When it comes to marinating fish like salmon, the sky is the limit. A marinade can be simple or complex, well thought-out, or just a great way to finish off the last of the herbs and citrus you have lying around. Every marinade starts with an oil base. The oil adds flavor, but it also adds a protective element. Oil helps salmon retain its moisture, and it also helps evenly distribute the more flavorful marinade ingredients. We keep salt out of our salmon marinades, since it can dry the fish out over time. We recommend seasoning the fish with salt right before cooking.

How long should you marinate salmon?

How long you should marinate depends on what is in your recipe and how potent it is. You shouldn’t marinate salmon in anything with a high acid content for too long, or else it will break down. If you leave salmon in a marinade with a lot of lemon juice for hours it will break down the salmon and make for a mushy dish. If your marinade contains citrus juice, it’s best to keep the salmon in it for no more than 30 minutes.

Our favorite salmon marinades:

These are formulated recipes but there are no rules. Feel free to substitute what you’ve got on hand or use these recipes as a guide to create a recipe of your own!

Place the salmon in a shallow pan and cover with your marinade of choice. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes – 2 hours. If it contains citrus juice, marinate for no more than 30 minutes.

Sesame Orange Salmon Marinade

  • 4 Tbsp. Grapeseed Oil or another neutral oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Sesame oil
  • 1 Orange, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey
  • ½ Tbsp. grated fresh Ginger (ground Ginger will work too)

Lemon Thyme Salmon Marinade

  • 4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon, sliced
  • 1 small bunch fresh Thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, Minced
  • ½ Tbsp. Ground Black Pepper

Harissa and Lemon Salmon Marinade

  • 4 Tbsp. Grapeseed Oil or another neutral oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Harissa Paste
  • 1 Lemon, Sliced
  • Handful of flat leaf Parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground Cumin

Chimichurri Salmon Marinade

This recipe doubles as a great sauce.

  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • Handful of Cilantro
  • Handful of flat leaf Parsley
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1 Jalapeno (deseeded if you prefer mild heat)
  • Juice of 1 Lime

Add all these ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Since this recipe makes a large amount of sauce, reserve half the mixture to serve alongside the salmon.


Even more salmon recipes:

Cherry Wrapped Chipotle Salmon with Mango Salsa

Fresh flavors are always welcome! This salmon/chipotle/mango combo is straight fire!Total Time: 30 minutesServings: 4 Ingredients: 1 lb. Salmon, cut into 4 portions 4 Cherry Grilling Wraps 1 Tbsp Oil 1 Tbsp Honey 1 Lime, zest and juice 1 tsp Smoked Paprika 1 tsp Onion...

Maple Candied Salmon

Smoked salmon is delicious on it's own, but the maple syrup glaze creates a perfect crust on the salmon sealing in all that flavor.Total Time: 3 hours active time Ingredients: Maple Smoking Chips 1 side of Salmon, bones removed ½ cup Kosher Salt ½ cup Brown Sugar Good...

Summer Salmon Bowl

Greek inspired seasonings and rich salmon are the perfect match for all the fresh veggies you can find. A very satisfying meal.Total Time: 30 minutesServings: 4 Ingredients: Cedar Grilling Planks 1 lb. Salmon Fillet Olive Oil 1 Lemon, sliced 2 Tbsp Fresh Dill, chopped...

Cherry Fire Glazed Cedar Planked Salmon

This gem of the sea is getting all dressed up in a sweet and spicy little number with a cherry fire glaze. We are going to the next level with some cedar smoke and then add a little zip with some juicy grilled lime action. Talk about dressed to impress…..Total Time:...

Boom Boom Salmon with Laksa

Laksa is a curry paste that hails from Singapore. It’s full of immune boosting ingredients like turmeric, ginger, garlic, and lime. Our Boom Boom seasoning adds a kick of Szechuan chiles to the salmon that is gently cooked in a cedar wrap.Total Time: 1 hourServings: 4...

Oven Roasted Cedar Planked Salmon

Sometimes, firing up the grill just isn't in the cards. Cedar planked salmon works beautifully in your oven too!Total Time: 20 minutesServings: 4 Ingredients: Large Cedar Grilling Plank 1 (1½ -2 lb) Salmon fillet, skin on 1 Lemon, sliced Fresh Herbs - Parsley or Dill...

Cedar Wrapped Salmon with Shallots & Asparagus

Cedar wraps are a great way to jazz up a simple meal. This recipe includes some seasoning and just 3 ingredients. Couldn't be easier! Total Time: 25 minutesServings: 4 Ingredients: Cedar Grilling Wraps 4 6-8 oz Salmon Filets, skin and bones removed 2 Shallots, peeled...

Cedar Planked Togarashi Salmon with Nori Pesto

This unique dish can be paired with rice, pasta, soba noodles, or ramen. It’s incredibly flexible and packed with umami. Feel free to add poached eggs for an extra rich touch, or roasted vegetables to keep it healthy.Total Time: 30 minutesServings: 4 Ingredients:...