Maple Pecan Sweet and Smoky Salmon

I freaking love cedar plank salmon. If you haven’t ever had it, make sure to order it the next time you see it on a menu. The wood it’s cooked on creates the most unctuous aroma and flavor. We’ve tried to replicate it at home, and the art form always falls flat. So instead, we’ve created this alternative cooking method in a kitchen tool we hope everyone already has in their kitchen: cast iron. This one-pot Maple Pecan Sweet and Smoky Salmon is SO LEGIT, we promise!

Good news

Sweet and Smoky Salmon is way cheaper and easier than you think to do it yourself at home to recreate that restaurant-level quality! Seriously, 2 of our kids don’t like cooked fish and LOVE this way we prepare it.

side note: I say cooked because they love sushi. If your kids are anti-fish it is probably the smell more than taste, so sushi is a way to introduce them to liking fish without the pungency – perhaps opening the door to them trying more.

I recommend making a big batch of our Magical Smoky Spice Blend (especially if you also don’t tolerate nightshades well) and keeping a jar of it next to your other spices. We use this all the time and it makes cooking so much easier if it’s already mixed up and prepped for you!

The best thing about this salmon is that the cooking method works for all fish, all flavors – for the most perfectly juicy, flavorful, flaky fish. And, who doesn’t love cooking in ONE POT?!

Maple Pecan Sweet and Smoky Salmon


  • 4 4oz salmon filets, we use skinless wild caught thawed from frozen
  • 2 Tbsp Magical Smoky Spice Blend or similar spices of choice
  • 1/2 C chopped pecans (we recommend finely, but not powder)
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 fresh medjool dates, diced finely
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fat of choice (we use olive or avocado oil)
  • lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 400* F
  2. While a cast iron pan (or other pan you can put in the oven) comes to temperature over medium heat, combine the pecans, dates, vinegar, and maple syrup into a mush
  3. Sear, skin side up if using skin-on salmon, sprinkle half the seasoning on - until the fish "releases" from the pan (about 2 minutes)
  4. Flip, add the remaining seasoning evenly on the meat and then spoon the mush on top, divided evenly as a thin layer on top of the seared salmon, then move to the oven
  5. Place in oven until fish flakes easily with a fork, to your desired temperature. We like ours medium, which only takes about 4 minutes
  6. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon

photos by the incredible Trisha Hughes

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