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Two big flavors coming together in the most wonderful way: paprika salmon. It's baked salmon made with a smoky-sweet spice rub, all finished in 20 minutes. Add this paprika salmon to your “too busy to think of yet another dinner recipe” list now before you forget!
While paprika might overpower a white fish, it complements and enlivens the flavor of salmon. Using paprika, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder, this dish is a bold play on baked salmon and is sure to please a hungry family any night of the week.
Just a handful of ingredients and 20 minutes until your paprika salmon supper is on the table. Here's what you'll need to add to your grocery list:
- Paprika: Use 2 teaspoons of the star spice to really give your salmon a punchy, bold flavor.
- Brown sugar: The brown sugar balances the smokiness from the paprika with some sweetness. Brown sugar also has a toasty caramel taste, which only deepens as the salmon bakes in the oven making a sticky-sweet rub.
- Other spices: You will also use some Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper for this recipe. This blend with the paprika and brown sugar is simply delicious.
- Salmon: A 1 ½ lb whole fillet is perfect. If you have access to individual salmon fillets that will work, too.
- Olive oil: Use 1 tablespoon of olive oil to help the spices stick to the fish and stay in place while it bakes.
- Minced parsley: Finely mince some parsley to serve over the baked salmon. It will add a little brightness and fresh quality to the dish.
How to make paprika salmon
3 steps, that's it! Don't you love when dinner can be this easy! Here's a rundown of what you'll do to make paprika salmon:
- Make your spice rub: Combine all the spices in a small bowl.
- Coat the salmon: Lay your salmon on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle the spices overtop. Then, drizzle the olive oil and gently press the spices into the fish.
- Bake & enjoy: Pop the salmon in the oven and then garnish with minced parsley when it's done. Yum!
What type of paprika should I use for paprika salmon?
Paprika is a spice made from dried and then ground red peppers. Naturally, it has a sweet-smoky taste which pairs perfectly with salmon.
This paprika salmon recipe uses sweet paprika; it's the most common variety sold in grocery stores. You can also use Spanish or smoked paprika to give some extra smokiness to the dish. Alternatively, there are some paprika seasonings that skew towards the hotter side, if you want to add a little heat.
What to serve with paprika salmon
Is paprika good on salmon?
Yes! It's delicious! The natural smoke and sweetness from the paprika is a bold spice to add to salmon, however, since salmon has a distinct flavor on its own, the paprika complements the fish in a wonderful way.
Should I remove the salmon skin?
It's totally up to you. You can remove it yourself, or ask the seafood counter/fishmonger to remove it for you if you don't care for it. Otherwise, you can absolutely leave it on and enjoy the salmon skin.
How to store leftover baked salmon
Store any leftover salmon in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last up to 3 days.
- 2 teaspoons paprika (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon EACH: Italian seasoning, and garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon EACH: salt and pepper
- 1 ½ lb salmon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Minced parsley (to serve)
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix the paprika, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, ½ teaspoon EACH: Italian seasoning, and garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon EACH: salt and pepper
- Lay the salmon on the baking sheet and sprinkle the spice mix over the top. Drizzle the top with olive oil and then use your fingers to press the oil into the spices so that it forms a light paste.1 ½ lb salmon, 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Bake the salmon for 8 minutes for individual fillets or 14 minutes for a whole fillet. Sprinkle the top with some minced parsley before serving, if you'd like.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.