  11. Salmon is absolutely my fav fish! This looks delic! I also love salmon hot off the grill and then I put one (or two) slices of room temp butter on it and let it melt all over the salmon. YUM. Then I put it over a bed of greens….my big fav is arugula topped with a small amount of Newman’s Own Lite Lime salad dressing…HEAVEN. I love anything Lemon or Lime with Fish! My absolute ‘go to’ for a quick dinner is Grilled (can you tell I grill all year round?) Basil Chicken. I cut up some Basil leaves, put them in a bowl with a Tablespoon of Parm Cheese (okay, maybe more) 2 Tablespoons of melted butter and minced garlic. Mix that all up and then brush it over the chicken while it’s grilling……Once I take the Chicken off the grill I let it rest for 3 mins or so and then do a final brush over the chicken with this mixture. So there you have it! Five ingredients and you probably have all on hand! It’s wonderful! Good luck with everything! I’m sure its all so exciting!

    • Your suggestions make me SO excited to get a new grill this summer! Especially that basil chicken. Sounds absolutely incredible.

  12. Everyone needs an easy, go-to dinner option and this looks like it will be my new favorite!  We eat salmon at least once a week, so a new preparation is always welcome!  Thanks, Sally!

  13. OMG Sally, that was perfect timing! It’s kind of been a family tradition to have some kind of fish for dinner Friday night. We usually have salmon in a simple garlic and lemon marinade, but this could really shake things up. I’ll tell you how it goes!

  14. I love the maple/sesame/soy sauce/garlic marinade idea.  That sound delicious!!!!  And I am inspired (and appreciative) that you find time to still be blogging consistently while moving!  Life is all about finding the time to do what you love and what you’re obligated to do – I’m so impressed by the balance you find between the two!  

  15. I love easy healthy dinners like this. Salmon is such a quick dish to cook, and I love how this can quickly be made before the day begins, and finished off when you come back from school later. I don’t know when, but I will be giving this a try (as soon as I can get my hands on some real maple syrup probably!) Have a great weekend Sally, and good luck with your move 🙂 

  16. Hey Sally!! This looks amazing! In my family, we don’t eat a lot of salmon… Like EVER. Or really any fish for that matter. Do you think that this recipe would still work if I used chicken instead? Thanks!!

  17. Hi Sally!

    I love that you’re posting savory recipes (and healthy too). My husband and I just moved into our first home in February…total madness! We lived off of pizza and chinese food. Not very good for the waistline!

    Pining for later! 🙂

  18. Good luck during your move!

    Here’s another easy salmon option for you (when I deal with the fresh herbs, I cut a lot at once, then portion them out into 1 oz plastic ramekins and freeze them so on busier nights, I have the fixins already ready to go to dump in my smart chopper for this salmon glaze!): http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/broiled-salmon-with-herb-mustard-glaze-recipe.html

    And here’s a great shrimp option (I know shrimp can be time-consuming to peel de-vein, but I’ve been paying a little extra per pound and buying it already done for me. Well worth the money AND I’m getting an ACTUAL pound of shrimp instead of paying for shells I end up tossing.) http://www.ezrapoundcake.com/archives/22252

    • I’ve seen that salmon recipe from Giada before! Haven’t tried it yet, but now I most certainly will. I agree about purchasing shrimp de-veined. It’s worth the extra couple bucks especially when you need to get the rest of dinner prepped too! Thanks so much for the recipe suggestions my friend!

  19. Yum! I love the addition of sesame seeds!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

  20. I personally don’t like Salmon, but these photos are making me want to try it! Are you using a different lens/camera/editing techniques? It looks amazing. 

  21. This looks so dang good! I haven’t had salmon in loooong time and I have been in a rut so thank you for the inspiration! On another note, what do you do with quinoa? I just bought some but I just keep staring at it clueless haha

  22. Hi Sally, I just made this for Sunday lunch, served it with mashed potatoes and broccoli – awesome! Actually, it was the first time I prepared salmon at home (I am not much of a cook, I definitely prefer baking) – I can’t believe how easy this is! And it tastes great, just like something you would expect eating at a restaurant! 
    Thank you so much for this recipe and good luck with your move! 

    PS: Did you try this with chicken? 

    • Isn’t cooking salmon remarkably simple? When I’m in my normal routine, I probably prepare it at least 2x week. I haven’t tried this with chicken, but a few readers have been asking about it. It would absolutely work!

      • Hi Sally, I just wanted to let you know: I tried this with chicken yesterday, an it turned out great! Marinated the chicken for about 4 hours, than put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 200°C. I used a small oven-proof casserole and added all the sauce because I was afraid the chicken would become dry. 
        I actually tasted a lot like the caramel chicken I always get from my favorite Chinese take-out place. Now I just have to figure out how they make their breadcrumb coating 🙂 
        The sauce turned out a bit too liquid, I might add a little cornstarch next time I prepare the chicken version. 
        Thanks again for this awesome recipe! 

      • Great to hear! Thanks for letting me know. I love caramel chicken!

  23. Are you going to show us photos of you new house?

  24. Thank you for this! I just spent the better part of two weeks traveling for work and I’m so tired of eating unhealthy food and food that doesn’t come from my kitchen. Can’t wait to get back in my groove with this recipe and some broccoli and your green smoothie recipe. Yay!

  25. Thank you for a dinner recipe! This looks so yummy. My husband cooks for us on Saturday and Sunday morning, we tag team for homemade pizza on Friday and the rest of the week is mine. I can find fish intimidating but this looks super easy.

  26. This salmon does not just LOOK amazing…it IS amazing! I made it for our Sunday night dinner with fresh green beans (with sesame seeds on them as well-we love sesame seeds!) and the salmon was a hit! Tender and full of flavor! We HAD a favorite salmon recipe but It has been replaced! ! Very easy effort for such an amazing look and taste! Thanks Sally! 

    • At first I read “this salmon does not LOOK amazing” — my eyes skipped over the “just” ha! So glad your family loved it and thank you for reporting back, Theresa!

  27. Hi Sally!

    I just tried this last night with Cod Fish instead of salmon as I’m not a fan of Salmon(but my husband is and probably would’ve fallen over if I made it for him hahaha) and it was absolutely delicious! I’ve seen other people asking about it working with chicken and I’m sure it would be amazing with that as well or even pork with some stir fried veggies it would be like a healthy take on asian take-out. Thanks for sharing another good one!

  28. I have never been so pleased with a salmon recipe made at home – thank you thank you thank you for posting this recipe! Even as an Asian girl, I find it tough to get the right balance of soy sauce, sesame oil, and sweetness – and I think this recipe is perfect!! 

  29. Delicious and so easy! I made this with chicken since my husband doesn’t like fish, and added a side salad and rice. So so good and prep time was less than five minutes. Thanks Sally!

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