Chili lime salmon with honey is a DELICIOUS version of my best ever cast iron skillet salmon. Just 6 ingredients, 15 minutes, and gluten free, dairy free salmon dinner can be yours!
It's 6 ingredients of love, basically. How are we feeling about a 20 minute salmon dinner that feels slightly Mexican, slightly fine for any side dish you like, slightly practically perfect in every way?
We feel great about it, right?
Start with boneless salmon filets. Skin on is my fav, but take it off if you'd like. I'd suggest at least cooking salmon with the skin on and peeling it off after cooking to keep the fat + moisture from the skin.
This is wild-caught Alaskan salmon caught by a local human. She catches salmon in Alaska for part of the year, then sells it here for the rest of the time. It's as close to local salmon as you can get when you live in inland South Carolina, and I'm going for it. It wasn't dripping in its own artificially produced fat (although that isn't a bad thing), so I fixed that with a glug of olive oil and a smear of honey. Super thin lime slices are broiled right on top, and the whole mess is ridiculously simple and good.
We cook this salmon just like my favorite cast iron skillet salmon - starting it in a cold pan and cooking it almost like bacon. You'll also need olive oil, super thin slices of lime (I used a mandoline), chili powder, salt, and honey.
This is my favorite method to cook salmon, and honestly I can't remember the last time I cooked it any other way. First, preheat the broiler to high. Salmon goes skin side down in a cold pan (cast iron or anything that can go in the oven) with olive oil. Seasonings on top.
Turn the heat to medium-low while you season the salmon. Sprinkle on the chili powder and salt first.
Then, layer the lime slices evenly over the fish, overlapping them as you go. Squirt the honey right down the center of the fish. It'll melt down and coat the fish top and bottom as it cooks. Drizzle another bit of olive oil over each piece of fish.
Now we just wait! Cook time will depend on how your oven works, but the idea is that the pan slowly becomes hot and renders the fat in the salmon skin, making it crispy, like bacon. For my stovetop this takes about 10 minutes.
When the skin is sizzling and you can see the salmon start to cook up the sides of the fish (it'll become opaque), transfer it to the oven. I like my salmon medium-well, slightly undercooked in the center. This cook time should give you that depending on how thick your salmon is.
Broil the salmon in the cast iron skillet for 1-2 minutes, just until the edges of the lime begin to darken.
Boom. Dinner! Serve this right away, with extra lime wedges if you're into that kind of thing.
I usually serve this with some sort of rice and roasted or quickly pan-seared veggie. A roasted veggie is perfect because it can roast while the salmon cooks, then cool just a bit while the salmon broils.
Side Dish Ideas for Serving:
- Easy Mexican Red Rice
- Lemon Asparagus (can broil at the same time as the salmon!)
- Easy Kale Salad
- Lemon Pepper Butter Noodles
- Cold Asparagus Salad
- Pan Fried Potato Chips
- Roasted Spiced Brussels Sprouts
Honey + lime + chili powder is just the best flavor combination, and I love that this salmon goes really well with almost any side dishes you can think of.
PS this flavor combination could be used all summer on other fish, cooked this same way or just broiled in the oven on a sheet pan if you aren't after the crispy skin. Easy.
Try this soon! The lime slices are thin enough that you can definitely eat them with the fish, and the crispy skin is like a superfood potato chip.
I won't tell if you use farmed salmon.
Easy Chili Lime Salmon
- 2 salmon filets about ⅓ pound each, skin-on
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ lime very thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons honey
- olive oil
- Preheat the oven broiler to high. Drizzle olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Place the salmon skin-side down in the cold skillet and turn the heat to medium-low.
- Season the fish with the salt and chili powder, then layer the lime slices evenly over each piece of fish. Pour 1 tablespoon of honey over the center of each piece of fish, and drizzle a bit more olive oil on top.
- Let the pan get hot and start to cook the fish, for about 10 minutes or until the salmon skin is sizzling and you can just see the edges of the bottom of the fish become light pink and opaque.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil for 1-2 minutes to brown the limes and cook the top of the fish. Serve immediately with your favorite sides.