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Blackened Grilled Salmon Tacos

May 1, 2018 by Nicole Collins

Happy Taco Tuesday!

I know I told you yesterday that Margarita Monday was my favorite day of the week, but I think I want to rescind that statement.

It's Taco Tuesday. Taco Tuesday, for sure.

I eagerly await the day that Taco Tuesday becomes a national holiday, so we can have every Tuesday off for stuffing our faces with tacos. You guys with me? Think I'm aiming a little too big on this one?

A girl can dream...

Meanwhile, I am desperately waiting for the weather to warm up. Spring is certainly in no hurry this year. So, at the first sign of “not totally freezing”, I had to break out my grill. I have to hold on to the little glimmer of hope that it's not going to stay in the 30-50's forever.

I definitely under-utilized my grill last year, and I really missed it. I'm not the world's best griller (I'm a little too impatient). But since I bought a gas grill 2 summers ago, I've really come to love grilling.

So, as I was dreaming up my Taco Tuesday recipe while looking ahead at a 60 degree day in the forecast (still way too cold for me, but warm enough to be outside without a heavy winter coat), I knew when my grill would be making its 2018 debut.

Today, we're making Blackened Grilled Salmon Tacos!

Let's start with the salmon. I'd never actually grilled salmon before making these tacos; but I promise you, I'm going to be grilling salmon alllllllllllll summer! The salmon came out perfectly cooked: juicy and flavorful. It was amazing!

To season the salmon, we rub a homemade blackening season mix all over the flesh of the salmon. The good news is that you probably already have all of the spices required for the blackening seasoning in your pantry, so it's practically a free ingredient! We let it sit for a few to seep in to the meat, throw it on the grill for 10-12 mins, and let it rest before breaking it up in to perfect taco sized pieces. It's really a very simple process!

One more quick note on the salmon...the cook time is going to depend on the thickness of your salmon. I recommended 6 oz filets in the recipe below. However, I actually bought one large 24 oz filet, and I just cut it down myself. It worked perfectly! So, don't count out that option.

While the grill is still on, throw your tortillas on it for a few seconds per side, just to get a little char on them. And then, get ready to fill them up with total deliciousness.

Remember how I told you we'd be seeing Sunday's salsa again? Well, today is the day! Our blackened salmon gets topped with the Strawberry Avocado Salsa and a little crumbled queso fresco to complete the most perfect and totally ready for summer taco!

Despite the spicy elements in the blackening spice mix, the salmon is not spicy at all. There's a background heat to it, but it's not overwhelming at all. But, once it gets topped with the cool, sweet, and creamy salsa; it's a match made in heaven. Yin and Yang. Perfect balance.

Let's take a quick sec to recap our Cinco de Mayo week menu, so far!

I'm holding on to hope that warmer days are coming really soon. Today is supposed to be the day!

But for now, at least there's tacos.

So enjoy, and let's eat!


Blackened Grilled Salmon Tacos Serves: 4 Print


For the Salmon:

  • 4 6oz salmon filets, skin on

  • 1 tbsp paprika

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ¾ tsp cayenne

  • ½ tsp garlic powder

  • ½ tsp onion powder

  • ½ tsp cumin

  • ½ tsp dried thyme

  • ½ tsp pepper

  • ¼ chili powder

  • canola oil, for grilling

For the Strawberry Avocado Salsa

  • 2 cups strawberries, diced

  • 1 avocado, diced

  • ¼ cup red onion, finely diced

  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

  • ½ of a jalapeno, minced

  • 1 tsp agave syrup

  • juice of ½ a lime

  • ¼ tsp salt

To Serve:

  • 8 6inch flour tortillas

  • ½ cup queso fresco, crumbled


  1. Prepare the Salmon: In a small bowl, combine all of the spices. Sprinkle combined spices over the salmon, and rub it into the top and sides of the flesh with your fingers. Place in the fridge for 15-20 mins to rest. While the fish is in the fridge, preheat your grill to medium high heat (between 400-425 degrees). Brush the grill grates with oil. Remove salmon from fridge. Place flesh side down on the grill. Cover grill, and cook for 5-6 mins until the fish can be easily removed from the grates. Using a spatula, flip the salmon, cover, and cook for another 5-7 mins until the internal temp of the salmon reaches 145 degrees. Set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare the Strawberry Avocado Salsa: In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients. Stir gently to combine. Set aside.

  3. Assemble the tacos: When the salmon is finished, place the tortillas on the grill to get lightly charred, roughly 15-20 seconds per side. Detach the salmon from the skin, and use a fork to break salmon in to chunks. Divide evenly between taco shells. Top with Strawberry Avocado Salsa and crumbled queso fresco. Serve immediately.

Recipe notes:

*The salmon can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge for 3-4 days, but the salsa is best served fresh. The salsa does not keep well in the fridge.

*If you can't find queso fresco, you could use crumbled feta instead. It's a little more potent, but it provides the same texture.

*I bought a large 24 oz salmon filet and cut it down myself. Grilling the salmon in smaller portions helps it to cook more evenly.

*If you don't have a meat thermometer, you'll know the salmon is cooked through when you just start to see the white beads form on the flesh of the skin. It's actually one wrong move away from being overcooked at that point. I totally recommend getting a meat thermometer though to ensure you don't overcook the salmon. It's a minimal expense.

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