Grilled Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce

If the chicken crossed the road to get to the other side, I think the salmon must have plopped itself down on the grill purely so it could be slathered in creamy dill sauce.

Vertical image of a fork taking a piece from a fish fillet covered in a creamy sauce next to lemons on a white plate.

When you’re working with a healthy, nutrient-packed protein like salmon, sometimes you want to let it shine without going over the top with seasonings.

Simplicity is key, especially when it comes to those times when you need to throw a meal together in a snap.

That’s not to say I don’t love giving the oil-rich fish a spicy crust, or rubbing it with chipotle and lime or pungent ginger and honey,

But sometimes, it’s nice to go back to the basics. And what’s more straightforward than fish, lemon, and dill?

There’s little prep work involved to get this entree ready to go, and once it’s on the grill, it’s smooth sailing. Whether you’re a fan of the charcoal grill, you prefer to use your grill pan indoors, or you’re cooking with gas, you can have that baby heated up and ready to go in less time than it takes to cook rice.

Vertical image of draping fish fillets in a cream sauce on a plate next to dill and lemon wedges.

Dill sauce in some form appears repeatedly in the introductory “Basics” chapter in my book of culinary memories. From cucumber-laced tzatziki to garlicky homemade ranch, I’m a sucker for mixing the feathery herb into a creamy dip or dressing.

If you like to keep your cooking as uncomplicated as possible, this dill sauce is sure to satisfy. And it’s made with just four ingredients, plus a little salt and pepper.

Bright lemon juice is kind of a no-brainer with seafood, and the grassy dill speaks for itself.

Although mayonnaise is high on my list of true loves, I cut the fatty condiment with yogurt for a refreshingly tart taste, and creamy texture.

I mean, do I like to dip my fries directly in mayo? Sure. And homemade mayonnaise is an indulgent condiment I adore, which you should give a shot if you have a little extra time on your hands.

Vertical close-up image of a fork taking a piece from a fish fillet covered in a creamy sauce next to lemons on a white plate.

But when I’m grilling a lean protein, I’d prefer to drape it in something rich without veering towards being too greasy. The yogurt also helps to bring down the calorie count, especially if you reach for a lower fat version.

Salmon can be skillfully prepared a dozen different ways, but I find the smoky kiss of the grill to be my favorite route to deliciousness.

Maybe it’s because the final result makes me reminisce about the briny, delicate slivers of smoked lox I’ve been layering onto toasted bagels since my youth.

I believe that’s chapter four in my book of culinary memories, “Breakfast Big Ones.”

Vertical top-down image of three salmon fillets on a plate topped with a creamy herb spread next to silverware and lemon wedges.

I also find that it hides some of the subtle fishy flavor that may stick around when the fillets are baked or pan-seared. And you’ve gotta love that crispy skin.

Topped off with some fresh lemon wedges for those who prefer a double dose of citrus, this simple dish is not just a cookout go-to. It could even make a quick lunch or dinner on a weekday.

No matter when you enjoy this recipe, there’s no denying that salmon, lemon, and dill make a tasty trio that will never go out of style.

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Horizontal image of three salmon fillets on a plate topped with a creamy herb spread next to herbs, silverware, and lemon wedges.

Grilled Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce


  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Looking to add more flavor to grilled salmon? Top it with a pleasantly tangy sauce made with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and fresh, fragrant dill.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 teaspoon plus a pinch coarse salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 6-ounce skin-on salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate while you cook the salmon..
  2. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high, about 350-400°F.
  3. Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel.  Lightly coat both sides with oil using a silicone pastry brush. Season both sides with the remaining salt and pepper.
  4. Grill the salmon, skin side-down, until it easily lifts away from the grates, about 6-8 minutes. Flip and cook until lightly browned on the other side, about 2 minutes.
  5. Arrange the salmon on a platter. Serve with lemon wedges and creamy dill sauce.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Salmon
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Fish/Seafood

Keywords: grill, salmon, dill, lemon, sauce

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Gather, Prep, and Measure Ingredients

Measure the Greek yogurt and mayonnaise, with whatever fat content  you prefer.

Horizontal image of raw fish pieces on a woode cutting board next to ramekins of measured ingredients.

Measure the olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Juice about half of a lemon and measure out 1 tablespoon of the juice. Slice the remaining half into wedges for serving.

Remove the stems and chop the dill.

Take the fish fillets out of the fridge and place them on a large plate or platter. Use a paper towel to pat your salmon fillets dry. This will remove any excess moisture from the outside, helping the oil stick to the skin and flesh.

For even cooking throughout the fillets, the fish needs to be at room temperature. It should not be grilled cold directly from the refrigerator.

Making the sauce and preheating the grill or grill pan will be the perfect amount of time necessary to allow the fish to come to room temperature.

Step 2 – Make the Sauce

Whisk together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill, and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl.

Horizontal image of a whisk in a yogurt and herb mixture in a metal bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill while you cook the salmon.

Step 3 – Season and Grill the Salmon

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high, about 350-400°F. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes if you’re using a gas grill or a grill pan inside on the stove, or about 20 to 30 minutes to heat up your coals on a charcoal grill.

Horizontal image of raw seasoned salmon fillets on a grill.

Evenly coat both sides of the fish with the oil using a silicone pastry brush or your hands and season both sides with the remaining salt and pepper.

Start by placing the salmon skin side-down on the grates of the grill. Cooking the skin first, and for the majority of the time, ensures easy removal from the grates because it will become dry and crisp, and will not stick. Do not flip the fish prematurely or move it around while it’s cooking!

Horizontal image of cooked fish fillets with crispy skins on a grill.

Grill for 6 to 8 minutes and then carefully nudge one of the fillets with a metal spatula or tongs to see if it is sticking to the grill. When each piece easily lifts away from the grates, flip it to cook the other side.

Cook the fleshy, skinless side of the salmon until it’s lightly browned, about 2 more minutes, and then remove the fillets from the grill. The thickest part of each piece of salmon should register 145°F on a meat thermometer when it’s done, and the flesh will flake easily.

Step 4 – Top with Sauce and Serve

Take the creamy dill sauce out of the fridge.

Horizontal close-up image of three salmon fillets on a plate topped with a creamy herb spread next to herbs, silverware, and lemon wedges.

For a nice presentation, you can delicately smear some of the sauce across the center of a serving platter, top with the salmon, and then dollop a little more of the sauce on top of each piece.

Horizontal top-down image of three salmon fillets on a plate topped with a creamy herb spread next to silverware and lemon wedges.

Surround the fillets with the lemon wedges and serve with extra sauce on the side. For a complete meal, this protein pairs nicely with grilled asparagus and a starch like herb-roasted potatoes.

How to Avoid a Sticky Situation

Everyone and their mother seems to have a method for ensuring that their fish doesn’t stick to the grill. Some place fillets on cozy beds of lemon wheels while others swear by tin foil.

Horizontal image of three salmon fillets on a plate topped with a creamy herb spread next to herbs, silverware, and lemon wedges.

As for me, it’s all in the skin – which we’ve patted dry first, and then lightly coated with olive oil.

Well, that and the rule of not disturbing the fish. Leaving your food alone to get a good sear on it is Grilling 101, and the same mandate stands for salmon. If the skin hits the grates and is left untouched, it will crisp and release itself when it’s ready.

What’s your go-to method for making sure you don’t lose half of your fish to the grill? Name your chargrilled seafood tips in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.

Dill is delightful, not to mention versatile enough to land in dozens of different places and strut its stuff. Snatch a bundle of the wispy herb and give these recipes a try next:

Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on August 1, 2014. Last updated on August 9, 2022.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Fanny Slater

Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”

20 thoughts on “Grilled Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce”

  1. I like this dish! It sounds easy and quick to prepare. I am always on the go and I can see this recipe working it’s way into my normal routine easily. This recipe has a short prep time which will help me immensely. And who doesn’t love salmon. Salmon is rich in those good omega fats for great heart health benefits. I will have to break out my George Foreman grill and give this one a go.

    Reply
  2. I happy you chose a salmon dish here, and an easy tasty one to follow too. I love salmon but have found myself in the bad habit of using pre-packed sauce, which does not taste anywhere near as good as making a creamy dill sauce as above.
    I hope you reveal a couple more salmon recipes in the near future with accompanying sauces. Thanks.

    Reply
  3. Thank you for this salmon recipe. I tend to prepare salmon the same way all the time, but I think this dill sauce will provide some nice variety.

    Reply
  4. This sounds really good! I absolutely love Dill Salmon, but never thought to use Greek yogurt, which seems to be all the rage right now. My family and I have been trying to add alternative sources of protein to our diets, especially for the summer, since we’re inundated with burgers, hot dogs, and the like. I think I’ll try this this weekend!

    Reply
  5. I love using dill in my recipes, the herbs smells light, but the flavor that is added is awesome. The photo looks so good I can taste it. I normally cook the fish in a fried patty or crumbled in a soup.

    Reply
  6. I absolutely love salmon with dill. I usually make a spread with organic butter, dill, and lemon juice blended together. I like that you used Greek yogurt in this, but I really don’t like the taste of reduced fat mayonnaise. Do you think just Greek yogurt would still taste good? Or is there an alternative to the reduced fat mayo? Grilled or baked, Salmon is my favorite fish to eat. Particularly fresh, wild caught Salmon.

    Reply
  7. I love cooking salmon. Its second only to chicken in my house. This lower calorie recipe is a great idea–I can try it soon because I always have these ingredients on hand. I’m always interested in finding recipes where I can lower fat by substituting greek yogurt for sour cream. I’ve never been a big fan of sour cream but I love plain greek. I always have some in the refrigerator because I eat it with fruit and can use it in various recipes. Thanks!

    Reply
  8. I to love salmon, but have never had dill salmon before. My husband loves to grill and we do it a lot when he is home. The dill sauce sounds awesome. We like to go get fresh fish, and sea food at a local market. I’m going to try this recipe it has gotten me hungery now.

    Reply
  9. Oh my God, what is this sorcery? I just tried this recipe today and it was really awesome! I’ve always been looking for ways to vary my fish dinners because I eat a lot of fish and sometimes I get bored with it. This recipe will certainly be added to own cookbook. Incidentally I added parsley to my Dill sauce because I’m not a fan of the subtle smell of mayo and it turned out great.

    Reply
  10. I can’t even express how much I love salmon. I very rarely put a sauce on it but I looking forward to trying this creamy dill sauce to add something different to the regular menu.

    Reply
  11. You had me at dill sauce. I was lured in by salmon but the dill sauce killed this for me. I love using the best ingredients possible for every sauce I make. Sauce makes the meal for me. Thanks for the low fat options. Quite helpful.

    Reply
  12. I really like this recipe. Not only does it use a light meat, but it can also be consider sinful. I’ve always love creamy food, but due to my weight I often have to forgo them. Now I don’t have to completely! I now have a healthy, yet sinful genius delicacy. Thanks this was a really helpful article. Also, if you don’t like dill could we replace it with something else? I don’t mind it, but if I have another choice I would probably pick it over dill. Do, let me know! 🙂

    Reply
  13. Always looking for ways to improve salmon and keep it healthy. I have never made my own dill sauce, or even grilled salmon. I’m bookmarking this for later use.
    Combine this with a cedar plank and I bet it is even better.
    I like how your recipes can be altered for serving size. Nifty feature.

    Reply
  14. Haha, that’s exactly what I do. I never ask my family whether or not they like it, I just can see it on their facial expressions! Plus they usually eventually tell me;) And yum! I’ve actually never made any fish myself, my mom usually makes it but I want to try to make it myself and I guess I will start with this recipe! 🙂

    Reply
  15. Thanks again Lynne, for yet again providing us with another amazing recipe! This dish looks simply scrumptious, and that dill sauce, wow looks DELISH! I previously cooked one of your other fish based recipes. It was a little on the hot side, and it was a total winner at my table. Even the kids love it! I’m sure this tasty looking dish will be no different and I’ll have another hit on my table thanks to you.

    Reply
  16. Great tip for reducing calories by using yogurt rather than sour cream… I wonder how many other recipes we can try that with. Really with the dill and lemon you can´t go wrong for a sauce for salman.

    Reply
  17. I love that you’re looking out there for us people that try to stay in shape too, it’s a good idea to add yogurt instead of sour cream although I’m not really sure if the latter has that much of an impact. Grilled salmon tastes really good, there are few fish that I enjoy eating and this one is probably at the top, very tasty!

    Reply

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