Grilled Salmon with Basil Butter Recipe

Simple grilled salmon topped with basil and garlic infused compound butter.

Grilled Salmon with Basil Butter Recipe

Grilled salmon with basil butter is a simple and fresh grilled salmon recipe topped with compound butter made with fresh basil, fresh parsley, and garlic. Everything is blended together into a delicious green butter that will slowly melt into every bite.

This is one of the simplest ways to jazz up weeknight grilled salmon. I’m a big fan of flavored butter because it can be paired with a variety of pan-seared or grilled fish dishes. My basil butter is reminiscent of fresh homemade basil pesto! If you like this recipe, also check out my blackened salmon with cilantro lime butter.

How to Grill Salmon

Grilling salmon is very easy to make but there are a few things to note if you’ve never cooked it before. It’s very important to cook the salmon on clean and greased grill grates. This prevents the fish from sticking and pulling off the beautifully caramelized exterior that develops from searing. Salmon is naturally high in fat, therefore grill flair-ups are quite common. Be prepared to turn down the heat or move the fish to a different part of the grill.

Season salmon filets with salt and pepper and grill on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes per side for medium. The charred exterior from the grill creates the perfect crispy, flavored crust that is oh-so-good with rich butter.

Basil Butter

My basil butter is made by combining softened butter with garlic and fresh herbs in a food processor. While you can finely chop everything with a knife, a food processor helps to create a homogenous butter. My only tip is to blend the herb and garlic alone before adding the butter. This helps to ensure everything is very finely chopped.

If you don’t have a food processor, a blender works in a pinch. I think this is obvious but do not attempt this recipe with dried herbs. It will be very disappointing and lack the intended flavor.

More Salmon Recipes You’ll Love

Grilled Salmon with Basil Butter Recipe
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Grilled Salmon with Basil Butter Recipe

  • Author: Shawn Williams
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American


Crispy, seared grilled salmon topped with basil infused compound butter.


  • 2 6-8 ounce salmon filets, skin removed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened/room temp)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 garlic glove
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil or spray for grill grates


  1. For the compound butter, place herbs and garlic in a food processor or blender. Pulse until finely chopped. Add butter and blend until thoroughly mixed. You may need to wipe the walls of the food processor a few times with a rubber spatula to incorporate. Season with salt to taste. Alternatively, use salted butter and omit salt. Transfer to a bowl. Can be made a day in advance.
  2. Season all sides of the salmon with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Clean the grates well and oil with a grill-safe spray or brush with oil. This prevents the salmon from sticking.
  4. Grill salmon for 4-5 minutes per side for medium.
  5. Serve each salmon filet topped with a quenelle of basil butter. This works best with a hot spoon.


Do not substitute fresh herbs for dry. The final outcome will not be right. This recipe can alternately be pan-seared for 4 minutes per side.


  • Serving Size: 1 piece
  • Calories: 412
  • Sugar: 0.4g
  • Sodium: 190mg
  • Fat: 25.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Fiber: 0.6g
  • Protein: 44.8g
  • Cholesterol: 131mg

Keywords: grilled salmon, basil butter, salmon and basil