Chipotle-Rubbed Grilled Salmon Tacos with Apple-Cucumber Salsa

The other day, I signed into Facebook and saw that my friend, Naomi, had posted a photo of fish tacos she made for dinner that night. In typical “Chelsee fashion” I naturally got an instant craving for them. As in, dreamt about them at night. And thought about them upon waking up. So, of course, I needed to have them for dinner tonight.

I wanted to do something a sort of unique, though. At first, I thought about doing tilapia or a white fish when I got the idea to use salmon instead. I ended up finding a recipe on Food and Wine for Chipotle-Rubbed Salmon Tacos. And they included an apple-cucumber salsa. Helloooooo, heavenly dinner! I actually started cooking at about 4:45pm because I was so excited to eat, hehe. Also, I’ve had a margarita mix from Crate and Barrel sitting in my kitchen, starring at me, for a few weeks and thought tonight would be the perfect night for a delicious dinner and a frozen margarita. And after a long week and an even longer upcoming weekend of assembling wedding invitations, this girl needed a night in with good food, a few laughs with the roommate, and my friends from American Idol and Jersey Shore. Don’t judge.

Here’s what you need:
Makes about 8 tacos



• 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
• 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
• 2 teaspoons chile powder
• 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 1 pound skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 8 tortillas
• salt
• 1 avocado, mashed
• apple-cucumber salsa (recipe to below)
• 1 cup finely shredded cabbage. I used both red and green cabbage for some more color.

Apple-Cucumber Salsa


• 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and roughly diced
• 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and roughly diced
• 1/2 small red onion, roughly diced
• 1/2 small red bell pepper, roughly diced
• 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
• salt


In a bowl, toss the apple, cucumber, onion, and pepper. Stir in vinegar and sugar and season with salt.

Here’s what you do (for the fish tacos):


In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and lime juice. Refrigerate until needed. I love my mini pig whisk… so cute! oink 😉


In a different small bowl, mix together the orange zest, sugar, and the chile powder.


Rub each piece of salmon with about a teaspoon of olive oil followed by the chile powder mixture and let it stand for about 10 minutes or so.

Before grilling the salmon, place your tortillas in foil and bake for 8 minutes until they’re warmed through.


Place your salmon in a grill pan over high heat and let cook on each side for about 3 minutes per side, until they’re deliciously browned. Mmmm.


With a pair of tongs or your spatula, gently break the salmon into smaller pieces.

I also decided to make a quick grilled corn salad for a side dish to accompany the salmon tacos. I just halved some cherry tomatoes, sliced scallions, and a red bell pepper, tossed it all with a couple dashes of olive oil and a dash of fresh lime juice. That’s necessary.


To build the tacos, I simply spread a layer of the mashed avocado on the tortilla and topped it with the chipotle-rubbed salmon, apple-cucumber salsa, and a small handful of cabbage. A drizzle of the lime mayonnaise seals the deal and makes this the perfect Thursday night dinner.


This could happen in my kitchen whenever it wants to. Really.


It felt like vacation.


Time to go watch Jersey Shore. And while we’re on the topic of reality TV. Tonight’s IDOL?! How dramatic and awesome was it?! I’m loving this new season 🙂


24 Responses to "Chipotle-Rubbed Grilled Salmon Tacos with Apple-Cucumber Salsa"

  1. Erica says:

    The tacos look perfect! We haven’t had Mexican in a while and I am CRAVING it- we actually might go out to Mexican this weekend. I’m not a big salmon fan- but I think a shrimpy version sounds lovely. And that apple-cucumber salsa? How cool. I missed idol tonight! My mom and I were taking a cooking class- I need to catch up

  2. Annnnnd now I have a huge fish taco craving. Perfect 🙂

  3. This sounds really good! Love the flavour combinations!

  4. peachkins says:

    I love all kinds of salsa. I’d definitely give that apple cucumber salsa a try some time!

  5. Michelle says:

    I totally understand what you’re talking about with cravings. Sometimes I’ll see something on a blog and then HAVE to make it as soon as possible and can’t stop thinking about it!

  6. Simply Life says:

    Oh I am loving everything about this! What a great idea!

  7. Joanne says:

    You do realize that this is going to proceed to keep ME up at night. Oh these look so good. After my exam today, I’m going to need quite a few of these and about 20 margaritas. Seems like a good way to kick off the weekend!

  8. Shannon says:

    I adore fish tacos. I’ve never thought about using salmon (which is insane because that’s totally one of my most favorite types of fish). And that whisk is ADORABLE!

  9. briarrose says:

    I love this salsa…..definitely on my must be made and noshed list. 🙂

  10. I crave fish tacos about once every week 🙂 Love them! Everything looks wonderful….great, now I’ll be thinking about fish tacos all day!!

  11. brandi says:

    I’ve had (and love) fish tacos, but never with salmon! These look so good.

  12. Yesssssss. Absolutely gorgeous. I love fresh and flavorful food like that. I may be craving these all night too. 😉
    PS – I forget – have you entered my giveaway yet?

  13. Lauren says:

    I want this RIGHT NOW! Looks delicious…on my to-make list!

  14. MichellePC says:

    These look so refreshing, and perfect for spring!

  15. Monique says:

    that salmon looks gorgeous!

  16. Melissa says:

    Oh hai dinner! These look AMAZING! Can’t wait to try – nice one Chels!

  17. amy says:

    This looks delish! Having sushi tonight in observance of lent and meatless Fridays, but will be a sure menu item next Friday 🙂

  18. Megan says:

    That pig whisk is adorable! And the corn salad sounds amazing and is making me what summer to get here already!

  19. These sound fantastic! I adore fish tacos, and love the idea of using salmon.

    This is the first season of Idol I’ve watched, and I’m totally hooked. Last night’s episode was great! I’m so glad Casey is staying :).

  20. Holy yum. Amazing. When’s dinner?

  21. Great idea and execution! I have been craving fish and am about to head out for a Friday fish sandwich which are available on every corner on Pittsburgh during lent 🙂

  22. Naomi says:

    I’m glad my picture inspired you! Those fish tacos look amazing, I’m definitely going to have to try them with salmon the next time!

  23. Mary says:

    These look and sound near perfect. I didn’t know I was hungry till I got here. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings…Mary

  24. Janel says:

    Passed this along to my friend who is obsessed bigtime with fish tacos!

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