Easy Salmon Packets on the Grill

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My husband just returned home from his annual fishing trip to dip net for sockeye salmon here in Alaska. As soon as he brought it home, we wanted to enjoy a meal together to celebrate our bounty and taste the delicious, fresh salmon. These easy salmon packets on the grill are our go-to for a quick, summer meal to enjoy outside on a beautiful Alaskan day!

Grilled Salmon Foil Packets

My husband and his buddies drive several hours south to fish the Copper River every June. It’s dangerous water so not ideal for families. We stay home and hold down the fort and the guys go enjoy an adventure together. They’re dip-netting for sockeye, or red, salmon and it will last us through the long winter.

You can read all about how we process our yearly supply of salmon in this post here. We vacuum seal and freeze half of the fillets. Then, throughout the year, I can thaw them and make simple, delicious, and healthy meals such as this one. With the other half, we smoke the strips and then pressure can them. This gives us a stock of canned salmon to eat as well. Smoked salmon is perfect for making salmon dip, cakes, pot pie, and many other tasty dishes.

Salmon is packed with nutrients and flavor so it doesn’t have to require fancy preparation. A simple recipe like this one allows you to enjoy seafood any night of the week.

Ingredients for Salmon Packets on the Grill

You’ll just need a few simple ingredients to make this dish:

  • Salmon-one large fillet or two small
  • Olive oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 1 Lemon
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh herbs

Equipment You Will Need

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Foil
  • Grill utensils
  • Serving dish

If you want to make this dish in the oven instead of on the grill, instructions are included at the end of this post.

How to Make Easy Salmon Packets on the Grill

This is just about the most basic recipe for preparing salmon that I’ve used for years since I first started learning how to cook fish. It is one of my go-to recipes for a quick, tasty, and healthy meal anytime of the year.

Start by cutting the lemon into thin slices and the butter into a few thin pads. I like to go out to my garden and cut a few springs of thyme or parsley.

Salmon Packets on the Grill

Lay out a large piece of foil and drizzle the center with some olive oil. Place the salmon fillet skin down in the center of the foil and drizzle a bit more olive oil on top of it.

Place the pads of butter all over the top of salmon followed by the lemon slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and top with fresh herbs.

Grilling salmon

Fold the sides of the foil up and over each other to create a completely sealed packet. If I have a loaf of sourdough bread available, I like to slice it up, slide some pads of butter in between the slices, and wrap it in foil as well. It can go on the grill along with the salmon to make a nice addition to the meal.

We grill our packets at medium over direct heat. Every grill is different so make adjustments according to how your grill cooks. It takes about 14 minutes and then we check the internal temperature to make sure that it has reached at least 135 degrees F. Remove the packets from the grill and allow to sit sealed for a few more minutes. The salmon will continue to cook and reach the desired temperature of 140-145 degrees F.

Foil packets of salmon on the grill

Carefully unwrap the foil as the steam will be hot and allow it to cool for another minute. Remove the lemons and herb stems. The salmon will easily flake apart for serving.

Salmon packets on the grill

What to Serve with Grilled Salmon Packets

Salmon is so delicious and healthy that it should definitely be the star of the meal. A simple salad on the side and a slice of fresh sourdough bread make the perfect accompaniments. This makes for a light, fresh summer supper.

During the cold winter months, I like to include a hot side dish such as steamed vegetables or brown rice. You really can’t go wrong.

Oven Variation

If you don’t have a grill available or you’d rather stay inside and cook, this recipe can easily be prepared using an oven.

Prepare the salmon as you would for grilling. It can still be cooked in foil packets but I prefer to just use a baking dish when I’m making this in the oven. I try to use foil as little as possible due to the wastefulness of it so I rarely use it in the house.

Baked salmon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the fish for about 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness, until the internal temperature reachers 140 degrees F.

Either way you make it, salmon is so tasty and good for you, it’s hard to go wrong. This recipe is easy to make adjustments to. If you are missing an ingredient, substitute it or leave it out completely, the salmon will still turn out delicious. Use whatever herbs are growing in your garden at the time and season with your favorite type of salt.

We are so thankful for the bounty that Alaska provides and salmon is one of our favorites. We enjoy it year-round, in all seasons, and prepared many different ways. I hope you enjoy one of our go-to meals that really shows how simple preparation can make for the most savory meals to share with your family, even on a busy weeknight.

Easy Salmon Packets on the Grill

A simple and delicious way to enjoy this healthy dish.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 mins

Equipment

  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Foil
  • Grill

Ingredients

  • 1 fillet Red salmon
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • Salt & pepper
  • Fresh herbs

Instructions

  • Lay out a large piece of foil and drizzle half of the oil in the center.
  • Place the salmon in the center of the foil and drizzle with remaining oil.
  • Place butter, cut into small pads, on top of salmon.
  • Set lemon slices all over top of salmon and butter.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Set fresh herbs of choice on top. Thyme is a favorite.
  • Carefully fold over sides of foil and roll together to create a sealed packet.
  • Grill at medium over direct heat for about 14 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the fillet and cook until it reaches at least 135 degrees F.
  • Remove packet from the grill and allow to sit, still sealed, for about 5 more minutes. The internal temperature should reach 140-145 degrees F.
  • Carefully unwrap the foil, remove lemons and herb stems, serve, and enjoy!

Notes

Refrigerate leftovers in sealed container. Use within two days.
To make in the oven instead: Prepare the same but bake at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F.
 
Servings: 4

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    It’s my favorite fish. It is great that you can get fresh salmon! Love the recipe, easy to prepare. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Salmon season just started here in Northern California. In fact, my husband is out on his boat as I am typing this. I know what to make when he brings his catch home!

  3. How exciting! Best of luck to him! I’m sure you will enjoy what he brings home to you. I’d love to know your favorite way to prepare salmon as well!

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