Grilled salmon tacos are not only delicious, they are dead simple and so quick to get on the table-only about fifteen minutes if you don’t count the time it takes the grill to heat. The jalapeño-ranch dressing that tops them is so amazing that you’ll have to resist eating it all straight from the bowl.
Oh hey, hi.
Did I mention that I am currently obsessed with my grill. Maybe? MAYBE? Yes, yes, I think I did say that somewhere. Perhaps in my grilled naan bread pizza post?
I have an unnatural obsession with avoiding heating up my house in the summer. Because:
- I live in Tennessee and it isn’t even officially summer here but it has been summer-hot for at least a month now.
- Electric bill. No explanation needed.
So, starting in May I go on an oven strike that usually doesn’t end until late October. I use my countertop oven whenever possible. I have exactly two baking pans that don’t fit in it so the only time I have to use it is when I am using one of those pans. Needless to say they don’t get a lot of love for the hotter half of the year. I actually wrote a post a while back about my oven strike and how to keep your kitchen cool in the summer.
I’ve been looking for all sorts of things to grill on my new Weber Spirit E-210 grill (and yes, I ordered my grill from Amazon and they sent someone to put it together for me). Of course I’ve done burgers and chicken, but also pork chops, pizza, and nectarines (look for a recipe coming up soon). I have a smoker but I want to try some grill smoking and also grill roasting, which America’s Test Kitchen says is a game-changer in their book Master of the Grill, which I am currently reading like a novel.
I 100% used to think that I hated salmon until I made my friend Becky’s recipe for crispy honey butter salmon, which is pretty much sweet, savory, and crispy heaven on a plate in under 20 minutes. By the way, you don’t need skin-on salmon here but I have found that the easiest way to get wild-caught skin-on salmon here in a land-locked state is frozen. I usually buy Simply Balanced salmon at Target but Becky gets hers from Whole Foods.
So, here we are. I don’t hate salmon. Suddenly I decided that salmon needed to be grilled and put on tacos, and those tacos needed to be topped with jalapeñ0-ranch dressing a la Chuy’s. If you have a Chuy’s where you are, please go just to try the jalapeño-ranch dip (they bring a complimentary basket of chips with the dip to your table). If not, you are just going to have to take my word for it that this dip (which I adapted from a Modern Honey recipe is spot on.
A few tips to get the best grilled salmon tacos possible:
- If you are using frozen salmon, make sure it is completely thawed before you grill it.
- Brush the salmon with oil before seasoning. You can use a simple salt and pepper seasoning if you want or you can go a little bolder with the Tajin seasoning I’ve used for my grilled salmon tacos. You can order Tajin from the Amazon link above or you can find it in the Hispanic foods section of your grocery store (I have seen it at Walmart and Publix).
- Even though you brushed the salmon with oil, you are still going to need a little non-stick insurance. I accomplish this by cleaning the grill once it is hot, oiling the grill, and using a piece of foil under each piece of salmon.
- Let the flavors of your grilled fish tacos shine by not adding too many toppings. The fish has plenty of flavor and the jalapeño-ranch will take it over the top. I kept the rest of the toppings to a minimum – just enough for a little color and flavor!
I first wrote about fish tacos years ago, early in my blogging life. I got weird looks when I talked about fish tacos back then and still get them now (my dad looked at me like I had three heads when I mentioned grilled salmon tacos a few weeks ago) but I promise these are delicious and totally worth your time!
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Yield: 4-6 servings
15 minPrep Time:
12 minCook Time:
27 minTotal Time:
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2-3 jalapenos, diced (2 if the peppers are large, 3 if they are small)
- 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
- 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Vegetable or canola oil, for the grill
- 1 pound skinless salmon fillets (I use frozen)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Tajin seasoning, or salt and pepper
- 4-8 corn tortillas (I like to use two tortillas per taco to make them more sturdy)
- Pre-made slaw mix (I used broccoli slaw here)
- Jalapeño-ranch dressing
- Garnishes: chopped tomatoes, cilantro, lime wedges, cotija cheese or queso fresco
- To make the jalapeño-ranch dressing: Mix all the ingredients until smooth in a blender or food processor. Store in a covered bowl or a pint jar in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Preheat the grill to medium high. While the grill is heating, pat the salmon dry. Brush both sides of each piece with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with Tajin seasoning or salt and pepper (season to taste; you may not use the whole tablespoon).
- When the grill is preheated, clean the grill with a brush. Hold a wad of paper towels using long tongs made for grilling. Dip the paper towels into the canola or vegetable oil and oil the grill grates.
- Lay a sheet of aluminum foil on the grill. Place the pieces of fish on the grill. Grill for four minutes, flip, and grill for another four minutes. Remove the fish from the grill.
- Lay the tortillas on the grill and grill for about 30 seconds per side. Remove from the grill and wrap in foil.
- Shred the salmon. Assemble tacos using tortillas, salmon, slaw mix, jalapeño-ranch dressing, and desired garnishes.