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Chili Lime Grilled Salmon

This Chili Lime Grilled Salmon recipe is deceptively easy with hardly any cleanup but delivers big, bold flavors that will have everyone swooning and make you look and feel like a professional chef! It's is made by bathing the salmon fillets with a vibrant, aromatic chili lime marinade for 30 minutes then grilling to succulent perfection.  Serve the grilled salmon plain or douse with cilantro lime butter and/or serve with avocado corn salsa for the ultimate symphony of flavor and texture in each mouthwatering bite.  Finish off this effortless grilled salmon dinner with a side of fruit salad and strawberry spinach salad for the perfect summer meal.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 6 salmon fillets, SKIN ON (or 1 large fillet cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • neutral, high smoking point such as vegetable oil or grape seed oil for grilling


  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • lime zest from 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp EACH salt, ground cumin
  • 1 tsp EACH smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano
  • ½-1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cilantro Lime Butter (optional)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Reserved Marinade (in directions)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, packed
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

For serving-pick one! (optional)


  • Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl. Remove 1 ½ tablespoons marinade and transfer it to a small, microwave safe bowl to use later in the Cilantro Lime Butter; set aside.
  • Line the salmon fillets skin side down in a 9x13 baking dish, or a dish that fits them snuggly together. Pour the remaining marinade evenly over the top of the salmon. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Prep and refrigerate your salsa, if using, while the fish marinates.
  • After 30 minutes, heat the grill with the lid closed to 450°F-500°F. Clean grill thoroughly with a wire grill brush. Once grill has reached temperature, generously grease the grill by holding tongs greased with vegetable oil or grape seed oil.
  • Remove the salmon one by one from the marinade and drizzle and rub vegetable oil or grape seed oil over the skin. Place salmon skin side DOWN, flesh side up. Grill for 4-5 minutes, uncovered, without touching, until the salmon easily releases from the grill when you check a corner with a fish spatula.
  • Using tongs and a metal fish spatula, carefully turn the fish onto the other side, so that the flesh side is down, the skin side is up. Grill for another 2-3 minutes depending on thickness, until the fish reaches 125-130 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Remove the salmon from the grill and tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes before servings. Meanwhile make the Cilantro Lime Butter if using:
  • Add butter to the reserved 1 ½ tablespoons marinade in the microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds then at 10 second intervals until melted. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Brush salmon with butter and serve extra on the side. Top fish with avocado corn salsa, corn salsa, mango salsa, or pineapple salsa and dig in!


prep ahead

The salmon should only be marinated for 30-45 minutes then grilled right away.  If you want to prep the recipe in advance, you can:
  • Prep salmon: slice the salmon into fillets and store in the refrigerator. 
  • Prep marinade:  whisk the marinade ingredients together and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator WITHOUT the salmon for up to 3 days.


  • To store:  store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.  You can enjoy the grilled salmon warm in tacos, burritos, rice bowls, etc. or cold in sandwiches, sandwiches, wraps etc.  I’ve included all sorts of ways to enjoy leftover salmon in the post.
  • To freeze: place salmon fillets in a freezer size bag and squeeze out excess air to prevent freezer burn, label and freeze for up to 3 months. You can also freeze individual salmon fillets by wrapping in plastic wrap before storing together.


  • From the fridge: gently reheat the salmon in a skillet, covered, for about 5 minutes or in the microwave at 30-second intervals. You can also warm in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 275 degrees F, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F to 130°F. Take care not to overcook the salmon or it will become dry. 
  • From frozen: thaw salmon in the refrigerator overnight then reheat per any of the above methods.