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 and made in less than 30 minutes!
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 1-2 pound fillets. A one pound filet will feed 3-4 people, and a 2 lb. filet will feed 5-6. Cooking larger fillets prevents 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. The grill is perfect for high heat cooking, which is why I prefer it, but this also works well in the oven.
Ingredients in Grilled Mango Salmon
- Salmon– As I mentioned above, I prefer a whole salmon filet, between 1 and 1.5 pounds. If you can snag a large filet at a Costco or Sam’s Club, that’s the way to go! Atlantic or Sockeye both work well.
- Seasonings– The salmon is seasoned with a simple blend of smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. If you’ve never had smoked paprika before, it’s worth buying just for this recipe. It adds rich, smoky flavor to everything from Steak Chili to Tomato Bacon Jam.
- Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar– This makes the BEST sweet and tangy sauce.
For the Mango Salsa:
- Mango– I usually use frozen mango. It’s a big time saver and helps avoid the frustration of never having a mango at the perfect ripeness.
- Bell peppers and jalapeno– For crunch, color, and heat!
- Red onion– This is salsa, after all.
- Cilantro– Lots of it!
- Lime juice– Just a squeeze is all you need to brighten up these flavors.
- Salt and pepper– Yes, even a fruit based salsa needs salt and pepper!
Salmon and mango might not sound like the best combo, but trust me, it’s going to rock all your taste buds!
The salmon has 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!
How to Make Salmon with Mango Salsa
- Tear off a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil that is several inches longer than your salmon filet on both ends. Spray or brush with olive oil. Place the salmon on top, skin side down.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the seasonings. In another bowl, whisk together the honey and apple cider vinegar.
- Rub the seasonings over both sides of the salmon. Roll the sides of the foil up halfway, then pour the honey mixture over top.
- Bring the foil up on the long sides of the salmon filet and crimp to seal. Seal the short edges as well. Bake or grill.
- Meanwhile, mix all of the ingredients for the mango salsa together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To Bake in the Oven:
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bake for 12 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 2-4 minutes or until salmon registers 135 degrees and flakes easily with a fork. Remove the salmon from the oven and loosely cover with foil again. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
To Grill Mango Salsa Salmon:
- Preheat a grill to high heat (500-550 degrees).
- Place the foil packet on the grill and grill covered for 9 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 2-4 minutes or until salmon registers 135 degrees and flakes easily with a fork. Carefully remove the packet from the grill, loosely reseal, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead and Storage Instructions
- The mango salsa can be served immediately, but is even better if refrigerated for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- The salmon can be seasoned and prepped up to 24 hours in advance. If you’re making it in advance, line the foil with parchment paper so the vinegar doesn’t eat away at the foil.
- Leftover salmon can be reheated in the foil packet at 300 degrees until warmed through.
Variations on Mango Salmon
- If you prefer less (or no) heat, reduce or eliminate the cayenne pepper and the jalapeno in the salsa.
- The salmon can be eaten on its own, without the salsa. When we eat it this way, I usually brush it with a little extra honey right after removing it from the grill for some added sweetness.
- There’s a lot of wiggle room in the measurements for the mango salsa. Feel free to adjust to your taste or based on what you have on hand.
- Don’t like mango? Try serving it with this Black Bean and Corn Salsa instead.
What to Serve with Salmon and Mango Salsa
For the salmon:
- 20 ounce (about 1.25 lb) salmon filet
- Olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
For the mango salsa:
- 2 large ripe mangoes, chopped (or substitute 2 cups frozen mango)
- 1/2 small 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 high heat (about 500-550 degrees). 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 long sides together, crimping down the middle, then roll and crimp the short sides, sealing tightly.
- Grill for 9 minutes then carefully open the foil packet (steam will escape so be careful!). Leave the foil packet open, cover the grill, and continue to grill for another 2-4 minutes or until the fish flakes apart easily with a fork or registers at least 130 degrees. Carefully remove the foil packet from the grill. Reseal it loosely and let rest for five minutes.
- 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 refrigerated until ready to serve.
- To serve, divide the salmon up into individual portions and spoon the mango salsa on top.
To bake: preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 2-4 minutes or until salmon registers 135 degrees and flakes easily with a fork.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 533mgFiber: 3gSugar: 21gProtein: 24g