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Keto Mexican Grilled Salmon

When outdoor grilling is not in season, an iron skillet (with grill marks if you like) can easily sear a fillet of salmon to perfection. Add a chipotle-spiced rub and a chile verde sauce and you have an exquisite Spring dinner. Salmon is one of the best proteins you can eat on a low carb or keto diet and this Mexican Grilled Salmon is a natural to pair with a wide range of keto friendly vegetables (think asparagus or fresh green beans).

Mexican Seared Salmon with chile verde sauce
Mexican Seared Salmon with chile verde sauce

Indoor vs. Outdoor Grilling

I know grillers think it is heresy to grill inside the house, but honestly I’m just too lazy to do the prep work for grilling outside. I know the gas grills are easy, but why not just use the gas stovetop indoors and take the food out to the deck?

I know I’m missing something here so feel free to let me know the failings of indoor grilling in the comments below.

The grill pan shown above in the photo is simply a cast iron pan that makes grill marks on your protein. Cast iron cooking is my favorite way of cooking because of the way it holds the temperature. I also like that well-seasoned pans are non-stick for the most part. Sometimes eggs will stick to the cast iron, so I do use one of the copper non-stick pans for eggs.

The other problem some people note with grilling indoors is the smoke. That is more of a problem with steaks and proteins that take a long time to cook. Salmon and fish usually takes less than 7-10 minutes from sear to done and doesn’t emit any smoke that I have noticed.

The other way to grill effectively (and quickly) indoors is to use one of the pannini-type of electric grills/griddles. These cook from the top and bottom at the same time and makes short shrift out of grilling steaks and pork chops. Love grill marks on both sides of the meat also!

Mexican Grilled Salmon adapts easily to low carb or keto

Salmon is one of the healthiest proteins you can eat in my opinion. It lends itself well to many low carb rubs and toppings and accompaniments.

Miso-glazed salmon, harissa-glazed salmon, lemon-parmesan salmon are just a few that come to mind.

The recipe below uses a Mexican-inspired rub made with chipotle spice and lime juice. The grilled salmon dinner is further enhanced with a Mexican chile verde sauce. If you want to make an excellent chile verde sauce, click here and follow Step 1.

Asparagus, green beans, fresh peas, ramps or any of the wonderful fresh spring vegetables round out the dinner and make it a delight to eat on the deck. Right next to the cold, but clean, grill.

Mexican Seared Salmon with chile verde sauce
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Mexican Grilled Salmon

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author dorothy stainbrook


  • 4 fillets salmon skin-on
  • 2 Tbsp Mexican fish spice blend see recipe below to make your own
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp fresh lime juice about 1/2 large lime


  • Dry the salmon fillets off with a paper towel. Season each filet with a little salt.
  • In a small bowl, stir together Mexican spice blend, garlic, olive oil and lime juice.  Spread the resulting chile paste over the salmon fillets and set aside while you make the chile verde or make the vegetables that you will have with the salmon
  • Set a cast iron or non-stick grill pan over med-high heat and wait for it to get how, about 5 minutes.  Brush the pan with some olive oil and add the salmon fillets skin-side down.
  • Reduce the heat to med-low and cook until skin is crisp (about 5 min).  Press down on the fillets while cooking so the fish makes contact with the pan.
  • Turn the salmon and cook on the other side for about 1 min. longer.  Do not overcook or it will be dry.
  • Serve with chile verde sauce and green vegetables.

DIY Fish (and Veggie) Spice Rub

You can purchase the Mexican-inspired fish rub here, or make your own with the following ratios:

Stir together:

  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle spice
  • 1 tsp pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper

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