Take the heat out of the kitchen by making grilled salmon in foil. Enjoy packets of savory juicy salmon slathered in garlicky butter and sprinkled with fresh chives, steamed to perfection on your grill. Hint: you can make it in your oven, too!

Overhead view of salmon surrounded up foil and on a sheet pan. Salmon is covered with chives and garlic butter.

I love the idea of cooking outside and grilling gives such great flavor to meats, veggies and even fruit. Burgers, chicken, and steaks are so yummy on the grill. Even plain ol’ hotdogs taste better on the the grill. Buuuuut…

However, sometimes grilled meals can be a two person job, right? Someone needs to be outside tending the grill, and someone needs to be inside making the rest of the meal. If you’ve ever tried to do both jobs yourself, you know what I’m talking about, right?

Go outside, get the grill heating. Go inside to prepare whatever you’re grilling. Go outside and clean off the grill. Go inside and fetch what’s being grilled. Go outside and put it on the grill. Go inside to prep the rest of dinner. Go outside to check on the grilling. Back inside to check the veggies (or the kids!). Etc. Etc. You get the idea. You’re running around like a crazy person!

That’s one reason I love this grilled salmon in foil. It has to be about the easiest thing in the world to grill! Put the foil packets on the grates in your preheated grill and cook for fifteen minutes, unattended. No need to flip the packets or move them around–they are just fine on their own. Set the timer, go inside, and do whatever else needs to be done to get dinner on the table.

When the timer goes off, take the packets off the grill, open, and enjoy. You can turn the grill off right away–no need to burn off any drippings or grease. Just sit down and have a nice leisurely meal featuring this perfectly done, absolutely delicious salmon, buttery, garlicky, and so flavorful. 

Salmon partially wrapped in foil covered with chives and minced garlic.

About this grilled salmon in foil:

Now I bet you’re wondering how to make this simple grilled salmon! You can have this salmon ready for the grill in less than 10 minutes.

Get your grill preheating. You’ll want it at medium heat, if you’re cooking on a gas grill, the temperature should be around 400°F. Lay the salmon fillet on a large sheet of heavy duty foil (or a double thickness of regular foil), and brush the fillet with a mixture of melted butter, minced garlic, chopped fresh chives, salt, and pepper. Be generous and just slather it on!

Bring the sides of foil together, double fold to seal, and do the same with the ends. Bring the packet out to the grill, set it on the grate, put the lid down, and grill for about 15 minutes. No peeking! The salmon is steaming right now and you don’t want to let out all the steam.

If you like, before you take the salmon packet off the grill, check the internal temp of the salmon with an instant read thermometer. It should read about 135°F. Remove the salmon from the grill, and let it rest about five minutes. 

Unwrap it and serve! The grilled salmon will be perfectly done, moist, buttery, and tender, with loads of garlicky flavor! You’ll love it!

Salmon partially wrapped in foil covered with chives and minced garlic.

Want to make salmon packets with vegetables? Sure, why not? Cut the raw salmon into individual fillets and make a packet for each person. On each sheet of foil, put one salmon fillet, and your choice of vegetables. Try slices of zucchini or summer squash, asparagus spears, cherry tomatoes, or thinly sliced onion. You’ll want to avoid harder vegetables that take longer to cook such as carrots, turnips, or potatoes. Add the garlic butter, seal, and cook. Depending on how many veggies you crammed in there, the salmon should be ready in fifteen to eighteen minutes. Shazam! You’re a magician–dinner is served!

Or you could go this route: grill these seasoned potatoes alongside the salmon. They cook at the same temperature for the same length of time and get wonderfully brown and crispy. Perfect! Add a couple of grilled zucchini and you’re good to go. Or make a separate foil packet of grilled rosemary potatoes and grill them for 25-30 minutes for a wonderful side. 

Foil-wrapped salmon that has been topped with chives and garlic, being flaked with a fork.

How to make this salmon your own:

  • Too cold or rainy to grill? No problem! Make “grilled” salmon in foil right in your oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F, and proceed with the recipe exactly the same way. It will turn out pretty much the same as on the grill. 
  • This salmon recipe can be seasoned however you like. Add more garlic, or use less garlic. Skip the chives or add lemon and dill. Use a soy sauce based marinade. Keep reading for more ideas for salmon. 
  • Whole30, Paleo, or dairy free: use olive oil instead of butter.

Overhead image of flaky salmon topped with garlic and chives. A fork is flaking the salmon.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Wrap leftover salmon well and store in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat gently in the microwave. Or enjoy it cold, flaked on a salad or sandwich. Yum!

Cooked salmon can also be wrapped well and frozen for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the fridge for best results. Use thawed salmon like you would canned salmon.

Have a lot of leftover salmon? Use it to make a casserole, like this easy cheesy salmon casserole by The Spruce Eats, or try delicious salmon patties by my friend Erin at Well Plated.

Loving salmon?

I love how salmon is so easy to prepare and adapts to such a variety of flavors. Try:

 

 

Note: Concerned about grilling food wrapped in aluminum foil? Healthline has more information on this topic. While the risk is apparently very slight, I do want you to be informed about the possibility and allow you to make your own decision. If you are concerned, please try one of the recipes for cooking salmon listed above. 

Overhead image of flaky salmon topped with garlic and chives. A fork is flaking the salmon.

Grilled Salmon in Foil with Garlic Butter

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Take the heat out of the kitchen by making grilled salmon in foil. Enjoy packets of savory juicy salmon slathered in garlicky butter and sprinkled with fresh chives, steamed to perfection on your grill. Hint: you can make it in your oven, too!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lb. fresh salmon fillet, skin on
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to medium heat, approximately 400°F. 
  2. Place salmon, skin side down, on large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, or double sheets of aluminum foil. 
  3. In small bowl, mix together melted butter, garlic, chives, salt, and pepper. Spread mixture evenly over salmon fillet.
  4. Bringing sides and ends of foil together, enclose salmon inside foil, folding edges to seal.
  5. Place foil-wrapped salmon on grill grates. Cook, covered, for 15-16 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through (135°F). Let rest 5 minutes, unwrap and serve.

Notes

  • Salmon packets with vegetables: Cut the raw salmon into individual fillets and make a packet for each person. On each sheet of foil, put one salmon fillet, and your choice of zucchini, summer squash, asparagus spears, cherry tomatoes, or thinly sliced onion. Add the garlic butter, seal, and cook 15 to 18 minutes or until salmon is done and veggies are tender.
  • Oven method: preheat oven to 400°F. Proceed with recipe as directed, baking salmon packets 15 minutes.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 4 oz. fillet
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 304Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 247mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 25g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict: I love this! If you’re a garlic lover, this one is for you. And it smells AMAZING.
Husband’s take: Ben doesn’t love garlic as much as I do, so while this isn’t his favorite salmon preparation, he still doesn’t complain.
Changes I would make: No changes are necessary!
Difficulty: Very easy!