Not only is this grilled salmon recipe easy, but it's flavored to perfection with a tasty, zesty marinade and then topped with a creamy citrus cilantro caper sauce. So good! The perfect grilling recipe for your next cookout! Enjoy!
This is the Best Way to Grill Salmon
Grilled salmon is EASY - only 8 ingredients in total. The salmon is first marinated. While it's marinating, the sauce is made. Once you start grilling, it only takes a few minutes and they're tender, flaky, and flavorful!
Flavorful. As you take that first bite, you'll be captivated by the delicate and buttery texture of the salmon, complemented by a slightly charred and caramelized exterior.
Healthy. Grilled salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and essential nutrients. This recipe is low carb, gluten free, and keto friendly.
Why you'll love Grilling Salmon
Despite the fact it's quick and easy - grilling salmon adds so much flavor. The smoky aroma that fills the air as the salmon sizzles on the grill is simply irresistible. Grilling over high heat creates a perfect sear on the outside, locking in the natural juices and flavors of the fish.
Ingredients for Salmon on the Grill
- Skin On Salmon Fillets: I would highly recommend wild caught salmon. Sockeye salmon is my favorite. If you don't plan to use fresh salmon with a day or two buy it frozen and thaw when you are ready.
- Italian Salad Dressing: Feel free to use my homemade recipe or buy a zesty Italian store bottle.
- Fresh Cilantro: The cilantro is used in both the marinade and sauce.
- Fresh Lemon Juice: for best flavor use fresh lemon juice.
- Mayonnaise: the mayo has a significant impact in the taste of this sauce. Be sure to use a favorite brand. For reference, I used Hellman's Olive Oil Mayo.
- Capers: these add a nice tangy bite to the sauce.
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper
Use this marinade and sauce on chicken or pork.
The marinade can be used on halibut, haddock, even tilapia.
The sauce makes a great condiment for fish sticks and fried fish in place of tartar sauce.
How to Grill Salmon
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this delicious grilled salmon recipe:
1. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Mix marinade ingredients then pour over salmon.
3. Turn the salmon to coat evenly and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. Remove salmon from the marinade. Set aside some of the marinade for basting.
4. Grease grill grates. Place salmon skin side down on a preheated 400-degree grill. Baste with some of the marinade.
5. Cover and grill for 6 minutes then baste with a little more marinade. Continue cooking salmon until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees F. Discard remaining marinade.
6. Remove salmon from the grill. Tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Before serving carefully remove skin. Serve with lemon wedges and top cooked salmon with sauce.
Do you flip salmon on the grill?
It is not necessary to flip the salmon in this recipe, the salmon is cooked skin side down and as long as the salmon is removed when it reaches 135 degrees F, then allowed to rest for a few minutes, it will come out perfectly. Many recipes call for flipping salmon when grilling. It is best to follow the recipe instructions. When grilling salmon, placing the skin-side down first will create a crispy exterior. Allow the salmon to cook for a few minutes before carefully flipping it over using a spatula.
How long to Grill Salmon
A half-inch thick salmon fillet will take approximately 10 to 12 minutes at 400 degrees. The time for grilling salmon depends upon the thickness of the salmon and the temperature of the grill.
Internal temp for Grilled Salmon
The USDA recommends that grilled salmon temp should be 145 degrees F. At this temperature the salmon can often be quite dry. We remove our salmon when it reaches 135 degrees F and then tent with foil and let it rest for 5 minutes. Cook salmon to the temperature you are comfortable with.
How to Grill Salmon with Skin
Place the skin side down on a greased grill. Depending upon the recipe, you may need to flip it after a few minutes. Use a spatula to flip to prevent the fish from falling apart.
How To Store
Store leftover salmon in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Store leftover sauce for up to 3 days. FYI that the red onion will bleed into the sauce after the first day, but it does not change the taste - only colors it - pinkish
Grilled Salmon Sides
Here are some easy sides that pair well with grilled salmon:
- Marinated Grilled Vegetables
- Grilled Eggplant Caprese Salad Recipe
- Grilled Romaine Lettuce
- Blue Cheese Wedge Salad Recipe
Be sure to pin this to Pinterest for later! 🙂
FAQs for Grilling Salmon
Foil is used to retain moisture in certain recipes. In this recipe the salmon is marinated, so you do not need to use foil to grill the salmon. Always follow the recipe instructions. If you are unsure, wrap in foil to be on the safe side. If it is wrapped in foil it will cook faster so adjust accordingly.
We start with the skin side down, then flip halfway through cooking.
More Salmon Recipes
- Parmesan Crusted Salmon
- Salmon with Dill Sauce
- Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowl
- Teriyaki Salmon Bowl
- Salmon Buddha Bowl Recipe
Grilled Salmon Fillet
- 1½ pounds salmon fillets (with skin)
- 1 cup Italian salad dressing
- 1¼ cup coursely chopped fresh cilantro, divided (use 1 cup for the marinade and ¼ cup for the sauce)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided (use 2 tablespoons for the marinade and 1 for the sauce)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons capers (drained)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- In a small bowl mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice, ¼ cup cilantro, red onion, and capers. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve salmon.
- Place salmon fillets into a shallow glass dish skin side down.
- In a bowl whisk together italian salad dressing, 1 cup cilantro, lemon juice, and black pepper. Reserve ⅛ cup of the marinade for basting. Pour the rest over the top of the salmon.
- Turn salmon over to coat evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
- Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Remove salmon from the marinade and place salmon skin side down on the grill. Close the grill lid and cook for 6 minutes.
- Baste with the extra marinade. Close the lid and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 135℉, about 6 to 9 minutes.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- VARIATIONS: The marinade can be used on chicken and pork as well as other fish. The sauce makes a great condiment for fish sticks, sandwiches, shrimp, and more!
- TIPS: Watch salmon carefully when cooking. It can go from perfect to dry quickly. Salmon doneness temperature is 135℉ to 140℉ degrees.
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve salmon with skin on or off. Top with sauce and garnish with cilantro. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
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