One of the quickest, most delicious grilled fish recipes! This Grilled Salmon recipe gets its flavor from a simple spice rub and a quick sear at high heat.
When summertime rolls around, this grilled salmon recipe is at the top of my list for a quick and easy dinner. How does 10 to 15 minutes sound? That’s the total time it takes – including prep – to cook salmon on a hot grill. Faster (and healthier) than takeout!
If you’re looking for other grilled salmon recipes options, try Caprese Salmon Foil Packets or Easy Grilled Salmon in Foil. Or if you like a little extra smokiness, try a recipe for cedar plank salmon. So much proof that salmon and the bbq are simply meant for each other!
What you need for this grilled salmon recipe:
These are the main components of this recipe (affiliate links included):
- Salmon: You’ll need about 1 pound of salmon, cut into four 4-ounce pieces. I’m a Pacific Northwest gal at heart, so grilled sockeye salmon is my preference. However, any salmon will do, though wild is best. If possible, look for salmon that is sustainably caught.
- Spices: A combination of ground cumin, ground coriander, kosher salt and pepper.
- Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil mixes with the spices to make a paste.
- Lime: Fresh lime juice for squeezing on top after cooking.
How to season grilled salmon:
There are plenty of options and I will include those options below, but my favorite is a simple mixture of ground coriander, ground cumin, salt and pepper. And don’t forget a squeeze of lime at the end. That drizzle of bright acidity makes all the difference!
Other ways to season salmon:
I like to use a dry or wet spice/herb rub for grilled salmon. If using a dry rub, first coat the salmon with olive or avocado oil. For a wet rub, mix the olive oil straight into the herbs/spice to form a paste.
- Italian-style: Garlic powder, dried basil, onion powder, parsley, salt and pepper (or red chili flakes)
- Greek-style: Dried oregano, lemon zest, salt and pepper
- Za’atar: Za’atar spice blend (a Middle Eastern spice mix), salt and pepper
- Paprika: Smoked paprika, dried (crushed) rosemary, brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar), salt and pepper
- Marinate: Use soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic and ginger. Or try olive oil, white wine vinegar and Italian seasoning.
Tips for cooking salmon on the grill:
Three key tips: Use a hot grill, oil the grill and don’t move the salmon. These are rules to live by, whether you’re cooking salmon or something like grilled mahi mahi.
A hot grill: Cooking the fish on hot grill grates produces a crust which makes it easier to move the fish.
Oil the grill: Once the grill reaches the desired temperature, brush the grates with oil. I use avocado oil, but olive oil is also a good option.
Moving the fish: I know it’s tempting, but don’t even think about moving or trying to flip the salmon fillets until a crust has formed. Once the crust forms, the fish will easily release from the grill – that means no tearing or falling apart!
How to tell when salmon is done:
While you want to make sure the salmon is done, avoid overcooking it. Overcooked = dry.
Salmon is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, as recommended by the FDA. Use an instant read thermometer to determine the temperature of the thickest part of the fillet.
And then there’s my favorite method – unscientific, but my family swears by it. Insert a small, sharp paring knife into the thickest part of the fillet and hold it there for 10 seconds (hold it with tongs if the heat from the grill is too much). Very carefully (remember – hot, sharp knife) lay the edge of the blade on the inside of your wrist or your upper lip (both sensitive to temperature). If it’s hot, the fish is done.
The fish should be opaque and should flake easily.
What to serve with grilled salmon:
Grilled salmon pairs well with almost any side. Here are a few of my family’s favorites:
- Mediterranean Cucumber Salad or Strawberry Salad
- Roasted Mushrooms, Greek Sugar Snap Peas or Sauteed Asparagus
- Grilled Potatoes, Boiled Potatoes, Air Fryer Potato Roses or Mashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese
- Greek-Inspired Rice Salad or Toasted Brown Rice with Mushrooms
- Pesto Butter Corn on the Cob or Shrimp Corn Tomato Salad
- Quinoa Chickpea Salad or Chopped Broccoli Salad
Grilled Salmon Recipe with Spice Rub
- Heat the grill to medium-high heat (about 450 to 500 degrees F on a gas grill).
- Place the salmon fillets on a plate or baking sheet (to transport to grill).
- In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper to form a paste. Rub the paste over the top side of each salmon fillet.
- Brush the grill grates with oil. Place the salmon skin side up on the grates and close the grill cover. Cook until the salmon easily releases from the grill, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Using tongs, carefully turn the salmon and close the grill cover again. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F, about 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
- Squeeze the lime juice over the salmon. Serve immediately.
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