Drunken Salmon in 15 Minutes is super quick, easy and ready to eat in about 15 minutes! Salmon fillets are cooked on the stovetop in a savory sauce made with beer. So tender and flavorful!
Drunken Salmon is one of my all-time favorite recipes.
Not only is it ready in a flash, but it’s packed with simple and classic flavors that ignite the senses. I love making this dish using a hearty beer, but this can be swapped out with vodka, vermouth, or white wine for a different kick.
If you’re wondering why salmon is the perfect fish for a boozy recipe, let me fill you in. As a firm and meaty fish, it easily absorbs whatever’s placed in its path. Whether that’s alcohol, herbs, spices, or a simple olive oil and lemon marinade, this fish is ready to receive whatever ingredients you throw at it!
However, regardless of whether you attack this dish with spices or keep things simple, the delicate flavor of salmon still prevails!
Realistically, anyone looking for an easy recipe that doesn’t take much prep work will appreciate Drunken Salmon. Whether you need a new weeknight staple, or you’ve always wanted to experiment with alcohol in cooking, this delicious dish has got your back.
Oh, and did I mention it’s relatively cheap to make too? Score!
Without further ado, let’s explore how to make the best Drunken Salmon you’ve ever tasted.
Why You’ll Love Drunken Salmon
- It’s quick and easy to prepare
- It makes use of simple flavors for a knockout final product
- It has a small ingredients list for anyone cutting back at the grocery store
- Makes use of pantry spices
- It looks and tastes refined with minimal effort – perfect for dinner parties
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salmon fillets (or two large salmon fillets)
- Red onion
- Garlic salt
- Black pepper
- Chili powder
How to Make Drunken Salmon
- Step One: Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add red onion and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, until browned.
- Step Two: Add beer and bring to a boil.
- Step Three: Mix garlic salt, pepper and chili powder in a small bowl.
- Step Four: Add the salmon fillets into the pan, skin-side down. Sprinkle spice mixture on the salmon. Lower the heat and allow the salmon to simmer for 3 minutes.
- Step Five: Flip the salmon over and sprinkle spices on top. Simmer for 3 minutes or until desired doneness is reached.
- Step Six: Plate the salmon and drizzle some of the sauce and onions on top.
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What to Serve with Drunken Salmon
- Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Air Fryer Asparagus
- Swedish Potatoes
- Parmesan Thyme Roasted Potatoes
- Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes with Kale & Herbs
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Don’t burn the onions! This might sound obvious, but if you have your heat too high, it can turn even the sweetest red onions into an unpleasant mess. To avoid this, make sure you’re using medium instead of high heat and stir regularly.
- Don’t overseason – the beer and spices used in this recipe will give your salmon a strong flavor. It’s tempting to add an extra pinch of salt or chili powder to dial things up, but it may upset the balance of flavors and result in an overpowering taste.
- Make sure your salmon is cooked for the right amount of time. This is kind of arbitrary, as we all have different tastes. However, I’d say that leaving your salmon in the pan for longer than 8 minutes may make it slightly too dry!
- Be liberal with your use of sauce! Serve up with a generous helping of pan juices for a well-rounded flavor. If you’re worried about it tasting of beer – it really doesn’t!
Variations and Substitutions
- Switch out the beer for different alcohol if you make this dish regularly. Vodka, vermouth, and white wine can all work!
- If you’re feeling feisty, try a white fish with this recipe. Although salmon is responsible for the heartiness of the dish, if you’re pinching pennies or cutting calories, it can be a great alternative. Just ensure that the fish is cooked through and fully opaque before serving.
- For an Asian kick, consider adding a squeeze of lime juice and replacing the olive oil with sesame oil. It gives things a very different flavor profile, but it’s just as good!
To maximize the life of your beautiful Drunken Salmon, refrigerate the dish in airtight containers. If you don’t have these to hand, you can wrap the filets tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store the sauce in a separate container.
The key is to keep air and bacteria out!
When stored properly, this dish will keep fresh in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. When preparing the leftovers, you can either reheat them and serve with your choice of side or incorporate the cold salmon into a salad!
Can I Freeze?
You can freeze this recipe, but it may not be quite as delicious upon reheating. Cooked salmon can be frozen for four to six months if it’s stored properly.
To freeze, simply wrap the filets in parchment paper and then place in freezer bags. As salmon is a delicate fish, this step prevents it from flaking or crumbling when freezing!
Ideally, you’ll want to just freeze the filets, as the combined water content of the salmon and the sauce may cause crystallizing. These crystals are perfectly safe, but they may result in a slightly soggy piece of fish when you come to thaw it.
When thawing, avoid exposing your salmon to vastly different temperatures. I recommend placing your salmon in the fridge overnight to thaw before whacking it in the microwave or oven for reheating!
Salmon and Seafood Recipes
If you make the recipe, rate it on the recipe card below and tag me on Instagram and use #simplystacie. I like sharing the photos on my Instagram stories!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 (3 - 4oz) salmon fillets (or two large salmon fillets)
- 1 ½ cup beer
- ½ medium sized red onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add red onion and saute 5 to 7 minutes, until browned.
- Add beer and bring to a boil.
- Mix together garlic salt, pepper and chili powder in a small bowl.
- Add the salmon fillets into the pan, skin-side down. Sprinkle spice mixture on the salmon. Lower the heat and allow the salmon to simmer for 3 minutes.
- Flip the salmon over and sprinkle spices on top. Simmer for 3 minutes or until desired doneness is reached.
- Plate the salmon and drizzle some of sauce and onions on top.
The leftover sauce is delicious and does not taste of beer so can be served on the side as extra sauce.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 132Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 866mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 13g