We have a few more weeks of summer left…still time to grill! With Labor Day around the corner and basil blooming in season, this Grilled Basil Lemon Salmon will rock your dinner for sure. Fast, easy, and so delicious, it’s one of my go-to recipes on any protein, from chicken, to turkey, to fish, to quinoa. With flavors rooted in my Italian heritage, it never fails me.
I use organic lemon juice in my marinades and dressings. You can squeeze fresh lemon juice for the best flavor. If you are tight on time and need to buy some, I recommend a brand like Organic Santa Cruz lemon juice. I find it at Whole Foods and other markets that carry organic products like this brand.
Reminder Tips for Grilling Salmon
Remember, salmon is a fatty fish, full of those amazing Omega-3 fatty acids. Good for your body, and easier to cook! Even though salmon is easier to cook than other fish, we still can over cook it. Be sure to follow the tips below to avoid that. If you aren’t a pro already, you will be in no time!
Pat your salmon dry before you season it or put it in a marinade. This is super important! Any excess water will dilute the flavor you attempt to add and prevent the marinade from soaking in as well as it could.
- Marinade skin up. Soak the fleshy part of the salmon in the marinade.
- Always season with salt and pepper after soaking in the marinade and before grilling. The salt helps all the flavors come out and the pepper adds flavor.
- Leave the skin on and grill skin side down. This protects the fish. Your skin will get super crispy, and you can eat it if you like, and if not, it will easily come off, leaving you with flaky, juicy, tender fish.
- Temp your salmon. On my grill, 6 oz fillets take 7 minutes to cook, like clock work every time. I cook mine to 135-140F, or medium. I suggest cooking no higher than that or your fish will likely be overcooked.
- Let your salmon rest 5 minutes before serving to allow the fish to retain its juices.
Grilled Basil Lemon Salmon Recipe
Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Refined Sugar-free, Paleo-friendly, Soy-free
- 1½ lbs salmon, cut into 6 oz fillets
- 1½ tsp sea salt
- ¾ tsp black pepper
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup fresh basil, packed, not chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- sea salt and red pepper flake to taste
- Cut salmon into 6 oz fillets. Leave skin on. Pat it until it's completely dry.
- Put all marinade ingredients except olive oil in a blender or food processor and whiz until blended. With the machine off, scrape down the sides, then turn back on and add extra virgin olive oil in a slow steady stream. Blend until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Pour the marinade in a 9x9 or 9x11 baking dish. Reserve 2-3 TBS (if desired), cover, and set aside in a small bowl.
- Put the salmon into the baking dish into the marinade skin side up (so the meat of the salmon is soaking in the marinade).
- Marinade for 20-30 minutes. You can leave the salmon out.
- Preheat your grill 15 minutes before grilling.
- When ready to grill, remove salmon from marinade and place onto a baking sheet skin side down.
- Salt and pepper the tops and sides of the salmon fillets.
- Place on the grill skin side down.
- Grill for 7-8 minutes or to 135-140F for medium doneness. You can cook for less time to 130F if you like your salmon closer to medium rare, or cook longer to 155-160F if you like your salmon more done.
- Baste with reserved marinade for extra and moisture if desired.
- Remove from grill. Often the skin will come right off and stay on the grill. This is fine. I remove it before serving if it doesn't.
- Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve and enjoy!