Grilled Salmon with Spicy Honey-Basil Sauce

This image courtesy of Kirsten Strecker

This is a simple and delicious way to cook salmon that requires very little hands-on time. To truly make it a meal in a hurry, plan ahead and marinate the fish the night before you plan to eat it. If you don’t have time to make the sauce, substitute with your favorite bottled sauce.


Cooking MethodGrilling



Total Timehalf-day

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Halal, Kosher, Lactose-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free

EquipmentGrill, Grill Pan


Taste and TextureHerby, Savory


  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red chile pepper or 1 medium jalapeno, chopped (include seeds if you like it spicy)
  • 4 (4-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
  • ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup diced yellow bell pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped watercress leaves
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and ground white pepper to taste


  1. To prepare sauce, place pine nuts, honey, lemon juice, olive oil, basil, garlic, and chile in a blender or food processor. Process until mixture is pureed. Spoon sauce over salmon, and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours, turning twice.

  2. Place bell peppers and watercress in a bowl. Toss with vinegar and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate while salmon cooks.

  3. Oil grill rack and preheat grill to medium-high. Remove salmon from sauce, reserving the sauce. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper on both sides. Place salmon on grill rack and grill until opaque throughout, 4-6 minutes on each side. Occasionally brush with reserved sauce.

  4. Garnish salmon with bell pepper and watercress mixture and serve with brown rice.


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