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Southwestern Maple Glazed Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

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southwestern salmon pineapple salsa

This maple glazed salmon was featured on the August 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 over salmon fillets, 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 salmon is delicious on its own but the fresh fruit really adds another dimension and completes the dish.

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.

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.

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

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.

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 salmon pineapple salsa


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Southwestern Maple Glazed Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

Servings: 4
Total Time: 30 Minutes


For the Salmon

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 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 salmon 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 salmon fillets to plates and top with pineapple salsa.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

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  • 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, 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.

Reviews & Comments

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

    • — Lyne on January 30, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Lyne – you might just use a little less as chipotle chili powder tends to be spicy.

      • — Jenn on January 30, 2019
      • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Carol H. on September 30, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Carol, If it doesn’t say, you should use sweet. Recipes will specify if it should be smoked. Hope that helps! 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 30, 2018
      • Reply
  • 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 on September 7, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Jenn, Yes – I’d use my chicken fajita marinade. The salsa will be delicious with that. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on September 7, 2018
      • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Carol on July 30, 2018
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Sara P on July 7, 2018
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Maggie Levy on May 7, 2018
    • Reply
  • 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. 🙂

    • — Nitza Geiger on April 15, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Nitza, I think mango would also work beautifully here. Hope you enjoy and thanks for your support of the cookbook! ❤️

      • — Jenn on April 15, 2018
      • Reply
  • Was another wonderful recipe! SO easy!
    Also, have made the Beef stew with Carrots and Potatoes twice. Also, EXCELLENT! Thank you so much!

    • — Ria on March 3, 2018
    • Reply
  • great!

    • — dylan on February 28, 2018
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Jane on January 9, 2018
    • Reply
  • Delicious! My husband isn’t the biggest salmon lover but he really enjoyed this! I had a thicker filet and cooked it 1 minute longer.

    • — Sandy on July 3, 2017
    • Reply
  • I’ve usually baked salmon with just maple syrup on it, but this was sooo much better. Thanks for another awesome recipe!!

    • — Magda on September 26, 2016
    • Reply
  • I made this for my step-daughter’s birthday dinner. We were a party of 7 and EVERYONE loved this dish, including my step-son who is lukewarm about many dishes and my wife who typically does not enjoy salmon. I used somewhere between 1/2 tbsp and 3/4 tbsp of salt because I was using fine sea salt and was worried about this substitution making it too salty. I also used frozen pineapples and frozen cilantro because that’s what I had on hand. I’m sure fresh is more vibrant in terms of taste but frozen worked out just fine. I found that I had to cook this longer than the 6-7min recommended- more like 10-12min. It could be my oven, as I often end up cooking meats a bit longer to ensure they are fully cooked. The salmon was still tender and moist- not dried out.
    Another hit!

    • — Mo on April 24, 2016
    • Reply
    • I meant 1/2 to 3/4 tsp of salt!

      • — Mo on April 24, 2016
      • Reply
  • This recipe is amazing! So simple yet it would have never occurred to me. I’ve made the spice rub according to the recipe and it’s come out great, but I was recently given a sample of a Badia spice rub called ‘Holy Smokes’ and used it instead. It’s originally made for pork, but the ingredients are super similar to the recipe’s spice mix, with paprika, brown sugar, and chipotle chili (not ancho though). It was just as great and saved me some time when preparing. I paired the salmon with some steamed sweet potato since I love contrasting spicy and sweet flavors and also roasted some brussels sprouts to go along with it to make it into a hearty and healthy winter dish. I have yet to try it with the pineapple salsa but that sweet acid kick HAS to be good.

    • — Maria on February 9, 2016
    • Reply
  • This was sensational and so easy! My husband- who is generally not a salmon person- loved it too. Made with Jenn’s guacamole and tortilla chips and went together well.

    • — Sara on January 29, 2016
    • Reply
  • I have made this Salmon dish a few times now, and I love it. Growing up, we didn’t have fish, because my father didn’t care for it. So I never learned how to prepare it. This and other fish recipes have been a wonderful learning tool for me! This dish is easy to prepare, and quick! It tastes delicious, and is making a regular appearance on my menu!

    • — Doreen M Sanders on December 3, 2015
    • Reply
  • I have already made it twice with two different crowds and it was a hit each time. I really like the simplicity of the ingredients, which together bring out amazing favors.

    • — Rija M. on September 22, 2015
    • Reply
  • I love this recipe! The mix of the spicy flavors with the sweetness creates such a great balance. I made it one time with a mango salsa and it was even more delicious than the pineapple salsa. The thing I love about this recipe is that it is totally awesome the way it is, but you can create a fruit salsa with whatever fruit and ingredients you have on hand and it will still complement the spicy sweetness of the salmon.

    • — MEAGEN on July 25, 2015
    • Reply
  • thanks for the recipe. I am planning to make it this weekend. What is the recommended temperature for the broiler?

    • — Sarah on February 21, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Sarah, Set the broiler on high.

      • — Jenn on February 21, 2015
      • Reply
  • WOW ! ! ! Salsa is great but the spice rub has WAY too much salt for my taste. Be careful. I will make it again, it is good but will use about 1/4 of the salt

    • — Eaglestar on October 24, 2014
    • Reply
  • This meal turned out great! A few days later I made pork tacos and used the pineapple salsa recipe to serve with it- so simple but it really brings the dish together.

    The rub for the salmon was really good too, I might have to make a big batch so I can have it on hand!

    • — Emily Neifeld on July 29, 2014
    • Reply
  • Ummmm…yeah. This was absolutely fantastic. I felt like an actual chef when I took my first bite (gotta work on my plating, though). The pineapple salsa brought everything together in perfect harmony. If you do not add the pineapple salsa, you are doing yourself and everyone you cooked for a disservice. An absolutely fantastic, perfectly portioned meal with the sautéed zucchini/cherry tomato recipe.

  • Oh but wanted to also mention that the pineapple salsa was great. However, I did add some finely chopped red onion.

    • — Aliece on May 21, 2014
    • Reply
  • Ok. I tried this Sunday night and was not thrilled. Grilling seemed to take away from the flavors that broiling could have brought out. I also noticing everyone reaching for the salt shaker for their fish. With the amount of salt in the recipe vs the amount of fish, I’d go up on the salt amount unless you are sodium-restricted. Just not a favorite with me. I’ll give it one more shot in a couple of weeks and I’ll add more salt and I’ll broil it also and see what happens.

    • — Aliece on May 21, 2014
    • Reply
  • I am going to make this on Sunday for a guest who is coming over. We all love salmon and I’ve been looking for something different than just ‘grilled’. Thank you so much for the recipe. Can’t wait to try it!

    • — Aliece on May 13, 2014
    • Reply

    • Hi Joe, You can season the salmon with the spice rub and grill until almost done. Brush on the maple glaze at the end and continue cooking for about a minute.

      • — Jenn on April 12, 2014
      • Reply
  • To the woman whose husband does not like maple syrup, if you have a supermarket with a kosher or Passover section, you can try Silan date syrup. Adds a nice sweetness with a less pronounced flavor. It is also good on oatmeal and plain Greek yogurt.

    My husband loathes pineapple. What fruit would suggest as a substitute? I think mango or peaches might be too sweet.

    • — Deb on March 12, 2014
    • Reply
    • Hi Deb, I like your idea to substitute mango or peaches; you may just need to add a bit more lime to cut the sweetness.

      • — Jenn on March 12, 2014
      • Reply
  • WOW! FANTASTIC, I’m a fan of salmon thanks for this recipe. Sending this to a host of family. Thanks keep up the great work. GOD Bless

    • — kathleen on January 14, 2014
    • Reply
  • Salmon was delicious and i would make even more (double) the salsa recipe because it’s a great side for the salmon and it goes quickly. Watch the salmon carefully, it’s best when it’s on the rare side.

    • — susan on March 11, 2013
    • Reply
  • This is a regular I. Our family dinner line up!

  • I made this for supper last night. It is excellent but I did make a few changes. I added chopped red pepper. I did not have maple syrup. I substituted honey. Scrumptious!

    • — Carol on March 9, 2013
    • Reply
  • I love the combination of this rub and the pineapple salsa. I have made this exactly as is and wouldn’t change a thing. The cilantro with the pineapple is a great combination.

    • — Debi on March 9, 2013
    • Reply
  • All I can say is I have made this recipe several times, and it’s delicious! Thanks jennifer for a fantastic fish recipe!

    • — Katzzz on October 9, 2012
    • Reply
  • Salmon is my absolute favorite–any preparation! But this looks like a winner for sure. Will definitely try it!

    • — Perrie on June 27, 2012
    • Reply
  • I made this dish for a dinner party of eight. My guests all loved it, served with a light, green salad with strawberries and pecans and rice pilaf.

    The fresh pineapple was especially tasty as a salsa. I doubled the recipe so that I would have salsa for an additional dinner.

    • — Maryann Guevara on June 20, 2012
    • Reply
  • This was fantastic! It definitely will be on the rotation!

    • — Colleen on May 16, 2012
    • Reply
  • I can’t wait to try this – I was looking for a new recipe to try with our recent catch of salmon and this sounds delicious – sweet and spicy! YUM!!!

    • — kathy on May 16, 2012
    • Reply
  • Wonderful combination of flavors. We are not huge fans of salmon, but with this combination we will be eating more and more of it! Thanks again for the great, healthy recipes!

    • — LindaK on May 16, 2012
    • Reply
  • This was very good, and very easy. It was spicy, but the flavor combination helps make the spiciness tolerable. This was so easy, it will be made over and over in my house. The ingredients are simple and usually in the house! This is a great weeknight meal for how quickly it can go from preparation to the dinner plate!

    • — Karen on May 15, 2012
    • Reply
  • Delicious and nutrious way to get my family to eat salmon

  • Such an easy and healthy recipe to get your Omega-3! My husband who isn’t a fan of salmon liked this because of the spicy, sweet topping.

    • — Bridget on March 6, 2012
    • Reply
  • Love it! I made this last night and it is now replacing my old maple glazed salmon recipe 🙂

    • — Mary Ann on March 5, 2012
    • Reply
  • Looks healthy and tasty!

    • — Jill on March 4, 2012
    • Reply
  • So delicious and easy!

    • — Jennifer on March 4, 2012
    • Reply
  • I am always looking for more recipes with salmon, and this sounds spectacular. Such an easy prep process, and I love the idea of having a delicious meal ready in virtually 15 minutes (if that)!

    • — Cynthia on March 2, 2012
    • Reply
  • Another of your recipes we make often – so yummy! When mangoes are back in season, I’m going to substitute them for the pineapple, just for variety…we eat salmon a lot and this spice rub is awesome. Thanks again!

    • — Terri on March 1, 2012
    • Reply
  • Yum, I’m going to make this tonight for my client who wants a salmon dish that is simple & healthy with a little kick!

  • I LOVE this!!!

    • — Judee on March 1, 2012
    • Reply
  • I made this last night and it was a huge hit!!! I was so delicious and easy to make! I will definitely make it again!

    • — Jackie on March 1, 2012
    • Reply
  • This was TERRIFIC!!! My husband and two boys all approved and devoured it! They loved the rub, and the maple syrup specified in the recipe was just the perfect amount. Because the pineapple I got was extremely sweet, I added about 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt to the salsa and sprinkled some black pepper on it. This recipe gives me an idea of doing a broiled blackened salmon… using a blackened rub and maybe brushing the salmon with melted butter instead of maple syrup? Anyway, thanks again, Jenn, for another wonderful recipe!!

    • — Kim on February 28, 2012
    • Reply
  • Another fantastic recipe! As a registered dietitian, the amount of actual sodium per serving is completely acceptable and can easily be part of a sodium restricted 2000mg/day diet prescription. No worries people.

  • This looks so good. Pineapple is on sale at my local grocery store, so it looks like this is going to get made!

    Any suggestions on cooking fish? I have yet to actually have my fish not crumble into little bits and pieces….

    • — Mara on February 15, 2012
    • Reply
    • Mara, Follow the recipe and you will have success! Fish is easy to broil, especially salmon. Good luck!

      • — Jenn on February 15, 2012
      • Reply
  • How hot does the oven need to be?

    • — emily on February 13, 2012
    • Reply
    • Hi Emily, Set the oven to “broil.”

      • — Jenn on February 13, 2012
      • Reply
  • Have you ever tried this with chicken? My husband HAAAAAAAAAAATES fish, which makes me incredibly sad!!

    • — Kiriel on February 11, 2012
    • Reply
    • Hi Kiriel, I haven’t tried it myself but it would probably work well with boneless chicken breasts.

      • — Jenn on February 12, 2012
      • Reply
  • I’m not even a salmon fan but I may have to try this. Looks delicious.

    • — Jules on February 10, 2012
    • Reply
  • I am putting salmon fillets on my grocery list, and fresh pineapple. This looks delicious, easy, and healthy. Thanks, Jenn.

    • — Liz on February 9, 2012
    • Reply
  • As a health professional, I am concerned about the amount of salt in this recipe. Please check out all the recent articles calling for less salt. Maybe in the future, say salt to taste. This is such a healthy recipe, except for the amount of salt you’re recommending.

    • — Phyllis Barrier on February 9, 2012
    • Reply
    • Hi Phyllis, Taste-wise this is just the right amount of salt, but feel free to cut back if you prefer.

      • — Jenn on February 9, 2012
      • Reply
    • Too much salt? Really? This recipe calls for 1 teaspoonful total — and Kosher at that, which has less sodium chloride by weight compared to regular table salt.

      That’s just 980 mg of salt. Now, divide that by 4 portions and you get 245 mg per person. The Mayo Clinic recommends you get no more than 2300 mg per day, although they say the average American takes in 3,400 mg.

      With that said, this recipe is calling for just over 10% of your optimal daily intake of salt — not too shabby.

      On top of that, it’s being used in a rub, which means a portion of it won’t even make it in the final dish — it will be scattered on the baking sheet, on your kitchen counter, and stuck to your fingers after you’ve plastered it on the fish.

      • — Neil on February 12, 2012
      • Reply
  • My husband can barely be in the same room if I have the maple syrup out. Sad! Do you have a substitute you could suggest? This recipe sounds delicious!

    • — Beth B on February 9, 2012
    • Reply
    • Beth, You could try honey, agave or corn syrup. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on February 9, 2012
      • Reply
  • Mmm I am making this immediately!!!

  • That salsa might not make it up top of the salmon. I would most likely eat it all before dinner!

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