Harissa-Orange Glazed Salmon

published Apr 11, 2024
Harissa Orange Glazed Salmon Recipe

A mix of orange zest, harissa, and honey make this glazed salmon super flavorful.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes

Cook10 minutes to 15 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
overhead shot of four pieces of harissa orange glazed salmon in a pan, topped with herbs.
Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik ; Food Styling: Kelli Foster

From the moment I developed my recipe for harissa orange chicken thighs, I loved its big, bold flavor, along with its ease and simplicity. I was immediately eager to find more ways to incorporate harissa paste into easy weeknight dinners. Salmon fillets are the perfect fit. Here, harissa paste, orange zest and juice, and honey are simmered together, creating a thick, glossy sauce that blankets the salmon. The rich flavor of this fish is an ideal match for the peppery, aromatic spice of harissa paste and sweet tang of orange.

Why You’ll Love It

  • The sticky sweet and spicy sauce will keep you coming back for more — it’s really what makes this recipe. It clings to the salmon so you get some in every bite. Even my mom, who doesn’t like spicy food, loves this salmon, so rest assured it’s not too spicy.
  • This stovetop method makes super-tender, flaky salmon every single time.  It’s seriously foolproof!
  • You need just four ingredients and 20 minutes to make this weeknight-friendly recipe. It involves minimal prep and is quick-cooking.

Key Ingredients in Harissa Orange Glazed Salmon

  • Salmon fillets. Skin-on or skinless fillets both work well here, so use whichever you prefer, or already have on hand. Take note that skinless fillets will cook about a minute faster.
  • Navel orange. You’ll use the zest and juice from one medium orange to flavor the sauce. Orange and harissa are a great flavor combination. Plus, the sweetness and acidity of the fruit balance any heat from the harissa.
  • Harissa paste. The spiciness of harissa paste can vary from brand to brand, so when using a new-to-you brand, it can be helpful to take a little taste before mixing together the sauce.
  • Honey. This is what really thickens the sauce to give it a sticky, glossy consistency. The sweetness also balances the spice from the harissa.
Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik ; Food Styling: Kelli Foster

How to Make Harissa Orange Glazed Salmon

  1. Mix the sauce. Stir together the orange juice and zest, harissa paste, honey, and salt.
  2. Sear the salmon. I recommend using a nonstick or cast iron skillet for this step to ensure the salmon doesn’t stick to the pan.
  3. Simmer the sauce. Add the sauce to the pan and simmer with the salmon for the final minutes of cooking. When it’s ready, the sauce should be thick and glossy.

Harissa Orange Glazed Salmon Recipe

A mix of orange zest, harissa, and honey make this glazed salmon super flavorful.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 4 (6-ounce)

    salmon fillets (skin on or skinless)

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1

    medium navel orange

  • 3 tablespoons

    honey

  • 2 tablespoons

    harissa paste

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pat 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets dry with paper towels. Season all over with 3/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt.

  2. Finely grate the zest from 1 medium navel orange (about 2 teaspoons) into a medium bowl. Juice the orange into the bowl (about 1/4 cup). Add 3 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons harissa paste, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir to combine.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large (12-inch) nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Place the salmon skin-side up the skillet, then press down on them with a flat spatula so that there’s a lot of contact with the pan and it browns evenly. Cook without moving, gently pressing down on fish every so often, until the bottom is golden-brown, about 5 minutes.

  4. Flip the salmon and cook for 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the salmon. Cook, spooning some of the sauce over the salmon as it cooks, until the sauce is thickened and the salmon is just cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer into the center of the thickest fillet should register 120°F to 130°F for medium-rare, or 135°F to 145°F for more well-done. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro leaves if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.