Easy Baked Salmon: Sweet, Spicy, Orange-y and Delicious

Don’t you just love an easy baked salmon recipe? You know, one that’s good for family dinner, company dinner or a solo dinner. Salmon is one of my go-to fish choices because it’s readily available, versatile, nutritious, a sustainable choice, and super easy to prepare.

easy baked salmonI created this recipe a bit by accident. On a recent date night to dinner and the theater, my husband and I enjoyed the salmon special at a local restaurant. Our server told us that it was prepared with a burr rub that included smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin and brown sugar. I wanted to recreate it at home, so I searched burr rub online. The Internet gave me zilch, so I went to work on this recipe from memory.

Baked Salmon with Pizazz

There must have been some other herbs or spices in the original recipe because my dish tasted nothing like what we ate in the restaurant. Absolutely nothing! And while my salmon creation wasn’t terrible, it lacked pizazz. A few bites in, I declared that this salmon is begging for orange zest. And I was right. The following week, a sweet, spicy and orange-y easy baked salmon was born.

So while the flavors are nothing like the salmon recipe that we devoured on date night, I’m thrilled with the result. You’ll want to keep this easy baked salmon recipe in your menu rotation and to serve to company.

To learn about farmed salmon, check out my post My Fascinating Day on a Norwegian Fish Farm.

And if you want to cook once and eat twice – and who doesn’t – save a piece to eat over arugula or whatever are your favorite salad greens. Then check off your quota of at least two fish meals weekly.

easy baked orange salmonThe brown sugar and oranges make this salmon recipe sweet. At the same time, chili powder adds a pleasant kick.

Easy Baked Salmon: Sweet, Spicy and Orange-y

If you're watching your portions, serve 6 with this recipe. Otherwise, you can serve up 4 larger portions. The nutrition details show the numbers for both 4 and 6 servings. The nutrients for the larger portion are in parentheses. To prepare ahead, you can make the rub with all of the ingredients except for the orange peel. Add that just before cooking. To make just two salmon fillets, simply reduce the amount of each ingredient by half.
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Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 4 -6
Calories: 285kcal
Author: Jill Weisenberger MS, RDN, CDE, FAND


  • 1.5 pounds salmon fillet or 4 smaller fillets
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • grated orange peel from 1 large orange (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 large orange, sliced


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the salmon on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  • Prepare the rub by mixing the first 7 ingredients together (brown sugar through orange peel). Spread it on the salmon. Place the orange slices on top.
  • Bake about 20 - 25 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.


Serving: 1fillet | Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3.5g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 210mg | Fiber: 1.5g


Jill Weisenberger

I'm Jill, and I believe simple changes in your mindset and health habits can bring life-changing rewards. And I don't believe in willpower. It's waaaay overrated. As a food-loving registered dietitian nutritionist, certified diabetes care and education specialist and certified health and wellness coach, I've helped thousands of people solve their food and nutrition problems. If you're looking for a better way to master this whole healthy eating/healthy living thing or if you're trying to prevent or manage diabetes or heart problems, you'll find plenty of resources right here.

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  1. Maria Nissen on September 30, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    This recipe was delicious and easy to make. Thank you!

    • Jill Weisenberger on September 30, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      Yay! Thank you. I’m so glad you liked it. We love it too.

  2. Betty Lawrence on October 9, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Jill, thank you for this recipe. Easy and delicious. I love to eat but dislike cooking and am always looking for fast and easy dinners. This one is a ‘keeper’.

    • Jill Weisenberger on October 9, 2018 at 2:30 pm

      Yay! So glad.

  3. Lewis Johnson on January 3, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    I love eating salmon. It’s so healthy and delicious.

    • Jill Weisenberger on January 3, 2019 at 3:12 pm

      Agree! And so versatile too!

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Hi there! I'm Jill, a nutrition & diabetes expert and the author of 4 books.

Jill Weisenberger

I believe simple changes in health habits can bring you life-changing rewards.

And I believe willpower is way overrated.

Right here is where you can discover the mindset and habits to stick with healthy lifestyle choices most of the time - and drop the guilt when you don't.

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