Salmon Grilled in Foil Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Grilled Salmon in Foil

Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
Grilled salmon in foil is one of the easiest, fastest ways to make dinner—with hardly any mess! Salmon steams inside the foil packet, while tomatoes and onions soak up the curry powder used to season the salmon.

Updated: Jan. 12, 2024

Grill foil packs are easy to put together and even easier to clean up. A mere sheet of aluminum foil replaces a bunch of pots and pans, so you can make a gourmet dinner without dirtying up the kitchen. You can turn almost any dish prepared in the oven or grill into a foil pack—including seafood. Grilled salmon in foil is one of our favorite easy salmon recipes because it’s ready to eat in only 20 minutes. The salmon steams inside the packet, staying perfectly moist and tender. There are many ways to season salmon, and we chose a simple seasoning blend with curry powder. It adds warm, earthy undertones to the fish and veggies inside the packet without being overpowering.

How Long to Grill Salmon in Foil

Overcooked fish is dense and dry, so you want to stop cooking salmon once it flakes easily with a fork. For most foil-wrapped salmon recipes, that’s 10 to 15 minutes, but the cooking time varies based on the size and thickness of the salmon fillets.

We often use a thermometer to make sure fish is cooked properly. The USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145°F. However, we recommend pulling salmon off the heat before it reaches that temperature. An effect called carryover cooking ensures that salmon will rise to a food-safe temperature before it reaches your plate.

Ingredients for Grilled Salmon in Foil

Ingredients for Grilled Salmon In FoilTMB Studio

  • Salmon fillets: Cut your salmon fillets into 4-ounce pieces to create single-serving sizes. We recommend using skin-on salmon fillets for the grill. The skin will stick to the foil pack, making it easy to remove without sacrificing any salmon meat.
  • Salmon seasoning: Garlic powder, lemon-pepper seasoning and salt is a classic seafood combination. In this recipe, we also add curry powder, a fragrant mix of several spices. Depending on the blend, your curry powder might contain any mixture of turmeric, ginger, black pepper, cumin, coriander, chiles, garlic and cinnamon. If you don’t have curry powder, garam masala is a suitable substitute.
  • Onion and tomato: These vegetables release moisture as they cook, creating steam inside the packet that keeps the salmon from drying out. The vegetables themselves become perfectly tender, and they taste fantastic served atop the fish.

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the foil packets

Sprinkle seasoning and top it with onion rings and tomatoesTMB Studio

Preheat the grill to medium heat. Place each salmon fillet, skin side down, on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18×12 inches). Combine the garlic powder, lemon pepper seasoning, curry powder and salt. Sprinkle the seasoning over the salmon. Top with the onion rings and chopped tomatoes.

Fold the foil over fish and seal tightlyTMB Studio

Fold the foil over the fish, and seal tightly.

Step 2: Grill the salmon foil packs

Grill the salmon foil packsTMB Studio

Grill the foil packs, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Open the foil carefully to allow steam to escape.

Editor’s Tip: If the weather isn’t cooperating, make foil-baked salmon in the oven. Place the salmon packets on a baking sheet, and bake them in a 350° oven for 20 minutes.

How do you season grilled salmon?

We season grilled salmon with garlic powder, lemon-pepper seasoning, curry powder and salt, but there are many other ways to make grilled foil packs. Here are some suggestions for changing it up:

  • Dill and lemon: To make lemon-dill salmon packets, season the salmon with salt and pepper. Add butter, onion, minced garlic, sliced lemon and dill sprigs to each packet. You can also add drained capers to this packet to add salty intrigue.
  • Cilantro and lime: Prepare the lemon-dill packet, but swap in lime slices and cilantro sprigs. If desired, season the salmon with a southwestern seasoning mix that contains spices like cumin, chili powder and oregano.
  • Barbecue sauce: To make grilled barbecue salmon, combine your favorite barbecue sauce with brown sugar, chili garlic sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice and soy sauce. Reserve some of the sauce to serve on the side. Brush the remaining sauce over the salmon instead of using a spice mix.
  • Bourbon glaze: Turn this grilled salmon in foil into bourbon-glazed salmon. To make the glaze, simmer butter, dark brown sugar, bourbon, salt and pepper until thick. Brush the glaze over the salmon instead of using a spice mix.
  • Flavored butter: Make a flavored butter with softened butter, fresh herbs and seasonings. Spread it over the salmon, and it will melt into the fish as it cooks.
  • Citrus sauce: To make grilled citrus salmon, prepare a dressing by whisking together canola oil, onion, garlic, lemon juice, orange juice, lemon zest and orange zest. Season the salmon simply with salt. Reserve some of the sauce to serve on the side, and spoon the remaining citrus sauce over the salmon.
  • Teriyaki: If you’re in the mood for Asian cuisine, season the salmon with soy sauce or teriyaki sauce (store-bought or homemade, like the one we make for this teriyaki salmon recipe). If desired, give the salmon a hint of spice with crushed red pepper flakes or chili oil.

How to Store Grilled Salmon in Foil

Store the salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. You can enjoy leftover salmon warm or cold. To reheat, we recommend using the oven instead of the microwave. Cover the fish with foil, and warm it in a 275° oven for 15 minutes.

To serve it cold, flake the leftover salmon. Serve it simply over a homemade salad, or transform it into a recipe that calls for canned salmon, such as salmon patties or salmon salad sandwiches.

Grilled Salmon in Foil Tips

Grilled Salmon In Foil served and ready to eatTMB Studio

How can you tell when grilled salmon is cooked?

Checking the salmon’s internal temperature is the easiest way to tell when grilled salmon is cooked. It should reach 140° when it’s done. If you don’t have a thermometer, check if the flesh looks opaque instead of translucent. It should also flake easily when you press down on the top of the fillet with a fork. Seeing white stuff on salmon (a protein called albumin) may indicate the salmon was overcooked or cooked at too-hot temperatures.

What should you serve with grilled salmon?

Top this grilled salmon with the onions and tomatoes from the packet, and serve it with flatbread like naan, lemon rice pilaf and lemon yogurt dip. Or go for classic side dishes for salmon, such as pasta salad and your favorite potato salad recipe. Grilled vegetables like asparagus, zucchini and sweet potatoes are also fantastic choices.

How is grilled salmon in foil different from regular grilled salmon?

Grilled salmon in foil is soft and tender because it steams inside the foil packet. The steam keeps the salmon tender and moist, and it doesn’t prevents browning or caramelizing. Regular grilled salmon has more of a charred flavor and a crispy exterior.

Can you use frozen salmon to make grilled salmon in foil?

Yes, you can use frozen salmon for this recipe, and you don’t need to defrost the salmon fillet before wrapping it in foil. If cooking from frozen, increase the cook time, and check on the fillets periodically to ensure the salmon is cooked all the way through. Check out our tips for how to cook frozen salmon on the grill.

Grilled Salmon in Foil

Prep Time 20 min
Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets (4 ounces each)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small onion, cut into rings
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped

Directions

  1. Place each salmon fillet, skin side down, on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18x12 in.). Combine the garlic powder, lemon pepper, curry powder and salt; sprinkle over salmon. Top with onion and tomatoes. Fold foil over fish and seal tightly.
  2. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape.

Nutrition Facts

1 packet: 199 calories, 11g fat (2g saturated fat), 57mg cholesterol, 436mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 20g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat.

Steamed in its own juices, this grilled salmon in foil is incredibly tender. Curry adds a punch of flavor that's perfectly balanced by onion and tomato. —Merideth Berkovich, The Dalles, Oregon
Recipe Creator