Jump to RecipeJump to VideoLeave a ReviewPin Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

This quick and easy grilled salmon marinade is a flavorful and healthy way to enjoy a seafood dinner — with just 5 minutes of prep! The simple, classic combination of lemon, garlic, herbs, and olive oil highlights the natural flavor of the fish, keeps the inside buttery and moist, and achieves a beautiful char on the outside.

Overhead image of a piece of grilled salmon that's been flavored with the most delicious salmon marinade.

If you’re looking for the best salmon recipes, try this 4-ingredient maple honey baked salmon, a pan of roasted Old Bay salmon, and this bourbon-glazed salmon, too!

How to Make a Salmon Marinade | 1-Minute Video

Best marinade for salmon!!!! Delicious. Would also be good as a dressing! Thanks.

– Nayda
Horizontal side shot of a plate of grilled salmon with salad and rice on the side.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Quick and Easy. It takes about 5 minutes to whisk together the ingredients, then your job is practically done. Let the salmon soak in the marinade and cook it on the grill for a total of about 8-10 minutes. It’s simple, healthy, and totally satisfying!
  • Fresh Flavor. This easy salmon marinade for grilling is a great way to add tons of flavor to your fish! You’ll love the fresh Mediterranean-inspired combination of lemon, garlic, and herbs. These ingredients highlight the natural flavor of the fish without overpowering the dish.
  • Healthy. While other salmon marinade recipes include heavy ingredients like a lot of sugar and soy sauce, this light, fresh option is brightened up with fresh herbs and fresh lemon juice, and sweetened with just a touch of honey to help with caramelization. It’s a delicious foundation for a nourishing yet satisfying dinner.
Horizontal side shot of the best salmon marinade recipe in a glass measuring cup.

Salmon Marinade Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a delicious grilled salmon marinade. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Olive oil: the base of the marinade.
  • Lemon juice and red wine vinegar: acidic components that tenderize the fish and add a bright, tangy taste. Use freshly-squeezed lime juice or orange juice instead of the lemon for a slightly different flavor profile. Add lemon zest for a stronger lemon flavor.
  • Honey: you can substitute with brown sugar if you prefer. This touch of sweetness balances the lemon juice and also helps with the caramelization so that you get a great char on the grill. If you like a sweet marinade, increase the amount of sweetener to at least 2 tablespoons.
  • Garlic, basil, parsley, rosemary, salt, and pepper: all of these ingredients add delicious flavor to the marinade. Try other fresh herbs, such as swapping out the rosemary for thyme, or add chives instead of basil. Dill is also a great companion for salmon. In a pinch, you can substitute dried herbs for the fresh herbs.
  • Skin-on salmon fillets: cut the salmon into individual pieces before grilling (kitchen shears work well for this task). The smaller pieces are easier to flip on the grill and easier to serve. Farm-raised salmon is totally fine if that’s what’s available.
Salmon fillets in a Ziploc bag with a grilled salmon marinade.


You’ll find detailed directions for this salmon marinade in the recipe card below, but here’s my overview with notes:

  1. Place all of the marinade ingredients in a jar with a lid or in a big glass measuring cup.
  2. Give it a good shake or whisk until everything is completely combined. Set aside ¼ cup of the marinade to use for basting later.
  3. Place the salmon in a resealable plastic bag or in a glass dish.
  4. Pour the remaining marinade over the fish, seal or cover tightly, and refrigerate. Since salmon is naturally very tender, you don’t need to leave the fish in the marinade for very long. I recommend at least 30 minutes, and not more than 1 hour. If left in the marinade for too long, the acid in the marinade can start to “cook” the fish (like ceviche) and may result in a mushy piece of salmon.
  5. Remove the salmon from the large Ziploc bag and discard the marinade that the salmon was soaking in. This avoids the risk of consuming any potentially harmful bacteria from the raw fish.
  6. Grill the salmon for 4-5 minutes per side over medium heat directly on the grill grates. Brush the salmon with the reserved ¼ cup of marinade a couple of times as the fish cooks. While the FDA recommends cooking fish to an internal temperature of 145°F on an instant read thermometer, for a flakier, more moist and tender salmon filet, many chefs find that it’s best enjoyed when it’s cooked to medium – 125°F. We don’t usually use a thermometer, but instead look to see that the texture of the fillet flakes easily with a fork and the inside changes from translucent (red or raw) to opaque (pink).
Process shot showing how to grill marinated salmon.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the marinated grilled salmon alongside veggies like grilled potatoes, corn on the cob, sauteed spinachsauteed zucchini, roasted yellow squash, sauteed asparagus with garlic and lemon, a cucumber tomato onion salad, or a crisp Caesar salad. Round out the meal with rice, a loaf of crusty Dutch oven bread, or pasta tossed with pesto.

Overhead image of a platter of salmon that's been flavored with the best grilled salmon marinade.

Storage Tips

Leftover salmon will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for 4-6 months.

Thaw cooked salmon in the refrigerator or immersed in cold water. Use cooked, thawed salmon in salads or as a substitution for canned salmon in casseroles, pasta dishes, sandwiches or wraps.

Overhead shot of marinated grilled salmon on a white table with salad and rice.

Tips for Success

  • A Ziploc bag is a great way to marinate fish because it doesn’t leak and it keeps the marinade close to the fish on all sides so that the salmon can soak up as much flavor as possible.
  • Scale the recipe to suit the size of your family. If you’re just cooking for two, cut all of the ingredients in half and marinate just 2 pieces of fish. For a large family, double the ingredients and marinate the salmon in two separate bags.
  • Always marinate salmon in the refrigerator so that it stays fresh.
  • Make it spicy with some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
  • Keep a close eye on the salmon while it cooks. You’ll know that the fish is done when the flesh flakes easily with a fork. You don’t want to overcook it or the salmon will become dry.
Square side shot of a salmon marinade on a piece of grilled salmon.

This salmon dish was so flavorful!! It was a huge hit at my house!!!

– Tamii

More Salmon Recipes to Try

Orange Salmon {in Less than 20 Minutes!}

17 minutes mins

Grilled Salmon

15 minutes mins

Blackened Salmon

15 minutes mins

Square overhead shot of a plate of grilled salmon that's been flavored with the best salmon marinade.

Salmon Marinade with Lemon, Garlic, and Herbs

5 from 10 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 132.6 kcal
An easy grilled salmon marinade adds so much fresh flavor to the fish!


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (about 4 large cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (or sub with 1 teaspoon dried basil)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (or sub with ½ teaspoon dried parsley flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped (or sub with ½ teaspoon dried rosemary)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ lbs. salmon, cut into 4 pieces


  • Combine all of the marinade ingredients (except for the salmon) in a large jar with a lid, in a small bowl, or in a large glass measuring cup. Shake vigorously or whisk until completely combined. Set aside about ¼ cup of marinade for later.
    Overhead shot of salmon marinade with lemon garlic and herbs in a glass measuring cup.
  • Place salmon filets and remaining marinade in a large zip-top plastic bag or in a glass container. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for about 30 minutes (and not longer than 1 hour).
    Salmon fillets in a Ziploc bag with a grilled salmon marinade.
  • Heat the coals or a gas grill to medium heat. Place the marinated salmon on the grill. Cover and grill for 4-5 minutes per side. Brush the salmon with the reserved ¼ cup of marinade a couple of times as the fish cooks. The salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork.
    Process shot showing how to grill marinated salmon.
  • Serve the grilled salmon with an extra squeeze of fresh lemon juice and/or additional chopped fresh herbs for garnish. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
    Horizontal overhead image of grilled salmon on a white plate.



  • For the Broiler: Place the marinated salmon on a broiler pan. Put the fish directly under the broiler for 5 minutes. Flip it over and continue to broil for about 4-6 more minutes, or until the flesh flakes easily with a fork.
  • For the Oven: To bake the marinated salmon, preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the fish on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 8-11 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. You can put the salmon under the broiler for the final few minutes if you’d like to get the top a bit crispier!


Serving: 2tablespoons of the marinadeCalories: 132.6kcalCarbohydrates: 3.4gProtein: 0.2gFat: 14gSodium: 582.1mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 2.4g
Keyword: grilled salmon, grilled salmon marinade, Herb Salmon, marinated salmon, Salmon Marinade
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in May, 2017. The photos were updated in June, 2024.


Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says:

    Isn’t this weather the best? I’m loving the spring and summer weather we’ve had lately too! This marinade looks perfect, Blair! I make salmon almost once a week, as my husband and I love it, so I will have to try this. Sounds SO good and so easy to make!

    1. Blair says:

      Love this time of year!! And any excuse to grill some salmon is welcome. 🙂 Hope you get a chance to try it, Gayle!

      1. Jim Wester says:

        5 stars
        I don’t have any problems marinating salmon overnight. But I don’t have anything acidic in my marinade such as lemon or wine.

    2. Sue says:

      5 stars
      Totally delish!! I could eat this salmon every day of the week. I live alone so I thought that would be two meals for me. So good I kept on eating, but had to stop before it was all gone. My tummy couldn’t hold any more. Still have yummy bit to mix with eggs in the morning. Haven’t made a marinade in awhile and this was an excellent 1st choice.

      1. Blair says:

        I’m so glad to know that you’ve found a keeper, Sue! 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to come back here and let me know. 🙂

  2. linda says:

    Dinner tomorrow night! It is time to start grilling even with unseasonable cool and wet weather.

    1. Blair says:

      That’s wonderful, Linda! Enjoy!

  3. Lindsay | With Salt and Pepper says:

    Warm weather makes me soooooo happy! And I’ve been grilling up a storm this spring, but have yet to put salmon on the grill. This marinade sounds like the perfect reason to! 🙂

  4. Nayda says:

    5 stars
    Best marinade for salmon!!!! Delicious. Would also be goid as a dressing! Thanks.

    1. Blair says:

      Awesome! I agree, Nayda! I’ve definitely used it as a salad dressing, too! 🙂

  5. Emily says:

    5 stars
    This salmon marinade is so simple and delicious, definitely need to try it on chicken too!

  6. kelsie says:

    Why not marinade longer than an hour? Is it a health thing or just too lemony if longer??

    1. Blair says:

      Hey, Kelsie! The acid in the marinade starts to “cook” the fish if it marinates for too long. The end result would be ceviche! 🙂

  7. Blair says:

    Hi, Savannah! Sure! You can marinate the salmon in the same way, and then bake it in the oven at 450 degrees F for 10-12 minutes (or until it flakes easily with a fork). On the stovetop, you can sear the marinated salmon in a skillet. To do so, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place salmon, flesh-side down, in the hot oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes, and then flip salmon with a spatula. Cook for about 5-6 more minutes, or until skin becomes crispy and fish flakes easily with a fork. Hope that helps, and enjoy!


    Once you’ve marinated salmon for 30 minutes, do you think you could freeze the fillets for later use?

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Jean! Yes — I think that would probably work well!

  9. Arum says:

    My nephews love eating fish so I just made the marinade and will bake the fish once my nephews come back from school. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us.

    1. Blair says:

      That’s wonderful! I hope that the boys enjoy the salmon! 🙂

      1. Arum says:

        It turned out great. Thanks.

        1. Blair says:

          Wonderful! Thanks, Arum!

          1. Vivienne says:

            I’m wondering , can I substitute lime juice for lemon juice?

          2. The Seasoned Mom says:

            Hi Vivienne,
            Yes! That’s not a problem at all.

  10. Mary says:

    I saw ur recipe and I made it and salmon is at this minute marinadeing now. It sounds soooo goos

    1. Blair says:

      Hope you enjoyed it, Mary!

  11. MIchael Redmond says:

    5 stars
    Great marinade, will try on chicken as suggested and maybe on a pork chop as well.
    Only issue I have is the 5 minute prep time. I don’t have a sous chef to wash and chop all the ingredients.
    Totally happy with the end result!!

    1. Blair says:

      Thank you, Michael! 🙂

  12. Sarah says:

    Hi, I don’t have red wine vinegar. Could you recommend a substitution? Or would it be OK without it?

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Sarah! You could use white vinegar, cider vinegar, champagne vinegar, or even some extra lemon juice. 🙂

  13. Caroline J Aguilar says:

    5 stars
    loved the zesty salmon!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thanks, Caroline!

  14. Gayle Miller says:

    Could you make this and serve it cold?

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Hi, Gayle! Yes, if you enjoy chilled salmon, there’s no reason that you couldn’t eat this salmon that way, too. It would be good on top of salad greens, in a wrap, or used in a mayonnaise-based salmon salad (similar to tuna salad).

  15. Tamii says:

    5 stars
    This salmon dish was so flavorful!! It was a huge hit at my house!!!

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Thank you, Tamii! We’re so happy to hear it.

  16. Leslie says:

    Absolutely Incredible!!

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Thank you so much, Leslie!

  17. kathy says:

    5 stars
    Perfect mild marinade for a fresh and wild sockeye salmon. It doesn’t overpower the taste of the fresh wild salmon. I always marinate my salmon for only 30 minutes before grilling.

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Thank you, Kathy!