Salmon cooks quickly and flakes easily with a fork when it is done.

How to Cook Salmon on Lemon Slices in a Skillet

by M.T. Wroblewski

Salmon and lemon slices are a simple but effective culinary match; adding maple syrup to the mix makes the combo even richer and more subtle. For people who find the tangy flavor of lemon a bit too citrusy, maple syrup adds a sweet, balancing dimension. Once your salmon is done marinating in this flavorful mixture, grab a skillet, add your salmon and lemon, and indulge your palate in just a matter of minutes.

Combine equal proportions of maple syrup and lemon juice in a glass bowl. Add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. Your goal is to make enough marinade to submerge the salmon in a plastic bag and still have enough marinade left over to drizzle it over the salmon while it cooks. Stir the marinade and then place it in a plastic bag with a zipper closure.

Set some paper towels on your counter. Rinse the salmon with cool water on both sides, and then set the salmon on the paper towels. Pat the salmon dry. Place the salmon into the marinade bag and put it in your refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Spray a skillet with non-fat cooking spray. Cover the bottom of the skillet with lemon slices.

Heat your skillet on a medium-high flame for a few minutes. Cook the lemon slices for several minutes, turning once. Remove the salmon from the marinade and place it on top of the lemon slices. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper, if you like, or lemon-pepper seasoning. Cook the salmon for 5 minutes.

Place the leftover marinade from the bag into a bowl and microwave it on high for 1 minute. Turn the salmon over and brush the top with the lemon-maple marinade, allowing some to flow over the edges of the salmon to keep it moist as it cooks. Let the salmon cook for another 5 minutes.

Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest portion of the salmon. When the temperature reaches 145 degrees F, turn off the heat and place the salmon on a platter. Cover it loosely with foil and let it sit for a few minutes before unveiling your new menu pairing: salmon with lemon slices, with a boost from sweet maple syrup.

Items you will need

  • Maple syrup
  • Lemon juice
  • Vegetable oil
  • Plastic bag with zipper closure
  • Paper towels
  • Non-fat cooking spray
  • Lemon slices
  • Skillet
  • Salt, pepper and lemon pepper seasoning (optional)
  • Bowl
  • Marinade brush
  • Meat thermometer
  • Serving platter
  • Aluminum foil


  • If you choose to skip the marinade step, add more seasonings, such as dill or garlic, as you cook the salmon.
  • Cooking lemon slices in a skillet offers the additional benefit of reducing the “fishy smell” that often results when you cook salmon.
  • Cut and use more lemon slices than you actually need when creating a bed for the salmon; at the end of the cooking time, arrange the lemon slices on a serving platter to circle the salmon when presenting your dish.

About the Author

With education, health care and small business marketing as her core interests, M.T. Wroblewski has penned pieces for Woman's Day, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and many newspapers and magazines. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.

Photo Credits

  • Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images