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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 thermometer – 125 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.:)
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.
What to Serve with Grilled Salmon?
My absolute favorite way to eat grilled salmon is to top it with fruity salsa like:
- Mango salsa
- Pineapple salsa
- Pico de gallo or
- Guacamole. Avocado goes so well with salmon, in fact – that serving it alongside this avocado salad is also delicious!
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.
More Salmon Recipes
- Thai salmon
- Honey garlic salmon
- Lime Ginger Salmon
- Teriyaki salmon
- Baked salmon in foil
- Canned Salmon Cakes
- 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.
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.
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