Glazed Salmon With Cranberry Balsamic Compote Recipe

Salmon is a dinnertime go-to for many people, boasting a mild taste that leans more rich and savory than fishy — not to mention loads of vitamins and healthy fats that certainly don't hurt its reputation. Grilled, baked, or even air-fried salmon is perfectly delicious on its own, with seasoning as simple as salt and pepper getting the job done. However, it's always a good idea to get creative in the kitchen, and this glazed salmon with a sweet-tart cranberry compote recipe offers the ideal way to do so. As recipe developer Kara Barrett says, "It's a beautiful and simple dish with a really lovely presentation," offering more complex flavors that plain old grilled salmon.

Though cranberries and salmon might not seem like the likeliest food duo out there, salmon serves as a rich and sophisticated vehicle for a tangy compote. "I always enjoy the combination of a savory dish with a berry compote," says Barrett. "It's the mix of salty, savory, and sweet that really complement each another; the balsamic and cranberry bring tartness to this dish and act as a counterpoint to the fatty flavor of the salmon." 

Gather the ingredients for glazed salmon with cranberry balsamic compote

Despite the air of elegance that the final dish boasts, this glazed salmon recipe actually requires a minimal ingredients list. You'll need a medium-sized salmon fillet, some salt, fresh cranberries, orange juice and zest, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, ground nutmeg, and a little bit of unsalted butter.

Step 1: Preheat the oven

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Step 2: Season the salmon

Pat salmon dry and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt.

Step 3: Begin making the cranberry compote

Add cranberries, orange zest and juice, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and nutmeg to a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil.

Step 4: Simmer until thickened

Reduce heat to a simmer, add ¾ teaspoon salt, and cook for 10 minutes until thickened.

Step 5: Stir in the butter

Stir in the butter and set aside.

Step 6: Prep the salmon for baking

Add salmon to a parchment-lined sheet pan.

Step 7: Brush it with compote

Brush generously with compote.

Step 8: Bake

Bake for 11-14 minutes until cooked through.

Step 9: Serve with extra compote

Serve warm with more compote on top. Season with remaining salt if needed.

How can I switch up the ingredients in this glazed salmon with cranberry balsamic compote recipe?

There are two key components to this dish — the salmon and the cranberry compote — and luckily there's room for customization with the latter. A simple swap would be to use frozen cranberries instead of fresh ones, though Barrett also suggests thinking outside of the berry box. "You can branch out with something like blackberries or strawberries. Those go well with the salmon," she notes, adding that she once made blackened catfish with blackberry compote to great success.

The cranberry compote also calls for nutmeg, though you might be so inclined to toss some other spices in there. "You could explore warm spices like cloves and cinnamon," Barrett advises. "Try different variations — you want flavors that will complement your berries and the meat you are serving." When in doubt, don't overdo it with the additions or swaps, and whatever you do, don't get too crazy with the sugar. As Barrett says, "You want a slightly sweet berry compote, not the kind you might add to a dessert."

How should you serve this glazed salmon with cranberry balsamic compote?

When it comes to serving this glazed salmon, you really can't go wrong with the occasion, be it an intimate get-together or even a dinner for one. "I think it works well for one person, a nice date night, or for a dinner party," Barrett says. Should you be serving this dish to a larger crowd, she advises, "Make a large fillet for guests and serve alongside more of the compote so they can add as much as they want."

As for accompaniments, Barrett says, "I'd choose a light salad and roasted rosemary potatoes to round out the meal. A nice bottle of red wine would complement the berry compote; you could even add a splash as you make the compote, as well." And in case you're looking for the perfect dessert to follow your salmon entree, Barrett has a suggestion: "A simple orange olive cake with homemade whipped cream. There! A simple but elegant dinner that won't take much time but will pay off beautifully."

Glazed Salmon With Cranberry Balsamic Compote Recipe
4.9 from 29 ratings
Sweet and tart cranberry compote is the perfect complement to rich and savory salmon. Though it sounds sophisticated, this weeknight dinner is simple to make.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
25
minutes
Servings
2
servings
salmon with cranberry compote on plate
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 medium salmon fillet
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Pat salmon dry and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt.
  3. Add cranberries, orange zest and juice, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and nutmeg to a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer, add ¾ teaspoon salt, and cook for 10 minutes until thickened.
  5. Stir in the butter and set aside.
  6. Add salmon to a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  7. Brush generously with compote.
  8. Bake for 11-14 minutes until cooked through.
  9. Serve warm with more compote on top. Season with remaining salt if needed.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 738
Total Fat 32.6 g
Saturated Fat 9.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 124.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 67.1 g
Dietary Fiber 5.6 g
Total Sugars 52.2 g
Sodium 1,156.1 mg
Protein 41.9 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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