This recipe for Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa has been sponsored by The Coca Cola Company. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and stories are my own. This easy foil-grilled salmon has an intense smoky heat that pairs beautifully with sweet mango, red onions, and cilantro. I can’t wait for you all to try this one!
This Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa recipe was a big deal around these parts. You see, for the last several years, salmon has been my seafood nemesis. Cooking other fish? Not a problem. I can make lemon garlic tilapia that flakes when you look at it, and a chipotle shrimp sandwich that will make you weak in the knees. But salmon? Can’t do it. I’ve baked it. I’ve pan fried it. I’ve used my trusty thermometer and set enough timers to alert the neighbors. It doesn’t matter. I still always always over cook my salmon.
It would almost be funny if dry salmon weren’t so darn depressing. I don’t have a single baked salmon recipe on this site, and it’s not because I don’t like salmon. It’s because I’ve never been able to cook it properly.
If that’s not sad enough, let’s discuss my incompetence when it comes to mango. If salmon is my Achilles’ heel of the seafood world, mango is the equivalent of the fruit world. I can never seem to pick a ripe one, and then I inevitably either slice it too early or wait too long. When I do finally decide to slice it, I feel like a four year old who has never used a knife before. What is up with that huge wonky pit and how the heck am I supposed to slice around it without losing a finger (or all the viable fruit)?
Ah, salmon and mango. Those feisty little stinkers. It would’ve made sense to give up on them years ago. Besides, there are plenty of other fish in the sea (so bad, I know).
But giving up just isn’t how I roll. This summer I was determined to show salmon and mango who’s boss. The season of BBQs and late nights lingering on patios is upon us, so I knew I wanted a recipe that was simple, grillable, and ideal for entertaining.
My first strategy for conquering salmon was to ditch the individual fillets and instead buy one large salmon steak. Sam’s Club’s Member’s Mark brand offers two pound salmon fillets that are perfect for feeding a crowd (or having leftovers all week). I found using a larger piece of salmon helped keep the fish from drying out before it was finished cooking.
The next move? Put it in foil. Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this ages ago. Foil packet tilapia is one of my favorite healthy summer meals, and it only makes sense that salmon would benefit from this grilling method as well. I love foil packet cooking because it not only helps seal in moisture, but it also makes cleanup a breeze. I sprinkled the salmon with a rub made from smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic, salt and pepper, then brushed it with a honey and apple cider vinegar mixture before tossing it on the grill.
I was a bit of a basket case standing next to the grill, but I set a timer and distracted myself by pulling the weeds that mistakenly believe they are the king of our yard. After about 12 minutes, I ventured a peek. The salmon looked good, great even. I peeled the foil back completely, covered the grill, and let it cook a few more minutes to get that dreamy sticky glazed skin.
One look at the finished salmon, and I knew this was the one. I stabbed it gently with a fork, and it fell apart like a dream. I tasted it. It was heaven. I never described salmon as melt-in-your-mouth until I met this salmon. The foil packet and the high, steady heat of the grill produced the most perfect, tender, juicy salmon I have ever made, and the smoky sweet rub made it even more irresistible. Now all it needed was a scoop of fresh mango salsa, and my victory would be complete.
Defeating the mango turned out to be easier than I thought. I followed this helpful mango cutting tutorial, which made me feel slightly less inept, but you know what else you can do? Use frozen mango! (And all the people said Hallelujah!). Frozen mango is dependably ripe, juicy, and flavorful and can cut your prep time in half. It doesn’t hold up quite as well as fresh, so if you go the frozen route, I recommend using the salsa within one day. Tossed with red onion, bell pepper, a splash of lime, and a lot of cilantro, this mango salsa is packed with fresh flavors.
I tortured the contractors who were working at our house last week by making and photographing this in front of them, so of course I had to share. They both gave the recipe such high praise and couldn’t get over how well all of these flavors blended together. This healthy, quick meal screams summer. It’s the perfect meal to enjoy on a warm, sticky evening, paired with a Vitamin Water Zero® xxx or squeezed to keep things light and refreshing. The leftovers are also amazing served on salad greens. You and whoever is lucky enough to be invited to your table are going to love this grilled salmon. Here’s to conquering our cooking nemesis and enjoying all the flavors summer has to offer!
Sam’s Club and Coca Cola© are offering a special sweepstakes as part of their 100 Ways to Summer Campaign. Visit their website to enter and get a lot more ideas for fresh summer feasts!
Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa
This paprika, honey, and garlic rubbed salmon is grilled in a foil packet and topped with fresh mango salsa for a light and refreshing summer meal.
For the salmon
- 2 lb. whole skinless salmon fillet
- 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vineger
For the mango salsa
- 2 large ripe mangos, chopped (or substitute 2 1/2 cups frozen mango)
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/2 sweet bell pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeno (seeded if you don’t want a lot of heat), diced
- Squeeze of lime
- Lots of fresh chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat a grill to medium high heat. Brush a large, heavy duty piece of foil with olive oil. The foil should be long enough to lay the salmon on top and wrap completely around it. Mix all the spices together and rub on both sides of the salmon. Whisk together the honey and apple cider vinegar and brush it on both sides of the salmon. Place the salmon on the foil and bring the sides together, sealing it tightly. Grill for about 12 minutes then carefully open the foil packet (steam will escape so be careful!). Leave the the foil packet open, cover the grill, and continue to grill for another 3-5 minutes or until the fish flakes apart easily with a fork.
- Meanwhile, toss all the mango salsa ingredients together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This can be made several hours in advance and the flavor actually gets better as it sits.
- To serve, divide the salmon up into individual portions and spoon the mango salsa on top.