Grilled fish is one of the summer’s flavors that we can’t get enough of. Whether you’ve caught some wild salmon or are capitalizing on that deal on tuna at Kroger, we’ve got some recipes that are perfect for the summer nights grilling in the backyard. Check out these ideas so you can step up your seafood-grilling game.Jump to Recipe
Tips for Grilled Fish
Fish and seafood are delicate and can easily dry out if overcooked. Using a brine will help your fish and seafood stay moist and flavorful. This is especially critical if you’re cooking fish on the grill since the high temperature and dry heat can really dry out a piece of fish. If you’re really looking the cook a fish flawlessly, try using an instant temperature reader to perfect your dish.
When you grill fish, especially milder fish, it’s really time for fresh herbs and seasonings to shine. Garlic butter can give grilled fish a depth of flavor that is unmatched, or a coating of olive oil can keep the fish from drying out.
If you’re feeling bold, try a whole grilled fish instead of fish fillets. In many countries, this is how fish is served if you order it in a restaurant. Complete with bones and skin, a whole fish has more flavor and stays juicier and moister than the usual fillets and steaks. Check out this grilled whole fish recipe for some expert advice from James Beard, renowned author, educator, and chef.
Speaking of eating fish whole, fish is the perfect camping food (especially if you catch the fish yourself)! You can easily cook it over a campfire wrapped in aluminum foil. Just don’t forget to raid the pantry before your trip for plenty of seasoning!
Our Go-To Grilled Fish Recipes: White Fish
Halibut is a white and mild fish, so be careful when cooking. It can easily burn on the grill. Halibut is best when cooked to a low internal temperature. It will readily flake at only 118 degrees, the equivalent of a rare steak. Also, before grilling, brush a super-fine layer of mayonnaise on both sides of the fish to keep it from sticking to the grill. Halibut can be paired with a lemon-basil vinaigrette or a lemon butter sauce. Ginger is also a great complement to this white fish. Brush lemon juice over halibut fillets, then sprinkle with minced ginger, salt, and pepper. Place fish on an oiled grill rack, skin side down. Grill, covered, over medium heat until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork, 6-8 minutes.
Pineapple Honey Bourbon Grilled Catfish
Catfish is another great fish to use in fish tacos, with its mild flavors pairing well with spicier toppings and condiments. Try grilled catfish with a sweet pineapple honey marinade, and you’ll have a new savory-sweet recipe for weekend entertaining. Serve it with southern sides like grilled corn and fried green tomatoes.
Grilled Blackened Sea Bass
One of the most common fish you’ll find in the New England area is sea bass. While there is a “blackened seasoning,” But “blackening” is actually the method of cooking. Blackening a piece of fish means you dip it in butter, season it, then sear over high heat, typically a cast iron skillet, giving it a telltale dark crust. But for our purposes, you can grill the fish instead. Blackening seasoning typically has paprika, garlic, salt, black pepper, onion powder, basil, oregano, and thyme (or any combination of these).
Spicy Grilled Tilapia with Aioli
Tilapia is my favorite white fish. But add some spice and a good, spicy condiment? I’ll never go back to plain, boring fish ever again. Before popping your filets on the grill, sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder. Grill with the grate 4-5 inches from the flame, and cook 4-5 minutes per 1/2 inch measured at the thickest point. Serve with a homemade aioli made from mayonnaise, fresh garlic, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and dried tarragon. If you’re not into spicy foods, try grilled tilapia piccata instead. It has bold flavors like lemon, capers, and garlic to complement the mild fish.
Grilled Branzino with Cilantro-Mint Relish
Branzino is a kind of European bass native to Europe’s western and southern and Africa’s northern coasts. Although, you can find branzino in the eastern Atlantic Ocean from Norway to Senegal and the Black Sea. You can also substitute the branzino for a small red snapper. For the cilantro-mint relish, mix 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup lime juice, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 cup chopped mint, 1 chopped chile, and 1/3 cup vegetable oil in a medium bowl. Season the inside of the whole fish with salt, then stuff with sprigs of mint lime slices and 1 chopped chile. Tie with kitchen twine and grill fish for about 5 minutes per side. The skin should be crisp, and the flesh should be flaky all the way through. Serve with the relish.
More of Our Favorite Grilled Fish Recipes
Grilled Mediterranean Swordfish
Swordfish is a mild-tasting white fish with a meaty and firm texture. It’s found in Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean waters. Its protein-rich and a great source of B12, zinc, and Omega 3. For grilled swordfish, treat it as you would cook a rare steak, using high heat to sear on one side for about 5 to 6 minutes, then turning the fish over to cook for another 3 minutes or so for a 1-inch steak. For a Mediterranean marinade, use 10 garlic cloves, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp coriander, 3/4 tsp cumin, 3/4 tsp sweet paprika, a dash of kosher salt, and black pepper.
Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa
- 4 6 oz filets salmon
- 3 Tbsp olive oil plus more for grill
- 2 tsp lime zest
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large mango peeled and diced
- 1/2 large bell pepper peeled and chopped, should be 3/4 cup
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion,
- 1 large avocado peeled and diced
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp coconut water
- salt and pepper to taste
- In an 11×7-inch baking dish, whisk together olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Place salmon in the baking dish, cover, and marinate in refrigerator 15 – 30 minutes. Flip salmon and allow to marinate 15 – 30 minutes longer. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat in the last 10 minutes of marinating.
- Brush grill grates with oil. Place salmon on grill and grill about 3 minutes per side or until just cooked through.
Avocado mango salsa
- In a bowl, toss together mango, bell pepper, cilantro, red onion, avocado, lime juice, olive oil and coconut water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve salmon warm with with avocado mango salsa. Serve with coconut rice for a full meal!
Grilled Mahi Mahi With Mojo
Mojo is an umbrella name for lots of sauces, varying in spiciness, consisting primarily of olive oil, local pepper varieties, garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, and other spices. Guy Fieri has an excellent recipe for mojo mahi-mahi with toasted quinoa! His marinade includes lime juice and zest, orange juice and zest, olive oil, oregano, shallots, cumin, capers, garlic, cilantro, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. After marinating for 20-25 minutes, grill the fish for 4 minutes per side.
Teriyaki Grilled Salmon
A simple soy sauce and brown sugar marinade with sesame seeds is the perfect sweet-and-salty complement to rich, grilled salmon fillets. I like to pair mine with crispy garlic Brussels sprouts.
Tuna is a more flavorful fish often eaten rare. Since tuna steaks tend to dry out easily on the grill, err on the side of less time spent on the heat. When making grilled tuna fish steaks, try a flavorful marinade with a mixture of orange juice, soy sauce, and garlic cloves.
Tuna Teriyaki Kebabs
Kebabs are perfect when you’re looking for a light summer meal–that way, you can save room for dessert. For the kebobs, take 1-1/2 lbs of tuna steaks and cut them into 1-inch chunks. Place tuna chunks on skewers. On separate skewers, alternate between sweet onion and red bell peppers. Marinate everything in a teriyaki sauce for at least 30 minutes. Grill the kabobs (covered) on a greased grill rack over medium heat. Grill the tuna (2-3 minutes per side if you want medium-rare) and the vegetables until crisp-tender (10-12 minutes), turning them occasionally.
Baja Lime Shrimp Tacos
As a beach native, this is one of my favorite restaurant orders from the Mexican fusion restaurant by my house. But making it at home? Even better. The crunchy cabbage, tangy sauce, savory grilled shrimp, and creamy avocado make this a crowd-pleaser meal that’s easy to make.
Grilled Steak With Herby Fish Sauce
Why baste your steak with fish sauce? It’s called umami, and you should definitely get into it. Rub porterhouse steaks with 1/4 cup oil; season with salt and sprinkle with pepper (it should nearly cover both sides). Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Mix garlic, fish sauce, marjoram, rosemary, and/or thyme, and remaining 1/4 cup oil in a small bowl.
Prepare a grill for medium-high indirect heat. Grill steaks over direct heat until nicely charred, about 2 minutes per side. Move steaks over indirect heat and continue grilling, basting with fish sauce mixture, until brown all over, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 20 minutes before slicing against the grain.
Grilled Shrimp and Scallop Kabobs
For a quick and healthy dinner, fire up the grill and look no further than shrimp and scallop kabobs! With a zesty lemon juice, thyme, and salt and pepper marinade, these seafood kabobs have a robust flavor and are ready in 25 minutes. Thread scallops, shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini alternately on each of four 10-inch metal skewers. Brush with lemon juice mixture. Remember to leave a little bit of space on your kabob for even cooking!
Let’s Get Grilling
What are your favorite ways to grill fish? Share your favorite recipes with your people on FamilyApp! Whether you just got back from the fishing trip or you found a great deal on snapper, the possibilities for tasty seafood recipes are endless! So light up the grill and get ready for a tasty dinner that will become a summer favorite.