Southwestern Grilled Salmon Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Kid Friendly30 Minute MealsGluten Free
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
Calories
338

Southwestern Grilled Salmon Tacos served on lettuce wraps then topped with fresh pineapple salsa, avocado and a Chipotle Lime Crema! This healthy salmon taco recipe is done in 30 minutes and bursting with light, fresh vibrant flavors.

If you like grilled salmon be sure to make my Chili Lime Grilled Salmon with Mango Avocado Salsa or my Grilled Salmon Burgers.

grilled salmon on lettuce with pineapple salsa

Why you’ll love this Grilled Salmon Tacos Recipe

I’m pretty sure that Taco Tuesday needs to be every day of the week! Wouldn’t you agree?

It’s easy, usually only minimal ingredients and down right tasty every time. Honestly! You really can’t mess up tacos. Don’t like the flavor? Just add a little salsa, bbq sauce, lime juice, avocado, or fresh fruit! The possibilities are endless!

If I had to pick, I would say that my two favorite tacos are Baja Fish Tacos or Steak! No offense chicken..

Steak because … well it’s steak! And ever since I had those Grilled Steak Street Tacos filled with tender Filet Mignon I will forever be changed!

Fish tacos are something entirely different though. For a while Mike and I were on a mission to find the best fish tacos in the area. But honestly, I don’t think they’re in Texas… California maybe .. I’ve had some good ones in Hawaii too. But Texas has to step up it’s fish taco game. Unless you’re at my house and have these babies, then the fish taco game is on point!

step by step photos of how to make blackened grilled salmon

What you’ll need for this Recipe:

Like any good taco, there has to be a couple of components that combine together into a beautiful masterpiece of flavor. This Grilled Salmon Taco is no different. You’ll need ingredients for the blackened salmon, the pineapple salsa and the chipotle crema. Don’t be overwhelmed by the list, most of this stuff you probably already have in your pantry. Here’s what you’ll need:

Southwestern Grilled Salmon:

  • Salmon – Get the large filet, not the individual pre-portioned filets.
  • Spices – You’ll use a mixture of garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika and ancho chili powder for this blackening spice rub.
  • Avocado Oil – Mix with the spices, this will give you a nice crust on top of the salmon as it sears on the grill.

Pineapple Salsa: 

  • Pineapple – Fresh is best! Cut into small even cubes.
  • Red pepper – Adds color and a nice crunch to our salsa that pairs well with the pineapple.
  • Red onion – Every salsa needs onion. I opt for Red onion because it is milder is flavor.
  • Cilantro – Use fresh cilantro and be sure to finely chop it so you get a little bit of cilantro in every bite.
  • Jalapeno – I use 1 tablespoon in this, but if you like it spicy you can add more. Just make sure it is finely diced.
  • Lime Juice – Use fresh squeezed, you’ll need 1-2 tablespoons worth.
  • Salt – A staple for seasoning.

Chipotle Crema:

  • Greek Yogurt – Use plain yogurt.
  • Chipotle pepper (in adobe sauce) – Find this in the latin or international aisle. You can buy them already minced or in whole form. I usually buy the minced because it just means less chopping for me. 
  • Smoked Paprika – This spice a little smokiness to the crema.
  • Lime – The fresh lime juice cuts through the fat of the yogurt and brightens the crema right up.

grilled salmon on a lettuce wrap taco

How to make Grilled Salmon Tacos

This Salmon Tacos recipe takes me about 30 minutes to make from start to finish. It will take some multi-tasking, but if you follow these easy steps you’ll be eating in no time.

  1. Heat Grill: First things first, get that grill started so when it comes time to use it you’re ready to go. Heat grill to high heat, between 400°-450°F. 
  2. Make Chipotle Crema: To a food process, add greek yogurt, chipotle pepper, 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Mix Pineapple Salsa: To a small bowl add diced pineapple, red pepper, red onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, and a pinch of salt. Gently toss to incorporate all the ingredients. Set aside.
  4. Prep Salmon: Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel.
  5. Spice Rub Time: In a small bowl add garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, cumin, acho chili powder, sea salt, ground pepper and avocado oil. Stir together. 
  6. Season Salmon: Gently rub spice blend into one side of the salmon. 
  7. Grill: Place the salmon on the grill seasoned side up. Grill for 6-8 minutes, or until the salmon releases from the grill. Flip and cook the salmon another 2 minutes. Remove from the grill and gently fork the salmon apart into chunks.
  8. Assemble Tacos: Serve the salmon on a lettuce cup, topped with pineapple salsa, avocado slices, and the Chipotle Crema.

salmon tacos with pineapple salsa on a plate

Tips & Tricks for the Best Salmon Tacos

The key to this recipe is the salmon. Anyone can make a good salsa, but perfecting the flavor and the crust on salmon. Now that takes some talent. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned over the years.

  • Buy Fresh Salmon. Next day salmon is not good. If you’re going to cook salmon, buy it that day. Go to the seafood counter and pick out the piece you’d like. Give it a smell. I know it’s weird, but your fish should not smell like fish. It should smell like the ocean. If it smells like fish, then give it back.
  • Pat Dry. To ensure that seasoning actually stick to the protein you’re cooking, pat them dry with a paper towel. Then add the seasoning on. This will guarantee your seasoning stays on and permeates every bite you take.
  • Searing hot grill. Fish does best on a HOT grill, between 400°-450°F. Spray your grill grates with cooking spray or rub them down with olive oil. As soon as the fish hits the grill it will seize up. You want that, it’s what gives you the crust.
  • No Fish Masacre. The trick to not creating a fish masacre on your grill is leaving the fish alone!! I repeat don’t touch it! If you want to know all my tips & tricks on grilling salmon go here. Fish, along with other proteins, naturally release themselves from the grill when they are done. Translation, if you’re fish is sticking … it’s not done cooking yet! Let it cook for another minute or two and try again. I promise you’ll end up with a better result!

closeup of grilled salmon taco in a lettuce wrap

What goes with Salmon Tacos?

hand grabbing a blackened salmon taco with pineapple salsa

Print
close up of blackened salmon taco with pineapple salsa

Southwestern Grilled Salmon Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 10 mins
  • cook_time Cook Time: 10 mins
  • total_time Total Time: 20 mins
  • yield Yield: 10-12 1x
  • category Category: Gluten Free, Seafood, Grilling, Easy Healthy Recipes

Description

Southwestern Grilled Salmon Tacos served on lettuce wraps then topped with fresh pineapple salsa, avocado and a Chipotle Lime Crema! This healthy salmon taco recipe is done in 30 minutes and bursting with light, fresh vibrant flavors.

Scale

Ingredients

Southwestern Grilled Salmon:

  • 1.5 lbs. salmon, skin removed
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon acho chili powder

Pineapple Salsa:

  • 2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeno
  • juice of 1 lime
  • pinch of salt

Chipotle Crema:

  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 medium chipotle pepper (in adobe sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • juice of 1 lime
  • pinch of salt

Tacos:

  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 1012 lettuce cups (boston lettuce, bibb lettuce, or butter lettuce)

Instructions

  1. Heat Grill: First things first, get that grill started so when it comes time to use it you’re ready to go. Heat grill to high heat, between 400°-450°F.
  2. Make Chipotle Crema: To a food process, add greek yogurt, chipotle pepper, 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Mix Pineapple Salsa: To a small bowl add diced pineapple, red pepper, red onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, and a pinch of salt. Gently toss to incorporate all the ingredients. Set aside.
  4. Prep Salmon: Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel.
  5. Spice Rub Time: In a small bowl add garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, cumin, acho chili powder, sea salt, ground pepper and avocado oil. Stir together.
  6. Season Salmon: Gently rub spice blend into one side of the salmon.
  7. Grill: Place the salmon on the grill seasoned side up. Grill for 6-8 minutes, or until the salmon releases from the grill. Flip and cook the salmon another 2 minutes. Remove from the grill and gently fork the salmon apart into chunks.
  8. Assemble Tacos: Serve the salmon on a lettuce cup, topped with pineapple salsa, avocado slices, and the Chipotle Crema.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tacos
  • Calories: 338
  • Sugar: 18 g
  • Sodium: 994 mg
  • Fat: 15 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Protein: 27 g
  • Cholesterol: 27 mg

pinterest image for grilled salmon tacos with pineapple salsa

pinterest image for grilled salmon tacos with pineapple salsa

pinterest image for grilled salmon tacos with pineapple salsa

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Hey There

Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football!

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18 Responses
  1. Megan {Country Cleaver}

    I am going on vacation next weekend and need some super healthy dinners for this week – looks like this is on deck!!

  2. Renee - Kudos Kitchen

    I love everything about your recipe. The flakiness and seasoning of the fish, the ingredients you’ve used in the salsa, the creamy avocado, and then serving it in a lettuce wrap. Just perfect, and you’re making me SO hungry!!!

  3. Heather Kinnaird

    fish taco are hands down my all time favorite. the last time we were in san diego I had them every night for a week. SO good! and I love your crispy salmon version. definitely giving these a try soon

    1. Krista

      haha.. I would too! San Diego has some awesome fish tacos! You’ll for sure fall in love with these if you’re a fish taco fan Heather! 🙂

  4. Julie | Small Green Kitchen

    I agree, Krista; Taco Tuesday should be every day of the week!

    That salmon looks incredible, as do the tacos. These are happening at my house soon!

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