Harissa Baked Salmon Recipe

If you like to live on the spicy side of life — or eat that way, at any rate — then you are in the right place with this harissa baked salmon recipe from Susan Olaynika of The Flexible Fridge. If you like entrées that take less than 20 minutes to make from start to finish, then same story. And if you like dishes that require just four ingredients, well... let's just cut to the chase and say you're in the right place in general!

This dish, defined by the unique, spicy, and delightful flavor of the harissa (we'll break that down in just a bit), cooks up fast and makes a great meal whether you're getting food on the table fast on a weeknight or you're serving dinner for a crowd with sides and courses aplenty. As for Olayinka? "I like to serve this with a simple green salad and some crusty bread," she says. Want to take things up a notch? There are many great dishes out there that pair well with fish.

Gather your ingredients for the harissa baked salmon

That's right, this entrée takes just four ingredients! Those are salmon (a pair of filets, as laid out here today), some salt, olive oil, and that harissa paste. "You can find it in most grocery stores these days," Olayinka says, but you can also find the standout ingredient in specialty grocery stores and online — or you could even make your own harissa.

What is harissa, anyway?

Harissa just might be your new favorite flavor, that's what it is. It is made typically from dried chiles, garlic, coriander, and caraway seeds — though myriad varieties exist — and is very common in cooking from many parts of North Africa, most notably Morocco and Tunisia. "I love harissa paste!" says Olayinka. "It's a little bit spicy, and it gives the salmon a really nice flavor."

Some harissa pastes are hotter than others, so as you shop for one, note its ingredients. Before you slather it on your salmon, give it a little taste — you may want to adjust quantities based on how spicy it is. 

Prep the fish with oil and salt

Before you start anything else — before you even get the fish out of then fridge — preheat your oven to 350 F. Then either line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease a large baking pan.

Next, drizzle and spread the olive oil evenly over both salmon filets. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the top of the fish and lay the filets down into the pan.

Spread on the harissa, then bake

Now it's time to spread on the harissa. Cover each filet in a generous layer of the spicy stuff using a brush, the back of a spoon, or even your dampened fingers. Just be sure to wash well afterward if you use your hands — you don't want that heat in your eyes!

Bake the salmon in the preheated oven for 14 minutes. When the cooking time is up, retrieve the filets and serve them right away. "I would recommend not overcooking the salmon; it only needs to be in the oven for 14 minutes. Any longer and it will start to dry out," Olayinka advises.

Harissa Baked Salmon Recipe
5 from 26 ratings
If you like to live on the spicy side of life -- or eat that way, at any rate -- then you are in the right place with this harissa baked salmon recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
a pair of baked salmon filets
Total time: 17 minutes
  • 2 salmon fillets (approximately 1 pound total)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup harissa paste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  2. Season salmon fillets with olive oil and salt. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Spread harissa paste over the top of each salmon fillet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 14 minutes.
  5. After 14 minutes, remove from the oven and serve while warm.
Calories per Serving 949
Total Fat 66.8 g
Saturated Fat 14.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 217.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 1.2 g
Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
Total Sugars 0.8 g
Sodium 822.9 mg
Protein 81.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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