Quick and Delicious Grilled Fish Recipes to Enjoy Any Night of the Week
Want to escape the heat of the kitchen and make dinner fast this summer? With our best ideas for grilled salmon, shrimp, tilapia, halibut, and more, you can prepare a quick, easy, and delicious seafood meal tonight.
Grilled fish truly is one of the ultimate summer dinners. Seafood tastes great with summer's freshest, most seasonal ingredients, and grilling keeps us out of the hot kitchen, giving us the opportunity to spend more time outdoors. The recipes in this collection, even ones that feed a crowd, don't require more than 15 minutes to grill the fish, which means this category of quick-cooking proteins one of the fastest routes to dinner. For the best flavor, start by buying the freshest fish that you can find. If you are not sure, ask at the fish counter what came in that day. Then, select the recipe.
Once you are ready to grill, follow these simple tips for grilled fish success. Preheat the grill well and oil the grates before adding the fish. This works to prevent sticking and achieve a fast char—fish isn't on the grill long, so you want to make sure the time it does spend there is significant. Flip the fish when it easily lifts off the grill; if it's sticking, wait a few more seconds and try again. Now that you have the basic technique, try our simple and creative grilled fish recipes that build on this.
For easy weeknight dinners, simply pair your choice of seafood with summer's freshest flavors. Make use of herbs to impart big flavor, which is exactly what we do in the Grilled Salmon with Spicy Honey-Basil Sauce that's pictured here. If salmon isn't your favorite type of fish, know that we also use this method in other recipes, like our Grilled Halibut Steaks with Potatoes, Olives, and Onions. We also like to pair fish with fruits like pineapple—try our recipe for Spicy Shrimp Fajitas with Grilled Pineapple Pico if the idea if appealing.
It's important to remember that grilled fish doesn't have to be reserved for fast weeknight dining. Amp up your summer entertaining menu with grilled fish dishes that are sure to impress. These recipes are so easy, you could even pull them off for weeknight entertaining. Spread a Grilled Shrimp Boil across the table or set out stunning Whole Grilled Fish or Crisp Grilled Salmon with Fennel-Olive Relish and let everyone dig in family-style.
For more casual meals, opt for one of our scrumptious fish sandwiches, which are paired with a creamy sauce that brings out the best in the fish: We use tartar sauce in the Grilled Salt-Rubbed Fish Sandwich, herbed mayonnaise in the Grilled Salmon Sandwiches Herbed Mayonnaise, and spicy sriracha mayo in the Grilled Snapper Sandwich with Pickled Vegetables recipe.
Ready to get cooking? Read on for more recipes and techniques to pull off perfect grilled fish dinners this summer and beyond.
Grilled Salt-Rubbed Fish Sandwich
For casual, seaside-style dining at home, look to the fish sandwich. Here, we pair meaty mahi-mahi fillets with a classic homemade tartar sauce. Then, we layer in ripe tomato slices and crisp lettuce leaves before sandwiching in a soft hoagie roll. It's equally delicious with other firm white fish like grouper or striped-bass, so don't feel tied to mahi-mahi. In fact, we suggest selecting what is freshest at the market that day.
Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Orange Glaze
Here's a smart seafood grilling technique that doesn't take much effort: Double skewering shrimp makes it easier to flip them and ensures you don't lose any of this smaller seafood to the gaps between the grates. For shrimp with perspective, we coated these tail-on beauties in a tangy orange juice glaze spiced with pickled jalapeño and served them over crispy grilled bread.
Grilled Whole Fish with Lemon and Thyme
Grill seafood for a crowd fast by putting the whole fish on the grates rather than individual fillets. These lemon and thyme-stuffed fish present beautifully on a platter and are the perfect canvas for fresh summer sauces like pico de gallo, herby chimichurri, and pesto.
Crisp Grilled Salmon with Fennel-Olive Relish
This foolproof no-flip method for cooking salmon proves that sometimes it's easier to cook for a crowd. For simple on- and off-boarding of the fillet, purchase a fillet with the skin intact—it holds the fish together and acts like a barrier between the grill and flesh, so it stays nice and tender.
Grilled Halibut Steaks with Potatoes, Olives, and Onions
Grilled Snapper Sandwich with Pickled Vegetables
Hot off the grill and on the table in less than 30 minutes, this fish sandwich is made with red snapper, a firm saltwater fish with a pleasant, mild flavor. Paired with creamy sriracha mayonnaise and crunchy quick pickled vegetables, this sandwich hits all the right flavor notes and textures.
Grilled Salmon with Rye Panzanella
This restaurant-worthy dish focuses on keeping the salmon skin crispy and edible so you can enjoy it as a textural contrast to the overall dish. While the fish grills, throw the rye bread on the grates, then toss the toasted bread with fennel, cucumber, and a tart dressing as the perfect side to this buttery fish.
Grilled Salmon Sandwiches with Herbed Mayonnaise
Wild salmon fillets tend to be smaller and thinner than ocean-farmed salmon, making them the perfect size to sandwich between a bun. Rub the salmon fillets with a smoky paprika and brown sugar mixture before grilling, then slather herbed mayo atop for a creamy, cooling element that makes each bite irresistible.
Spicy Shrimp Fajitas with Grilled Pineapple Pico
Fajitas are all about high heat, fast cooking, so get the grill nice and hot before adding these adobe-spiced shrimp. Grill the pineapple and onion just enough to char but not so long as to take away from their freshness—they should still have some give in the middle.
Inspired by the classic Niçoise salad, which is typically made with tuna, this spin puts salmon to work on the grill—you'll know the fish is done when the flesh is just tender enough to flake with a fork. Remove the fish from the grill and continue to break into bite-sized pieces with a fork, then toss with boiled eggs and potatoes, fresh snap peas, and peppery watercress.
Grilled Shrimp "Boil"
Perfect for casual outdoor dining, transformed a low-country classic, a shrimp boil, into a grill out dish, bringing out new flavor elements with a bit of char and the same Old Bay Seasoning you know and love. Spread the shrimp, potato, and corn across the center of the table and let everyone add as much of the garlicky butter as they like.
Grilled Fish Tacos
For taco Tuesday (or any day of the week) try these fast and absolutely irresistible grilled fish tacos. Meaty and flaky halibut is stuffed into tortillas with crunchy vegetables and tangy strained yogurt. You can also make the fish a canvas for your favorite taco toppings like salsa, pico de gallo, and guacamole.
Grilled Tilapia with Cherry Salsa
Pair this sweet and mild freshwater fish with an assertive salsa made with summer ripe cherries. These thin fillets cook up fast—they require only two minutes per side—so make sure you have the salsa ready to go before the fish hits the grill.
Grilled Striped Bass
One thing that makes fresh fish such a great dinner option is that you don't need to fuss with it to create a flavorful meal. A simple marinade of thyme, oregano, lemon, and garlic infuses striped bass with flavor in these perfectly grilled fillets that pair with just about any summer side.