Rainbow Salmon Skewers are easy, healthy, and so fun to make ~ these colorful fish kabobs are our favorite 30 minute meal, on the grill or in the oven.
salmon skewers are versatile – cook them on the grill, stove top, or in the oven.
Have you eaten the rainbow today?? The colors were so cheerful and pretty I almost hated to cook them, but a girl’s gotta eat! This is one of my favorite ways to do fish and it really helps keep the cost down – fish prices have skyrocketed and it’s a shame because it’s so good for us. You can get away with about 3 ounces of fish per person when you do it this way, and it also allows you to experiment with some of the more expensive varieties. This also gives you the perfect excuse to splurge on healthier wild caught fish.
what kind of salmon is best for salmon skewers?
You want thick salmon filets so you can cut nice big chunks which will have a firm texture that won’t fall apart or flake off your skewer when cooked. Ask your fish monger to cut you a piece of salmon from the center, not the tail end.
other fish you can skewer
how to thread salmon kabobs
- I like to cut the salmon filet in relatively large chunks because the minute it hits the grill it’s going to cook instantly. If you cut the fish too small, the onions and peppers won’t have a chance to cook before the fish is overdone. Remember that the fish will shrink a bit when it cooks.
- Cut the peppers and onions the same size as the salmon. This is important because if the peppers and onions are larger than the chunks of fish, the fish won’t have a chance to touch the heat of the grill or the pan when cooking.
- Alternate chunks of salmon with the veggies. I like to thread enough veggies to match the size of the salmon so you get a good balance in every skewer.
- Be sure to brush everything liberally with olive oil so it doesn’t stick. If you have one of those pans that goes over the grill I suggest using that.
- And be sure to season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Optional but delicious: brush with garlic butter just before cooking.
salmon skewers can prepped well ahead of time
This is a godsend since nobody wants to be stuck inside making dinner on a beautiful spring evening. Assemble the skewers, cover with plastic, and refrigerate up to 24 hours ahead. Plan to cook them at the very last minute…they won’t need longer than a few minutes on each side over a hot grill. If you’re doing them in the oven, I like to cook them for 5-10 minutes at 400F, and then pop them under the broiler for several more minutes. No turning necessary.
a note about wooden skewers
if you use wooden skewers you may want to soak them in water before threading them because the heat of a grill can scorch them. I find that the cooking time with fish is so short I don’t bother.
I tend to prefer wood because I find that when I use metal skewers the food tends to spin around more, which makes turning them during cooking difficult. Some metal skewers are made with twisted or textured surfaces, which would help.
What to serve with salmon kabobs
- Depending on my mood, I’ll often serve the skewers on top of a salad, or a bed of couscous. I like to color and flavor the couscous with some saffron, or curry and turmeric for a really vibrant yellow. Just add a pinch in the cooking water and the couscous will absorb it. Boxed couscous mixes are really good and come in lots of variety ~ we often use them for meals like this. They take just minutes to prepare.
- In hot weather I like to them with a chunky salad like a Chopped Asparagus Salad or a Chopped Italian Salad.
- Sometimes I’ll serve these skewers with a sauce like a simple pesto or chimichurri sauce. Both are bright, vivid and perfect for this dish.
salmon skewers are a healthy choice
Salmon skewers fit into just about every healthy diet plan: they’re low calorie, low carb, gluten free, paleo, whole 30 compliant.
- salmon is high in protein
- it’s also rich in omega 3 fatty acids to protect against heart disease and cancer
- salmon and peppers are high in antioxidants that fight inflammation and lower bad cholesterol
- peppers have lots of Vitamins A and C to boost your immune system
more salmon recipes to love
- Creamy Lemon Dill Salmon
- Finnish Salmon Soup (Lohikeitto)
- Spring Salmon Salad Platter
- Our Favorite Salmon Coconut Curry
- 7 Layer Smoked Salmon Dip Recipe
- Salmon with Berry Salsa
- Blistered Corn and Asparagus Salad with Salmon
Rainbow Salmon Skewers
- metal or wooden skewers
- 12 ounces salmon fillet
- 1/2 each of a red, green, yellow, and orange bell pepper
- 1/4 large red onion
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 lemon for serving
- Cut the salmon into 1 1/2 inch chunks. You are going to need approximately 12 pieces.
- Cut the peppers into 1 1/2 inch square pieces
- Cut the red onion into similar sized chunks and separate the layers.
- Thread your skewers alternately with the onions and peppers, and then the salmon. Leave some room at the base so you can handle them easily.
- Brush the skewers liberally on both sides with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
- Cook on a hot grill, turning once, until the fish is cooked through and the veggies are softened a bit. Don’t overcook!
- Serve with a squeeze of lemon.