Grilled Salmon Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

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Light, fresh, and healthy grilled salmon salad recipe. Crisp vegetables are tossed in a tangy lemon basil dressing and topped with flaky salmon.

Grilled salmon fillet on top of a greek salad.

Are you looking for a light, fresh, and healthy protein-packed meal? This Greek salmon salad is loaded with crisp, fresh vegetables and tossed in a tangy lemon basil dressing. For quick and easy preparation, grilling and making the dressing in a blender are real-time savers.

To minimize the cleanup, fire up your grill. The salmon recipe cooks in under 10 minutes! Add all dressing ingredients into the blender to create the fastest creamy dressing in under a minute. It’s a tasty Meditteranean-inspired dish for everyone strapped for time but still need a wholesome and satisfying meal.

Key ingredients

Salad ingredients with homemade lemon basil dressing.
  • Salmon: Choose your favorite type of salmon. I use sockeye salmon filets, about 4 ounces in size, for this recipe. If you prefer a more rich and soft texture, use Atlantic salmon. Wild salmon will be darker in hue and leaner. Cook with the skin on or off. It’s easy to remove after cooking or leave intact if you like a crispy texture.
  • Lettuce: A combination of different types of lettuce, like crisp romaine and tender spinach or kale adds nutrition to each bowl. When cutting romaine, slice it into 1/2-inch thick pieces.
  • Mix-ins: Juicy and sweet cherry tomatoes, crunchy cucumber, bell peppers, red onions, tangy and creamy feta cheese, and chopped walnuts.
  • Dressing: A lemon basil dressing is made in a blender for a quick vinaigrette to add on top.

Grill the salmon

The salmon filets are seasoned with salt and pepper. A generous coating of olive oil adds a fruit flavor and prevents the pieces from sticking to the grill. I always ensure the grill is cleaned, pre-heated over medium-high heat, and oiled before adding fish. Place the fish on a 45-degree angle to the grates to achieve beautifully striped sear marks.

Don’t move the fish at all until ready to flip! The seared salmon will naturally release and easily lift off when given enough time to cook on the grill, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Feel free to use tongs or a spatula to lift one side to check, but be careful as the fish is delicate.

Make the salad

Here are my rules for building the ultimate salad; use ingredients that are crunchy, creamy, savory, tangy, and a hint of sweet. If you have these five elements, your salad combinations will be a hit!

For the crunch, I like a mixture of salad greens. I’ve got chopped romaine, kale, and spinach in this recipe. Cucumbers, red bell peppers, and red onions add even more crisp textures. The ripe baby tomatoes add a natural burst of sweetness, plus a little bit of honey in the dressing. The creaminess from the feta and walnuts contrasts the crunch nicely. The cheese also adds a savory and tangy fermented note.

Make the dressing

Grab a blender for a quick and easy salmon salad dressing. To make the lemon basil dressing, process the lemon juice, zest, mustard, honey, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs like basil and oregano. The lemon juice from the dressing adds just the right amount of acidity to brighten and bring all of the elements in the salad together.

Drizzle in the olive oil while blending; it’s packed with healthy fats that provide richness and thickness to the vinaigrette. It’s one of my favorite dairy-free dressings! You can also make the dressing recipe by hand by chopping up the herbs and whisking everything together in a medium bowl.

Serving the salad

Drizzle the lemon basil dressing over the salad ingredients in a large bowl. If you’d like, toss them together to coat them evenly. Serve the salad with salmon on top in individual bowls. I always like adding some extra cheese and dressing.

This is a great entree salad for meal prep. You can portion the dressing and pour it on top right before eating. The salmon tastes delicious cold too! I often serve the cooked salmon in a lettuce wrap for a quick low-carb meal.

Bowl of greek salad with a grilled piece of salmon on top.

Flavor variations

This grilled salmon salad recipe is easy to customize. Try these delicious flavor variations:

Serving suggestions

Salmon fillet placed on a bed of lettuce and tomatoes.

How to tell when salmon is done grilling

Grill the salmon fillets uncovered and flip them when it’s about 70% cooked, then finish cooking the other side. The fish is ready when the flesh easily flakes apart with a fork, don’t overcook! Cook to about a medium-rare to medium doneness, between 130 to 140°F (54 to 60ºC).

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Grilled Salmon Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

I absolutely love making grilled salmon salad because it's a healthy and delicious way to get in my daily dose of protein and veggies. Plus, the combination of the warm grilled salmon with cool, crisp greens and vegetables creates a perfect balance of textures and flavors.
4.67 from 242 votes
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Salad
Cuisine Greek


Salmon Salad

  • 1 pound salmon fillets, 4 pieces
  • kosher salt, as needed
  • black pepper, as needed
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 8 cups lettuce, romaine, spinach or kale
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced, ¼" thick
  • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced, ¼" thick
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup lemon juice, plus 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 8 basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 teaspoon fresh
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil


  • Season the Salmon – Lightly season both sides of the salmon fillet with salt and pepper. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on both sides to coat.
  • Grill the Salmon – Heat a barbecue or grill pan to medium-high. Add a small amount of vegetable oil on a folded piece of paper towel, and then carefully grease the grill grates. Once the grill is nice and hot, add the salmon fillets. Cook uncovered for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side until flaky, about 130 to 140°F (54 to 60ºC).
  • Transfer the Salmon – Remove the salmon from the grill and transfer to a clean plate. Cover to keep warm. Remove the skin if still attached.
  • Make the Salad – In a large bowl, add the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, bell pepper, cheese, and walnuts. Set aside.
  • Make the Salad Dressing – In a blender, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, honey, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Blend on medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. With the blender running on low speed, slowly add in the olive oil, processing until lightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  • To Serve – Toss the salad with enough dressing to coat the ingredients. There will be extra dressing to serve on the side. Evenly divide the mixture among four bowls and top with 1 salmon fillet. Drizzle each salmon with more dressing if desired.


  • Making the Dressing by Hand: Finely chop the basil. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, honey, garlic, chopped basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.
  • Storing: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 473kcal (24%)Carbohydrates 13g (4%)Protein 32g (64%)Fat 35g (54%)Saturated Fat 7g (35%)Polyunsaturated Fat 7gMonounsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 74mg (25%)Sodium 566mg (24%)Potassium 493mg (14%)Fiber 4g (16%)Sugar 5g (6%)Vitamin A 6300IU (126%)Vitamin C 68.5mg (83%)Calcium 150mg (15%)Iron 2.2mg (12%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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68 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Julie says

    This was absolutely delicious! I stumbled across your site while googling recipes, I am excited to try more of your recipes!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yay! I’m so HAPPY to hear that you enjoyed the recipe Julie. Looking forward to sharing more recipes with you 🙂

  2. Heidi Erdmann says

    Looks fabulous but sort of surprised to see this under a search of healthy when the total fat shows 35g. is that for all four servings. seems a little high to be healthy. I will make but plan to use less dressing and less cheese to help reduce the fat. Thank you

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you so much for your comment Heidi! You are right, I factored in all of the dressing and a generous amount of cheese and walnuts. You realistically would only use 1-2 tablespoons of dressing vs. 1/4 cup. Also, the salmon has a high amount of healthy omega-3 fatty acids adding to the fat amount. I think you’re approach is a good one!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Sarah- Yes! Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray or olive oil. Evenly spread out the salmon fillets on the tray. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 130-135°F. The fish should easily flake apart but not be dry.

  3. Karie says

    This salad was amazing. All the flavors went really well together, my 4 year old loved it too! We baked the salmon in the oven since the grill is covered in snow. We loved the dressing and will use it for other applications, switching out the basil for cilantro and using it on fish tacos.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you Karie! So happy to hear that the entire family enjoyed the recipe, I know how hard it is to get a toddler to eat 🙂 Great idea to use the dressing for tacos!

  4. Amber says

    Hello. We had this tonight, delicious. It’s the nutrition info for the salmon and the dressing, or the dressing only?

  5. Margarita says

    I made this salad last night. Cooked salmon in grill pan on the stove. I seasoned salmon with garlic powder and pepper since I need to avoid salt. Made salad dressing without salt and added extra garlic to it.
    It was delicious!

  6. Rajona says

    Not only was this dish great tasting, but it came together quickly! Thank you for sharing your recipes- I look forward to trying more!

  7. Denise says

    I made this salad last night and both my husband and I loved it! This recipe will be in our regular rotation. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Debra says

    A quick google for “salmon on bed of greens” took me to your recipe. It is delicious and will become a staple in my summer salad rotation! Fresh, bright, quick and filling! Thanks Jessica!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for your feedback Debra, so happy that you were able to find my recipe. It is a great go-to easy and healthy meal 🙂

  9. Vy Tran says

    Thank you so much for your recipe.

    And I’m wondering if I can make the dressing and save it up for 4 days? Because i want to make this for my weekly meal plan 🙂

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thanks Vy! I think you could save it, just portion the dressing out. You will have to shake it before you add to your salad because it will likely separate over time.

  10. Eveline van Heijst says

    Hi Jessica,

    I made the this recipe last Friday when we had friends over for dinner and it was a hit! I googled salads to go with salmon and ended up here. So thank you for the recipe.

  11. Francisco says

    Trying to switch to healthier eating habits. This salad was just what I was looking for. It was very yummy. I prefer to cook my salmon in a skillet with minimal oil. Thank you!

  12. Bryan stovall says

    That dressing was incredible on the salad! I am such a newbie to salmon, so this is definitely going to be a repeat! Thank you so much!

  13. Mark says

    You have a great idea here. I made this tonight and it was delicious, thank you for this recipe. My family loved it!!!

  14. lacey says

    this is seriously ONE OF THE BEST SALADS i have ever had in my life!!! made it tones now and for guest and everyone loves it! the fish alone would need more flavor but eaten together, perfect! a must try 😀

  15. Bob Thompson says

    Now, that was awesome! Tomatoes, basil, and oregano from the garden. Meyer lemon from my tree. Half Romain and half spinach. Thought I had some walnuts but did not. Personally don’t think they were necessary. The addition of avocado will be in order the next time I prepare this perfect summer salad.

  16. Kelly says

    Hi!! All the three groceries that I went to didn’t have basil, is it gonna taste weird if I don’t put it?

    Thank you!!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes, you can make all of the components ahead of time. However, I would wait to add the dressing until right before you serve. Make sure to whisk the dressing as it may separate over time.

  17. Nikia Lewis says

    I made this for my family last night and it was delicious!! I also used the leftover salad for my lunch today, the dressing is magnificent!

    Thanks for the recipe.

  18. Dave says

    This was stunning!

    We were getting very tired with my regular, quite boring salad, and can’t believe how good this was. It would have been delicious even without the salmon.
    Definitely making again. Thanks!

  19. Pepper says

    Totally delicious! I used mixed baby greens and added kalamata olives. Broiled the fish on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and put the rack at mid-level so it wasn’t too close to the broiler. Broiling time was the same as grilling time.

  20. Jess says

    I will be making this recipe for company this weekend. Is it possible to make the dressing in advance? 2 days? or will the fresh basil not be good any longer?
    Thank you!

  21. P B says

    I’ve made this recipe multiple times and it is always so delicious. The basil dressing is so good, can be put on any salad!

  22. Michelle says

    Hi from Chicago!
    We had some tomatoes, red onion and cucumber to use up from a Greek salad we made recently. I did a quick search of my Pinterest boards and I stumbled upon your recipe. It’s finally grilling season in the Windy City, so this was perfect for a simple weeknight meal! We used all three greens in our salads and added some fresh chopped basil, too. The dressing was a bit bitter on its own, maybe because we used sugar-free honey (?). We added a touch more sweet to it, and when added to the rest of the salad components, it was perfect! Using Coho salmon made our salads extra special. We like it for its buttery, flaky texture. Excellent recipe!!!

  23. Elaine Sherard says

    We eat a lot of salads with protein. This was delicious! Especially the dressing and addition of the walnuts. Give this one a try!

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