Grilled Cajun Foil-Packet Salmon
This has been one of my favorite recipes since I was a kid living at home. My parents have been making a slightly different version of this for YEARS. I just added some fresh lemon and thyme to take it over the top.
Foil-packet salmon is by far the best way to cook salmon, in my opinion. It keeps it nice and moist and helps the flavors penetrate the fish better. I’ve tried to cook salmon other ways — some turned out “meh” and some were “so-so”. I always go back to this method. With these seasonings. I’ve converted more than a few self-proclaimed salmon haters with this one!
PSST — You can also broil it in the oven, too, if you don’t have a grill.
And best news? It’s super easy. Ten minute prep and it cooks in the same amount of time it takes to prep a salad.
Start with a wild-caught, fresh salmon fillet. Pre-frozen fillets would work, too, but the best flavor comes from fresh fillets. I always get mine at Costco in a two-pack and cook both of them at the same time so I can make salmon cakes with the leftovers.
I have this thyme plant in my herb garden that survived the winter and is currently the diva of the garden box. It’s huge and starting to flower. I’d probably need to roast 10 chickens to use it up, though. I don’t even know how that happened — usually everything I plant is dead by August. Lucky little plant.
Also, Cajun seasoning is so good on salmon. I don’t know why, but it is. It’s pretty easy to find a good, clean blend at the grocery store. (I like Spicely’s and Morton & Bassett’s blends.) You can also make your own! I included a recipe for homemade Cajun seasoning in my cookbook, but I’m sure a Google search would give you lots of options.
Just smear the fillet with the spices and garlic and arrange the lemon and thyme on top! Oh, and don’t forget the ghee. (I nearly did — it didn’t make it into the photo.) Just put several small blobs along the fillet — this is really scientific, isn’t it?
Crip the edges and then throw that puppy on your hot grill. Mmm. The best.
If you’re looking for side dishes or salads to go with this, here are a few ideas…
- Fresh chopped Romaine with Whole30 Caesar Dressing (my go-to with a sliced cucumber mixed in!)
- Southwest Cabbage Slaw
- Sweet Kale Salad (Costco Copycat)
- Roasted Potato Salad with Dill-Scaillion Vinaigrette
- Avocado Bacon Parmesan Salad
- Marinated Grilled Zucchini
- 1 whole, fresh salmon fillet (or 4-6 smaller fillets)
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 lemons, one sliced into rounds, one sliced into wedges
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2-3 Tablespoons ghee or grass-fed butter
- Preheat your grill to high heat.
- Cut a piece of aluminum foil twice as long as the salmon fillet. Place the foil on a rimmed baking sheet so half is on the baking sheet and the other half extends to the side. Place the salmon on the side of the foil that is over the baking sheet.
- Sprinkle the fillet liberally with sea salt and black pepper. Add the Cajun seasoning and garlic and rub them around evenly on the fillet. Place the lemon slices and thyme springs on top, and put blobs of ghee/butter on the fillet as well.
- Fold the foil over to cover the salmon and crimp the sides to form a packet.
- Place the packet on the grill. Cover the grill and cook for 8-12 minutes, until the thickest parts of the salmon are just barely cooked through -- or even slightly dark pink still.
- Remove the salmon, turn off the grill, and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve with lemon wedges.