Baked Maple Salmon

July 11, 2013

Way back in the day, Matt and I shared a summer apartment in college. It was the first time we had our own kitchen, and we had no clue how to cook.


One time we put bell peppers, chicken and potatoes in a skillet and let them all cook together. You can imagine how done the chicken and peppers were by the time the potatoes didn’t crunch in the middle! Another time we put raw jalapeno (with seeds!) inside of cheese quesadillas thinking they would “cook” in the oven. You can imagine the tears that flowed during that dinner.

We also tried cilantro for the first time as a cooking herb and made a homemade salsa that was pretty good. I also made my first strawberry pie from you-pick strawberries that I need to make again!

We wrote any recipe that we liked in this book:


As well as food memorabilia like this label from the first bottle of wine my dad gave me at my 21st birthday!


This salmon recipe was one of our hits. No surprise because it’s sooooo simple. We couldn’t believe we had made something delicious and repeated the dish all summer long.


I thawed out my fish the night before and waited until naptime to put the marinade together. Then I just had to bake it off at dinnertime. The oven is a hands-free lifesaver.



Maple, soy sauce and garlic are your only ingredients, so make sure you use high quality maple.


Our friends Seamane and Rob gave us this delightful maple for Christmas. It’s so thick you would think butter was involved.


I use Garlic Gold crunchies because I love the roasted flavor they bring to the table, but you can absolutely just use minced raw garlic (that’s what the original recipe called for)


My marinade went in for a few hours –


After some playtime in the oven, here ya go! That white is the delicious fat oozing from the salmon*
{I stand corrected – it’s apparently protein!}

*That description will either gross you out or make you salivate based on your affinity for fish! {Hint – I’m salivating}


We served the salmon over summertime salads and cornbread


Maple Baked Salmon

by Kath Younger

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 1 pound of salmon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl.

Place salmon in a baking dish and pour marinade over top.

Marinate for min 30 minutes, max all day! Flip once halfway through if you can.

Preheat oven to 400* and bake salmon for 20 minutes, or until flakes with a fork.

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{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angelica July 11, 2013 at 7:55 am

Hmm sweet and savory dishes don’t usually appeal to me, but I love salmon. Also, I think that white stuff is actually protein.

The first real meal I ever made was in college for my boyfriend (now husband). It’s fettuccine with roasted asparagus, garlic, prosciutto, and olive oil. It remains a favorite of ours to this day!


2 Diane July 11, 2013 at 7:56 am

The recipe looks delicious, and Matt looks just a little drunk in that photo. 😉


3 Eating 4 Balance July 11, 2013 at 7:59 am

I love how simple and versatile this recipe is! I feel like you could sub out the different ingredients depending on what you have on hand (like honey for maple, cod for salmon, or coconut aminos for soy). Loads of possibilities! :)


4 Kathleen July 11, 2013 at 8:00 am

Love your blog! This is a great summer recipe, too. But Wolf River Farms maple syrup is from Maine! Delicious product, family-run business, and a favorite in our house!


5 KathEats July 11, 2013 at 8:23 am

Oh man, my bad!


6 [email protected] July 11, 2013 at 8:10 am

Yum! My husband would love that.
I love how Mazen is in the monitor next to your cookbook from your pre-marriage apartment! Life is so full circle :-)


7 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh July 11, 2013 at 8:12 am

That is SOOO getting made! I had some salmon in the freezer I need to use up and this is perfect!

Man the food faux pas brought back memories. The first time I tried to make mashed potatoes on my own when I was 8, I threw the potatoes in the pot whole and they were a starchy raw mess. My dad and his wife and stepson were nice enough to eat them and be polite about it. Thankfully I’ve come a long way! 😉


8 Christina July 11, 2013 at 8:23 am

What a cute idea! First recipe I loved was a stuffed croissant I would make every weekend and still do!


9 Lauren @ The Highlands Life July 11, 2013 at 8:39 am

I love a good salmon dish. I wonder if a little bourbon added to the marinade would be good?


10 KathEats July 11, 2013 at 8:46 am

Heck yeah!


11 Lauryn July 11, 2013 at 9:07 am

Sounds awesome, I love salmon. Ok so where can a good quality maple be found, say around charlotte, nc? lol any suggestions for store bought maple?


12 Cassie February 8, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Make a Canadian friend and have them post some to you!

We have the best maple syrup!


13 Ali @ Peaches and Football July 11, 2013 at 9:08 am

Aww that pic of you guys is so cute. I love flashback photos.

I called Mom quite a lot for her recipes and would write them on the back of envelopes. I have tons of little bits of paper with random ingredients all over. :) We love making nut-crusted chicken. Super easy; really tasty.


14 Ashley July 11, 2013 at 9:16 am

I love this recipe! My bf and I have been meaning to try to cook salmon but get nervous at some of the more complicated recipes out there. This one looks super easy and we already have all the marinade ingredients- thanks for the idea!!


15 Karen July 11, 2013 at 9:26 am

I don’t eat fish, but gosh…this delicious looking slab of salmon smothered in maple syrup is indeed making me salivate! (Incredible photos!!)


16 Ashley July 11, 2013 at 9:30 am

I actually laughed out loud when I read about your chicken, pepper and potato dish. I have been cooking since I was young and experimenting with flavors. I remember one time I put pickles and whip cream together to see what the flavor combination would do… perhaps if you’re pregnant give it it a try, if not stay away!


17 Sam July 11, 2013 at 9:32 am

The ‘white stuff’ is albumin, a protein that is pushed out of the muscle fibers of the salmon as it cooks. A large presence of albumin usually means salmon is overcooked 😉


18 KathEats July 11, 2013 at 9:41 am

Huh I never realized. Always thought it was fat. Albumin sounds even less appetizing!


19 Erin July 11, 2013 at 10:00 am

I was thinking the same thing. 20 minutes at 400 may be too long and hot for your size filets. Maybe try lowering the temp to 375, and then checking your fish at 10 minutes. Filets that size should take around 15 minutes.


20 Christine@ Apple of My Eye July 11, 2013 at 9:38 am

Yumm! My mom has a similar recipe and the salty-sweety from the soy sauce and the maple syrup is TOO DIE FOR!


21 Liz July 11, 2013 at 9:40 am

This is the most simple recipe and sounds delicious! More simple recipes like this please!


22 Mary July 11, 2013 at 9:48 am

I love salmon and that description STILL grossed me out a little, haha!

Can you tell that the salmon used to be frozen? I’ve only ever used fresh salmon and was just wondering if there was a noticeable difference.


23 KathEats July 11, 2013 at 10:51 am

Maybe just a little?


24 Georgia-Mae Morrison July 11, 2013 at 10:00 am

That salmon looks incredible! Anything with a maple flavor…count me in. I am definitely going to have to give this recipe a try. It could marinate all day while I’m working and then when I get home I’d have an incredible salad topper in just a few minutes! Thanks for sharing.

P.S. That picture of you and Matt is adorable. Young love!


25 Leslie July 11, 2013 at 10:04 am

Oh my gosh, that picture and story…too cute!


26 Suzanne @ hello, veggy! July 11, 2013 at 10:14 am

Nice post! Beautiful photos as always :)


27 kiki July 11, 2013 at 10:19 am

I made this over the weekend! Used brown sugar instead of maple syrup. So delicious.


28 lynn @ the actor's diet July 11, 2013 at 10:29 am

I’ve never made salmon before (actually I’ve only cooked meat about 2x since my husband’s vegetarian) and will definitely try this when on vacation with my family next month!


29 Theresa July 11, 2013 at 11:18 am

I love this idea for a “cookbook” or “Recipe Book” that you write together. My boyfriend and I have been living together since January, I want to start this! Also, that salmon looks so simple and delicious! I’ll be making it soon.


30 Rachel July 11, 2013 at 11:21 am

I remember being first married and having to call my mom to know how long to boil an egg. What I’d never done it before :) The first recipe we both loved was chicken wings done on the grill with a little olive oil and old bay seasoning. So simple and yet so wonderful.


31 Sophie @ life's philosophie July 11, 2013 at 11:25 am

That salmon looks SO good. And I’m glad you used frozen salmon. I can’t afford to buy it fresh, but I’ve always been a bit nervous about trying frozen. I love the cook book idea! I live with my boyfriend and every time we make something good, I Pin it! But books are so much more personal. I think I sense a craft project coming on…


32 Claire @ Health Nut Claire July 11, 2013 at 11:30 am

Great throw back picture! Salmon looks delicious, too!


33 Emily @ The Sunny Studio July 11, 2013 at 11:31 am

Love this recipe! I usually marinate my salmon in teriyaki sauce (which gives it a similar sweet flavor), and this recipe seems like a great alternative to try. Can’t wait!


34 Bill Randall July 11, 2013 at 11:50 am

Great recipe Kath! I am a little confused about whether the black pepper is still part of the recipe. I don’t think it was mentioned in the body of the blog…..


35 KathEats July 11, 2013 at 11:54 am

It’s just to taste


36 Jen D. July 11, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Cute post! Love that you guys kept track of the recipes your tried as you were just figuring things out. And sooo sweet that your dad got you a bottle of wine for your 21st! Mine took me out for a beer, haha.

Just a tip on the salmon dish. I come from a fishing family and loooove salmon and we’ve been trying different recipes for years! That white ooze is albumin and when you see that much of it, it means the fish is overcooking. I would try a lower temp and shorter cooking time and you should see a real difference in texture and a lot less albumin! Here’s a quick link from a blog I like talking about it:

Another great salmon recipe is to make a rub out of a lot of paprika and black pepper with a little cayenne and kosher salt. Yum!


37 Jen D. July 11, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Sorry! Just saw other people talked about the albumin!


38 Kristin July 11, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I love your recipe! This looks so amazing. We just bought Fresh Wild Sockeye Salmon yesterday at the store- I was SO excited when I saw your recipe! What sides do you recommend serving with salmon? I always hear about asparagus, but what other foods complement salmon?


39 KathEats July 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Any green veggie – broccoli, zucchini, a salad. I like to serve it with potatoes too – either roasted white or sweet potato fries.


40 Cassie February 8, 2014 at 3:35 pm

I make rice, cooked with chicken broth to which I add a touch of nutmeg and cinnamon.



41 Chelsea July 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Looks yummy! I cant believe all these years I have assumed that the white stuff was fat! I always left it on there thinking it was the healthy fat and I didn’t want to scrape it off. Now I know I was just overcooking the fish haha! (I already knew that anyways, but I would rather over than undercook!)


42 Kelly July 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Hi Kath! I’m wondering… ahem, if it was Matt that corrected you? He’s such smartypants! :) Thanks for this recipe. I always thought I loved all fish and LOVE smoked salmon but am having a hard time liking my attempt at cooking it fresh? I have some in the freezer now, so I’m going to try this sweet/savory style of yours and hope that it is just me not preparing the fish as well as I should. Thanks! Enjoy! :) :)


43 KathEats July 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Ha nope!


44 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner July 11, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I love that salmon recipe–it never disappoints! It’s hard to pick a first favorite recipe, but the Taste of Home Summer Garden Couscous recipe I make every chance I get. It is always a crowd pleaser.


45 Christine | Mindful Juggling July 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Hi Kath! Looks delicious. I usually buy fresh salmon but I see that you used frozen. This is probably a dumb question, but how long did you thaw it before marinating? I assume you need it thawed but I’m always afraid fish will go bad. Thanks!


46 KathEats July 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm

I almost always thaw my fish/meats the night before I need them overnight in the fridge


47 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope July 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Such a cute picture of the two of you! :) This salmon looks so good. Unfortunately, my husband hates salmon so I can never really make it for dinner. A good thing though is that my mom likes it. So maybe I’ll try the recipe for my mom and I :)


48 Liesl @ Fitnessinthekitchen July 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm

That’s a hard question to answer! But I think the first recipe I loved that I made, was a ribollita type soup that was a hearty, clean the veggies out of the fridge type soup brimming with rosemary. You could make it with anything you had on hand, and it always turned out yummy.
The salmon looks fantastic by the way!


49 Kathleen July 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I’m still learning in my cooking classes, but one thing we were taught about marinades was to never marinate salmon (or other “smaller” fish) for more than 30 minutes when dealing with acidic marinades (i.e., soy sauce).

It can do funky things do the texture (it essentially starts to cook it as it breaks down) and make the overall flavor turn out other than it’s supposed to (and not usually the good way).

One thing you can try next time is to not marinate it at all, but heat the mixture over low heat in a sauce pan (even add a little flour or cornstarch to thicken it up a bit) and brush it on right before you put in the oven. Add another layer or two as it cooks. The general rule for salmon (at 400 degrees) is about 10 minutes for every inch of thickness, give or take (depending on oven variation).


50 Ray July 11, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Glad I read through the comments. I was going to say the same thing. I took a cooking basics class through our town’s adult education program and we did one evening of fish. We learned about albumin, correct cooking times, and what kinds of fish are better marinated versus just having a rub or a glaze brushed on.

Actually after typing this Kath have you ever thought of taking a cooking 101 type class? I did it with my husband who was always nervous to cook. Even though I’ve been cooking forever it was so fun to hone those fundamentals. Plus at the end you get to eat what you cook!


51 Sarah July 11, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Such a cute memory! When my now husband and I first moved in together (into a tiny, gross, college apartment with other roommates) we had absolutely no idea how to cook either. We did a lot of frozen pizza, rice, and other nonsense like that. Then one night, we decided to branch out and try a spicy garlic lemon shrimp recipe we found, we realized that we actually knew how to cook! I didn’t know that I knew how to cook and he didn’t know he knew how to cook either and of course neither of us knew that the other knew how to cook! Surprise! The shrimp was amazing- it was like we were both naturals! And we never looked back!


52 Melissa July 11, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Looks like a beautiful meal! The first recipe I ever loved was my mom’s “Friendship Soup,” which is more or less one big vegetable soup, but something about it always felt so special. I still smile when I think of it.


53 Elyse July 11, 2013 at 3:43 pm

This is such a cute post! Brought me right back to my early cooking days in college and right after with my now-husband. And that salmon looks delicious! I make a similar dish and it’s a house favorite.


54 Chris July 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Looks really good! My first recipe I loved was actually a raw apple pie filling.. I always enjoyed making food when I was little however most of it didn’t actually taste good. Hit across raw apple pie filling when I was 9 and called it “Apple Shlop”. Yup, shlop just like in “All the things you can think.”


55 Kim July 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Flashback to the past!!

This actually sounds very similar to a chicken recipe a friend sent me several years ago. I’ll need to dig that one up as well as give your salmon version a try! Thanks for sharing!


56 Annie July 11, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Love this marinade recipe- it has been a standbye for me with salmon for years; along with my butter/olive oil lemon recipe. Curious as to why you say the recipe is “By” you when it has been all over the Internet for years. I don’t see a variation in yours versus the easily googled maple salmon recipe.

Just curious. I noticed a lot of food bloggers (Smitten Kitchen is a fave) will post a recipe and say it’s a variation of the originally sourced and cited recipe with absolute minimal changes. I guess it’s an acceptable practice? I know how rightfully outraged ppl get when images are taken without permission. As I said, I’m curious as to the thinking behind this practice.

Having said all that (sorry so long winded), I get how one can learn a recipe like the back of your hand and actually forget the original source and it just becomes “your” recipe. No big deal!


57 KathEats July 11, 2013 at 4:40 pm

I didn’t invent this recipe – I said we found it when we were young and put it in our “favorite recipes” book. I have no idea where I found it, but I imagine it’s one of those simple ones that people have been sharing for ages. The by in the formal recipe is just the way Recipage says who posted it.


58 Annie July 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Thanks so much! Obviously no offense was intended. Just asking for clarification because of my own confusion. Hoping you’re cool with everything. :)


59 KathEats July 11, 2013 at 5:05 pm



60 Peter July 11, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Wow, that looks delicious! I live here in BC, Canada, so I totally have access to the best salmon in the world.

Also, you two look like a cute couple.


61 Liz July 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm

What a sweet post! So nice to see how you and Matt have grown on a culinary level together. This is perhaps my most favorite Kerf post ever


62 Amelia July 11, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I love that you two learned to cook together over time. So cute to see the history!


63 Susan H @ The Food Allergy Chronicles July 11, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Salmon is definitely one of my first loves of fish. I ate fresh salmon for dinner every night on my honeymoon as my husband and I travelled through British Columbia. Amazing how many ways one can serve salmon! I just enjoyed wild salmon last night…I drizzled it with fresh lemon juice, sprinkled it with salt and pepper, fresh dill, parsley and chives from the garden and olive oil…yummy! :)


64 Ilane @cultiv8health July 11, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Thank you so much for sharing! You guys are inspirational. I have a similar recipe, and will try this one as soon as I can.

I did not know how to cook when I got married. I learned a lot from cooking shows and healthy eating blogs, including yours, Gina’s Fitnessista and Caroline’s from The B-hut (it is so true that it’s on my about blog page).

Happy Thursday!


65 Meredith July 11, 2013 at 10:54 pm

This looks really good, I’ll have to try this soon! We just cooked salmon the other night :-) Usually just do a little S+P and then “grill” it in our grill pan… so so easy! The kitties go crazy for the leftovers too, haha :-)


66 Lenny Polley July 12, 2013 at 12:04 am

Hi Kath,

I love your recipe. I would like to do this on the weekend. It looks so delicious. BTW, you and Matt look so sweet! I love both of you. :-)


67 clark July 12, 2013 at 5:18 am

I could probably eat it every day: D


68 Liz @ I Heart Vegetables July 12, 2013 at 8:09 am

My boyfriend loves salmon! I’ll have to book mark this and try it for him :) You two are so cute!


69 Amanda July 12, 2013 at 8:43 am

Mm, that sounds delicious! I am looking for more ways to get fish into my diet so this definitely seems doable. And so easy, maybe I can even get my fiance to make dinner. 😉 Thanks for sharing!


70 Alyssa July 12, 2013 at 10:10 am

I love that photo of you two! So young!!


71 jenna k July 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm

i took to cooking pretty easily, but it still took me awhile to gain the courage to try new things (and to cook raw meat!). when i first started cooking, sophomore year of college, i had to call my dad from the grocery store because i didn’t know whether to buy iodized or non-iodized salt. he was definitely holding back laughter. :)


72 Charlotte July 12, 2013 at 8:38 pm

I love your stories about you and matt as early cooks. Especially because you both have come so far! Gives me hope that my cooking might still have some room for improvement 😉

My favorite first recipe was one that my boyfriend and I grabbed from a vegetarian cookbook and elaborated on. We were both vegetarian at the time, and his mom had given him a cookbook hoping he might actually survive on this diet! It was for a simple Thai peanut sauce. It brought back memories of one my mom had made when I was growing up so we played with the recipe til we got a bangin’ sauce and then served it on some whole wheat spaghetti with stir-fried veggies (such as broccoli, roasted red peppers, and onions) and topped it with some raw grated carrots and raw baby spinach that wilted just so when added. We were amazed at what we had created and repeated the recipe ruthlessly as well. Yay for first favorite recipes!


73 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope July 14, 2013 at 4:47 am

That’s adorable about the cookbook! What a great keepsake to have and memories to look back on.

I’m definitely trying this recipe! Looks so simple and perfect flavor combinations!


74 Amanda July 14, 2013 at 8:28 am

Used this last night on chicken and my husband RAVED about it! :) Thank you! :)


75 Lindsay July 15, 2013 at 2:53 am

Can’t WAIT to try this out;) We’ve started saving a bit of our grocery budget aside for “treats” at Whole Foods and salmon is one of the main ones we snag, but this will put a fun new taste to it!
First recipe I loved? I made my own turkey meatballs, handmade tomato sauce and went to town beating up dough for bread. When everything was pulled out I thought theme music might triumphantly blare. It is still SO cool to me to make delicious things;)


76 Cathy July 15, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Sadly I went shopping for soy sauce to make this recipe. High in Sodium. Even the low sodium seemed high. Left store empty handed.


77 joelle (on a pink typewriter) July 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Now I’m trying to think what my first real recipe was that I loved.. probably chocolate chip cookies. For savory, I remember making stuffed eggplant and stuff peppers in grad school and feeling pretty fancy. :)


78 Hannah July 18, 2013 at 7:25 am

I’ve never baked salmon (tried other fish). I’m making this tonight, but doubling the recipe. With 2 lbs salmon should I keep the oven temp at 400, and bake for 40 min.? What’s your input? Thanks!


79 KathEats July 18, 2013 at 7:52 am

I would do the same temp and time and check it to see if It flakes with a fork


80 Hannah July 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Thanks! This dish was wonderfully delicious! I served with wild pecan brown rice and sauteed veggies.


81 Hannah July 18, 2013 at 8:54 pm

I ended up cooking about 2.3 lbs salmon, just doubled recipe. Baked 20 min. at 400 deg, then 10 min on 350 deg, only because unfamiliar with cooking salmon..I left foil over it 20 min., then removed for remainder. Great recipe!


82 Avery Hudson August 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm

I made this for me and my family of four, doubled the recipe and cooked them for 15 mins! SOOOO DELICIOUS! Thanks so much Kath!


83 Lyn October 7, 2013 at 4:39 pm

I was definitely amazed looking at this recipe that it was so simple. Fish is one of those great things to eat especially in the summer and having an amazing recipe is the first step. The ingredients and the steps looked really easy and I’m looking forward to trying this out for my own family. Also have to say I love the idea of writing down all your favorite recipes in one book so you always remember and can always find them.


84 Justeen October 17, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Had this for dinner the other night – so simple and delicious! I love recipes with less than 5 ingredients!


85 Stefani April 21, 2014 at 12:47 pm

WOW! This was our Easter dinner…maple salmon. SUCH a HUGE hit! Thank you for the recipe! Now, I’m sharing it with my FB friends.

YUMMY! Such a keeper!


86 KathEats April 21, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Yay! We almost had it for Easter too but went with pulled pork instead : )


87 GMSnoreSolution July 9, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Oh man, yum! Too bad we don’t get the best maple syrup…or salmon for that matter down here in the southwest.


88 KareninStLouis October 10, 2014 at 10:31 pm

I’ve made this twice now and it is fabulous. Thank you!!


89 KathEats October 11, 2014 at 9:24 am

So glad to hear it!


90 Janna March 16, 2016 at 4:53 pm

Looks good! Was wondering if you had the nutritional information for it?


91 KathEats March 16, 2016 at 5:17 pm

Unfortunately I don’t


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