Easy Sweet & Spicy Grilled Salmon

Grilled Salmon
Getty Images // Fullerene
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
135 Calories
5g Fat
13g Carbs
11g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 28mg 9%
Sodium 192mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Protein 11g
Calcium 37mg 3%
*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 salmon recipe has been my family's go-to grilled salmon recipe for the last decade. Whenever we host guests for dinner or a picnic over the summer, we fire up the grill and get the dry rub prepared. 

This naturally gluten-free salmon recipe is something special, both sweet and spicy with a caramelized touch from when the brown sugar meets the heat of the grill. 

The dry rub consists of brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt, pepper, and orange rind grated with a zester (one of my favorite kitchen tools). The dry rub is sprinkled over four salmon fillets, about 4-6 ounces each, then topped off with juice squeezed from an orange.

For this grilled recipe, you want salmon fillets with the skin still on the fillet, which helps hold the salmon together as it cooks on the grill. 

Grilling this salmon is easy and hands off. Heat the grill to medium-high and brush the grates with olive oil. Once the grill is hot, arrange the fillets skin-side-down on the grill. Cover. Cook. That's it. 

Salmon fillets 1" thick cook in about 8-10 minutes. For each additional inch of thickness, cook for an additional 8-10 minutes. The salmon is done when the flesh flakes easily. 

Remove the salmon from the grill by inserting a spatula between the salmon flesh and the skin, removing just the salmon and leaving the skin on the grill.

Serve immediately with your favorite gluten-free summer side dishes and a patio perfect cold cocktail.


  • 4 4-6 oz. salmon fillets (skin on)
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated orange rind
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil (or canola oil, for brushing on the grill)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, spices, salt and pepper, and grated orange rind. Mix until well combined. 

  2. Rinse the salmon fillets and pat dry. Arrange the fillets skin-side-down on a baking sheet or a large dish. Divide the brown sugar-spice mixture amongst the four fillets, sprinkling the mixture evenly over top each. 

  3. Squeeze juice from one orange over the salmon fillets. Set aside to marinate while the grill is pre-heating. 

  4. Heat the grill over medium-high heat. Brush the grill grates with vegetable or canola oil. When grill is hot, place the fillets skin-side-down on the grill grates.

  5. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes for one inch fillets. If fillets are thicker than one inch, cook for additional 8 minutes, or until salmon flesh easily flakes apart. 

  6. With a spatula, remove just the cooked salmon portion from the grill, leaving the skin on the grill or removing the skin and setting it aside once salmon is placed on a clean dish. 

  7. Serve salmon immediately. 

Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels - not all brands are created equal. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.