Slow Roasted Salmon with a sweet citrus glaze is so tender and flavorful, you’d never guess that it takes just 11 ingredients and 30 minutes to get on the table. If you’re in the market for an elegant, easy, and restaurant-quality seafood dinner, this citrus glazed salmon recipe is just what you’ve been missing!
Update: This post was originally published in February 2017. I made edits to the article below to include more information about salmon citrus. There’s also a recipe video to show you just how easy it is to slow bake salmon with a citrus glaze.
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About this citrus salmon recipe
Seriously, you guys — this slow-baked salmon with citrus is AMAZING. Succulent, mild, melt-in-your-mouth tender salmon is coated in a citrusy, honey-sweet sauce before being baked to flaky perfection.
It’s then served on a bed of subtly sweet fennel, spicy chiles, earthy thyme, and thinly sliced blood oranges and lemons, then topped with fresh micro greens for a symphony of scrumptiousness.
This citrus baked salmon is so simple to make, but it’s absolutely brimming with flavor. Oh, and it’s healthy to boot! Fist bumps for winning at LIFE. Or, at the very least, winning at dinner.
Easy enough for a weeknight and elegant enough for Valentine’s Day, this baked citrus salmon recipe is guaranteed to please! Give your loved ones the 5-star treatment and add this light, bright, and delectable dish to your menu TODAY.
Why you’ll love this dinner recipe
One of my favorite tricks in the kitchen is making dishes that look and taste super fancy, but in reality, are super simple to make. Making salmon in the oven is one of my favorite sleights of hand — it comes out beautifully flaky every time!
Aside from being the poster child for attainable elegance, this recipe for oven-baked salmon with orange is also:
- Quick & Easy – Mix up the marinade (which doubles as the salmon citrus sauce), let the fish take a dip while you prep the other ingredients, then bake everything in the same pan. It only takes 35 minutes from start to finish, and only 10 minutes of active prep!
- Made With Only 11 Ingredients – It’s kinda incredible how much you can do with so little!
- Wholesome & Nutritious – With nothing but fish, produce, heart-healthy oil, and a few herbs and spices, this meal is as virtuous as it is easy.
Ingredients for salmon with citrus
As promised, you only need a few simple ingredients to make this salmon recipe with citrus:
Citrus glaze for salmon
- Honey – For a touch of sweetness and a lovely viscosity for the citrus salmon glaze.
- Substitutions: You can also use other types of liquid sweeteners like agave nectar, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, or date syrup.
- Orange Juice – Rather than buying a whole carton of OJ, I prefer to just grab a few extra oranges and squeeze them fresh.
- Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon tastes far superior to the bottled kind. To get the most juice from your fruit, give it a firm roll on the countertop for 10-15 seconds before slicing it open.
- Chili Powder & Cumin – For warmth. If you only have whole cumin seeds on hand, you can easily pulverize them using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Just your normal cooking oil is perfect here!
- Substitutions: Feel free to swap in your favorite heart-healthy oil here (e.g. avocado, grapeseed, or sunflower seed).
- Fennel Bulb – Often overlooked, this produce can be shaved and served fresh for a crunchy slaw or salad or roasted into sweet, anise-scented goodness like in this baked salmon citrus dish.
- Blood Orange – Sometimes sold as “raspberry oranges,” this delightful variety of citrus looks like a regular orange on the outside but has a gorgeous red flesh and the faint flavor of berries. As an added bonus, they’re an excellent source of anthocyanins, which help to regulate blood sugar, combat certain types of cancers, and act as anti-inflammatories, among other benefits.
- Substitutions: Feel free to swap in other types of oranges that are in season including Cara Caras, navel oranges, or even mandarins or tangerines.
- Meyer Lemon – These hybrid citrus are a cross between lemons and mandarins, yielding a sweeter, less acidic fresh lemon juice flavor.
- Substitution: You can use regular lemons if that’s all you have on hand!
- Fresh Thyme – Deliciously earthy with hints of lemon and mint, this herb is a favorite of mine.
- Substitution: You can easily swap in about ½ – ¾ teaspoon of dried thyme if needed.
- Red Chile or Serrano Chile – For a touch of heat to contrast with the sweetness of honey and acidity of citrus.
- Substitution: If you don’t like red chiles, can’t find them, or don’t want to use them, you can substitute crushed red pepper flakes, to taste.
- Salmon Filets – You can either use one whole filet of salmon or you can use individual salmon fillets. I used one (1 ½ #) center-cut filet because I think it looks more aesthetically pleasing, but if you are serving your family, I would use 4 (6-ounce) filets.
- Substitutions: Arctic Char and Steelhead or Rainbow Trout are both good stand-ins.
- Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper – For seasoning.
- Substitution: Kosher salt works just fine.
- Optional Garnishes For Serving: Microgreens, Scallions, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, or Arugula all add color, texture, and flavorful interest slow roasted salmon recipe.
How to slow roast salmon in citrus
Legitimately, this recipe for slow-roasting salmon in citrus is easier than pie – I mean, have you ever tried to make a pie crust from scratch? Yikes. Here’s how you’ll make this citrus recipe for salmon.
- Make the marinade/glaze: In a bowl, whisk together the honey, orange juice, lemon juice, chili powder and cumin. Transfer a few tablespoons of the marinade into a small separate small bowl; set aside and reserve for later as the sauce. Transfer the remaining marinade to a large resealable bag. Then, add the salmon filet. Set the bag aside and let the salmon marinate in the citrus juices.
- Prepare roasting dish: To the bottom of a roasting pan or casserole dish, add the slices of fennel, citrus, chiles and sprigs of thyme. Next, drizzle the oil over the vegetables and citrus and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat before spreading out the citrus and veggies to form a “bed” for the salmon. Then, lay the salmon on top of the citrus. Finally, brush any excess marinade all over the salmon.
- Slow roast: Transfer the citrus salmon to the oven and bake until the fish is cooked to 145-degrees Fahrenheit.
- Garnish and serve: Drizzle the reserved citrus sauce all over the slow roasted salmon and season with flaky sea salt. Finally, top the salmon with your favorite seafood garnishes, such as fresh herbs. Serve warm and give yourself a double-high-five. You have just given salmon the official 5-star treatment.
Expert tips for the best citrus glazed salmon
- Watch the fish, not the clock. The cooking time for this slow roasted salmon recipe is approximate. It will really depend on how thick your salmon is and your desired doneness.
- If you want a crisper top on your salmon, I recommend you broil it for the last few minutes of cooking. Once the salmon is almost cooked to your desired level of doneness, switch the oven to high broil and broil, making sure to watch it CAREFULLY, until the top of the salmon is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
- If you are buying the fennel whole and thinly slicing it yourself, you can reserve the wispy green fennel fronds and use them as a garnish.
FAQs: salmon recipe with citrus
Where can I buy fresh fennel bulbs?
Trader Joe’s consistently carries them in the refrigerated produce aisle. Publix & Whole Foods are also usually good sources. Look for a high-quality grocery store and you should be able to find it there.
How to tell when citrus salmon is done slow roasting?
The USDA recommends you cook salmon to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F, which is medium (on a scale of rare to well done).
How long do I slow roast citrus glazed salmon?
The exact amount of time salmon will need to slow-roast, or bake, in the oven depends on the thickness of your salmon. Measuring from the thickest part of the salmon, calculate a roast time of 4-8 minutes for every 1/2” of salmon.
A 4-5 minute roast time per 1/2” will give you salmon that is on the medium-rare side, and 7-8 minutes will give you salmon that is medium-well.
If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, you can also tell when the salmon is done by touch. Salmon is cooked through when it flakes easily with a fork.
Serving citrus salmon glazed
The great thing about this citrus fish dish is that it’s equally delicious served as a mid-week meal or as a fancy dinner party entrée. Since it’s light and fresh, it also makes for a nice ladies’ brunch — perfect for serving with mimosas!
If you’re wondering what to serve with it: roasted oranges and fennel accompany this slow roasted salmon recipe, making for a lovely all-in-one meal. However, if you are looking for more side dishes, I’ve listed some delicious pairings below:
- Roasted bell peppers or asparagus
- Steamed green beans or snap peas
- Mashed potatoes
- Lightly dressed greens
Storing leftover roasted salmon
- While salmon is best if enjoyed immediately, leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. They can be gently reheated in the microwave or eaten cold (I recommend the latter).
- You can also wrap slow roasted salmon in plastic and store in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months in the freezer, though the consistency will suffer a bit. To serve, allow to defrost in the freezer overnight, then gently reheat it or, preferably, serve it cold.
Alright, my friends! Orange you glad you found this delectably easy recipe to impress your loved ones with? Lime feelin’ pretty good about it, too. 🤓 Now, go out and squeeze the day! Until next thyme, here’s to hoping your week is filled with delicious food, fabulous friends, and all the laughter you can handle.
More simple salmon recipes!
- Sriracha Salmon
- Healthy Fried Rice with Salmon
- Salmon and Brussels Sprouts
- Butter Salmon in Foil
- Salmon on a Cedar Plank
- Salsa Salmon
- Tostadas with Salmon and Black Beans
How to Slow Roast Salmon in Citrus Recipe! (Plus, step-by-step video)👇
- 1 9x13-inch Baking Dish (for slow roasting salmon)
- 1 Small Bowl (for mixing the citrus marinade/sauce)
- 1 medium Fennel Bulb – thinly sliced (SEE NOTES)
- 1 whole Blood Orange – thinly sliced & seeds removed
- 1 whole Lemon – thinly sliced & seeds removed (SEE NOTES)
- 4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 1 whole Red Chile or Serrano Chile – thinly sliced
- 4 (6 ounce) Salmon Filets - skin on (preferably center cut) (SEE NOTES)
- 1/4 cup + 1 TBS Honey - DIVIDED
- 3 TBS Orange Juice
- 3 TBS Lemon Juice
- ½ tsp EACH: Chili Powder and Cumin
- 3 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil - DIVIDED
- Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper - to taste
- Optional Garnishes: Micro Greens, Scallions, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, Arugula
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Make the Citrus Marinade: In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of honey, orange juice, lemon juice, chili powder and cumin. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the mixture and set aside to use as a glaze/sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the marinade and whisk together. Place the salmon in a large resealable bag and pour in the citrus marinade. Transfer the bag of salmon to the refrigerator and let it sit in the citrus for 20 minutes. (SEE NOTES)
- Meanwhile, prep veggies and citrus: Thinly slice the fennel, orange, lemon and chile peppers. Be sure to remove and discard the seeds from the citrus.Toss the fennel, orange slices, lemon slices, thyme, and chile in the pan. Toss with 1 tablespoon of oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Spread the fennel and citrus mixture out across the prepared pan to create a “bed” for the salmon.
- Arrange salmon in pan: Remove the salmon from the bag and place it, skin side down, on top of the fennel mixture. Use a pastry brush to apply the excess citrus marinade to the top of the salmon. Then, season everything generously with sea salt and pepper.
- Slow Roast the salmon in the oven for 15-25 minutes, or until fish is cooked and flakes easily with a fork. (SEE NOTES)Meanwhile, add the remaining tablespoon of honey to the reserved sauce and whisk to combine.
- Serve: Remove from salmon from the oven, drizzle with reserved citrus-honey sauce and top with desired garnishes. Enjoy!
- Lemon: If you can find them, Meyer lemons are excellent in this citrus seafood recipe!
- Salmon: You can either use one whole filet of salmon, or you can use individual salmon filets. When entertaining company, I typically use a one-and-a-half pound center cut slab because I think it looks more aesthetically pleasing. However, if you are just serving your family, I just use 4 (6 ounce) filets so I don't have to portion and serve everyone.
- Tip: If it’s just you and your significant other you can cut the recipe measurements in half by sliding the scale on the number of servings.
- Slow Roasting Salmon: The cooking time in the recipe below is approximate. It will really depend on how thick your salmon is and your desired doneness. Salmon is cooked through when it flakes easily with a fork.
- Crispy Salmon: If you want to give the top of your salmon the crispy treatment, just switch the oven to broil during the last 2-3 minutes of baking.
- Fennel: If you are buying the fennel whole and thinly slicing it yourself, you can reserve the fronds and use them as a garnish.
- Chile Peppers: If you don’t like red chiles, can’t find them, or simply don’t want to use them, you can substitute crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
- Leftovers: While salmon is best if enjoyed immediately, leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. They can be gently reheated in the microwave or eaten cold (I recommend the latter).
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