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close up shot of balsamic salmon with reduction drizzled over it
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5 from 5 votes

Balsamic Salmon Marinade (3 ingredients!)

This simple balsamic salmon marinade has just 3 ingredients, and gets dinner on your table in no time. The salmon comes out with the best texture- so soft and tender on the inside and never over-cooked.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Marinating Time30 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 4
Calories: 270kcal


  • 20 oz salmon fillets cut into 5 oz portions; see note 1
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup note 2
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder note 3


  • Shake up marinade- in a ½ pint jar or salad dressing shaker, combine the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and garlic powder. Shake it up until completely combined.
    balsamic marinade in jar
  • Marinate salmon- Make sure your salmon is cut into equal-sized 5 oz fillets. Arrange in a 9 x 9 inch square baking dish. Pour the marinade evenly over the salmon, then turn the salmon so it is skin side up. Marinate for 30 minutes.
    salmon skin side up in marinade in white baking dish
  • Preheat oven + sheet pan- Heat the oven to 500°F. Line a sturdy baking sheet with foil and place it in the oven to pre-heat as well. Once oven comes to temperature, remove the sheet pan and carefully arrange the salmon on it (skin side down).
    balsamic salmon on baking sheet
  • Reduce heat + bake salmon- Place the sheet pan into the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 275°F. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the salmon reaches 125°F*(see note 4) when checked with an instant read thermometer.
  • Reduce marinade (optional)- While salmon bakes, add the reserved marinade to a pot. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until it reduces and thickens. Use this to drizzle over the salmon.
    reducing balsamic marinade in blue pot



1- if you have a thin tail portion of the salmon, I recommend pan frying instead of baking. See How to Cook Salmon
2- you can swap the maple syrup for an equal volume of honey or brown sugar; alternative sweeteners have not been tested
3- garlic powder can be swapped for 3-4 cloves fresh minced garlic
4- 125°F yields medium-rare salmon; cook to 145°F for medium-well.
Balsamic marinated salmon is best served fresh, though leftovers may be stored in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
Reheat in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, or in the microwave until steaming hot.
Do not use a glass baking dish as it risks shattering in the oven at 500°F.


Serving: 1fillet | Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 757mg | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1.2mg