by Olena

Grilled Salmon

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 3 votes

This Grilled Salmon is juicy, flaky and flavorful. Simple seasonings and no marinating make this salmon recipe a quick and easy restaurant quality meal at home.

Want to wrap your head around other methods of cooking salmon? You’ll love this cedar plank salmon, salmon burgers, and/or salmon stir-fry!

grilled salmon

Grilled Salmon Recipe

Grilled salmon. Is it still a mystery to you? You know the salmon you often add to a salad in a restaurant for like $10?! This grilled salmon recipe is the one. I always wondered how they do it and wanted to have simple grilled salmon recipe that goes with everything in my back pocket.

This recipe is easy, tasty and quick. A simple marinade of ingredients you have on hand makes it flavorful and prevents it from falling apart.

Grilled salmon with fruity salsa is my favorite summer dinner. However, this salmon also pairs wonderfully with salads, mashed potatoes, vegetable side dishes, etc! Below you will find plenty of suggestions for toppings and sides during the grilling season.

cooking salmon on the grill

Which Salmon to Buy?

Let’s face it, salmon is expensive and is a treat. This takes me to the next topic – wild vs. farmed salmon.

Wild salmon is high in Omega-3s which are good fats. It is also leaner, therefore it is important not to overcook it to avoid dry salmon. I am “paranoid” about cooking salmon on the grill as much as about cooking the steak. It has to be perfect!

Farmed salmon is raised in confinement with limited movement which results in high amount of Omega-6s that are bad fats. Same fats found in processed foods. It is also fed antibiotics and artificial GMO feed. And of course it is cheaper than wild caught fish.

We live on Pacific ocean, so we fish all the time. Salmon is not that easy to catch. But when we do, we stock the freezer and make healthy salmon recipes about once a month.

salmon slices on a platter

How to Season Salmon

For grilled salmon seasoning you will need:

  • Avocado or olive oil
  • Regular or smoked paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Lemon/lime juice or apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, then brush on top of 3 inch wide slices and let marinate for about 10 minutes while grill is preheating.

Tip: Smoked paprika adds a nice flavor but if you don’t have any, it’s OK. Grill will add nice smoky flavor too. I like the red colour paprika adds. Grilled salmon is easy going – use what you have.

salmon marinade over salmon slices

How to Grill Salmon

How long to grill salmon comes down to your grill, thickness of salmon and your judgement. This is where you have to get confident and just do it. Even if things do not go perfect first time, grilling salmon 2nd time will be much easier. All grills vary.

  • Preheat grill to high heat of 450-500 degrees F. You should be able to hold your hand above the grates for only 5 seconds.
  • Clean grill well and oil the grates with soaked in oil paper towel. It is important to avoid salmon sticking to the grill. Or use grill mats – they are phenomenal.
  • Place salmon on the grill skin side up, close the lid, and grill for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Flip and cook uncovered for another 3-4 minutes.

To make even more of a meal, you could grill some veggies at the same time; like grilled zucchini, balsamic grilled vegetables, or grilled romaine lettuce.

how to grill salmon

How to Flip Salmon

To flip salmon, after 4-5 minutes of grilling gently slide spatula under the salmon. If salmon has nice grill marks and comes off the grill easy – you flip it.

The key to prevent salmon slices from falling apart is to move spatula under it slowly, kind of wiggling it under it.

If you prefer to grill salmon fillet whole, check out my cedar plank salmon recipe.

How Do I Know Salmon Is Done?

There are a few indicators that your grilled salmon is ready:

  • Check with meat thermometer125 degrees F for medium rare or 140 F for medium.
  • When salmon flakes with a fork, it is done. You will also be able to see the colour of flesh inside.
  • Keep in mind salmon like any meat keeps cooking off the heat.
  • Wild salmon is more lean than farmed. Make sure not to overcook and follow recipe instructions.:)

grilled salmon recipe garnished with green onion

Can I Eat the Skin?

Even if you don’t want to eat salmon skin, keep it during barbecuing. Grilling salmon with skin helps to keep salmon slices together and not falling apart. Make sure you remove scales before cooking with a knife. Salmon scales are small and are easy to remove. Often salmon is sold already cleaned.

If you eat salmon skin, know it is very good for you. It contains more of the same minerals and nutrients contained in salmon, which may be an excellent addition to any diet.

grilled salmon with pasta and salad on a plate

What to Serve with Grilled Salmon?

My absolute favorite way to eat grilled salmon is to top it with fruity salsa like:

For a complete meal, serve with quinoa or brown rice. That night on the menu was white pasta to make kids happy. 🙂

And as for veggies, a simple salad like cucumber and tomato salad or lettuce salad is the best, though you can beef up the meal with a ‘fully-loaded’ style salad like this mango black bean salad, healthy pasta salad, or Mediterranean quinoa salad. In fact, feel free to check out this list of 45 healthy salad recipes, for more inspiration.

The grilled salmon also pairs well with veggie sides like this healthy coleslaw, roasted sweet potato, or Instant Pot spaghetti squash.

More Salmon Recipes

You may also want to check out my list of all salmon recipes! Alternatively, you might also like this recipe for grilled shrimp skewers or grilled fish tacos!

grilled salmon recipe flaked with a fork

Grilled Salmon

Grilled Salmon

This Grilled Salmon is juicy, flaky and flavorful. Simple seasonings and no marinating make this salmon recipe quick and easy restaurant quality meal at home.
5 from 3 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 slices
Calories: 294kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


  • 1 1/2 lbs salmon fillet cut into 4 slices
  • 1 1/2 tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • 1/2 large lemon or 1 lime juice of (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked or regular paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  • In a small bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir with a brush to combine.
  • In a shallow flat dish with edges lay salmon slices and brush with marinade. Marinate from 10 minutes for up to 24 hours. Longer marinating time, more flavorful salmon. 1o mins is tasty too though.
  • Preheat grill to high heat of 450-500 degrees F. Clean grill well and oil the grates with soaked in oil paper towel. It is important to avoid salmon sticking to the grill. Or use grill mats.
  • Place salmon on the grill skin side up, close the lid and grill for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Check with spatula - if salmon has nice grill marks and comes off the grill easy - you flip it. The key to prevent fillet from falling apart is to move spatula under it slowly and flip.
  • Cook uncovered for another 3-4 minutes or until thermometer reads 125 degrees F for medium rare or 140 F for medium.
  • Serve hot or cold on top of salad, with mango salsa or guacamole, or with brown rice or quinoa.

Store: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days in an airtight container.

    Freeze: You can freeze leftover cooked salmon for up to 3 months in an airtight container.


      Wild salmon is more lean than farmed salmon and can come out dry. Make sure not to overcook and by following recipe instructions.:)


      Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 76mg | Potassium: 852mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 191IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
      Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

      Recipes and images are a copyright of It is against the law to republish recipes anywhere including social media, print and all world wide web. Nutritional info is provided for informational purposes only and to the best knowledge.

      Did you try this recipe?

      Follow @ifoodreal on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #ifoodreal. Show me what you are making!

      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

      6 comments on “Grilled Salmon

      Our “happiness” software automatically deletes any comments of racial, politicial, religious or any offensive nature without publishing, so we can keep on happily cooking delicious recipes for you. For substitutions please refer to extensive recipe post and recipe card notes. If you don't see an answer, you are welcome to try your version and let us know how it went as recipes are posted only as tested. Comments may take up to 24-48 hours to reply. Please see our full comment policy.:).

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Recipe Rating

      This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

      1. For those of us who don’t have outdoor fire. hells can. this be made on a grill pan on the kitchen stove?

      2. 5 stars
        This recipe is so easy and so delicious!!! This is my first time grilling salmon! I used the fresh lemon juice & smoked paprika options. I will be making it with this recipe lot!!! Even my husband who doesn’t like salmon really loved it!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

      The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. You assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

      This page may contain affiliate links. is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep iFOODreal recipes free. Thanks for your support!