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Brown Sugar Chili Rubbed Salmon Recipe - The brown sugar-chili rub gives the salmon a spicy-sweet-smoky flavor that gets blackened in the pan. It’s topped with a silky Avocado crema made with lime and garlic that you’ll want to slather on just about everything!
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5 from 1 vote

Brown Sugar Chili Rubbed Salmon with Avocado Crema

Prepare to blow the doors off of every other salmon recipe. This brown sugar chili rubbed salmon has a spicy-sweet-smoky flavor that gets blackened and then topped with a silky avocado crema!

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time16 mins
Total Time26 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: avocado crema, chili rubbed slamon, easy salmon recipe, glazed salmon recipe
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 340kcal


For the crema:

  • ½ avocado peeled and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice the juice of roughly 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley stemmed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the salmon:

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4 5- ounce salmon filets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime thinly sliced into rounds


  • In a blender or food processor, combine the avocado, sour cream, lime juice, garlic, parsley, and salt, and pulse until smooth. The consistency should be similar to cake batter--thick yet spreadable. To thin it if necessary, add a tablespoon or two of water and pulse to incorporate. Cover and set aside until ready to serve. The crema can be made up to 1 day in advance if covered and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, chili powder, salt, and the cayenne pepper. Lay the salmon on a work surface and sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over each filet, rubbing it into the flesh on all sides.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium high heat. Add 2 of the salmon filets (skin-side-up if they have skin on) and cook, undisturbed, until the underside is crisp and just beginning to blacken, about 4 minutes. Flip the filets and cook an additional 4 minutes, until the fish feels firm to the touch. Remove to a plate immediately. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add the remaining 2 filets of salmon and repeat the cooking process. Once all of the salmon is cooked and transferred to a plate, add the lime slices to the now-empty pan and cook just until they begin to caramelize, about 30 seconds. Flip and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  • To serve, divide the salmon filets among four plates and spoon 2 generous tablespoons of crema over each. Press a caramelized lime slice into the crema to garnish.


Adapted from Ellie Krieger


Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.6g | Protein: 28.9g | Fat: 20.4g | Fiber: 1.6g | Sugar: 9.3g