Easy Grilled Salmon

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Grilled Salmon is a light, nourishing main dish, perfect for serving in the summer. Salmon filets are marinated in a flavorful sesame-soy marinade and grilled until tender and flaky.

Serve grilled salmon with rice pilaf, roasted asparagus (or grilled asparagus), and fresh lemon wedges or even over a simple tossed salad for lunch!

Grilled salmon on a plate with veggies and rice

Salmon is really easy to cook on the grill and ready in minutes! A good flavorful marinade (which can be made well ahead of time) is my favorite way to prepare it!

How to Prepare Grilled Salmon Marinade

The marinade for this grilled salmon recipe is a cinch. It has lots of flavors and uses ingredients you likely have on hand already like soy sauce, lemon juice, and brown sugar!

You can use plain or toasted sesame oil, toasted has an amazing nutty flavor and just little goes a long way. I use it in dishes from Chicken Chow Mein to Ramen Noodle Salad!

Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl (or a freezer bag) and mix well. Marinate for a minimum of 1 hour, or up to 8 hours turning occasionally.

Substitutes: You can swap the oil for another mildly flavored oil. Lime juice is great in place of lemon as well!

Ingredients for grilled salmon on a marble board


How to Grill Salmon

If you’ve never cooked fish on the grill before, salmon is a great place to begin.

It’s dense enough to hold together easily, especially if you grill it with the skin on, like a salmon steak. With gentle handling, you can have perfectly good results with skinless fillets too.

While I sometimes make Salmon Foil Packets, with this marinade I like to cook it directly on the grill.

Grilled salmon on the BBQ

To Cook Salmon on the Grill

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high.
  2. Pour a little bit of oil on a paper towel and using tongs, rub the oil on the grate. Add the salmon fillets to the grill.
  3. Grilled salmon is ready to flip when it easily releases from the grill (forcing the spatula under the flesh can cause tearing and crumbling).
  4. Once cooked, rest a few minutes (this is a good practice for almost all grilled meats from hamburgers to pork tenderloin).

Grilling Salmon with Skin: Grilled salmon skins can become deliciously savory if properly cooked and it’ll help hold your salmon filets together while grilling.

Start with the skin side down, if your salmon has skin as it’s easier to flip.

Grilled salmon on a plate garnish with parsley with vegetables on the side

How Long to Grill Salmon

When grilling thick fillets or salmon steaks, you will want to turn your grill to medium-high. The actual cook time will vary slightly based on how thick the salmon is and how you like it cooked. The following is for a 1″ thick filet, if your salmon is thinner, you might need to reduce the cooking time.

  • Slightly Rare: 5-6 minutes on each side.
  • Well Done:  7-8 minutes on each side.

What temperature should grilled salmon be? Grilled salmon should be cooked to 145°F. Be sure you don’t overcook it or your salmon will be dry.

More Yummy Seafood Recipes

Did you enjoy this Grilled Salmon? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Grilled salmon on a plate with veggies and rice
4.91 from 11 votes
Review Recipe

Easy Grilled Salmon

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Salmon filets are marinated in a flavorful sesame-soy marinade and grilled until tender and flaky.


  • 1 ½ pounds salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil toasted
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

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  • Combine all ingredients except salmon in a small bowl.
  • Pour over salmon and allow to marinate at least 1 hour (or up to 8 hours).
  • Preheat grill to medium-high.
  • Place salmon flesh side down and cook salmon for 6-8 minutes. Turn over and cook and an additional 5-7 minutes or until salmon reaches 145°F. Do not overcook.

Recipe Notes

This can be baked at 450°F for 10 minutes and then broiled for 5 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 413, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 94mg, Sodium: 888mg, Potassium: 876mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 70IU, Vitamin C: 1.5mg, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 1.8mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I cook skin side down first to get crisp
    I never marinade anything with lemon or lime (acidic) in metal.
    I made this and it was good4 stars

  2. How do you think this marinade will work with chicken.I love salmon, my wife hates fish espcially salmon. So I could cook chicken as well with the marinade. Thoughts?

    1. I think it would work James. I’d suggest adding it during the last 15 minutes of grilling. That’s a great idea to both enjoy what you love! Enjoy!

  3. Grilled Salmon is one of my all time favourite recipes and this looks delicious! It is so healthy and good to have during the week as well I think. Thanks for a great, healthy recipe.5 stars