Grilled Balsamic Glazed Salmon—the ultimate quick and healthy anytime meal. This whole meal requires only 5 ingredients, and that’s even counting olive oil and bread on the side! The key to this salmon recipe—use good ingredients and let them speak for themselves. 

glazed salmon fillets on a plate with grilled asparagus

Balsamic glazed salmon with asparagus 

Here’s what’s on the menu:

  • Perfectly grilled and glazed salmon fillets 
  • Charred asparagus
  • Crusty whole-grain bread + good olive oil for dipping

I was intentional to streamline the cooking process of this recipe so you could get this on the table in minutes. The most important thing is to make sure you have balsamic glaze on hand, or to make it beforehand. 

A quick trick for cutting down on dishes—coat the salmon with olive oil on a large plate. Then once you drop the salmon on the grill, roll the asparagus around with the remaining oil on the already-oily plate. Give them a good season with salt and pepper then drop them down on the grill next to the salmon.

You can certainly warm the bread or give it a slight toast on the grill as well, though not necessary. If you do, just make sure to keep an eye on it—it toasts fast! If you have a rack set above the grill grate, you can also lay a few bread slices up there to warm and lightly toast. 

glazed salmon fillets on a plate with grilled asparagus

How to make balsamic glazed salmon

I prefer to use skinless fillets when grilling salmon. Contrary to what you may think, I find that if brushed with olive oil and cooked over medium-high heat, skinless salmon fillets stick less to the grill than skin-on. 

BUT, because there’s always a but in cooking, you can absolutely use skin-on salmon fillets! Grilling salmon with skin will work just as well and will do a great job of keeping the salmon moist. If you do use skin-on fillets, make sure to follow the recipe directions and start the salmon top-side down on the grill first, then finish cooking with the skin side down. 

Balsamic glazed salmon on the grill:

You can use a gas grill or charcoal grill for this recipe.

  1. Preheat a grill (or grill-pan) to medium-high and brush grill grate clean.
  2. Coat salmon fillets with good olive oil.
  3. Season fillets with kosher salt and black pepper.
  4. Brush grill grate with oil (this will help keep the salmon from sticking to the grill) and place salmon fillets top-side down. Cook salmon until ⅔ of the fillets are lighter in color, they’re becoming firm to touch, and they easily release from the grate, 4–6 minutes. 
  5. Flip the salmon fillets and generously brush tops of fillets with balsamic glaze, close lid and continue to cook until salmon flakes easily with a fork and a thermometer inserted in the centers registers 130ºF (54ºC) for medium-rare, 2 minutes. (Cook to 145ºF for medium to well done.) 

Balsamic glazed salmon in the oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place salmon on prepared baking sheet. Brush fillets generously with the balsamic glaze and bake for 5 minutes. Brush fillets again with the glaze, then bake 5–10 more minutes until the salmon flakes easily with a fork and is cooked through. 

A rule of thumb: how long to grill salmon:

Here’s a basic run-down of how, and for how long, to cook salmon on the grill.

  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high.
  2. Grill salmon, top side down, for 4–6 minutes until about ⅔ of the fillets are lighter in color.
  3. Flip the fillets and cook 2 minutes longer until a thermometer inserted in the centers registers 130ºF (54ºC) for medium-rare or 145ºF for medium to well done.

Salmon should cook for 8 to 10 minutes total on a medium-high grill.

a collage of two images, the first of raw salmon fillets set on brown paper with fresh asparagus set on a brown cutting board, the second image is of raw salmon fillets being drizzled with olive oil

What to look for when buying salmon:

APPEARANCE: 

  • Avoid salmon filets that have breaks or cracks in the muscle, both within the muscle itself and along the white collagen sheaths. This indicates mishandling and degradation.
  • Avoid any packages that have pooling of water, another sure sign of degradation.
  • Look for filets that are bright and saturated in color.
  • Salmon filets should have a bright contrast between the muscle and the fat.

TEXTURE: 

  • Choose filets that are glossy and firm to the touch.
  • Avoid filets that are chalky, dry, sticky and soft to the touch.

SMELL: 

  • Salmon filets should smell fresh and clean, and slightly briny or like the ocean. Fresh fish should never smell “fishy.”

Check out more tips on buying salmon in my guide on buying salmon!

glazed salmon fillets on a plate with grilled asparagus

What if I can’t find balsamic glaze?

You can also make your own balsamic glaze using balsamic vinegar and some kind of sweetener like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, brown sugar, or regular cane sugar. Check out this recipe from Add a Pinch.

What to serve with balsamic glazed salmon

You may also like:

glazed salmon fillets on a plate with grilled asparagus

Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or comment below if you make this Grilled Balsamic Glazed Salmon!

To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can click the button on any of the photos, or the red button on the side bar or below the recipe. Happy cooking!

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glazed salmon fillets on a plate with grilled asparagus

Grilled Balsamic Glazed Salmon with Asparagus

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This 4-ingredient salmon dinner will change the weeknight dinner game for you. Brushed with a sweet and tangy balsamic glaze and grilled to flaky perfection,  this salmon is sure to please. Serve with simple grilled asparagus and some crusty whole-grain bread to make it a full menu.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 wild-caught salmon fillets, 1-inch-thick (about 6 ounces each)*
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Vegetable oil for brushing grill grate
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic glaze, such as Filippo Berio
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed 
  • Crusty whole-grain seeded bread for serving 

Instructions

Heat grill for direct cooking over high, 450ºF–550°F (232ºC–288ºC). Brush grill grate clean and close lid to heat.

Generously coat all sides of salmon fillets with 1 ½ tablespoons oil and season tops generously with salt and pepper. Toss asparagus with remaining ½ tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper.

Brush grill grate with oil. 

Place salmon, top side down, and asparagus on grill grate, close lid, keeping temperature around 500ºF (260ºC). Cook salmon until ⅔ of the fillets are lighter in color, they’re becoming firm to touch, and they easily release from the grate, 4–6 minutes. Cook asparagus until charred and fork-tender, 6 minutes, turning halfway through. 

Transfer asparagus to a platter. Flip fillets and generously brush tops of fillets with glaze, close lid and continue to cook until a thermometer inserted in the centers registers 130ºF (54ºC) for medium-rare, 2 minutes. (Cook to 145ºF for medium to well done) Transfer fillets to platter with asparagus.

Serve salmon with additional balsamic glaze and some crusty bread with good olive oil for dipping.


Notes

* you can use skinless or skin-on, either works great but I find skinless is easier to cook on the grill. Check out the post above for more details on why. 


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 salmon fillet + ¼ of the asparagus
  • Calories: 369
  • Sugar: 5.5g
  • Sodium: 104mg
  • Fat: 14g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 9g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Protein: 47g
  • Cholesterol: 101mg

Keywords: balsamic glazed salmon, glazed salmon, grilled salmon

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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