Smoky and sweet with a bit of heat, this Spice-Rubbed Salmon is the perfect quick and easy nutritious weeknight dish. It's packed with flavor and can be made in about 15 minutes! This dish is so versatile- it can be made on the grill, in the oven, on the stove, or in the air fryer!
I love quick and easy weeknight meals. Some of my favorite 30 minute meals are my Marry Me Chicken, Quick & Easy Tuna Pasta, and Creamy Paprika Chicken.
This Spice-Rubbed Salmon is one of my go-to recipes on busy weeknights. When people ask me how it’s possible to cook healthy meals when you’re pressed for time, I point to recipes like this one. Not only is it healthy and delicious, it can be prepared in about 15 minutes!
Salmon is one of my favorite things to cook. Not only is it quick and easy to prepare, it's a true superfood!
Salmon is packed with health-promoting nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins and minerals. Read my post all about the health benefits of salmon.
The US Dietary Guidelines recommend that we all eat at least 2 servings of seafood per week and this dish is a great way to get one of those servings in!
Not sure if your salmon is past its prime? Read my post on How To Tell If Salmon Has Gone Bad so that you can always enjoy this delicious fish at its best!
Salmon dry rub
I love dry spice rubs and they’re so easy to make yourself, there’s no need to buy them! Spice rubs are also a great way to add a ton of flavor to a dish without adding a lot of calories or fat.
Check out my popular Grilled Spiced Chicken with Mango Avocado Salsa or Tropical Fish Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa. Spice rubs are also convenient because most of us have a good number of dried spices hanging out in our pantries.
This is a great all purpose rub that works well on salmon but also on chicken, beef, pork, or vegetables. It has a combination of smoky, spicy and sweet flavors that balance each other out nicely.
It gets smokiness from chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika and a hint of spice from cayenne pepper. And to balance the savory flavors, I include a bit of brown sugar for sweetness.
How to cook spice-rubbed salmon
Another great thing about this salmon is that you can cook it in a number of different ways depending on your preference. If you have an outdoor grill, you can cook this on the grill. Otherwise, you can cook it on an indoor grill pan, in a skillet, in the oven, or even in an air fryer.
Simply brush the salmon fillets with olive oil and season them with the dry rub. Then cook them using whichever cooking method you prefer. Refer to the recipe card below for detailed instructions.
Serve this salmon with one of the side dishes below or top it with a fresh salsa like my Mango Salsa, Strawberry Jalapeño Salsa or Chipotle Corn Salsa.
Salmon side dishes:
Air fryer recipes
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- 4 salmon fillets (about 6 ounces each)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Pat the salmon dry. To make the dry rub, mix the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, sugar, and salt together in a small bowl. Brush each salmon filet with ½ teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle about ½ tablespoon of the dry rub on top, patting it onto the salmon so that it adheres.
- To grill the salmon on a grill:Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium high heat. Brush the grill rack well with oil. Place the salmon on the grill, seasoned side down and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook another 3-5 minutes to desired doneness.
- To bake the salmon in the oven:Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the salmon on an oiled sheet pan and bake in the oven 10-15 minutes until it reaches desired doneness.
- To cook the salmon on the stove:Heat a nonstick skillet on the stove over medium high heat and spray with olive oil. Place the salmon in the pan, seasoned side down and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook another 3-5 minutes to desired doneness.
- To cook the salmon in an air fryer:Heat an air fryer to 400°F. Spray or brush the rack with olive oil. Add the salmon to the air fryer in a single layer. Cook 6-10 minutes to desired doneness.
David P. says
Dr. Sonali Ruder says