This easy Grilled Salmon Salad will be the first dish to disappear at any barbecue! Smoky blackened salmon mingles with crunchy lettuce, juicy corn, sweet red peppers, creamy avocado, fresh pineapple salsa, and tangy cilantro lime dressing.
Looking for more vibrant salads to try out? Some of our go-to recipes include this BBQ chicken salad, my grilled fajita steak salad with chimichurri, or this avocado strawberry spinach salad with grilled chicken.
Table of Contents
- Your New Favorite Salmon Salad
- Why You’ll Love This Grilled Salmon Salad
- What You’ll Need
- How to Make Blackened Grilled Salmon Salad
- Tips for Success
- Substitutions & Recipe Variations
- Serving Suggestions
- How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Can I Freeze This Pineapple Salmon?
- More Healthy Salmon Recipes
- Get the Recipe
Your New Favorite Salmon Salad
I could sit here and daydream about moist, flaky salmon with crispy, smoky skin all day. Or I could whip up this grilled salmon salad and bring my dream to life! Once that drool-worthy salmon joins forces with the fresh vegetables, the sweet pineapple salsa, and the herby cilantro lime dressing, it becomes completely irresistible.
The best part? It all comes together in just 30 minutes! You can serve it as a side dish to feed a crowd or enjoy it all yourself for lunch or dinner.
This vibrant salad honestly has it all. It’s not only quick, easy, and full of flavor – it’s highly nutritious too! It contains a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals as well as plenty of fiber and protein.
Why You’ll Love This Grilled Salmon Salad
This grilled pineapple salmon salad recipe is a family favorite! Here’s why we make it all the time:
- Super flaky. This smoky grilled salmon comes out so tender and moist – every bite is flaky perfection!
- Bursting with flavor. Between the sweet and tangy cilantro lime dressing and the smoky and spicy seasoning for the salmon, this meal is packed with all kinds of bold flavors!
- Quick and simple. Because you can make this salmon salad in just 30 minutes, it’s the perfect light lunch, dinner, or side dish for those of you who don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen.
What You’ll Need
You do need quite a few ingredients to make this grilled salmon salad, but once you have it all ready to go, the rest is a cakewalk! Scroll down to the recipe card for the exact amounts we’ll be using, plus the full set of directions.
For the Blackened Salmon
- Salmon Filets – Wild-caught salmon is best for this recipe.
- Garlic Powder – Garlic salt can be used instead if you like – just omit the extra sea salt!
- Sea Salt – Regular old table salt will work just fine, too.
- Smoked Paprika – This enhances the smoky flavor produced during the blackening process.
- Chipotle Chili Powder – For a kick of heat.
- Ground Cumin – To add an earthy warmth and depth of flavor.
- Ground Cinnamon – I love the subtle sweetness that a dash of cinnamon provides.
For the Pineapple Salsa
- Fresh Pineapple – Diced into chunks of your desired size.
- Diced Red Pepper – You can use yellow, orange, or green peppers instead if you like.
- Diced Red Onion – For added crunch and a hint of zestiness.
- Fresh Diced Cilantro – I love the citrusy notes that fresh cilantro adds to this salad!
- Lime Juice – Freshly squeezed lime juice provides the best, boldest flavor!
- Pinch of Salt – Feel free to use kosher salt, sea salt, table salt, etc.
For the Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Red Onion – White or yellow onion can be substituted if need be.
- Garlic Clove – Freshly minced garlic is the way to go.
- Fresh Cilantro – You can use both the stems and the leaves if you like since everything will be blended together.
- Olive Oil – Canola oil and vegetable oil both work well here, too.
- Fresh Lime Juice – Again, fresh is best!
- Red Wine Vinegar – To supplement the tang of the lime juice.
- Honey – I prefer to use raw and unfiltered honey.
- Dijon Mustard – For a hint of spiciness.
- Seasoning – I like to use a mix of sea salt, ground cumin, and smoked paprika!
For the Salad
- Green Leaf Lettuce – Roughly chop this before you assemble the salad.
- Peppers – I like to use both red and yellow peppers.
- Corn – Leave the ears intact for now.
- Avocado – Cut this into thin slices.
How to Make Blackened Grilled Salmon Salad
Craving this dish on a winter day when outdoor grilling isn’t possible? Grab your trusty stovetop grill pan and make it happen.
- Preheat the grill. Preheat your grill to high heat, between 400-450°F.
- Make the spice rub. Add the garlic powder, sea salt, smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon to a small bowl. Stir to mix everything together.
- Season the salmon. Pat your salmon dry and rub the spice mixture onto it evenly. Set the seasoned fish aside.
- Make the salsa. Add the prepared pineapple, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt to a medium-sized bowl. Toss until everything is combined, then set the salsa aside.
- Make the dressing. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a food processor or blender, then blend until the mixture is smooth. Set the dressing aside.
- Grill the corn, peppers, and salmon. Add the corn, peppers, and salmon to your preheated grill. Grill the peppers and corn for 3-4 minutes per side, or until they’re slightly charred. Cook the salmon skin-side down for 6-8 minutes, then flip it over and grill the flesh side for 1-2 minutes. Remove everything from the grill when it finishes cooking. Cut the corn off the cob and slice the peppers.
- Assemble the salad. Add the lettuce, salmon, peppers, corn, avocado, and pineapple salsa to 4 small bowls (or one large bowl). Drizzle the dressing on top of the salad and serve it immediately.
Tips for Success
Be sure to take a look at these helpful tips and suggestions. They’ll lead you all the way to salmon salad perfection!
- Don’t use farmed fish. Wild-caught salmon is known to be leaner and tastier than farmed salmon. But that’s not the main reason why I prefer wild-caught fish – since farm-raised fish live in a crowded environment, they’re far more likely to be exposed to contaminants.
- Fresh ingredients are key. From the pineapple to the corn to the cilantro, fresh ingredients are what make this salad so delightful. Canned produce and other non-fresh alternatives will only hold you back.
- Don’t forget to pat the salmon dry. It’s important to pat your salmon dry with a paper or cloth towel before you season it. This helps the exterior get nice and crispy on the grill.
- Use tongs while grilling. I always recommend using tongs to keep your hands and fingers safe throughout the grilling process. It’s hard to enjoy a meal while you’re nursing a fresh burn.
Substitutions & Recipe Variations
It’s so easy to switch up the ingredients in a salad. This recipe in particular leaves a lot of room for creativity!
- Switch up the fruit. Sometimes I use mango instead of pineapple for the salsa!
- Throw in some cheese. A little feta cheese would work very well in this salad.
- Change up the dressing. Cilantro avocado dressing, for example, is a great substitute for cilantro lime dressing.
- Swap out the lettuce. Another leafy green like kale or arugula would work as well.
- Add your favorite nuts or seeds. Almonds, sunflower seeds, pecans, and walnuts are all great options.
- Choose a new protein. You can substitute the salmon for chicken, for example, if you prefer.
Need something else to complement this hearty fish salad? Allow me to entertain you with these tempting ideas.
- Serve with grilled shrimp. If you’d like to stick with the seafood theme, honey sriracha grilled shrimp is the way to go. The combination of sweet and spicy is to die for!
- Pair with grilled sweet potatoes. Whenever I enjoy this salad as a main course, I whip up some grilled sweet potatoes to go with it. They’re served with a zesty chipotle honey butter that you’ll want to eat with a spoon.
- Make grilled pineapple for dessert. Warm grilled pineapple slices with cold vanilla ice cream on top? Sign me up! I couldn’t imagine a better way to follow up this salmon salad.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
If you end up with extra grilled salmon salad, save it for another meal! Here’s the best way to do that:
- To store. Leftover salmon salad should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge (after it has cooled). It will last for up to 3 days if you store it properly.
- To reheat. In order for the salmon to stay nice and moist, I recommend reheating it in a 275°F oven for 15-20 minutes.
Can I Freeze This Pineapple Salmon?
I actually advise against freezing this salad – it simply won’t be the same after it thaws. You can, however, freeze the salmon by itself. Wrap the cooled fish in a tight layer of plastic wrap and freeze it in an airtight container or storage bag.
Store your salmon in the coldest part of your freezer (usually the back) if possible. Enjoy it within 4 months, thawing it out in the fridge before you reheat it. Be sure to reheat it and eat it within 24 hours of thawing it.
More Healthy Salmon Recipes
Honor your love of salmon by whipping up one of the following dishes next. In any case, you’ll be glad you did!
- Honey Glazed Salmon
- Cedar Plank Salmon
- Southwestern Grilled Salmon Tacos
- Sheet Pan Balsamic Salmon with Asparagus & Brussels Sprouts
- Pan-Seared Salmon with Sage Brown Butter Sauce
Grilled Salmon Salad is made with smoky blackened salmon, crisp lettuce, tender corn, crunchy red peppers, creamy avocado, fresh pineapple salsa, and tangy cilantro lime dressing. Yum!
For the Blackened Salmon
- 1 pound of salmon filets
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Pineapple Salsa
- 1 1/2 cup diced pineapple
- 1/3 cup diced red pepper
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, diced
- juice of 1 lime
- pinch of salt
For the Cilantro Lime Dressing
- 1 tablespoon red onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
For the Salad
- 8 cups of green leaf lettuce, roughly chopped
- 1 whole red pepper
- 1 whole yellow pepper
- 2 ears of corn
- 1 large avocado, sliced
- Preheat grill to high heat, between 400-450°F.
- In a small bowl add garlic powder, sea salt, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, ground cumin, and ground cinnamon. Stir to mix.
- Pat salmon dry and rub spice mixture into the salmon. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add pineapple, red onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine and set aside.
- To a food processor or blender add red onion, garlic, cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, salt, cumin and smoked paprika to taste. Blend until smooth! Set aside.
- Add corn, whole peppers, and salmon to the grill. Grill peppers for 3-4 minutes per side until slightly charred. Grill corn for 3-4 minutes per side until slightly charred. Grill salmon skin side down first for 6-8 minutes, flip and grill flesh side for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove everything from the grill. Cut the corn off the cob and slice the peppers.
- To a large bowl or 4 small bowls add lettuce, salmon, peppers, corn, avocado, pineapple salsa, and top with dressing. Serve
- Yield: Makes 4-6 small salads or 1 large salad.
- To Store & Reheat: Refrigerate cooled leftovers for up to 3 days. In order for the salmon to stay moist, I recommend reheating it in a 275°F oven for 15-20 minutes.
- To Freeze: I advise against freezing this salad – but you can freeze the salmon by itself if you’d like. Wrap it in a tight layer of plastic wrap and freeze it in an airtight container for up to 4 months, thawing it out in the fridge before reheating. Be sure to reheat it and eat it within 24 hours of thawing it.
- Serving Size: 1 small salad
- Calories: 497
- Sugar: 14 g
- Sodium: 866 mg
- Fat: 25 g
- Carbohydrates: 47 g
- Fiber: 8 g
- Protein: 28 g
- Cholesterol: 29 mg
Keywords: grilled salmon salad, pineapple salmon