Grilled Salmon With Lemon Caper Sauce

Salmon and capers
Juanmonino/Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Marinate: 10 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
435 Calories
30g Fat
1g Carbs
38g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 435
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 39%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 122mg 41%
Sodium 279mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 38g
Vitamin C 8mg 42%
Calcium 36mg 3%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 673mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This grilled salmon with lemon caper sauce sounds like fancy adult food, but it's actually quite appropriate for kids as well so it also lends itself for a family dinner. 

This is a very versatile recipe: you can grill the salmon on an outdoor grill, in a grill pan on the stove, or in an indoor electric grill.

Let the salmon marinate in the fridge for 10 minutes in a combination of lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper. You can leave it in the marinade a few minutes longer, which will intensify the flavor. However, try not to cut the 10 minutes short to allow the salmon fillets to fully absorb the flavors.

While you wait, preheat the grill. Make sure that your grate is clean. If needed, give it a quick cleaning before greasing the grate with 1 or 2 teaspoons. A well-greased grate prevents the fish from sticking.

The cooking time depends on the type of grill you are using and the thickness of the salmon fillets. When the salmon nears the finish line, it releases a white, gelatinous-looking substance. This is a protein called albumin; it comes to the surface as the fish reaches a temperature between 140 and 150 F. This is part of the cooking process and nothing to worry about.

At this point, check for flakiness or use an instant red thermometer, which should reach 145 F.

While the fish is on the grill, simmer the sauce to reduce it. After that, all you need to do is stir in some butter and capers. Go easy on the salt, as the capers are already salty from the brine.

If you are making this dish as a family dinner and your kids do not like capers, you can leave them out and simply turn this into a plain lemon sauce. To perk up the lemon flavor, you can also add a pinch of grated lemon zest to the sauce. Or, you can use limes instead of lemons.

The lemon caper sauce also lends itself to be served with other types of fish fillets, preferably white fish such as tilapia, cod, or whitefish. As white fish has a milder taste than salmon, the taste of the lemon caper sauce will be more pronounced.

If you have leftovers, store them in the fridge in a tight-fitting container for up to three days.

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"A fool-proof method for preparing salmon on the grill. The lemony marinade soaks into the fish and adds a ton of bright flavor. The buttery lemon sauce takes just a minute or two on the stove. The flavor is bright yet rich, with briny capers adding complexity. Any side dish will work as an accompaniment." —Danielle Centoni

Grilled Salmon With Lemon Caper Sauce Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup lemon juice, from 3 lemons, divided

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, pin bones removed

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

Steps to Make It

  • Gather the ingredients.

  • Whisk 1/4 cup lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, and a dash of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add salmon fillets, turning to coat. Refrigerate salmon for 10 minutes.

  • Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Brush and oil grill grates. Grill salmon about 4 minutes a side, depending on thickness of salmon and type of grill.

  • Heat remaining 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer 5 to 7 minutes until it becomes more opaque and reduces to 1/3 cup. Remove from heat and add butter and a pinch of salt. When butter is melted, stir in capers. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

  • Divide salmon among four plates. Serve with a drizzle of lemon caper sauce over each salmon fillet.

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