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Grilled Salmon with Creamy Cucumber-Dill Salad

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Grilled salmon with a tangy and refreshing cucumber salad over top makes a light and easy weeknight dinner.

grilled salmon

Summer cooking is all about keeping it simple. No fussy sauces or heating up the kitchen, just good food made from fresh ingredients. This simply grilled salmon with a tangy and refreshing cucumber salad over top is just that.

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

how to make grilled salmon with cucumber salad

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.

how to make grilled salmon with cucumber salad

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

how to make grilled salmon with cucumber salad

Whisk to combine.

how to make grilled salmon with cucumber salad

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

how to make grilled salmon with cucumber salad

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.

how to make grilled salmon with cucumber salad

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!

how to make grilled salmon with cucumber salad

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

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Grilled Salmon with Creamy Cucumber-Dill Salad

Grilled salmon with a tangy and refreshing cucumber salad over top makes a light and easy weeknight dinner.

Servings: 4


For the Salmon

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

For the 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


  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 lightly with oil. Close the lid and let return to temperature. Rub the salmon with olive oil and season generously with kosher salt (about ¾ teaspoon) and pepper. Place the fillets skin side down and grill until golden brown and slightly charred, 4-5 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, 2-3 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

  • 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.

See more recipes:


  • This was so simple and yummy! It plated elegantly and was convenient because I was able to make the salad the night before. For those cooking for lactose-intolerant individuals—I substituted lactose-free sour cream (which is much sweeter than the OG) and pulled back the sugar and it came out well after spending a little more time on refining the seasoning. Thanks Jen!

    • — Ling on March 5, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I’m so excited to try this recipe over Labor Day Weekend, and was wondering if you could use the cucumber dill salad as a topping to a grilled salmon sandwich on a brioche bun or would the consistency of the salad be too much? Just curious on your opinion how you think that would work? Thank you as always for responding and your AMAZING recipes…you are always my “go to”! Enjoy your holiday weekend! Sincerely, Stacey

    • — Stacey on September 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Stacey, I think I may be weighing in too late to be helpful – I’m sorry! Not sure if you tried it, but while I think the salad would be delicious as a topper to a grilled salmon sandwich, it may be a little too liquidy. If you did end up trying it, I’d love to hear how it turned out!

      • — Jenn on September 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • Loved this! Quick, easy. Yummy! Nothing quite like dill and salmon.

    • — CR on August 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious! I also chunk cucumber and serve it as a side salad. Goes well with your Mediterranean kebabs(or marinated breasts/thighs).

    • — BV on August 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • First time in my life I’ve ever eaten an entire piece of fish. I’m 52. The dressing was so yummy I barely noticed the salmon. Next time I will leave out the sugar; didn’t need it, in my opinion. Also made the Dijon potatoes using the oven broiler. Very savory. Thank you for telling us what to pair with your delicious dishes. I feel like I could open a restaurant using your recipes.

    • — DR on July 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • The farmer’s market and the supermarket are out of fresh dill! What can I use instead? (Making the salmon for dinner tonite!)

    • — Deb on July 23, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Deb, Sorry I’m just seeing this! You could use fresh basil; it’d even be good without the herbs.

      • — Jenn on July 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’ve made this at least 10 times for guests, always a huge hit! Absolutely delicious and fresh for summer. Because I’m not as comfortable grilling, I bake the salmon. Your warm lemon pudding cups pair beautifully. Thanks Jen! I have both your books, and wouldn’t cook for guests now without one of your recipes..

    • — Suzanne on July 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is an easy weeknight dinner! The only thing I wish I did not do is put in salt instead of sugar. It still tasted awesome but will have to make again and do it right. I also grilled the salmon on the stove which is definitely quicker for two eaters.

    • — Lulu on June 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • Amazing! I don’t normally love red onion but this was just enough to add flavor and not be overpowering. I wish I had doubled the cucumber salad because it was the best. I will be making many more times this summer. It’s easy and so cool and refreshing. My family now knows that if I say I’m making a Once Upon a Chef recipe that it’s going to be incredible. You haven’t failed us yet!

    • — Kelley on April 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2022
      • Reply
  • This recipe is now our go to recipe for salmon. The salmon is consistently moist and delicious.
    However, I noticed a discrepancy in the directions and I need clarification. What temperature should we preheat the grill? In the photo section, directions say to preheat grill on high. In the “jump to recipe” section the directions say to preheat the grill on medium high. Which setting should we use?

    • — Ellen on March 29, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Ellen, So glad you like this! I’m sorry for the discrepancy. The grill should be preheated to medium-high. I’ve updated the recipe and thanks for pointing it out!

      • — Jenn on March 30, 2022
      • Reply
      • This has become our go- to salmon recipe this summer. It’s absolutely delicious! I would like to make it for my son who is coming to visit but he doesn’t like dill. I saw that you suggested basil as a substitute, but I was wondering if tarragon would also be a good substitute.

        • — Beverly on August 20, 2022
        • Reply
        • Glad you like it! Yes, tarragon will give it a slightly different flavor, but it will still be good. Hope your son enjoys!

          • — Jenn on August 21, 2022
          • Reply
  • Can I say this was amazing?! Love this recipe. Thank you for sharing, this will be a go to for the coming months. 😀

    • — Natalie on October 21, 2021
    • Reply
  • I tried this recipe last night and everyone just LOVED the dill sauce recipe. I forgot the sugar but no one missed it. It was delicious. I have enjoyed your recipes for many years. This one is another winner. Thank you for sharing.

    • — Dorothy Brook on July 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • Jenn, what fish or other protein would you suggest subbing in for the salmon? It’s the one dish I don’t eat.

    • — Alex S. on July 16, 2021
    • Reply
    • I think the salad would also pair beautifully with shrimp. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on July 17, 2021
      • Reply
  • Another winner. Simple. Easy. Fast. Healthy. Delicious. What more could you want??? Love the cucumber salad with it. So fresh. Cooked the salmon as per your Restaurant-Style Pan Seared Salmon. Perfect. Thanks Jenn 😊

    • — Kim on July 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I prepared this last night, subbing Greek yogurt for sour cream, and oven roasting the salmon fillets. Also made your fresh corn w/basil salad. Served all at room temperature, so I could relax and enjoy. 😊 Everything was delicious. Perfection! I have already preordered your new cookbook. I know it will be treasured. Continued thanks! 💙

    • — Liz Sullivan on July 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • ❤️❤️

      • — Jenn on July 2, 2021
      • Reply
  • Perfect topping for salmon, thank you Jenn! I omitted the sugar, and subbed non fat Greek yogurt since I rarely use sour cream. This will be in our rotation from now on. Scaled it down for the two of us and pan fried it instead, since it was windy outside. My first review, but I’ve made several of your recipes and they’re all keepers. 😉

    • — Ana in SF Bay Area on June 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was a lovely fresh summer dinner.

    • — Karen Harrison on May 12, 2021
    • Reply
  • So simple, but so good. I have often grilled salmon and cucumber salad is an old favorite. I just never put the two together. I will now, this is a great combination. I followed the recipe w/o any changes. It was quick, easy and delicious. Can’t ask for much more.

    • — Carol on April 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is a great recipe I have made a number of times. The cucumber sauce is ever so yummy on the salmon.

  • Great salad however I found the half tsp sugar unnecessary, as I don’t care for sweet tasting vegetables. With that one omission the salad would be perfect. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever tried anything from this site that was below average.

  • This is a fabulous recipe! I have made it over & over again so many times for family and friends. Thank you so much, Jenn Segal! Love your recipes!

  • No grill so pan-fried salmon. Served with cucumber salad on top. SO delicious. Easy to make, fresh, satisfying. A recipe to make again for sure!

  • The cucumber salad was a huge hit!! My entire family loved it, including my 83 year old mother. I’m sure the salmon is tasty and I will try that next. Awesome recipe, very flavorful.

  • WOW! The combination of the salmon with the creamy cucumber salad was beyond delightful! Jenn, your recipes are consistently delicious! I am forever spoiled and grateful! Eating, learning and serving your restaurant quality meals at home have been life changing….yes, I truly mean it! Thank you from many happy bellies in Palm Springs, CA!

    • 💗

    • This recipe is absolutely delicious. I made the cucumber salad in the afternoon and my husband cooked the fish later in the evening. The tartness of the salad and the sweetness of the fish play off of each other perfectly. Thanks Jenn for another fantastic, yet easy, recipe. We had your fresh strawberry cake for dessert. Another winning recipe!

      • — Beverly on June 14, 2022
      • Reply
  • I had an abundance of cucumber in my garden and decided to give this recipe a shot. Everything was delicious. Using English cucumbers is definitely critical.

  • Just made this wonderful recipe last night! Perfect! Paired with the dijon potatoes it will become a favorite in our house. I have made many of your recipes and they are always winners. 🙂

  • I’m a fan of all your recipes, but this might take the cake! I splurged on sockeye salmon from trader joe’s, skin on. Subbed fresh chives, some cilantro and a bit of mint in place of the dill. And I added some diced jalepeno. I don’t think I’ve had a salmon dish at a restaurant that I’ve enjoyed more. The topping is like a salad in itself. Serve it with white rice and it’s your next (easy) impressive meal for company!

  • I made this recipe-followed it exactly!!!!
    I have passed it on to others.
    Now making salmon patties and using the cuke salad.. can’t wait!

  • My husband does not love fish, but he really enjoyed this recipe. I did have to modify it because I have to avoid dairy, but I simply substituted the sour cream with Kite Hill Yogurt mixed with lemon juice and a little salt. Also used avocado mayo, because that is what I had. Really yummy! Thank you Jenn.

  • Amazing!! The salmon was nice on it’s own and the sauce takes it to the next level. Our 19 year old son (who is not a lover of fish and not quick with compliments) called it fantastic. That says a lot!

  • Jenn…….
    Hail Mary and the Good Lord Jesus…. this Creamy Cucumber-Dill Salad is AMAZING !
    Once again another….EXTRAORDINARY recipe. You never fail to disappoint. Congratulations on your success. I finally got around to purchasing your cookbook today!
    Kind Regards-

    • — Chad T Kopinski
    • Reply
    • Glad it was such a hit (and thanks so much for your support with the cookbook)! 🙂

  • Just made the dressing to go over a cold poached salmon we were having for lunch. It was super-delicious. We will follow the directions for grilling the salmon next time! Everything I make from your site or cookbook is perfect, Jenn. Thanks so much!

  • I’m okay at cooking salmon, but was very intrigued by the sound of the dressing. And it does not let you down, absolutely fantastic,. Just ordered your cookbook as the few recipes I have tried have been brilliant, and I dont believe in just using Web recipes without supporting the person that has been good enough to provide such quality freely. Can’t wait for it too arrive.

    • Thanks so much for your support with the cookbook — I hope it becomes an often-used tool in your kitchen! 🙂

  • YOU MUST TRY THE CUCUMBER DILL DRESSING!!! Didn’t try the salmon recipe, but this is THE BEST dressing (the cucumber dill salad) EVER!!! We’ve made it a few times already and are using it on… salmon, chicken, as a dip, notably on a smashed potatoes with lemon, butter, garlic and dill recipe, amongst other things. I actually misplaced your recipe and couldn’t remember the origin. Drove my hubby bonkers looking for it. Just found it. Phew! Making it again tonight. 🙂 Thank you!!!!

  • Like all of your recipes, this one is fantastic. The cucumber salad is especially great and my husband has started referring to you as “our girl” because if it’s your recipe, he knows it will be wonderful. You’ve kept my family well-fed and happy for a few years now and I just wanted to say thank you!

    • You’re so welcome! 🙂

  • Loved this! Easy and elegant 😋

  • Another winner and huge hit with the family. Thank you – I can always rely on your recipes to be perfect, yummy and crowd pleasing.

  • Loved this recipe!

  • Loved this recipe, had friends over and it was a hit, even for picky eaters!

  • Thanks Jenn! Did the grilled salmon with the cucumber salad and grilled mustard potatoes and was one of the best dinners we ever ate! And easy to make as most of the ingredients I have on hand. I never like cooking but like healthy wholesome eating and your website is a godsend and your recipes are failsafe! I also love that your recipes are authentic with regards to flavor and ingredients and you welcome all food groups.

  • Can you swap Greek yogurt for the sour cream?

    • Sure, Adele. Enjoy!

  • My family all love this grilled salmon with cucumber dressing. We have made it many times.

  • So, so good! The cucumber-dill salad is fantastic! This recipe will be on my rotation. Thank you, Jenn!

  • I made this tonight and I had to control myself and not eat the dill sauce with a spoon, Good grief this is a new favorite!!! My husband loves things finely chopped so I chopped the onion and cucumber that way. I am seriously so excited because he doesn’t love salmon but was all about the sauce, which made the salmon wonderful. Thank you, Jenn!!!!

  • Made this for a catering event today that was for a culinary advisory committee. With several chefs in attendance, it was a hit and liked by all.

  • I am so thrilled to have come across Once Upon A Chef – the second I got her book and scoured her website, this recipe was making my mouth water – I instantly went to the grocery store, bought the ingredients, gave great attention to her suggestions on how to cook the salmon on the grill (first time fish griller here!)… I made everything exactly as she suggestions and wow it was so delicious! We have made it multiple times – never fails to impress, and the plates are always spotless after (because hey, why not lick a plate clean?).

  • I loved the cucumber salad. Added cherry tomatoes. Perfect w salad. Would make this again and again.
    I also love your cookbook. I have tried many of the recipes esp cinnamon swirl bread

  • Made this wonderful salmon recipe for dinner and my husband said this way absolutely the best salmon I’ve ever made. The cucumber dill sauce was a surprisingly nice flavor that complimented the salmon beautifully. A nice summer dinner and great way to use cucumbers from the garden or farmers market. The only change I made to the recipe was to brine the salmon in a salt water solution for about 15 minutes and instead of grilling the salmon simply cooked it on top of the stove.

  • I made this salmon for a small dinner party and it was a huge hit, especially the cucumber salad. I don’t have a very good grill so I prepared the salmon on the stove top in a saute pan and it turned out perfectly cooked. The only change I made to the salad was with the red onion. Including the red onions with the cucumber in the collander did not reduce the strong taste of the onion which I find unpleasant, so I soaked the sliced onion in ice water for 10-15 minutes. This eliminated the strong bite of the onion and left them a little sweeter and just as crisp.

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