Looking for a crazy quick and easy way to upgrade your salmon? Check out this salmon seasoning–slightly sweet with a bit of tang and smoky flavor, this salmon rub just works, no labor-intensive sauce necessary. I like to bake the seasoned salmon on a sheet pan with veggies for a complete dinner. Here’s how to make the best seasoning for salmon!
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Best Seasoning For Salmon (+ Variations)
Just a few ingredients you probably already have sitting around, here are the ingredients to collect for seasoning salmon:
- Brown sugar plays a few roles: first, the sweet and savory flavor combo is a classic enhancement, and for good reason. It also takes away from the fishiness of salmon, making most salmon recipes more appealing. Next, as brown sugar cooks, it caramelizes, forming a delicious crust and added texture. Last, the caramelized sugar forms a coat around the salmon, keeping more moisture inside the fish, and making it harder to overcook!
- Smoked paprika – Basically smoked, then ground red peppers. Think slightly sweet with loads of smoky flavor, and a major upgrade to most spice mixes.
- Dried mustard – The tang of ground mustard and the richness of salmon go so, SO, well together. And if you agree, you must check out this crazy simple dijon salmon.
- Garlic powder – All spice rubs benefit from an aromatic addition, and garlic is my favorite way to sneak one in.
- Ground cumin is rather unexpected in a salmon seasoning, and you can leave it out if you prefer. It’s my absolute favorite spice, as it’s warm and earthy, yet a tad peppery. Slightly citrusy, with a bit of smoke. It’s a great way to add complexity to most dishes!
Can I Tweak These Spices for Salmon?
Sure can! If you’ve been around this site for long, you know I season salmon dozens of ways. Here are some adjustments you may consider trying:
- Add some heat with crushed red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper.
- Lower the carbs by using your favorite brown sugar substitute. (Note: I would use Lakanto or Swerve golden erythritol. Although neither will caramelize quite like sugar, they’ll add the same delicious flavor).
- Go in a totally different direction: get inspired by this lemon pepper salmon, jerk salmon, or salmon curry.
How to Season Salmon
Although it seems incredibly straightforward, there are a few tips to keep in mind when making this salmon seasoning recipe:
- Use fresh spices – if they no longer smell, or smell a little stale, be sure to swap in fresh spices.
- Don’t forget to pat the salmon dry – this lets the salmon seasoning to better stick to the flesh of the salmon. Plus having less moisture allows the brown sugar to caramelize better.
- Season salmon immediately before you start cooking – the salt in our salmon rub will draw the moisture out of the salmon, resulting in drier filets. Season just before you begin to cook to avoid this! If you have more time and want to use it, check out my salmon marinade.
- Coat the salmon well – there is a lot of salmon seasoning here; you’ll want to sprinkle it all over the top of your salmon and rub it in the make a delicious crust.
- This salmon seasoning recipe is for 1.5 pounds of fish – If you’re using a smaller filet, adjust accordingly.
How Long Does Salmon Rub Last?
These mixed spices for salmon will last about 6 months on the counter for future use. We love making a big batch to use whenever our dinner needs an upgrade!
Best Ways to Cook Salmon
Feel free to cook your salmon however you prefer, this spice mix will be delicious any number of ways. My favorite way to cook this is in salmon foil packets with a few veggies. Here are some other ideas:
How to Serve This Salmon?
With this quick and easy salmon seasoning recipe, your fish will be flavor packed and moist and can be served a number of ways. Here are some ideas for you:
- Make a salmon bowl with roasted vegetables and grains (rice, quinoa, etc.). I like to roast the vegetables on the same sheet pan as the salmon–take a note from my asparagus and salmon recipe.
- Use spice rub on cubed salmon for kabobs, or salmon bites.
- Over a bed of lettuce for a delicious salmon salad.
More Salmon Recipes
Salmon SeasoningPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Whisk spices together in a bowl. Seasoning can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for 3 months.
- Brush salmon with oil, and sprinkle with seasoning mix. This mix is meant for 1.5 pounds of salmon, so adjust based on the amount of salmon you have.
- Cook as desired, and enjoy!