This simple Grilled Spice Rubbed Salmon is ready in under 30 minutes and packed with flavor from a savory homemade salmon rub.
This Cajun Salmon Rub and Grilled Spicy Salmon recipe is easy to make with spices you already have in your pantry. It can be made on the grill or in the oven for a quick and tasty healthy dinner. It pairs great with these easy grilled vegetables and these cauliflower mashed potatoes.
Lately, I have been experimenting a lot with making my own homemade salmon spice rubs since I love being able to control the flavor to suit whatever I’m in the mood for. Sometimes I want something spicy, sometimes a bit sweet, and sometimes extra savory -- like this cajun salmon packed with paprika, black pepper, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and coriander. The key to making sure this spicy salmon recipe really takes on the flavor of the rub is letting it rest for 15-30 minutes before throwing it on the grill or under the broiler. It allows the spices to penetrate the salmon before it cooks and deepens the flavor.
Salmon is flavorful and packed with heart-healthy fats all on its own. Its natural oils also act to intensify any seasonings you add. So it makes sense to start simple when adding flavor to the fish. This salmon rub gives grilled fish a kick using spice rack staples that you probably already have on hand. And one easy addition -- a dash of cayenne pepper to taste -- makes the main dish a flavorful homemade version of Cajun salmon.
On its own, this salmon rub will highlight the fish without adding any fat. It’s also subtle enough to pair with something a little more decadent. For example, you can stir up different compound butters to give guests some flavor options. Butter with a dash of Creole seasoning will suit those who crave even more Cajun spice while a compound butter made with garlic and fresh herbs will give the fish a sophisticated richness for those who want something more subtle.
Sauces can also take this spicy salmon recipe in new directions. Serve it with a yogurt-based cilantro-lime dressing to play on the cumin and turn it into Southwestern salmon. Or top it with a citrus yogurt sauce that picks up on the fruity undertones of the coriander. You can combine Greek yogurt with lemon, lime, or orange zest and juice to create a quick, flavorful sauce.
Before adding sauces and any other toppers, you may want to set aside a portion of fish for tomorrow’s lunch. This grilled salmon turns a green salad into a gourmet treat and could crown a sushi bowl that your coworkers might mistake for fancy takeout. You can also store leftover flaked salmon for a day or two in the refrigerator. Whip up your favorite cream- or olive oil-based pasta sauce and toss in the salmon pieces until they’re just heated to add a heaping helping of healthy protein to an entree pasta.
Both farm-raised and wild salmon are great sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to help prevent heart disease and stroke. These polyunsaturated fats may also help control conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and protect against cancer and other diseases. But wild salmon has fewer calories and more than 20 percent less saturated fat than farm-raised fish according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Looking to learn more about salmon? Check out this complete guide to salmon with ideas for cooking it, how to choose it, nutritional info, and more.
Salads make a great accompaniment for this spicy salmon recipe. But you don’t have to go green. Try a grilled corn salad, a cool pasta concoction, or even a bread-based salad that tosses together grilled bread cubes, roasted veggies, seasonings, and an oil-and-vinegar-based dressing.
Sides that incorporate nuts, seeds, and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids can also provide a double dose of the necessary nutrient. You can top a spinach salad with glazed walnuts, serve the salmon with roasted green beans or asparagus topped with crunchy almonds, or cook up a flavorful combination of lentils, quinoa, and flax seeds for a superfood side dish that pairs perfectly with grilled salmon.
If you bear these basics in mind, this savory salmon is sure to become a go-to for the grill.
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