Creamy Honey Mustard Salmon
Creamy Honey Mustard Salmon ~ crispy pan-seared salmon topped with a light, creamy sweet-tangy fresh-herb honey mustard sauce.
I don’t have anything against take-out. I really don’t ~ in fact take-out has saved the day in my house just like it has in yours. So when I ask ‘would you skip takeout if I told you I had a really delicious, healthy recipe that goes from stove to table in under 20 minutes?’, I ask this with all due respect to the takeout industry. But would you? Skip takeout that is.
How about Creamy Honey Mustard Salmon, a 20 minute meal with a sauce so ridiculously good you’ll not only want to eat with a spoon but you’ll be looking for other things to serve it over. Do I have your attention yet?
Because it’s just the two of us at home I don’t make a lot of casseroles even though I love them because they usually involve cheese. Lots of cheese. I like meals that:
- Taste delicious (don’t we all?)
- Don’t take forever to make (with a few classic favorites)
- Don’t leave me with leftovers for the entire neighborhood
Bonus points if the meal is healthy, too because chances are good I ate something yesterday or I’m going to eat something later today that will need balancing out. It’s all about balance.
I made a Sam’s Club run this morning for laundry detergent, olive oil and a few other things, including a mega size (like everything at Sam’s) salmon filet.
I sliced the filet into individual pieces and vacuum-sealed them with a gizmo my husband bought to preserve the walleye and perch he catches. We’ve been using it on the salmon and ‘family size’ packages (which are cheaper per pound) of boneless chicken, too.
Anyway, let’s get this Creamy Honey Mustard Salmon started:
Creamy Honey Mustard Salmon Ingredients:
- 2 individual size salmon fillets
- 2 ounces of light (or Greek style) cream cheese
- 1 ½ teaspoons of Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 teaspoon of fresh-squeezed lemon juice + optional extra lemon wedges for serving
- ¼ cup of milk
- 1 tablespoon of basil (sliced chiffonade)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Dijon is one of my secret weapons in the kitchen that’s always on standby. It adds such deep rich flavor with only a tiny bit of it.
Let’s talk sauce. There are just a few basic ingredients in this light, creamy, tangy-sweet sauce and not one of them is cream. We’ll save the heavy sauces and gravies for winter – it’ll be here soon enough.
When my kids lived at home we could hardly keep enough milk in the house because they drank it so quickly. These days, I just buy a small container of low-fat milk for cereal unless I know the grandkids are coming. They easily go through a gallon!
Anyway, if you realize you’re out of milk as you start making Creamy Honey Mustard Salmon a splash of chicken stock will work well too. I wasn’t kidding that once you taste the sauce you’ll want to use it again. It’s delicious over chicken or pork too.
I used basil because I happen to have an overabundance of it right now in my garden, but thyme would be a great burst of freshness, too ~ just make sure the herbs are fresh, not dry.
Heat the skillet over medium – medium-high heat until it’s nice and hot before adding the oil.
The oil is hot when you see it shimmer.
Many pan-seared salmon recipes say to start skin-side down. I usually buy salmon without skin but I still always start cooking the salmon face down. The top side will get a little more time than the bottom/skin side and I like the presentation side to have the best sear.
Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel before cooking.
After getting any excess moisture out of the salmon, season both sides with salt and pepper and once the skillet is hot, gently place the salmon in face down.
Cook the salmon over medium to medium-high heat 3-4 minutes on the first side until you have a nice golden sear and slightly crispy exterior then turn it over and continue cooking 2-3 minutes more (see tip #4). Cooking times will vary with the size of the filets and the exact temperature of the skillet.
Watch the side of the salmon as it cooks. You’ll see the color change to a pale color. Once the color has changed to pale pink about ¾ of the way up, turn it over and cook another couple of minutes.
The salmon will continue cooking after you remove it from the skillet to make the honey mustard sauce.
After the salmon is cooked, transfer it to a plate then lower the heat and in the same skillet add the cream cheese, Dijon mustard, honey and lemon juice whisking and slowly add the milk.
Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper then fold in the basil. That’s it for this Creamy Honey Mustard Salmon. So simple.
You can pair this dish with any light side, like the veggies I bought at the farmer’s market. Brown rice or salad are other good options.
If you like salmon as much as I do and you’re always on the lookout for a new salmon recipe, this Cucumber Dill Salmon is one of my most popular recipes. Enjoy!
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 individual size salmon fillets
- 2 ounces light or Greek style cream cheese
- 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice + optional extra lemon wedges for serving
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon basil sliced chiffonade
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the skillet over medium – medium-high heat until it’s hot then add the oil.
Pat any excess moisture from the salmon with a paper towel then season both sides with salt and pepper and once the skillet is hot, gently place the salmon in face down.
Cook the salmon over medium to medium-high heat 3-4 minutes on the first side until you have a nice golden sear then turn it over and continue cooking 2-3 minutes more (see tip #4). NOTE: Cooking times will vary with the size of the filets and the exact temperature of the skillet.
After the salmon is cooked, transfer it to a plate then lower the heat and in the same skillet add the cream cheese, Dijon mustard, honey and lemon juice whisking to combine.
Slowly add the milk and cook over low heat a couple of minutes, continuing to stir.
Taste and season with salt and pepper then fold in the basil and drizzle over the top of the salmon filets.