4 Grilled Salmon Recipes That Prove Salmon Can Do It All

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Without fail, every grilling season brings with it new opportunities to feature new flavors. 

This time around, I don’t want to simply focus on burgers, steaks, and hot dogs. I want to take the healthier route — and to me, that’s salmon with a side of some fruits and veggies.

Salmon is a dish that I can eat raw (in sushi form), baked (with some butter on top), and now, grilled. 

Although there are tons of grilled salmon recipes out there, these are the four ideas that stood out to me the most.

1. Grilled Salmon Tacos With Avocado Crema

Forget about grilling salmon in foil with just a pinch of salt and pepper. Now, you can grill this fish and turn it into tacos — which is perfect for Taco Tuesday!

If you’ve never tried this recipe before, I think that salmon is a terrific choice for tacos, and here’s why. 

In a nutshell, it’s pretty meaty, it takes on the flavors of a marinade quite well, and — the best part is — it takes a short time to grill.

So, if you want to take this grilled salmon tacos with avocado crema for a spin, here’s what you need to do.

First off, you need to gather all your ingredients. And this part may take a while because you’re going to need A LOT!

To make your salmon, you’ll need one salmon fillet with the skin on, a teaspoon of chili-lime seasoning (like Tajin), two tablespoons each of olive oil and brown sugar, and the zest and juice of one lime.

Then, to make your avocado crema, you’ll need one ripe avocado (pitted and peeled), half a cup of sour cream, the juice and zest of one lime, half a cup of fresh cilantro, and some salt and pepper to taste. 

Next, your toppings — specifically, your peppers and onions. For this part, you’ll need a thinly sliced large green bell pepper, one large red onion (thinly sliced, too), and two tablespoons of olive oil.

Lastly, for grilling and serving, you’ll need canola oil to grease the grates, 12 taco-size flour tortillas, crumbled cotija cheese, and some fresh cilantro. 

Now, let’s take it one step at a time — starting with the salmon.

The first thing you need to do is to whisk your lime zest and juice, brown sugar, olive oil, chili-lime seasoning, and salt and pepper in a small bowl before pouring it into your rimmed baking sheet. 

Then, lay your salmon on top, with the skin-side up. Let the flesh marinate for 30 minutes to an hour in the fridge. 

Meanwhile, prepare your avocado crema by tossing all the necessary ingredients inside a food processor or blender until they come out totally smooth. 

Give it a taste, and adjust your seasoning to perfection before transferring it to a different container and refrigerating it until it’s ready to serve. 

For your toppings, I want you to toss your bell pepper and onion with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Set it aside for now with the rest of the dish’s components. 

Once your salmon is ready to go, take it out of the fridge and wipe away any excess moisture or marinade from the skin.

Before grilling, brush your grates with olive oil to make the cooking process go on without a hitch. Now, place your salmon on the grill (skin-side down) until it turns opaque around the edges. 

After 10 minutes, use your tongs to lift the fish and turn it upside down. Now, cook the flesh until you reach your desired doneness. 

Just to give you an idea, two minutes will give you medium-rare salmon, and another two to three minutes will result in well-done salmon. It’s up to you how you want yours cooked.

During the last few minutes of grilling, take your seasoned veggies out of the fridge and place them on the grates to heat up. 

Then, move everything to a serving bowl. Drizzle your fish with some chili-lime seasoning, and assemble your tacos, with your tortillas as the base.

You can leave your tortillas as they are, but if you want extra char, you can place them on the grill for around one to two minutes, flipping halfway through. 

When your tortillas are ready, use two forks to flake your fish, and toss in a few large chunks in the toasted tortillas, along with your grilled peppers and onion. 

Top it all off with a healthy scoop of your avocado crema, crumbled cotija cheese, and a sprinkle of cilantro leaves. If you want, you could even sprinkle more chili-lime seasoning before serving. 

Compared to your regular foil-grilled salmon, it’s safe to say that this recipe is a total upgrade. Don’t you agree?

2. Grilled Salmon With Citrus Salsa Verde

Keeping in line with the whole Mexican theme, here’s another grilled salmon recipe I keep on rotation (and not just for Taco Tuesdays). 

It’s not as complicated as the first dish and it takes less than 30 minutes to make, which is the best-case scenario for busy bees like me. 

Let’s start with the salsa verde. To make this, you’ll need these ingredients:

Two large oranges, a quarter cup each of extra-virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice, half a cup of chopped flat-leaf parsley, two sliced scallions, and three tablespoons of chopped mint leaves.

Plus, you’ll need two tablespoons each of rinsed and coarsely chopped capers and orange zest, a teaspoon each of lemon zest and red pepper flakes, and some salt and pepper.

For your salmon, you’ll need vegetable oil, four skinned salmon fillets, two tablespoons of agave nectar, a bit of kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. 

You’re done with the first step, which is gathering all your ingredients. The next involves making your salsa.

For this, you need to peel and trim the ends of your orange. Using a pairing knife, free each segment and transfer them to a bowl.  

In the same bowl, blend your olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, scallions, mint leaves, capers, orange and lemon zests, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Then, season your oranges by tossing them gently.

After that, brush your grill grates with vegetable oil and put your fish on top. While your salmon is cooking, coat it with agave nectar and sprinkle some salt and pepper on top. 

Keep grilling until your fish flakes easily — this should take up to three to four minutes per side. Once they’re done, use a spatula or tongs to place your salmon on a plate. 

Spoon some of your delicious homemade salsa verde on top, and you’re ready to eat!

Although this dish is pretty simple and quick to make, it’s as close to gourmet as I can get without spending hours in the kitchen or breaking the bank on expensive ingredients.

3. Grilled Salmon With Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze

I’ve got a mean sweet tooth, and I like some of my savory dishes to have that hint of sugary goodness. That said, when I came across this recipe, I just had to give it a whirl, and I have never looked back since. 

This salmon with brown sugar and mustard glaze gave me a whole new perspective on how fish could be prepared, and I was in for the ride.

So, if you want to join in this sweet salmon train, here’s what you need to do.

First things first, get all your ingredients ready. 

These include three tablespoons of light brown sugar, a tablespoon of honey (or maple syrup, if you want), two tablespoons of butter, and a quarter cup of Dijon mustard. 

On top of those, you’ll also need two tablespoons each of soy sauce and olive oil, a tablespoon of grated ginger (which should be as fine as possible), more vegetable oil for the grates, and some salt and pepper. 

And of course, we can’t do this recipe without the star of the show: salmon fillet. This dish calls for eight pieces at six ounces each. 

Now, melt your brown sugar, honey, and butter in a small saucepan. Once combined, take the pan out of the heat and whisk in your mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, and ginger. 

Continue mixing for five minutes until you have a semi-thick glaze before letting it cool.

In the meantime, turn up your grill and brush your salmon with your vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. 

When your grill is hot enough, place your salmon with the skin-side down on the grates. Then, as your salmon is cooking, get your glaze and brush it all over your fish. 

Do this every minute for six minutes to achieve medium doneness. Six minutes later, flip your fish around and do the same to the skin to caramelize it further. 

This recipe is inspired by chef extraordinaire, Bobby Flay way back in 1991. So, I don’t know why it took me this long to find out about it and recreate this dish at home.

But now that I’ve had a taste of this, I can’t stop making it — be it grilling season or not.

Some days, I pair this dish with a zesty salad; other days, I just eat it with a side of white rice and furikake (Japanese rice seasoning).

4. Grilled Pineapple and Salmon Skewers

During a BBQ party, I enjoy a good finger food as much as the next person, but nothing hits the spot better than these grilled pineapple and salmon skewers.

You would think that as the king of fish, salmon deserves nothing but royal treatment. However, that’s not the case here.

Yes, salmon is still the highlight of this dish. The only difference is, we’re not treating it as a main course. Rather, we’re putting it in the side dish or snack category. 

This might be a hot take for some of you, but I say, don’t knock it til you try it. And maybe, you’ll see this as a new way of preparing salmon from here on out. 

So, to make this recipe, grab three cups of cubed pineapple (fresh or canned), a pound of salmon (cut into cubes), three tablespoons each of olive oil and sweet chili sauce, and two cloves of minced garlic. 

Then, grab two teaspoons each of freshly grated ginger and sesame oil, half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, kosher salt, plus toasted sesame seeds, chopped green onions, and lime wedges for serving. 

Once your ingredients are all laid out, turn up the heat of your grill. While that’s warming up, get your wooden sticks and soak them in water.

A few minutes later, take your damp skewers out and thread your salmon and pineapple pieces — alternating between the two. 

After that, get a bowl and make your marinade. For this step, combine your olive oil, chili sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and some salt. 

Whisk everything until they come together before brushing this mixture over your skewers. 

Once your salmon and pineapple pieces are nice and coated, place them on your hot grill. Brush the extra marinade on top, then flip them around after four to five minutes. Then, do the same to the other side. 

Take your sticks off the grill and garnish with your sesame seeds, green onions, and lime wedges.

And just like that, you’ve made a delectable side dish made of rich and savory salmon and zesty and sweet pineapples!

Unleash the Power of Sizzling Salmon Sensations

Salmon has always been dubbed as the healthy meat alternative. And while that’s true, that’s not all there is to it. Yes, it’s healthy. Yes, it’s high in protein and omega-3.

But if you know how to work with it, salmon can also be incredibly delicious. So, don’t think of salmon as just a substitute for steak and burgers during grilling season. 

Instead, think of it as the grilling superstar that it is — you can use it to make either a showstopping main course or a simple and tasty side dish. 

At the end of the day, salmon is versatile enough to experiment with new flavors.

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