Sizzling chili-rubbed salmon recipe – taste the heat!

My dear food enthusiasts, today I am excited to share with you my recipe for Chili-Rubbed Salmon. Not only is this dish bursting with flavor, but it’s also incredibly easy to make in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Are you tired of eating the same mundane meals that leave you feeling bored and unfulfilled? Well, then it’s time to switch things up and let this chili-rubbed salmon bring some zest into your life. This recipe offers a punch of spice, a hint of sweetness, and a touch of freshness thanks to a squeeze of lime juice.

Whether you’re new to the kitchen or an experienced cook, this recipe is perfect for all skill levels as it requires only a handful of ingredients that can be easily found at any local grocery store. But don’t be deceived by the simplicity of the recipe, the end result is nothing short of deliciousness and will leave your taste buds dancing.

So let’s get cooking on this chili-rubbed salmon recipe and impress your friends and family with your culinary skills!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chili-Rubbed Salmon
Chili-Rubbed Salmon

Are you in search of a salmon recipe that’s easy to prepare, full of flavor, and healthy at the same time? Then look no further because this chili-rubbed salmon recipe will satisfy all your cravings!

This dish is bursting with bold flavors, thanks to the combination of different spices and a hint of sweetness from both the brown sugar and canned chipotle chile. The rub is so flavorful that it can easily elevate the taste of any fish, especially the nutrient-packed salmon.

But what really makes this dish stand out is how effortless it is to prepare. With only a few simple ingredients required, you’ll have dinner ready on your plate in less than 30 minutes. And don’t worry about any complicated techniques because all we’re doing here is rubbing the spice mixture on the salmon fillets before pan-searing them until they’re perfectly cooked.

Plus, not only is this chili-rubbed salmon delicious, but it’s also good for you too! Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which has been linked with reducing inflammation and improving heart health. And there’s no need to worry about excess calories and unhealthy fat because this recipe calls for healthy cooking methods using olive oil.

In short, this chili-rubbed salmon recipe is perfect for anyone who loves spicy food and wants an easy-to-prepare yet flavorful dish that’s healthy at the same time.

Ingredient List

Required Ingredients for Chili-Rubbed Salmon Recipe

This recipe calls for fresh and high-quality ingredients that are easy to obtain at any grocery store or market. Make sure to gather all the ingredients before starting with the recipe.

Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • 4 salmon fillets: You can use skin-on or skinless salmon fillets, depending on your preference. Make sure they are fresh and of high quality.

  • 2 dried ancho chiles: These chiles will be used in the dry rub to infuse flavor into the salmon.

  • 1 canned chipotle chili: This will give the dish a smoky heat that balances perfectly with the sweetness of brown sugar.

  • 1 garlic clove: Garlic is a must-have ingredient in this recipe as it will add depth and aroma.

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder: It wouldn’t be a chili rubbed salmon recipe without chili powder, right?

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar: Brown sugar provides sweetness to balance out the smoky heat from chipotle and spiciness from chili powder.

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin: Cumin is a fragrant spice that adds aroma and depth to the dry rub.

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder: Garlic powder enhances the garlic flavor without adding extra moisture.

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano: Oregano provides a robust flavor profile that pairs well with fish.

  • 1 tsp coarse salt, pepper: Salt and pepper are essential here as they bring out the taste of each ingredient properly.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • Lime wedges for serving

For avocado salsa:

  • 1 avocado diced

  • ½ sweet corn, cooked and cooled

  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves

  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • Kosher salt, pepper

I recommend cooking corn slightly blistered in some olive oil for 10 minutes on medium-high heat to caramelize its natural sugars.

The Recipe How-To

Let me guide you through the process of making this Chili-Rubbed Salmon Recipe step by step, so keep your apron on and let’s get cooking!


First, let’s prepare our ingredients as follows:

  • 4 salmon fillets (6 oz each), skin-on
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Lime wedges

Step 1: Prepare the Chili Rub

In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, brown sugar, dried oregano, kosher salt, and black pepper. Break the ancho chiles into pieces and put them in a blender with the canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, smashed garlic clove, and olive oil. Blend until less chunky. Then mix in the dry ingredients to make a thick paste.

Step 2: Season the Salmon

Season the salmon fillets with kosher salt. Press the chili rub into both sides of each fillet, using all of it.

Step 3: Cook the Salmon

Heat your grill or pan to medium-high heat. Oil your grill grates or pan. Once hot, lay your salmon fillets skin-side down if they still have skin on. Cook until you see the grill marks move about half-way up each piece of fish or until slightly charred on each side (4-6 minutes per side).

Step 4: Serve

Squeeze a fresh squeeze of lime over each chili rubbed salmon filet and serve immediately alongside some vegetables like roasted broccoli or steamed green beans.

I hope you enjoy making this chili rubbed salmon recipe as much as I do!

Substitutions and Variations

Do you want to switch things up in the kitchen? Fear not, culinary adventurer, because small modifications to the chili-rubbed salmon recipe can take it from good to great.

First, for those who don’t eat salmon or are allergic to it, this recipe works splendidly with other fish such as cod or halibut. You can even use chicken breasts or shrimp instead of fish. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Don’t have fresh lime juice on hand? Try using lemon juice instead. It won’t have the same zing but it will still give your dish a bright tangy flavor.

If you’re looking for a smokier chipotle taste, swap out canned chipotle chile with smoked paprika powder. Just make sure not to overdo it as smoked paprika is quite potent.

In terms of spice level, adjust the heat by reducing or increasing the amount of dried ancho chiles and chili powder used. For a milder version, remove the seeds and veins from the dried ancho chiles before soaking them in water.

For those who prefer a sweeter dish, add a spoonful of honey to the seasoning mix. This will balance out some of the smokiness and spiciness of the rub.

Alternatively, you can season your salmon fillets with your preferred spices and herbs like cumin, garlic powder, or Italian seasoning before baking them instead of using chili powder and dried ancho chiles for that extra kick.

Lastly, you can explore different pairings beyond avocado salsa. Consider serving with cooked quinoa or brown rice for a complete meal packed with nutrients.

With these simple substitutions and variations, this chili-rubbed salmon recipe can become a staple in your kitchen with endless possibilities – so get creative!

Serving and Pairing

Once you have prepared this delicious and flavorful chili-rubbed salmon recipe, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to serve and pair it. There are many different options for serving the dish, depending on your preferences and the occasion.

If you’re looking for a light and refreshing meal, consider pairing the salmon with a fresh salad or some grilled vegetables. The salmon is already bursting with flavor, so you don’t need anything too heavy or rich to go along with it. A simple side of steamed broccoli or roasted asparagus would be perfect.

For something a little more substantial, try serving the salmon with a side of rice, quinoa or couscous. The grains will help balance out the heat of the chili rub, while adding some extra texture and bulk to your plate.

If you want to get really fancy, you can make an avocado salsa or corn salad to go along with your salmon fillets. These dishes both complement the flavors of the chili rub, while adding a fresh and colorful touch to your plate.

Another great way to serve this dish is by grilling up some sweet corn or baking some sweet potato wedges. The sweetness of these sides helps balance the heat of the chili powder and enhances the overall flavor of the dish.

When it comes time to pair your chili-rubbed salmon dish with a wine, consider going for something light and fruity that doesn’t overpower the flavors of the fish. A chilled white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio would be perfect. Alternatively, you can opt for a light-bodied red like a Pinot Noir or Gamay.

Whatever you decide to serve and pair your chili-rubbed salmon recipe with, be sure to enjoy every last bite!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

As convenient as it is delicious, chili-rubbed salmon can be prepared in advance and reheated for a quick meal, too. Here’s how to store and reheat it like a pro.

To make ahead, you can prepare the salmon filets with the rub and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking them. This can be especially helpful if you are planning to serve them for dinner.

When it comes to storing the cooked salmon, let it cool completely at room temperature before covering it tightly with plastic wrap or foil and placing it in the fridge. The salmon can be stored this way for up to two days.

To reheat salmon fillets, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the salmon filets on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased with olive oil. Warm them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

If you’re short on time, reheating the salmon in a microwave is also an option. Place the filets on a microwave-safe plate and cover them loosely with a damp paper towel. Reheat on medium power for 1-2 minutes or until warmed through, checking every 30 seconds.

However, if you have leftover salmon that’s already topped with avocado salsa, we don’t recommend reheating it since the avocado will likely turn brown and mushy. Instead, enjoy these leftover pieces cold on a fresh bed of greens or as part of a lunchtime sandwich.

With these storage and reheating tips, you can enjoy your chili-rubbed salmon any time you crave its spicy goodness!

Tips for Perfect Results

When it comes to cooking salmon, mastering the perfect balance of flavors and textures is crucial. Here are some tips to ensure that your chili-rubbed salmon recipe comes out perfectly every time.

1. Don’t overcook the salmon: Salmon can easily become dry and tough if overcooked. When cooking salmon fillets, aim for 8-10 minutes at 425°F (218°C) in a preheated oven. If you’re grilling the salmon fillets, it’s best to cook them skin-side down first for about 4-5 minutes before turning them over and cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes.

2. Use fresh and high-quality ingredients: Start with fresh salmon fillets and high-quality spices to enhance the flavor of your dish.

3. Let your salmon sit at room temperature before cooking: Take the salmon out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for around 15-20 minutes before seasoning and cooking.

4. Coat the salmon evenly with the spice rub: Make sure to thoroughly coat each side of the salmon fillet with the chili rub mixture. Using a small bowl can help distribute the rub more evenly.

5. Add your favorite vegetables: You can add a variety of vegetables to your chili-rubbed salmon recipe such as asparagus, zucchini or broccoli! This will add texture, color, and nutrients to your meal.

6. Serve with avocado salsa: The creamy avocado salsa pairs perfectly with the bold flavors of the chili-rubbed salmon, bringing a fresh contrast to each bite!

7. Use lime wedges for seasoning: Lime provides a tangy kick that balances well with the spiciness of the chili rub mixture. Squeeze fresh lime juice over each piece of fish just before serving.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to cook up an amazing batch of chili-rubbed salmon. Your guests will be impressed by how delicious it tastes and how perfectly cooked it turns out!


As with any recipe, there may be questions that arise during the cooking process. Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers to help you troubleshoot any issues and achieve a perfectly cooked chili-rubbed salmon every time.

What Gordon Ramsay put on salmon?

Let’s get started by preparing a tangy dressing for our succulent salmon. In a mixing bowl, combine finely grated ginger and minced garlic with some soy sauce, maple syrup, and mirin. To finish it off, add a drizzle of luscious olive oil and mix well until the ingredients blend together in perfect harmony. Arrange the salmon fillets in a dish and season them with a pinch of salt and pepper. Gently pour the sticky dressing over the salmon, making sure it’s evenly coated in the glaze.

How long should seasoning sit on salmon?

When preparing salmon, there are various options to add flavor, such as using household spices, store-bought rubs, marinades, glazes, or sauces. The fish itself can handle a plethora of flavors, so feel free to get creative with your choices. Just remember to season the fish at least 5 minutes before cooking for optimal flavor absorption.

What do you soak salmon in before cooking?

Want to enhance the appearance of your cooked fish? Give it a quick dip in brine before cooking! Whip together a solution of one cup of water and two teaspoons of salt, submerge your fish for 10 to 15 minutes, and watch as the white albumin stays right where it belongs – inside the fish.

Should I oil salmon before seasoning?

Before seasoning your salmon filets, it’s wise to rub them with some olive oil. This simple step will not only prevent your fish from sticking to the grill but also add a crispy texture to the surface. Furthermore, make sure that your grill grates are impeccably clean, as this will stop any lingering flavors or charred bits from mixing with the fish.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Chili-Rubbed Salmon recipe is the perfect blend of flavors and textures that will leave your taste buds wanting more. With the combination of spicy and sweet, this dish is a culinary adventure worth trying.

This recipe is perfect for all occasions, whether it’s a family dinner or a get-together with friends. It’s easy to make, doesn’t require too many ingredients, and can be made in advance. Plus, the substitutions and variations provided give you many options to customize the dish according to your preferences.

So next time you’re looking for a delicious meal to make, try out this Chili-Rubbed Salmon recipe. With its flavorful spices and juicy salmon fillets, it won’t disappoint. And don’t forget to pair it with some refreshing avocado salsa and sweet corn salad – it’s the perfect combination!

Chili-Rubbed Salmon

Chili-Rubbed Salmon Recipe

Served at Babalu's, St. Louis, Missouri, which specializes in Caribbean food.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 255.9 kcal


  • 2 large dried ancho chiles (about 1 ounce)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped canned chipotle chile
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon about water
  • 24 ounces salmon fillets, with skin
  • lime wedge


  • Cut ancho chilies in half lengthwise; seed and stem. Heat heavy large skillet over medium-high heat; add chilies and stir until chilies look dry and darken slightly in color, turning occasionally, about 2 1/2 minutes. Cool completely. Break chilies into 1/2-inch pieces. Grind coarsely in spice mill or coffee mill. Add oregano and grind to blend. Transfer to small bowl. Mix in salt and sugar. Stir in garlic, chipotle chilies, and lime juice. Whisk in oil. Add enough water to thin to spreadable consistency (about 1 tablespoon). (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.).
  • Preheat oven to 400°F Spread 2 generous teaspoons chili mixture over each salmon fillet. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until salmon is opaque in center, about 10 minutes.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 206gCalories: 255.9kcalCarbohydrates: 6.1gProtein: 34.7gFat: 9.9gSaturated Fat: 1.5gCholesterol: 87.5mgSodium: 845.6mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1.1g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Brunch, Easy, High In..., High Protein, Very Low Carbs
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