Simple seared salmon gets dressed up with the most addictive glaze of pomegranate molasses. This recipe looks and tastes luxurious but is easy to make – perfect for entertaining or a special occasion!
I’m not going to sugar coat it, this recipe was a labor of love. But, it was worth it. Because the final result is so good. Like, skip dessert, you’ll just want seconds of dinner. That kind of good.
Juicy salmon, with a crisp seared skin. A thick, sweet, tangy pomegranate glaze. Little jewels of pomegranate seeds. (Arils? Technically they’re arils, but I feel too pretentious saying that word out loud.)
This is a meal highly worthy of entertaining. Not that you should wait for entertaining to serve it, though. You are definitely worth making this for all on your own.
What is pomegranate molasses?
Pomegranate molasses is a thick, syrupy condiment used often in Middle Eastern cooking. It couldn’t be more simple to make, and if you want to try it, Alton Brown has a good basic recipe. You just need 3 things:
- Pomegranate juice
- Lemon juice
Let it reduce, and you’ll have a small jar of the most addictive syrup you can imagine. Sweet and tangy all at once.
Of course, you can also pick up a bottle on Amazon. Even easier 🙂 (affiliate link)
That said, though, I know that not everyone wants to make their own pomegranate molasses, or buy a bottle of it for just one recipe. And I’ve had the idea to make a pomegranate salmon for quite some time. So first I tried it with just pomegranate juice, reduced a little. I’ll spare you the details, but it was a total fail. And a sad waste of ingredients!
So please just take me at my word- pomegranate molasses is key here. The thick consistency is perfect for coating the salmon, staying put while it roasts, and locking in incredible flavor.
This recipe would be amazing for entertaining during the late fall and winter, when pomegranates are in season and easy to find. And they are just so beautiful!
More salmon recipes:
- Pan-seared pistachio-herb salmon
- Mustard-crusted baked salmon
- Parchment lemon salmon with potatoes and zucchini
- Rosemary garlic sheet pan salmon
What to serve with pomegranate salmon:
Obviously, this recipe as written has a great winter veggie, Brussels sprouts, built right in! But if you prefer, it’s easy to swap out another veg, or leave it out entirely in favor of a salad or something else. Just begin the recipe with step 3 below.
Because I’m addicted to carbs, I usually also serve this with some rice or another grain. Some crusty bread would also be delicious – is it ever not!?
If you try this pomegranate salmon or any other recipe on the blog, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!
Pomegranate-Glazed Salmon and Brussels Sprouts
- 1.5 pounds Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- kosher salt
- freshly-ground black pepper
- 4 salmon fillets, preferably skin on
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses, at room temperature
- pomegranate arils, fresh basil, or other herbs, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts, and pull off any loose, brown outer leaves. Spread out Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and a few turns of pepper. Toss well to coat, and roast for 20 minutes.
- While the sprouts are roasting, sear the salmon. Begin by patting the fillets with a paper towel to dry them a bit.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, corn starch, a pinch of kosher salt, and a few turns of black pepper. Sprinkle this mixture over the flesh side of the salmon fillets and press gently to adhere. Not all the mixture will stick to the salmon; that’s OK.
- Set a large non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the salmon fillets, skin side up. Let them cook for 1-2 minutes without touching the fish. The underside of the fillets should form a nice, brown crust, possibly with a few black spots. Flip the fillets and cook for 1 minute more, just to crisp the skin. Remove skillet from the heat.
- Remove Brussels sprouts from the oven, and shake the pan gently to toss them a bit. Transfer salmon fillets to the baking sheet, skin side down. Spoon pomegranate molasses evenly over the salmon, and return pan to the oven. Roast for 8-10 minutes more. When done, the salmon should flake easily, and it should be easy to pierce the Brussels sprouts with a fork.
- Plate salmon and sprouts, adding a bit more pomegranate molasses if desired. You may also want to garnish with pomegranate arils and fresh herbs. I love basil with this! Serve and enjoy.
- If you want to try making your own pomegranate molasses, Alton Brown has a good recipe. It takes time to simmer but is very easy!
- Whether homemade or store-bought, you definitely want your pomegranate molasses to be at room temperature. If it's cold it will be too thick to spoon easily over the salmon. If it's still a little thick when you need it, a few seconds in the microwave works wonders.
- This New York Times guide to cooking salmon is very comprehensive and helpful to read through if you like the fish!
- You can easily sub another winter vegetable or skip it entirely, beginning the recipe with step 3, though Brussels sprouts go perfectly with the flavors of salmon and pomegranate, and are delicious when roasted!
- Recipe adapted from Primavera Kitchen and Tori Avey.