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This bourbon glazed salmon is full of savory sweet flavor. It’s an easy way to get perfectly cooked fish on the table: it cooks in 5 minutes!

Broiled Salmon with Bourbon Glaze
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Looking for an easy salmon recipe that’s full of savory sweet flavor? This bourbon glazed salmon is a must try! The recipe is from the cookbook of a dear friend of ours. Our pal Lauren McDuffie of My Kitchen Little wrote the most gorgeous, evocative book Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest, about the Appalachian cuisine of her roots. Man, is this recipe a showstopper! The salmon cooks up in just 5 minutes, and the bourbon sauce? Lauren says it’s like “salmon in a party dress.” After tasting it, we’re inclined to agree! Keep reading for the recipe and a bit more about the book.

About the book: Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest

Even if we didn’t know Lauren personally, we would gush about her new cookbook. She happens to live right around the corner here in Indianapolis, and we feel spoiled to have another cookbook author in a 5 minute radius! This bourbon glazed salmon salmon recipe is from her book Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest, which she wrote to, in her words, “get a taste of what Appalachian cuisine and culture are all about.”

The book makes you literally want to jump on a plane to get there as fast as you can! Lauren guides you through Appalachian favorites like Sorghum Cider Quick Bread, Blackberry Buckle, and Pimento Cheese. At the same time, she shares stories and anecdotes that make it read like a novel. It’s truly unique, and we are just over the moon excited for Lauren’s book to be out in the world.

Get the book: Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest

Bourbon glazed

How to broil salmon

Making this bourbon glazed salmon could not be easier! You can use salmon fillets with the skin on or skin off. Place the salmon on a baking sheet, and liberally add salt and pepper. Then pop it in the broiler and broil for 5 minutes. That’s it! A seriously easy salmon recipe. You’ll make a homemade bourbon glaze for the salmon: paint the glaze on in the last minute of broiling, then again right when you remove it from the oven.

More great ways cook salmon? Try our Oven Baked Salmon, Seared Salmon, Miso Salmon, Cajun Salmon or Blackened Salmon. Or see all our salmon recipes!

How to broil salmon

Making the glaze for bourbon glazed salmon

The bourbon glaze is what takes this salmon from ordinary to extraordinary! Here are a few notes about the glaze:

  • Simmer for 15 minutes, then cool for 20. The main idea for the bourbon glaze is you’ll simmer bourbon with brown sugar and some other seasonings until it reduces down into a syrupy glaze. The cooking part takes only about 15 minutes, but the glaze does need to cool for about 20 minutes to thicken up.
  • Make it in advance for a quick meal. To short cut this timing, you can make the bourbon glaze in advance for a truly quick meal! Just store it refrigerated and bring it to room temperature before to serving. It truly adds this sweet-salty-savory component to the salmon that will blow your mind. Trust us!

How to serve it!

Serve this salmon with one of our go-to salmon sides. Here are a few ideas:

On buying sustainable seafood

Finally, a few notes on how to buy sustainable fish for this bourbon glazed salmon! Alex and I try to buy sustainable seafood where possible. We eat a mostly plant-based diet, but flex occasionally to eat sustainable fish. Here’s what we’ve learned about how to buy sustainable seafood:

  • Always always buy wild salmon. Farmed salmon is usually marketed as sustainable fish; however, the fish are fed other wild forage fish, which are not sustainable seafood.
  • Frozen is good too! A myth about fish is that “fresh is best.” As soon as an animal dies it begins to decompose; freezing suspends this process. If a fish is frozen when it was caught and stays frozen until it gets to your kitchen, it will be higher quality than a raw fish that has taken a week to get to your plate.
Broiled salmon

This bourbon glazed salmon recipe is…

Pescatarian and gluten-free.

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Broiled Salmon with Bourbon Glaze

Easy Bourbon Glazed Salmon

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  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
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This bourbon glazed salmon is full of savory sweet flavor. It’s an easy way to get perfectly cooked fish on the table: it cooks in 5 minutes! 



For the bourbon glaze

  • ¾ cup bourbon
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the bourbon salmon

  • Four 4– to 5-ounce salmon fillets (skin on or off)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. For the bourbon glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the bourbon, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, honey, Dijon mustard, vinegar, garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Simmer the mixture, stirring frequently until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to gently simmer the glaze, without stirring, until it has reduced by half, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool for at least 15 minutes before using, to give it a chance to thicken up.
  2. For the salmon: Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Season the flesh side of each fish fillet with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper (or if they don’t have skin, sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper on each side). Place them, skin-side down, side by side on the baking sheet. Broil for 4 minutes. Remove the salmon from the oven and, using a pastry brush, brush liberally with some of the bourbon sauce. Return the baking sheet to the broiler for 1 minute. Or, if you fillets are particularly thick, check for doneness, and if necessary, go a little longer.
  3. Brush the fillets again with the bourbon sauce and transfer to a platter. Pour the extra sauce into a serving dish, and serve alongside the salmon for drizzling and dipping. (If you brush the sauce on too soon, the sugars in the glaze could burn, so doing it toward the end of cooking and then once more when the fish is out of the oven works out perfectly.)


Reprinted with permission from Smoke Roots Mountain Harvest by Lauren McDuffie

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Broiled
  • Cuisine: American

Looking for more healthy seafood recipes?

Outside of this broiled salmon recipe, here are a few more healthy seafood recipes and fish recipes:

Last updated: September 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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