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Southwestern Maple Glazed Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

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The spices on this easy salmon dish create a delicious crust and add a hint of heat to balance out the sweetness of the syrup.

southwestern salmon pineapple salsa

This maple glazed salmon was featured on the cover of Cooking Light. It caught my eye as I was about to get in line at the grocery store and looked so good, I turned around and made a beeline to the fish counter instead.

You basically make a homemade chili powder, dust it generously onto the fish, then broil and glaze with maple syrup. The spices create a delicious top crust and add a hint of heat and bitterness to balance out the sweetness of the syrup and richness of the salmon.

The pineapple salsa is my addition. If you don’t want to bother, the fish is delicious on its own but the fresh fruit really adds another dimension and completes the dish.

What you’ll need to make the dish

Spoon in a bowl of pineapple salsa.

How to make it

Begin by making the pineapple salsa. It’s simply a mix of chopped fresh pineapple, cilantro, fresh lime juice, and maple syrup. Set it aside to let the flavors marry while you prepare the salmon.

Salmon ingredients including kosher salt, ancho chile powder, and paprika.

For the salmon, begin with the spice rub. You’ll need ancho chili powder, cumin, paprika, kosher salt, and sugar. Note that ancho chili pepper powder is not the same as regular chili powder. Chili powder is a blend of spices that season chili and similar dishes, while ancho chili powder is a pure chili powder made from ground ancho peppers with deep rich flavor and mild to medium heat. Many large grocery stores carry it, and you can always find it at Whole Foods.

Unmixed spices in a bowl.

Arrange the salmon fillets on a foil-lined baking sheet for easy cleanup, then sprinkle the spice rub over top.

Salmon filets topped with spices.

Set your oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler, and then broil the salmon for about five minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and brush the salmon fillets with maple syrup, and then broil for one minute more.

Brush adding maple syrup to salmon filets.

As you can see, the top crust will look very dark and almost burnt but don’t worry, it’s not — the spices simply turn dark when moistened. To serve, transfer the salmon fillets to plates and top with the pineapple salsa.

Southwestern Maple Glazed Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

The spices on this easy salmon dish create a delicious crust and add a hint of heat to balance out the sweetness of the syrup.

Servings: 4
Total Time: 30 Minutes


For the Salmon

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 (6 ounce) salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the Pineapple Salsa

  • 2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup


  1. Set an oven rack about 6 inches from the top of the oven and preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Make the pineapple salsa by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Mix the paprika, ancho chili powder, cumin, sugar and kosher salt together in a small bowl.
  4. Place the fillets on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with the spice mixture. Broil for 5-6 minutes, or until almost done. Remove the pan from the oven and brush the fillets evenly with the maple syrup. Broil for one minute more. Transfer the fish to plates and top with pineapple salsa.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Calories: 441
  • Fat: 23 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23 g
  • Sugar: 18 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 35 g
  • Sodium: 601 mg
  • Cholesterol: 94 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • Fabulous! I cooked it on a wood plank on the grill instead of the oven. The pineapple salsa was delicious, but the salmon was so good it could have been eaten on its own. Paired it with cilantro lime rice and roasted broccoli with chipotle honey butter – would choose one or the other in the future, as it was too much food.

    • — Liz on November 11, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’m making this for company on Saturday. What side do you recommend serving it with?

    • — Marge on September 7, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Marge, Sorry I’m seeing this too late to weigh in! I would serve with cilantro rice.

      • — Jenn on September 10, 2023
      • Reply
  • Delicious. We’ve kept this in our regular meal rotation for a long time (maybe 5 years?). We’re a family of 8 and it’s a crowd pleaser.

    • — Alicia Thompson on July 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • Another winning recipe from Jenn! The salmon was delicious and the pineapple salsa really made it pop. Paired it with Jenn’s rice pilaf recipe from the simple sides portion of her second cookbook…it was an excellent, easy, and filling meal! Not to mention healthy. Hubby declared it on the top tier of favorite recipes (all of which are Jenn’s)!

    • — Lilee on May 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • Another excellent recipe from Chef Jenn. This recipe is light and very flavorful. I can always count on Jenn’s recipes. Thank you! My husband and I both like to cook and it’s surprising how often we both independently come up with one of Jenn Segal’s recipe. This was another one of those times.

    • — Patricia Anderson on March 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was absolutely wonderful! Thank you! I had wild caught salmon from my neighbor’s trip to Alaska, so yummy, and husband approved, even though he was skeptical when he asked what we we’re having for dinner.
    I also didn’t have the ancho chili powder, so I just used extra regular chili powder.

    • — Teresa on January 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • My family cannot eat salmon. Will this recipe work with any other fish? Thank you.

    • Sure, you could try it with arctic char, trout, or tilapia. Just keep in mind that the cooking time may be a bit different. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it with one of these alternatives!

  • This was wonderful As written Jen! Is there anyway to modify this recipe by grilling the salmon on a plank? Don’t want it to burn

    • Glad you liked it, Dolly! Sure, you can grill it on a cedar plank if you’d prefer. Just follow the guidance in this recipe.

  • One of the best salmon recipes ever, and quick and easy to make. I made it exactly according to the recipe (other than broiling the fish a minute or two longer.) Our guests loved it. This is really a keeper.

  • Any suggestions for substituting the cilantro in the pineapple salsa?

    • Hi Freddi, you could replace the cilantro with flat-leaf parsley or mint. Hope you enjoy!

  • Very nice simple quick meal. I did not have ancho chili powder and I don’t like much spice so I used regular chili powder. Served with frozen brown rice w/ pineapple salsa and leftover summer veggie salads.

  • I want to make this with a slab of salmon. Broil? With the rack also placed 6″ from the top for a slab? How long would you suggest to broil the salmon slab?

    • — Gay Lee Freedman
    • Reply
    • Hi Gay, It depends upon how thick the piece is, but I would guesstimate that it’ll take about 10 minutes. Hope you enjoy!

  • Another absolute winner. Is there anything that Jen comes up with that isn’t delish? I have yet to find a recipe on this site that is less than amazing. Add this one to the list!
    I didn’t have the ingredients to make the salsa this time as I didn’t decide to make it until the very last minute (and it was easy to do with so few components–I even had the ancho powder), but it went perfectly with the sides we had planned. Add it to the rotation!

  • The pineapple salsa was so delicious with the salmon. Such an easy recipe. Another hit with my family!

    • — Lilianne Glazer
    • Reply
  • Another hit, this was delicious. Not one of your recipes ever disappoint! The only thing I did differently was add a jalapeño to the pineapple salsa. Thank you Jennifer.

  • Delicious! Perfect balance of sweet and spicy.

  • My entire family thought this was delicious!! I was looking for a salmon that was more “southwest” to go with black beans and rice….this hit the nail on the head. I did not use/make the pineapple salsa because I was looking up recipes literally minutes before cooking dinner and did not have the ingredients, but I will make it next time. Thanks for sharing this recipe…it’s a keeper!

  • Can you cook the salmon from frozen?

    • Hi Jacob, I’d recommend defrosting it first.

  • Hi Jen,
    Made this for dinner guests last night along with the greens beans and shallots. Both were delicious. I’ve tried most of your recipes and they’re all wonderful . Will you be coming out with another cookbook ?

    • So glad you liked both this and the green beans! Yes, I am working on another cookbook that is set to be released in the fall of 2021 — thanks for inquiring! 🙂

  • Jenn. This is one of our fave recipes. The salmon and pineapple pair so well together. I used Table salt the first time and it was a bit salty but it was perfect the second time when using kosher salt as you mentioned. This is part of our regular rotation. And so easy too. Thanks.

  • I made this recipe for the first time and we loved it. I’m always looking for new and delicious ways to make salmon and this is a keeper. The only change I made was to grill the salmon instead of broiling it since it was a very warm day and I wanted to be outside. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  • This Salmon was delicious with the accompanying pineapple salsa! Your Black Bean Salad accompanied this as well…my family is in love with this salad!

    My Salmon darkened more than yours in your photo, should I tent it with aluminum foil before the 5-6 min mark?

    Appreciate the wonderful recipes.

    • Glad everyone liked it! Yes, if you feel like the salmon still needs more time to cook and it’s getting a bit too browned, just lay foil loosely over top of it.

  • This recipe has all the ingredients I love-especially fresh cilantro. Instead of broiling, I seared salmon on the stove and finished it ten minutes in 350 degree oven. The crust was crisp and easy to remove if desired. It was fabulous! Have added this recipe to my file as a high priority. Thanks much❣️

  • Another delicious — and super easy to make recipe — from Jenn. My younger son asked “What’s for dinner?” I said, “Salmon, it’s going to be good.” “Oh, from the special woman?” “Yes!” You are now called “The special woman” in our house! High praise!!
    Thank you Jenn!

  • This was delicious! I was going to make sole amandine for our fish Friday but my store did not have any sole. This salmon recipe had caught my eye and it was really fabulous! I will put this on rotation.

  • Hi Jenn,
    our grocery store only carry the chipotle chili not the ancho chili powder. Can I sub the ancho with the chipotle?

    • Sure, Lyne – you might just use a little less as chipotle chili powder tends to be spicy.

  • Fantastic recipe. I’ve made it several times, always a big hit. Question, recipe calls for Paprika. Should I use Hungarian Sweet or Smoked Spanish? I have both. Recipes rarely indicate which so I’m not sure which to use when. Thanks a lot for great recipes.

    • Hi Carol, If it doesn’t say, you should use sweet. Recipes will specify if it should be smoked. Hope that helps! 🙂

  • HELP!!!! We LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe, and I was planning on making it (again) tonight for guests. My husband just mentioned he for got to tell me that the one is allergic to fish. Since I already purchased the ingredients, do you think it would work on chicken?

  • Jenn, my dinner guest just left and I had to immediately tell you how fabulous this was. Served it with oven roasted asparagus and did strawberries with balsamic vinegar and black pepper, and your wonderful banana chocolate marble bread, for desert. The salmon was a restaurant quality dish. We LOVED it!! You are unbelievable.

  • Tip: add the pineapple salsa after the maple brush. Broiling the pineapples brought out lovely flavor that was able to better “stand up” to the strong spices.

    Didn’t have a lime but fresh squeezed grapefruit juice worked great.

  • This is fast, easy and great! The pineapple salsa makes it – I forgot it when we started eating and I think we were all wondering, but add the salsa and the flavors meld beautifully! Only change was a little bit of jalapeno in the salsa!

  • Hi Jenn, my husband is not a fan of pineapples. Do you think the recipe will taste good if I substitute mango for the pineapple? BTW, I can’t wait for you book. Already ordered 2. 🙂

    • Hi Nitza, I think mango would also work beautifully here. Hope you enjoy and thanks for your support of the cookbook! ❤️

    • Made this tonight and my husband and I agreed it’s the best dinner I’ve made in the decade we’ve been married. It’s not spicy at all, so even my kids enjoyed it. We served it with the black bean salad with corn and avocado which is also an amazing dish. This is definitely restaurant quality and so fast and easy if you use pre-cut pineapple spears!

  • Was another wonderful recipe! SO easy!
    Also, have made the Beef stew with Carrots and Potatoes twice. Also, EXCELLENT! Thank you so much!

  • great!

  • I made this last night. Oh my goodness, this was wonderful. Flavorful, moist, and delicious. Had this for dinner with a lovely salad and a glass of wine. Great, quick dinner.

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