Dinner For Nights With Extra Time

Bacon Onion Jam Served Over Salmon

Bacon onion jam on top of salmon
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Salmon is a staple in our weeknight dinner routine. We tend to be creatures of habit and prepare it the same way every time but tonight we branched out and tried something new – bacon onion jam. And boy was it good!

Salmon is great because it cooks quickly, it’s incredibly healthy and no one ever leaves the table still hungry. When preparing salmon I always tend to pair it with salty flavors. Sometimes I marinate it in teriyaki sauce or most often I sprinkle it with Magic Salmon seasoning. Salty bacon onion jam seemed like a logical new take on that salty salmon crust we love so much. 

This bacon onion jam is a salty sweet topper of caramelized, you guessed it, bacon and onions with maple syrup. A little dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar even out the sweetness to create the perfect balance of flavor. The jam itself is a sticky paste like texture that adds just the right richness to this weeknight salmon dinner. 

About the Ingredients

Bacon – 5 pieces of raw bacon, chopped.

Red Onion – one small onion or 1/2 of a large onion, chopped.

Dijon Mustard – I prefer dijon but whole grain mustard would work well here too.

Maple Syrup – make sure you use the real stuff and and not the sugar stuff. You want the maple flavor without all the sugar. The jam will be plenty sweet. 

Apple Cider Vinegar – this evens out the maple syrup and brightens the jam. 

Salt and Pepper –  bacon is typically pretty salty already so use a light hand. You can always add more later.

Salmon – You can buy Wild Alaskan Salmon, Farm Raised Salmon, or Atlantic Salmon.  All are great in their own way and all types of salmon are rich in omega – 3 fatty acids which are great for your heart and brain. The biggest difference when cooking them is that the Wild Alaskan Salmon will be a little richer meat in both texture and color. The farm raised salmon and Atlantic Salmon (which is also almost always farm raised) will be a much softer texture and lighter color. I much prefer Wild Alaskan Salmon but the market didn’t have it this time to what’s pictured in my photos is Atlantic Salmon. 

The ingredients needed for Bacon onion jam

How to Make Bacon Onion Jam with Salmon

Start by cooking the chopped bacon in a medium size sauté pan. When the bacon begins to brown, after about 5 minutes, add the chopped onion. Continue to cook the bacon and onion over medium heat for an additional 7 minutes. At this point everything should be getting a little dark in color. 

Add the dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup to the pan and then season everything with a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to simmer the jam for another 2-3 minutes or until it begins to thicken. The jam is done! If you’re going to use it right away, I suggest leaving it over very low heat just to keep it warm so it doesn’t get too sticky on you.

While you make the jam, cook your salmon. Season each portion with salt and pepper and spray with avocado cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes on a prepared rimmed baking sheet. (If you have an air-fryer I like to air-fry my salmon at 390 degrees for 12 minutes.)

Remove the salmon portions to a serving tray and top each piece with a spoonful of bacon jam. I sprinkled on a little chopped thyme too. 

Bacon onion jam on top of salmon

Recipe Substitutions & Variations

Bacon tomato jam is a popular variation on bacon jam. Chop about 1/2 a pint of cherry tomatoes. Add them to the pan with the bacon when you add the onions. They will wilt and cook down melting right into the paste that forms. 

If you want a little bit of a smokey bite to your bacon onion jam try adding a splash of bourbon. When the bacon is done sautéing pour off about half of the fat. Then add a splash of bourbon and let reduce for about 90 seconds. Then continue on with the recipe. 

Bacon onion jam isn’t only for topping salmon. Try replacing the barbecue sauce in this meatloaf recipe with a bacon onion jam spread. Or how about as an appetizer? Spread a small amount of goat cheese on little toast bites and top it off with a dollop of bacon onion jam. Once you give the bacon onion jam a taste you’ll be dreaming about all of the different ways to eat it. 

Bacon onion jam on top of salmon

FAQ’s and Recipe Tips

Can I make Bacon Onion Jam in advance?

es. The jam gets very sticky as it cools so I recommend adding 2 tablespoons of water at the end of simmering. This will help keep the texture slightly thinner as it cools. Then place the jam in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. You can heat it back up on the stove or in the microwave before serving it. 

What type of Salmon should I use?

I prefer Wild Alaskan Salmon. The meat is richer in texture and color than other types of salmon. It will have better flavor and be meatier than a white fish. All types of salmon pack the omega-3 fatty acid health benefits for your heart and brain though. The Wild Alaskan Salmon portions tend to be thicker so they may take an extra 2 minutes + /- to finish cooking compared to the other types. 

A bite of bacon onion jam and salmon

The Recipe for Bacon Onion Jam

The recipe is attached below for easy downloading and printing.  If you test it out be sure to leave a note in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you thought and how you cooked the salmon before topping it off with the bacon onion jam. Enjoy!

Bacon onion jam on top of salmon

Bacon Onion Jam

Served on top of a salmon filet. This bacon onion jam is a salty sweet topper of caramelized, you guessed it, bacon and onions with maple syrup. A little dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar even out the sweetness to create the perfect balance of flavor. The jam itself is a sticky paste like texture that adds just the right richness to this weeknight salmon dinner. 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 5 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 4 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • tbsp maple syrup
  • fresh thyme for garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a small skillet, fry the chopped bacon over medium heat. Stir it occasionally to be sure all of the pieces are browning evenly.
    5 slices bacon
  • After the bacon begins to brown, about 8 minutes, add the chopped onion. Continue to fry until the onion softens, about 7 minutes.
    1 red onion
  • In a small dish, whisk the mustard, vinegar and maple syrup. Pour mixture over the bacon and onion. Simmer just until the jam thickens. Lower the heat to keep warm.
    4 tsp dijon mustard, 4 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1½ tbsp maple syrup
  • Season with fresh thyme and pepper.
    fresh thyme

Notes

To serve over salmon: preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly season the filets with salt and pepper (the bacon in the jam is salty so you won’t need much.) Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and place the filets on the pan with about 2 inches of space between. When the oven reaches temperature, bake the salmon for 12 minutes or until done. Remove the filets to a serving plater and top each piece with a spoonful of bacon jam. 
*If you have an air-fryer that works great for salmon too! No need to preheat it. Spray the basket insert with cooking spray, place seasoned filets in the basket. Air-fry at 390° for 12 minutes. 
**The jam will be very sticky and thick, especially at room temperature. You can add water 1 tablespoon at a time to loosen it up if necessary. 
Keyword seafood

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