5 Recipes for Perfectly Grilled Fresh Fish

Steak and chicken are the two meats that likely come to mind when you’re preheating the grill for dinner, but fish can also be perfected on the hot coals — it’s all about the prep work. Grilling your fish is a good way to keep your summer meals light, fresh, and healthy, and whether salmon, white fish, or tuna is your seafood of choice, today we are sure to have grilling recipes that will suit your tastes. Check out these five different ways to grill fish and appease all the pescetarians in your life. Now that summer has arrived, seafood cravings are at an all time high and these food formulas will surely satiate that hunger.

Salmon on grill

Source: iStock

1. Maple Grilled Salmon

First is a Maple Grilled Salmon recipe found on Cooking Light. Marinating your fish in maple syrup and orange juice is the best way to give it a punch of fresh sweet flavor without overdoing it on the fat. This tried-and-true healthy way to grill salmon is a method that every fish lover should use, and luckily, the recipe couldn’t be easier. As long as you marinate your salmon ahead of time, there’s no reason this dinner can’t be ready in 10 minutes or less.


  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skinned
  • Cooking spray
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Combine first 3 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add fish. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 3 hours.

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Remove fish from bag, reserving the marinade. Pour marinade into a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 5 minutes.

Place fish on grill rack or pan coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness, basting occasionally with marinade. Remove fish from grill; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grilled tuna steak

Source: iStock

2. Garlic Herbed Grilled Tuna

If tuna is your seafood of choice, try Taste of Home’s recipe for Garlic Herbed Grilled Tuna. With this food formula, the steaky seafood sits in a marinade with lemon juice, garlic, oil, and thyme before hitting the grills, and then all it takes is 3 to 4 minutes on the hot coals for your dinner to be ready. Many home chefs are initimidated by the idea of tackling tuna, but this fool-proof formula proves that anyone can do it.


  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 tuna steaks (6 ounces each)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Directions: In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the lemon juice, oil, garlic, and thyme. Add the tuna; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove tuna from bag; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drain and discard marinade. Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack.

Grill tuna, covered, over medium-hot heat or broil 4 inches from the heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare or until slightly pink in the center.

tilapia with asian slaw

Source: iStock

3. Spicy Grilled Fish

If you like your fish to have a kick, try this recipe for Spicy Grilled Fish from Shugary Sweets. The recipe developer behind this food formula seasons her tilapia with chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, and cayenne, and even adds a splash of lime juice to the mix. This spicy fish may make you sweat but the accompanying citrus slaw helps cool things down.



  • 6 (4-ounce) tilapia fillets
  • 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • ½ red pepper, diced
  • ½ small red onion, sliced in thin strips
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large orange, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper

Directions: For the slaw, mix everything in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the fish, mix chili powder, garlic salt, salt, cumin, and cayenne in a small bowl. Add juice of one lime and mix thoroughly. Heat grill pan on medium-high heat with olive oil in pan. Brush both sides of fish with seasoning. Grill 5 minutes on each side, or until flakes with a fork.

To serve: Lay grilled fish on a plate and top with a heaping serving of citrus slaw.

Cod, fish on the grill

Source: iStock

4. Grilled Garlic-Lime Fish Tacos

A fun way to enjoy your grilled fish is by eating it in taco form, and this recipe from Martha Stewart teaches you how to make the perfect summer seafood taco filling. Similar to the aforementioned recipes, lime juice also plays an essential role in this fish formula, as do garlic and olive oil. The fish can be served in taco shells with the toppings of your choosing, though Martha suggests some kind of summery relish.


  • Vegetable oil, for grill
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1¼ pounds skinless, firm white-fleshed fish fillets, such as striped bass or cod (about 1-inch thick)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed or lightly toasted

Directions: Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, and lime juice. Add fish and turn once to coat; let sit 5 minutes.

Remove fish from marinade, letting excess drip off. Season with salt and pepper and grill until flesh is opaque throughout, 12 minutes, flipping once. With a fork, break fish into large pieces and serve with tortillas and corn relish.

salmon on the grill

Source: iStock

5. Grilled Salmon with Blueberry Pan Sauce

We’re finishing our list off with a slightly more intricate salmon dish that gets a touch of sophistication thanks to an easy pan sauce. This recipe for grilled salmon comes from Bon Appétit, and its beauty is all in the blueberry pan sauce. If you are eager to take your salmon up a notch and also enlist summer berries, try this recipe, which requires you to combine a handful of seasonings along with oil, shallots, and blueberries to create a fruity pan sauce that feels fun and fancy. This sauce is spooned over your grilled salmon, and the final touch is a sprig of fresh mint.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus additional for brushing
  • ¾ cup sliced shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt plus additional for seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme plus additional for seasoning
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice plus additional for seasoning
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 (7-ounce) salmon steaks or fillets with skin
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint, divided

Directions: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ¼ teaspoon coarse salt, ¼ teaspoon thyme, and ⅛ teaspoon allspice. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add blueberries, ¼ cup water, and vinegar. Stir to blend. Mash berries with potato masher or back of fork and cook until sauce thickens, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat.

Brush grill rack with oil. Prepare barbecue. Brush salmon on both sides with oil; sprinkle with coarse salt, thyme, allspice, and black pepper.

Grill salmon until just opaque in center, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plates. Stir 2 tablespoons sliced mint into warm blueberry sauce. Spoon sauce over salmon and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon mint. Serve immediately.

More From Life Cheat Sheet: