Make this Salmon with Mango Salsa on the grill or in your oven for a light and refreshing summer dinner.
This combo of a smoky salmon rub with sweet and spicy mango salsa is easy to make and ideal for entertaining!
The Girl Who Almost Gave up on Salmon
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.
But with salmon? No such luck. 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 over cook my salmon.
It would almost be funny if dry salmon weren’t so darn depressing. It would’ve made sense to give up on salmon years ago. Besides, there are plenty of other fish in the sea (so bad, I know).
But giving up isn’t how I roll. This summer I was determined to show salmon who’s boss.
After much experimentation, I discovered a few tricks that deliver moist, tender salmon every time. Seriously, this salmon is almost impossible to screw up! Whether you’re making grilled salmon or baked salmon with mango salsa, this recipe is foolproof!
The Keys to Perfect Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa
- Ditch the individual salmon portions and buy a whole salmon filet instead. Most grocery stores carry salmon in 1 lb. and 2 lb fillets. A 1 lb. filet will feed 3-4 people, and a 2 lb. filet will feed 5-6. Cooking larger fillets prevented the salmon from drying out before it was done.
- Put salmon in a foil packet. Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this ages ago. Foil packet tilapia is one of my favorite summer meals, and it only makes sense that salmon would benefit from this cooking method as well. Foil packet cooking not only helps seal in moisture, but also makes cleanup a breeze.
- Cook with high heat for a short cooking time.
How to Make Baked Salmon with Mango Salsa
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Once the salmon is seasoned, double wrap it in heavy duty foil, sealing it on top.
- Bake for 12 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 2-4 minutes or until salmon registers 125 degrees, for medium or 145 for well done. Remove the salmon from the oven and loosely cover with foil again. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
How to Grill Mango Salsa Salmon
- Preheat a grill to medium high heat (450-500 degrees). Once the salmon is seasoned, double wrap it in heavy duty foil, sealing it on top.
- Place the foil packet on the grill and grill covered for 12 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 2-4 minutes or until salmon registers 125 degrees, for medium or 145 for well done. Remove the salmon from the oven and loosely cover with foil again. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
The Best Salmon Seasoning Rub
Now that we’ve got the cooking down, let’s talk about flavor! This smoky sweet salmon rub delivers BIG TIME on flavor. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Smoked paprika- I do not recommend substituting this for regular paprika. This really benefits from the smoky flavor!
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper- You can raise or lower this to your tastes, but a little heat is a nice compliment to the mango salsa.
- Garlic powder
After the seasoning is whisked together, rub it on the salmon then pour over a mixture of honey and apple cider vinegar.
It may sound strange, but this combination is going to rock all your tastebuds–it’s got an immediate and lingering heat, a touch of sweetness and tang, and the right amount of salt. With this easy rub, you can have your salmon ready to bake in just 15 minutes!
Mango Salsa for Salmon
While you can certainly eat the salmon on its own, this mango salsa really puts it over the top.
To make it, combine:
- Mango chunks
- Chopped bell pepper
- Diced red onion
- Diced jalapeno
- Lots of chopped cilantro
- Squeeze of lime juice
- Salt and pepper
There’s plenty of wiggle room in the measurements for the mango salsa. Feel free to adjust to your taste or based on what your hands. Leave the seeds in the jalapeno for plenty of heat, or remove them for a very mild salsa.
If you struggle to find a perfectly ripe mango (SAME), you can use frozen chopped mango as a short cut! It takes about 30 minutes for the mango to thaw completely at room temperature.
The salsa can be made in advance (and in fact, it gets better if it has some time to marinate!). Frozen mango tends to break down quicker, so I recommend using it within 24 hours.
For the salmon
- 2 lb. whole skinless salmon fillet
- Olive oil
- 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 vinegar
For the mango salsa
- 2 large ripe mangoes, 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. Place the salmon on the foil and pour the honey mixture evenly over top. 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 or registers 125 degrees for medium or 145 degrees for well done.
- 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.
- To bake: preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Follow the same instructions for grilling times.
- This recipe can easily be divided in half for a smaller family. Or, if you can only find 1 lb. filets, feel free to cook two 1 lb filets in separate foil packets.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 533mgFiber: 3gSugar: 21gProtein: 24g