When you want a fresh, delicious, and healthy dinner that everyone will eat, this recipe for Grilled Salmon Kabobs is the ticket to mealtime success! Thread tender chunks of quick marinated salmon and thin slices of lemon onto skewers, then pop them on the grill grates until lightly charred. Meanwhile, the curry yogurt sauce comes together fast and adds that delicious finishing touch for a restaurant quality meal you’ll love to make, serve, and eat!
Healthy Grilled Salmon Skewers is a Dinner winner
We are super fans of salmon, and love to prepare it in all kinds of ways, from sheet pan salmon, to skillet salmon, to broiled salmon, and even salmon burger style. But one of our very favorite ways to prepare salmon is by grilling it. The tender proteins cook quickly on the hot grill, creating a crispy exterior and the most delicious creamy flaked salmon interior. If you’ve grilled salmon fillets, but you’ve never tried grilled salmon kebabs, you’ll love this quick style of prepping a favorite healthy seafood right on gas grill, charcoal grill, or smoker.
Ingredients to make grilled salmon kabobs
Here’s what you need to make these beautiful and delicious salmon kebabs tonight:
- Salmon fillets – use skin-on salmon fillets. Not sure how to pick out the best salmon at the store? Read this post on How to Choose Safer Seafood
- Lemons – you’ll need 4 large or 5 medium lemons for this whole recipe, using some thin lemon slices to thread onto the skewers, as well as some fresh lemon juice and lemon zest
- Avocado oil or olive oil
- Honey – could sub in maple syrup or agave nectar, if you’d like
- Garlic powder
- Back pepper
What you need to make Curry Yogurt Sauce
Here are the ingredients to gather to make the so-good yogurt sauce that drizzles beautifully over these grilled salmon kabobs:
- Greek yogurt – use plain (unflavored) Greek yogurt or skyr
- Lemon juice
- Fresh cilantro
- Curry powder – we love the curry powder from Thrive Market (sign up for Thrive Market and get a free gift plus huge savings on high-quality groceries)
- Fine salt
- Smoked paprika – (optional)
For the complete ingredient amounts and instructions, including prep time, total time, nutrition analysis showing total calories, carbohydrates, cholesterol, sodium, fiber, protein, and more, scroll down to the printable recipe below.
How To Make Grilled Salmon Kabobs In 3 Steps
Follow these basic steps so you can be enjoying a delicious and healthy grilled salmon dinner tonight:
- Marinate the salmon pieces: Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, avocado oil, honey, garlic powder, salt, and pepper with a fork. Set aside. Pat the salmon filets dry with paper towels. Cut each filet into 5-6 equal sized pieces (about 1-inch cubes) and place in a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the salmon pieces and gently toss to coat.
- Thread the kabobs and grill them: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (400℉). Thread the salmon pieces onto skewers so that they alternating salmon and a slice of lemon (folded in half). Place the skewers directly onto the grill grate over indirect heat. Cook for 5 minutes, flip the salmon kebabs and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the salmon is opaque and easily flakes with a fork. Remove kebabs from the grill to a clean plate.
- Make the yogurt sauce: Whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, cilantro, curry powder, salt, and paprika until smooth. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Drizzle each kebab with 2 tablespoons of Curry Yogurt Sauce and sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro, if desired. Or garnish with a dash of red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, fresh dill, or fresh oregano.
Why is salmon good for you?
Salmon, whether it’s grilled, broiled, or skillet cooked, is an excellent source of many of the nutrients we need more of, such as
- Protein – salmon is an excellent source of amino acids, the building blocks of protein that you need for everyday body cell growth and repair
- Healthy Fats – one of the top sources of good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a great choice for keeping harmful inflammation at bay
- Minerals – wild-caught salmon is an excellent source of minerals (including iodine, calcium, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, and sodium) which you need to keep your body fluids properly balanced for optimal cardiovascular health
A Quick Marinating Time Is Best!
Marinating the salmon chunks before grilling adds delicious flavor and makes the pieces more tender. However, if you marinate salmon for too long (especially in something acidic like lemon juice) then the protein could start to “cook”. So, in this case, it’s only necessary to marinate the salmon for as long as it takes you to preheat the grill and prepare the yogurt sauce (just 10 to 15 minutes total marinating time).
Q&A for grilled salmon kabobs with yogurt sauce
Here are some questions we get asked often about this recipe:
- Can I make the yogurt sauce ahead of time? Yes, you can! You can prepare the yogurt sauce up to 2 days in advance. If the yogurt sauce becomes thicker as it’s stored in the refrigerator, just add 1-2 tablespoons of water and whisk again until it is drizzling consistency.
- Can I marinate the salmon for longer? Since salmon proteins are more tender than poultry or beef, salmon requires just a short marinating time. You’ll only need to marinate the salmon cubes for as long as it takes you to preheat the grill and make the yogurt sauce (so 10 to 15 minutes total).
- What are the best skewers to use for salmon kebabs? You could use metal or wooden skewers for this recipe. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to threading the salmon and lemon slices onto the kebabs. Soaking wooden skewers prevents them from burning on the grill.
- Can I use other types of fish? Yes, you could use fresh tuna fillets or another thick white fish, such as catfish, snapper, bass, grouper, or cod in place of the salmon. You could also use shrimp.
- How do I store leftovers? To store leftovers, remove the salmon pieces and lemon slices from the skewers; discard the lemon slices and store the grilled salmon chunks in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve them chilled or reheated over lettuce greens, in a wrap, or bowl style over rice, quinoa, or another grain or veggie.
What to serve with Grilled Salmon Kabobs
This grilled salmon dinner is so flavorful and fresh. Round it out to make a beautiful and healthy dinner with these side dish ideas:
- Herbed Quinoa Pilaf – the crunchy almonds and sweet dried apricots in this easy side dish make it a great match for these salmon kebabs
- Sweet and Smoke Brussels Slaw – the lemony dressing and smoked almonds would make a great flavor pairing with the grilled salmon
- Grilled veggies – try broccoli rabe, broccoli, zucchini, red onions, red peppers, asparagus, or Brussels sprouts
- Copycat Olive Garden Salad – this classic salad tastes delicious with seafood
- Summer Corn Salad – the fresh flavors and colors make a beautiful pairing with these lemony grilled kabobs
For the Grilled Salmon Kebabs:
- Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon (1 tablespoon juice + ½ teaspoon zest)
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 20 to 24 ounces of skin-on salmon fillets (3-4 fillets)
- 2 lemons, sliced into thin rounds
- 4 large/long wooden or metal skewers*
For the Curry Yogurt Sauce:
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (or plain skyr)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (½ medium)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 pinch smoked paprika (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, oil, honey, garlic powder, salt, and pepper with a fork. Set aside.
- Pat the salmon filets dry with paper towels. Cut each filet into 5-6 equal sized pieces (about 1-inch cubes) and place in a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the salmon pieces and gently toss to coat. Let the salmon chunks marinate while you preheat the grill and make the yogurt sauce (about 10 to 15 minutes total).
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (400℉).
- Make the Curry Yogurt Sauce: In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, cilantro, curry powder, salt, and paprika (if using) until smooth. If the sauce is very thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of water and whisk again. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Thread the salmon pieces and folded lemon slices onto skewers so that they are alternating. Place the skewers directly onto the grill grate over indirect heat. Cook for 5 minutes, flip the kebabs, and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the salmon easily flakes with a fork. Remove kebabs from the grill to a clean plate.
- Drizzle each kebab with the yogurt sauce and sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro.
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*If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling to prevent the skewers from burning.
Don’t marinate the salmon chunks for longer than 10 to 15 minutes (the time it takes to preheat the grill and make the yogurt sauce), otherwise the acidity of the lemon juice will cause the salmon to “cook” and be less tender.
- Serving Size: 1 skewer (1/4 of recipe with sauce)
- Calories: 220
- Fat: 9 g
- (Sat Fat: 2 g)
- Sodium: 325 mg
- Carbohydrate: 3 g
- (Fiber: 0 g
- Sugar: 2 g)
- Protein: 32 g
- Cholesterol: 88 mg
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The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel Cook of Half Acre House.
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