Baked BBQ Salmon with Brussels Slaw
Great news! I’ve found your new favorite way to make/eat salmon. Which is saying a lot, because there are basically an infinite amount of ways I love to eat salmon, so if I’m saying it’s the new favorite, it’s comes with the reassurance I know what I’m talking about.
If you need a little more of an explanation before you fully commit, I don’t blame you.
So here we go.
If salmon that’s crusty on the outside thanks to a dry rub of paprika, brown sugar, spicy chipotle powder, and garlic powder, and soft-as-butter on the inside appeals to you, then you’re going to love this.
If that same salmon is then bathed in a sweet, spicy, and tangy barbecue sauce, and itt still sounds delicious to you, then you’re going to love this.
If ALL of the above, plus a topping of creamy, crunchy, and spicy Brussels sprouts slaw STILL sounds lovely to you, then I promise, you’re going to love this.
What I really adore about this recipe in general, is the juxtaposition of the crispy dry rub with the wet barbecue sauce. Because when you first take a bite, you get this awesome sweet and saucy punch, but then you get into the sweet and spicy crunch of the actual salmon, and it’s quite the flavor bomb. I’m kind of obsessed.
How to prepare Baked Barbecue Salmon
Here’s the deal. You can go one of two ways with this recipe. You can…
- Bake the salmon, cut it into portions (or do that before), slather it with barbecue sauce, and then cover it in slaw (which is what we did the first time).
- Or, you can bake the salmon, use a fork to gently break it up, and then nestle the salmon into flour or corn tortillas. Drizzle it with the barbecue sauce, cover with slaw and enjoy as a taco.
We preferred the former, but it’s really up to you.
Also, the difficulty of the recipe is categorized two ways. Easy. And idot-proof.
I say this because, the recipe calls for you to make your own barbecue sauce. And it’s SO easy. I promise. It uses almost all staple pantry ingredients, and comes together in about 15 minutes. However, I know that not everyone has an extra 15 minutes to throw a barbecue sauce together, so if you want to use a favorite you’ve got on hand, go for it.
How to make Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Sauce
- Sauté onion and garlic in a little bit of canola oil until soft.
- Add ketchup, molasses, paprika, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, onion powder, dijon mustard, and water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes until thick.
- Cool to room temperature and store in an air-tight container.
How to make Baked BBQ Salmon with Brussels sprout Slaw
- Place salmon on a foil-lined baked sheet spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk paprika, onion powder, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, salt and brown sugar.
- Sprinkle over salmon.
- Bake salmon at 450 degrees until crispy, and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- While the salmon bakes, make the slaw. Whisk the mayo, vinegar, agave, sriracha, and salt together in a small bowl. Toss with Brussels sprouts and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.
- Once the salmon comes out of the oven, spread with 1/2 cup barbecue sauce. Save the rest to serve with the salmon. Top with slaw.
Substitutions and tips and tricks for recipe success
- Buy the pre-shredded Brussels sprouts at the store, this will save you a lot of time chopping!
- Feel free to sub out your favorite barbecue sauce in lieu of making your own.
- Be sure to watch the salmon every five minutes or so while it’s baking. Because it’s cooked at such a high temperature, it could burn. If you need to, lower it to the bottom half of the oven.
- Make sure to taste the rub to adjust for seasoning. I like quite of bit of salt, so I always end up adding more.
- If you like things on the spicy side, add a little bit more chipotle chili powder to the rub or sriracha to the slaw.
Do I need to buy a whole filet of salmon?
No. You can absolutely buy portioned out pieces of salmon. I like to keep the skin on so the fish stays moist.
What is chipotle chili powder?
This is the only ingredient you may not have in your pantry. It’s exactly as it sounds. Ground up dried chipotle peppers. It’s VERY spicy, smoky, and I love it. These days, it shouldn’t be too hard to find in your grocery store, but if you can’t, or just want to use what’s in your pantry, cayenne pepper would be a great alternative.
The perfect sides to serve with Bake BBQ Salmon
- Everyday Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
- Creamy One Pot Spinach and Parmesan Orzo
- Feta Caesar Pasta Salad
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 large garlic clove, grated
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 2 1/2 tbsp dark molasses
- 2 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 3/4 lbs whole salmon filet
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt, divided
- 1/4 cup light mayo
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp agave or honey
- 1/4 tsp sriracha
- 2 3/4 cup shredded Brussels sprouts
- 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Heat a medium sauce pan to a medium heat. Add oil. Add onion and garlic and sweat for 1-2 minutes. Add ketchup, molasses, paprika, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, smoked paprika chipotle chili powder, onion powder, dijon, lemon juice and water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until thicken, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk paprika, onion powder, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Cover salmon with rub. Bake until crispy and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
- While the salmon bakes, whisk mayo, apple cider vinegar, agave, and sriracha together in a medium. Add Brussels sprouts and cilantro to the bowl, along with remaining salt. Toss with dressing. Season slaw with salt and pepper.
- When the salmon comes out of the oven, cover with 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce (or more if you would like). Top with slaw. Divide into portions. OR cover with barbecue sauce, cut into portions and then individually cover with slaw. You can also buy pre-portioned filets of salmon, follow instructions as stated.