Best Grilled Salmon Recipe

5 from 2 votes
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This grilled salmon recipe is perfect for a quick and delicious dinner, taking just 20 minutes to prepare. The spice rub adds wonderful flavors, while the bright lemon garlic sauce complements the dish perfectly.

Grilled salmon on a white plate.


 

If you love salmon as much as I do, you know I have a large collection of salmon recipes and what I love the most about it is the versatility of this fish. You can prepare salmon using various cooking methods and they all turn out delicious. Some of our favorites are salmon kebabs, salmon burgers, broiled salmon and baked salmon. Today, I’ll show you how to grill salmon, which is ideal for summer or whenever you’re in the mood for grilling.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Flavors: While I usually opt for a salmon marinade, I created a special Mediterranean-inspired spice mix that enhances the buttery and rich flavor of the salmon.
  • Easy: Grilling salmon doesn’t require expertise. This recipe is simple and suitable for both novice and experienced cooks.
  • Quick: You can prepare the salmon while the grill is heating, making the entire dish ready in just 20 minutes.
  • Crowd pleaser: Just like our grilled branzino, this grilled salmon recipe is also a crowd pleaser. You can easily double or triple this recipe to serve a larger group of people.

Ingredients

To make this recipe you need salmon, spices, olive oil, garlic, lemon and parsley.
  • Salmon: Use any kind of salmon, such as coho, sockeye, or king. While wild-caught salmon is preferable, farmed salmon works well too. Make sure to use skin-on salmon fillets for this recipe.
  • Olive oil: Salmon is a fatty fish and we need just a bit of olive oil to help the spice mix stick to the salmon.
  • Spice mix: A combination of cumin, coriander, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder adds a lot of flavor.
  • Lemon garlic sauce: This sauce adds brightness to the grilled salmon. You’ll need garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, salt, and pepper to make it.

How To Make Grilled Salmon

Season the salmon and make the lemon garlic sauce. Grill the salmon and top with the sauce.
  1. Preheat the grill to medium high and keep the lid closed.
  2. Brush the salmon fillets with olive oil, and in a small bowl, mix all the spices to create the spice rub. Coat the flesh side of the salmon fillets with the spice mix.
  3. Prepare the lemon garlic sauce by mixing the minced garlic with the lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper. Set it aside.
  4. Once the grill is ready, cut a potato in half and rub it on the grates to make them nonstick.
  5. Place the salmon fillets flesh side down on the grates and grill for 4 minutes. Flip and grill for another 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer the grilled salmon to a serving platter and top with the lemon garlic sauce.

How To Know If The Salmon Is Cooked

Determining if the salmon is fully cooked is a common question. You can use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the salmon, which should read 145 degrees F for fully cooked salmon.

Alternatively, you can judge by appearance. When fully cooked, the salmon will be opaque with a pinkish-white color and will easily flake when tested with a fork.

Serving Suggestions

This delicious lemon garlic grilled salmon pairs well with a variety of barbecue side dishes including grilled vegetables, grilled asparagus or Mediterranean potato salad. It also complements dishes like grilled peach salad or easy Mediterranean couscous salad.

Leftovers

Store any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat them in a pan or in the oven at 300 degrees F for 15 minutes. You can serve the leftovers as is or use them to top a salad, such as a Greek salmon salad.

Overhead shot of two salmon fillets that are grilled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use fresh or frozen salmon?

This recipe for grilled salmon can be made with either fresh or frozen fish. If using frozen salmon, make sure to thaw it completely before you start cooking.

Can I grill a side of salmon instead of fillets?

Yes, you can grill a side of salmon instead of fillets. However, cooking time might be longer depending on the thickness of the salmon, so keep an eye on it to ensure it’s fully cooked. It’s also worth noting that grilling a side of salmon might be a bit challenging to flip, so using a large grilling spatula is recommended.

How long does salmon need to be on the grill?

The total grilling time for salmon is usually about 10 minutes, but this can vary depending on the thickness and size of the salmon fillets.

Do you grill salmon directly on the grill or in foil?

Both methods work for grilling salmon. If you prefer a smoky flavor, grilling the salmon directly on the grates is recommended. However, if you prefer to cook it in foil, you can try my salmon in foil recipe.

Why did my salmon stick to the grill?

Salmon has tender flesh, and to prevent it from sticking to the grates, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, make sure the grates are nonstick. You can achieve this by rubbing the grates with half of a potato, which helps create a nonstick surface. Second, ensure that the salmon fillets are well coated with the spice mix. This creates a layer between the flesh and the grates, reducing the chances of the fish sticking to the grill.

More Recipes To Try

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Grilled salmon recipe.
5 from 2 votes

Best Grilled Salmon Recipe

This 20-minute grilled salmon recipe is perfect for a nice quick dinner. The spice rub is tasty and the lemon garlic sauce is so bright!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients 

  • 4 salmon fillets, skin on
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Spice mix

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Lemon garlic sauce

  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions 

  • Preheat the grill to medium high. Brush the salmon with olive oil on both sides.
  • Make the spices mix by combining the cumin, coriander, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder in a small bowl. Coat the salmon (flesh side, not the skin side) with the spice mix.
  • While the grill is heating, make the lemon garlic sauce by mixing the minced garlic with lemon juice, olive oil, chopped parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl and set it aside.
  • To avoid the salmon sticking to the grates, cut a potato in half and rub it on the grill grates. The starch in the potato makes the grates nonstick.
  • Place the salmon, flesh side down on the grill grates. Grill for 4 minutes until the fillets release themselves and then flip and grill the other side for 5 minutes.
  • Top with the lemon garlic sauce and serve immediately.

Video

Notes

  • You can make the sauce up to a day in advance and keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to serve. 
  • The grilling time depends on the size and thickness of the salmon fillets. You’ll know the salmon is fully cooked once it’s flakes easily and the color looks opaque and pinkish white. 
  • Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat in a pan or in the oven at 300 degrees F for 15 minutes. 

Nutrition

Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 371mg | Potassium: 952mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 645IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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