When I think of a quick and healthy dinner, salmon is always the first to come to mind. This salmon with mango sauce will show you why that is! This salmon dinner is super easy to make and requires less than 10 ingredients to whip up a delicious protein-packed meal with a sweet and tangy mango sauce.
Why this Sauce is Awesome
Salmon is one of those meals that most kids grew up with. Probably because every mom knows salmon is ready in under 20 minutes and is crazy healthy! Now take that and add a delicious mango sauce and you have a fantastic dinner that's kid approved!
- Quick & Easy: This dinner comes together in 20 minutes. And, it’s mostly hands-off so you have time to make anything else you want to or wrestle the kiddos.
- Flavorful (to kids and parents): Thanks to mango, this sauce is sweet and delicious. And, thanks to soy sauce and sesame oil it is packed with umami. Serve over some rice and you have an easy and flavorful meal!
- Less than 10 ingredients: Dinner doesn’t need to be complicated to be delicious. With just a few simple ingredients, this salmon makes a super tasty meal!
Ingredients and Substitutions
All substitutions are a 1:1 substitutes unless otherwise noted.
Salmon: We used frozen salmon filets that we thawed for this recipe. Salmon populations are quickly dwindling so we always aim to buy farm-raised salmon that is certified sustainably raised. Check out more about the certification process and types of salmon here!
Substitutions: You can use any type of frozen fish for this recipe. Some other favorites of ours are mahi mahi, trout, and cod. This sauce is incredibly versatile so you can also enjoy it with chicken or shrimp.
Soy Sauce: For our marinade, we kept it simple by just brushing the salmon with soy sauce. This adds umami and a beautiful golden color. And because of the umami that soy sauce provides, we don't need any other spices like garlic powder, black pepper, or onion powder.
Substitutions: Coconut aminos is a great soy-free substitute, otherwise teriyaki sauce can be used but it can get a little sweet with the mango and the sugar in teriyaki sauce.
Mango: We use frozen mango that we thawed because it is easier to get year-round.
Substitutions: Fresh mango can be used in place of frozen.
Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar is a great option for sauces because it’s very mild in flavor.
Substitutions: White vinegar can be used in place of rice vinegar.
Avocado and Sesame Oil: We used a combination of avocado and sesame oil because sesame adds flavor and avocado oil helps with consistency.
Substitutions: Olive oil can be used in place of avocado oil. Sesame oil can be omitted in a pinch and replaced with additional avocado oil or olive oil in a pinch.
Honey: Even though mango is pretty sweet, adding honey actually helps to cut any bit of bitterness that mangos can have if they are not quite ripe enough.
Substitutions: For this recipe, the best substitute for honey is agave syrup. It has a very mild flavor that doesn’t overpower the mango. Brown sugar can also be used but it may result in a grainy texture.
Lime Juice: I love to add lime juice to brighten the sauce and add to the tropical flavors. It also helps to lighten the sauce because mangoes are rather creamy in texture.
Substitutions: Lemon juice can be used or the lime juice can be left out in a pinch. Fresh lime juice or bottled lime juice can be used. Lime zest should not be used because the consistency of the sauce will change without the juice.
Recipe Testing Notes
Throughout our testing of these salmon with mango sauce, we learned some things that worked and didn't work. Here are the key takeaways!
- Sesame adds tons of flavor: We tested this sauce with both sesame oil and without. Adding sesame added such a delicious depth of flavor that we knew it needed to be in the final recipe!
- Soy sauce vs teriyaki: We tried cooking the salmon with both a soy sauce and teriyaki glaze. Both tasted great but we landed on the soy sauce because the teriyaki was a touch too sweet when combined with the mango sauce. We are loving this soy sauce from Momofuku!
How to Make This - Step by Step
Be sure to scroll to the bottom for the full salmon recipe card!
Step one: Preheat and prep
Preheat the oven and thaw the salmon (if needed). Pat the fish dry with paper towels and place the salmon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. If the salmon has the skin on, place the salmon skin side down.
Step two: Cook and make the sauce
Coat the top of the salmon with soy sauce and bake it. It should take about 15 minutes to bake but will vary based on the thickness of the salmon. While it bakes, make the mango sauce by blending all of the ingredients together in a blender until smooth.
Step three: Broil
After the initial time is up for the salmon, broil for the last 3-5 minutes of the cooking time on high until the top is golden. Be sure to check the salmon by cutting it open or using a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the salmon.
Watch How to Make This - Step by Step
For a fool proof experience, we’ve compiled these expert tips to help you!
- Skin side down: If you're cooking the salmon with the skin on, cook it with the skin side down. The skin can be removed after cooking.
- Use a thermometer: If you're unsure about whether the salmon is done, use a meat thermometer to check the thickest part of the salmon. It's done when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
- If using fresh mango: If you're using fresh mango, cutting it can be tricky. Mangos are oval shaped and contrary to what makes sense, most of the fruit on the mango is on the skinner side of the oval. So, to cut it without getting into the pit, slice through the thinner side of the oval first so you can see the pit.
Salmon is packed with healthy fats, is high in protein, and is low in calories. But, like everything else, it’s only good in moderation. The American Heart Association recommends only eating salmon twice a week to achieve maximum benefits.
The key to tender salmon is to not overcook it or to cover it in foil. For this recipe, we cook the salmon low and only for 15 minutes. A normal salmon filet should never be cooked for more than 20 minutes above 385 degrees.
Cooking salmon depends on if the salmon fillets you're using have the skin on or not. If the salmon has the skin on you can pan-sear it on medium for 5 minutes on each side to get a crisp exterior. If the salmon doesn’t have the skin on it, the baking cooking method is much easier and results in a better, more evenly cooked filet.
If you don't have a blender, I'd recommend going the route of more of a tangy mango salsa. You can do this by chopping the mango into small pieces and combining it with lime juice, red onion, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes. The result will be a fun and colorful mango salsa to top your salmon with!
Ways to Serve Salmon
This salmon and mango combo can be served in a variety of ways. These are just some of our favorite ways to serve:
- Rice: This is my go-to dinner - salmon and rice with added fresh vegetables and sriracha. You can keep it simple with plain rice or mix it up by adding some coconut milk and salt for creamy coconut rice. Also, I highly recommend microwave rice if you're in a time crunch!
- Salad: Enjoy this salmon in a healthy salad. Cut the salmon up and serve if on top of a bed of crunchy lettuce with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and sunflower seeds on top. The mango sauce works great as a salad dressing!
- Roasted Veggies: For an easy low-calorie side dish, toss some red bell pepper or broccoli in oil with salt and pepper. Bake this on another sheet tray alongside the salmon and then both will be done at the same time!
- In tacos: You can use this recipe to make salmon tacos. Top them with a little coleslaw and you've got a delicious meal!
Want to Save It For Later? Here's How!
This mango sauce keeps really well and can be used for meals other than salmon.
Fridge: If you have leftover salmon and sauce, the salmon and sauce can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I recommend keeping the sauce in a separate container because it tastes best cold.
Freezer: This salmon and mango sauce is not freezer friendly.
Reheating: To reheat salmon, place it on a microwave-safe plate with a wet paper towel covering the salmon. Heat this in the microwave for 1 - 1:30 minutes until the salmon is heated. It's super important that the paper towel is completely wet to ensure it doesn't overheat (it can catch fire!) in the microwave.
Mangoes are an incredibly diverse fruit. They have as many varieties as apples do. With so much variety, it makes sense that it is the national fruit of three different countries - Pakistan, India, and the Philippines. (source)
What to Serve with Salmon
These are our favorite side dishes to serve with this salmon and mango sauce!
- Cilantro Lime Rice adds a little coconut milk for a total tropical feel!
- Crispy Potatoes with tender salmon - yum!
- Air Fryer Potstickers might seem unusual, but pot stickers with a protein like salmon is a complete, delicious, and super easy dinner!
Did you try this and love it? Leave us a review, we would love to hear from you!
- 2 filets salmon
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 cup mango*
- 1 tbsp honey
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking tray with foil or parchment paper. If you need to thaw the salmon quickly, run it under warm water or let them soak in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes.
- Place the salmon on the tray and brush with soy sauce to coat the top. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Switch the oven to broil for the last 3-5 minutes to get a nice golden brown crust.
- While the salmon cooks, add the sauce ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- When the salmon is done, top with sauce and enjoy!