Grilled Salmon with Creamy Cucumber-Dill Salad

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Nothing says summer like simple grilled salmon topped with a creamy cucumber salad— the ultimate no-fuss meal!

Grilled salmon topped with cucumber-dill salad on a black plate.

Summer cooking is my favorite — it’s all about simplicity. No fussy sauces or heating up the kitchen, just wholesome dishes made from the freshest ingredients. Take grilled salmon, for instance. When paired with a creamy cucumber-dill salad, it becomes the ultimate summer meal. The salad’s crisp texture and tangy flavor contrast beautifully with the warm salmon. And being a no-cook side, it’s a cinch to whip up. Add a good baguette to tie it all together, and voila: dinner is served! If you’re a dill lover but outside of grilling season, this baked salmon with panko-dill crust will hit the spot. 

A little tip when making grilled salmon: Besides giving the grates a good oiling and ensuring the grill’s nicely pre-heated, keep the salmon skin on and start by grilling it skin-side down. If you’re a fan of crispy skin, then you’re in for a treat. But even if that’s not your thing, no worries—it’ll peel right off. Plus, the fat from the skin helps in greasing the grates, ensuring those lovely grill marks on the flip side without any sticking issues.

What You’ll Need To Make Grilled Salmon with Creamy Cucumber Salad

Ingredients including red onion, Kosher salt, and mayonnaise.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by making the cucumber-dill salad. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then scrape out the seeds and watery center using a teaspoon. Cut the cucumber into thin slices and place in a colander with the red onions. Toss with the salt and let drain in the sink for at least 30 minutes. Don’t skip this step or your salad will be very watery.

Sliced cucumbers and red onion in a colander.

Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining the sour cream, mayo, white wine vinegar, garlic, dill, sugar and black pepper.

Unmixed dressing ingredients in a glass bowl.

Whisk to combine.

Whisk in a bowl of white dressing.

Combine the dressing with the drained cucumbers and red onions and chill until ready to eat.

Vegetables tossed in a bowl with white dressing.

For the salmon, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Rub the salmon fillets with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and pepper.

Seasoned salmon filets on a lined baking sheet.

Be sure the grates on the grill are clean and well-oiled. Grill the fish 4-5 minutes on the first side and 2-3 minutes on the next. The trick is to let the fish sear on the first side until nice and brown, which enables it to release easily. Resist the urge to peek or flip before it’s ready!

Salmon with grill lines.

Let the salmon fillets cool slightly then serve with the cold cucumber-dill salad piled over top or alongside. A warm baguette is the perfect accompaniment. Note: The Cucumber-Dill Salad is also wonderful on its own so you may want to double the recipe so you’ll have enough for leftovers. Enjoy!

Grilled salmon on a plate with a creamy cucumber-dill salad.

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Grilled Salmon with Creamy Cucumber-Dill Salad

Nothing says summer like simple grilled salmon topped with a creamy cucumber salad— the ultimate no-fuss meal!

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes, plus 30 minutes to salt the cucumber and onions

Ingredients

For the Salmon

  • 4 (6-oz) salmon fillets, skin on
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Creamy Cucumber-Dill Salad

  • 1 English cucumber (also called hothouse cucumber)
  • ⅓ cup finely sliced red onion, from one small red onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann's or Duke's
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut the cucumber in half and then slice each half down the middle lengthwise. Use the tip of a teaspoon to scoop out the center seeds. Cut each half into thin slices and place in a colander along with the red onion slices. Toss with salt and let sit in the sink for at least 30 minutes, until the water drains out.
  2. In the meantime, make the dressing: combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, dill, garlic, sugar and black pepper in a medium bowl and mix well.
  3. When the cucumbers and onions are ready, release any excess water by tapping the colander on the base of the sink, then use a large wad of paper towels to pat the vegetables dry. Add to the dressing and toss well. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  4. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Clean the grill rack, then brush with oil. Close the lid and let return to temperature. Rub the salmon with olive oil and season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Place the fillets skin side down and grill until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes (resist the urge to peek or flip early; when fillets are nicely seared on the first side, they should release easily). Flip the fillets over and continue grilling until done, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool slightly, remove the skin if desired, and serve with the cold cucumber-dill salad piled over top or alongside.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 522
  • Fat: 39 g
  • Saturated fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 6 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 36 g
  • Sodium: 706 mg
  • Cholesterol: 108 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • I’ve tried most of your salmon recipes and all have been 5 stars! I made this tonight with the cucumber salad despite my husbands protest. haha … The salad made it 10 stars! We both loved it, paired with a baguette and fresh olive oil herb dipping sauce. Perfect warm day meal! Thank you!

    • — Sharon T on June 11, 2024
    • Reply
  • This was so delicious!!! The cucumber salad added a creamy brightness to the salmon. Definitely putting this into regular rotation 😋

    • — Mo L on May 19, 2024
    • Reply
  • I made this dish three weeks ago and I can not wait to have it again tomorrow night. It was fabulous. Thank you

    • — J. Gallagher on May 16, 2024
    • Reply
  • I made this salmon with creamy cucumber dill salad. It was absolutely wonderful. My daughter who hates cucumbers loved it! Thank you for this great recipe.

    • — Jeanne White on April 21, 2024
    • Reply
  • Will dried dill work in the salad?

    • — Jeanne White on April 19, 2024
    • Reply
    • Sure! I’d cut it back to 1 tablespoon.

      • — Jenn on April 19, 2024
      • Reply
  • DELISH! Made it all the way down to your potato recipe. The only thing is that I did not cook on the grill, I did it in the oven. Dinner guests were in awe.

    • — Doreen on February 26, 2024
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  • I just made this Salmon with cucumber salad. It was wonderful. The cucumber salad will be great with any kind of fish. This recipe gets an A+.

    Also making your creme brûlée for a birthday celebration tomorrow. I made 16! Waiting for them to cool enough to put in refrigerator.

    Thanks for your great recipes. I have made several and they are always great.

    • — Patricia McPherson on September 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • Made this tonight, just wonderful. Only change I made was instead of S&P I used Sweet Heat For Your Meat. With the salad you don’t need tartar sauce. I will use less dressing next time, but what a great taste. Thanks!

    • — Charles Davis on August 23, 2023
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  • Hi! Is there a substitute for Mayo? Perhaps Greek yogurt?

    • — Kim on August 22, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Kim, for the best taste, I’d stick with the mayo. If you want to replace it with Greek yogurt or more sour cream, I’d cut back on the vinegar a bit.

      • — Jenn on August 23, 2023
      • Reply
  • Delicious recipe as always!

    • — Laura on August 22, 2023
    • Reply
  • I garden and I was looking for recipes that will help use up my cucumbers. This is the best salmon I have ever made. Then I used left over sauce on my eggs the next morning. Also delicious.

    • — Kathy on August 17, 2023
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  • This was absolutely delicious. The sauce offset the richness of salmon and was lovely and crunchy. I live in the UK and have cooked so many of Jen’s recipes. An inspired cook.Elaine

    • — Elaine Knox on August 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • I would like to try this recipe but need to grill the salmon ahead of time for a summer birthday dinner. Would it affect the taste if the salmon is served cold?

    • — Linda on June 29, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, It would be a slightly different experience, but the salmon will still be good cold.

      • — Jenn on June 29, 2023
      • Reply
  • My husband grilled the salmon and I made the sauce. This was one of the best recipes ever and we cook together a lot. Just wonderful!

    • — Jan Smith on June 8, 2023
    • Reply
  • Loved this recipe!! Wasn’t quite sure my husband would like the salad over the salmon, but it was a big hit!! Thanks, will defiantly make it again and also share with a friend who has salmon once a week!

    • — Christine Reid on June 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’m going into my mid 70s of Czech grandparents and my wife is of Danish descent. I made this tonight and my said it reminded her of our times in Denmark. This an absolutely delicious salmon dish and so easy to make. I’ve read the comments of people making substitutions. You need to comment on the original recipe. I always try it straight up on my first time through and then make changes to our taste. Unless you have a dietary concern this is perfect as is. I grilled the salmon over charcoal and did a side of asparagus as well. As long as the grill is going why not! We love making the food of our heritage and this was perfect. It’s definitely on our regular rotation now as well as the list of items to serve for friends.

    • — Bob on June 4, 2023
    • Reply

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