Maple Bourbon Salmon

Total Time

Prep: 10 min. + standing Cook: 10 min.


4 servings

Updated: Aug. 17, 2023
This flavorful salmon feels fancy for a holiday but it is so simple to make! —Diane Higgins, Tampa, Florida
Maple Bourbon Salmon Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled


  1. Place salmon in a shallow dish. Combine brown sugar, maple syrup and bourbon; pour over salmon. Let stand 15 minutes.
    In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add salmon; cook until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork, 4-6 minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm. Add walnuts, green onions and bacon to skillet; heat through. Serve with salmon.

Maple Bourbon Salmon Tips

What kind of bourbon should you use for maple bourbon salmon?

When making this maple bourbon salmon, follow the same guidelines as cooking with beer—choose one you’d actually want to drink. Some lower-end bourbons can have a medicinal flavor, and that taste will show up in the marinade. At the same time, putting your best bourbon in a marinade is a bit of a waste—save the expensive, extra special bottles for sipping. A solid mid-range bourbon will suit your purposes here. Keep in mind that in the short cooking time, you’ll still be left with some alcohol content, so you’ll want to avoid the higher proofs.

What are some variations of this recipe?

As with any marinade, you can experiment with different ingredients to come up with your personal, perfect combination. With the maple and brown sugar, you don’t need to add any more sweet elements, but you may want to amp up the spice. Try adding some minced garlic, red pepper flakes or spicy mustard. Here is our complete guide to marinade if you want more inspiration.

How else can you cook maple bourbon salmon?

Salmon is a relatively easy fish to prepare, with the biggest danger being overcooking. It cooks beautifully in the oven, on the grill and in a skillet, so you can use your preferred method. If you want to bake the salmon, put it on a lightly greased or foil-lined baking pan and bake, uncovered at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until it flakes easily with a fork. Just remember, if you’re grilling, keep your individual marinade ingredients far away from the grill—alcohol and open flame should not mix!

Hazel Wheaton, Taste of Home Book Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 475 calories, 30g fat (6g saturated fat), 94mg cholesterol, 237mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 1g fiber), 33g protein.

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