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Kalyn's Kitchen

Salmon Foil Packets with Tomatoes and Olives

Salmon Foil Packets with Tomatoes and Olives are so flavorful from the thyme, garlic and saffron that seasons the tomato-olive mixture. No worries if you don’t have saffron though, it will still be delicious without it!

PIN Salmon Foil Packets with Tomatoes and Olives!

Salmon Foil Packets with Tomatoes and Olives final shot of cooked salmon on serving plate

When I lived at my old house, this was the first recipe I tried when I’d finally gotten my grill out of the neighbor’s garage, where it had been stored for a very fun reason. I’d been looking forward to grilling for months, and of course as soon as I took a bite of the salmon from these Salmon Foil Packets with Tomatoes and Olives, I was immediately a fan of this recipe! And I’ve made it quite a few times since then. And every time I made it I wished it had better photos for the blog, so I am so happy to finally get them updated!

Not only does the foil-packet salmon taste amazing when it’s cooked with the tomatoes-olive mixture seasoned with thyme, garlic, and saffron, but this recipe is so simple you can have it on the table in less than 30 minutes. And no worries if you don’t have the optional saffron, I’m sure this combination will taste wonderful without it.

I’m guessing some people might like the sound of this but don’t have a grill, but you can definitely make it in the oven. I’d use the cooking time and temperature from Baked Salmon with Pesto and Tomatoes (and that’s another amazingly tasty foil-packet dinner with salmon that could also be cooked on the grill.) Enjoy everyone!

Saffron in small bottle with cork stopper

What is Saffron?

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, made from the dried stigma of the Saffron Crocus. Although it’s expensive, it’s used in very small amounts, so a tiny container like this will flavor many dishes. It has a slightly bitter, musty flavor that’s hard to describe, but it’s used in beloved dishes all over the middle east and southern Europe like Saffron Chicken, Paella, and Saffron Rice. Here is more information about Saffron and a good close-up of the Saffron threads.

Salmon Foil Packets with Tomatoes and Olives process shots collage

How to Make Salmon Foil Packets with Tomatoes and Olives:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Take four salmon fillets out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature while you preheat grill to medium high.
  2. Cut olives and cherry tomatoes into quarters.
  3. Combine diced tomatoes, olives, olive oil, minced garlic, fresh thyme, saffron, and a bit of salt and pepper in a bowl or large measuring cup.
  4. Rub the salmon pieces with Szeged Fish Rub (affiliate link) or other fish rub of your choice.
  5. Tear 8 pieces of foil. (It’s double-wrapped for the grill so that’s why you need 8 pieces.)
  6. Place each piece of seasoned Salmon on two pieces of foil.
  7. Top each piece of salmon with 1/4 of the tomato olive mixture.
  8. Then loosely fold over the top pieces and ends of the foil to make a flat packet to sit on the pre-heated grill. 
  9. Our salmon was perfectly cooked in 10 minutes on the grill, but if you like your salmon less well-done you might want to check after about 8 minutes. 
  10. Serve right away and enjoy!

Salmon Foil Packets with Tomatoes and Olives close-up photo of cooked salmon on plate

Make it a Meal:

This would be great with Pureed Cauliflower with Garlic, Parmesan, and Goat Cheese or Easy Grilled Vegetables for a low-carb meal.

More Salmon You Might Like:

Air Fryer Salmon with Mustard-Herb Sauce
Roasted Lemon Salmon and Asparagus Sheet Pan Meal
Grilled Salmon with Maple-Sriracha-Lime Glaze

Salmon Foil Packets with Tomatoes and Olives close-up photo of cooked salmon on plate

Salmon Foil Packets with Tomatoes and Olives

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Salmon Foil Packets with Tomatoes and Olives are a perfect easy main dish when you want something that's a bit special.

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced Kalamata olives (see notes)
  • 1 T finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves (see notes)
  • small pinch saffron, about 15-20 threads (see notes)
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons fish rub (see notes)

Instructions

  1. Take four salmon fillets out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature while you preheat grill to medium high.
  2. Cut Kalamata olives (or black olives if you prefer) and cherry tomatoes into quarters.
  3. Then combine diced tomatoes, Kalamata olives, olive oil, minced garlic, fresh thyme, saffron, and a bit of salt and pepper in a bowl or large measuring cup.
  4. No problem if you don't have Saffron, just leave it out. If you only have dried thyme, I would use less and grind it up in a Mortar and Pestle (affiliate link).
  5. Rub the salmon pieces with a teaspoon or two of Szeged Fish Rub (affiliate link) or other fish rub of your choice.
  6. Tear 8 smallish pieces of foil, just large enough to wrap around the piece of salmon. (It's double-wrapped for the grill which is why you need 8 pieces.)
  7. Place each piece of seasoned Salmon on two pieces of foil; I sprayed the foil with olive oil before I put the fish on, but I'm not sure it's essential.
  8. Top each piece of salmon with 1/4 of the tomato olive mixture.
  9. Then loosely fold over the top pieces and ends of the foil to make a flat packet to sit on the pre-heated grill. You won't be turning them over, so you don't have to be too careful about the wrapping.
  10. Our salmon was perfectly cooked in 10 minutes on the grill, but if you like your salmon less well-done you might want to check by opening one packet after about 8 minutes.
  11. Serve right away and enjoy!

Notes

I would use salmon fillets that are about 6-8 oz. each. I used Szeged Fish Rub (affiliate link) but use any fish rub of your choice. Use regular black olives if you prefer. Use more or less olives to taste. If you don't have fresh thyme I would use a Mortar and Pestle (affiliate link) to grind the dried thyme. The saffron is optional, but use it if you have some.

Recipe adapted slightly from Fine Cooking Grilling 2008.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 679Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 38gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 393mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 52g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Salmon Foil Packets with Tomatoes and Olives square image of finished dish

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Salmon Foil Packets with Tomatoes and Olives are a perfect entree recipe for any phase of the original South Beach Diet, or any other low-carb eating plan. Tomatoes do have a few carbs, so just use a bit less tomatoes if you prefer.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Grilling Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipes
This recipe was first posted in 2009; updated with better photos and nutritional information July 2020.

Salmon Foil Packets with Tomatoes and Olives Pinterest image

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    42 Comments on “Salmon Foil Packets with Tomatoes and Olives”

  1. So glad people are discovering this; I have made this for so many people and everyone loved it!

  2. Love all these beautiful flavors with the salmon! A perfect dish to serve to guests or even on the weeknight. Delicious!

  3. Not sure if the butter will burn. Maybe a mix of butter and oil.

  4. I'm going to make this tonight – looks delicious. I'm trying not to use olive oil for high heat cooking so am going to substitute melted butter for the olive oil. What do you think? Will it be good?

  5. I'm with Lydia … I never ever tire of grilled salmon. We haven't used our grill much at home this summer, but the one at our mountain property has been in constant use when we're there. We're headed up this weekend. I think we'll get some salmon on the way! 🙂

    Thanks, Kalyn!
    Shirley

  6. Grilled salmon — I never tire of it! My grill is still in active use, so I'm off to the fish market.

  7. Teresa, I know the feeling! So glad this caught your eye and you enjoyed it!

  8. Had a fridge full of groceries, but still didn't know what to make for dinner tonight ~ I hate it when I'm in a dinner funk. But, your blog is regularly my "go to" place when I need help with dinner, so that's where I went tonight. I had the ingredients on hand for this recipe, fired up the grill and before I knew it I was eating something far more tasty and special than I expected. I did make the lemony rice to go with it ~ a perfect meal! Teresa in TX

  9. This looks good and I have most of the ingredients on hand. It looks good and I think I'll have this for dinner tonight.

  10. Terri, I love the idea of cooking this with green olives and capers! Might even try that as a whole new recipe. Sounds like a good dinner.

  11. Another great way to make salmon! I often cook my salmon in foil like this as it keeps it moist. My only changes were that I used green olives (didn't have the kalamata olives) and added some capers. (FYI, I cooked it in the oven for about 15 minutes @375F). Made this with your Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Butter last night. Also made 'mock mashed potatoes' aka mashed cauliflower. A complete South Beach Diet dinner!

  12. Not a silly question, but I honestly can't say for sure how long it would take in the oven. I'd probably cook about 15 minutes, then open the packet and see if it's done. I'm guessing it will take a little longer than on the grill, but I'm not sure exactly how much longer.

  13. Hi Kalyn- this recipe looks delicious and was the only one I could find on the internet that I was excited about (not a big fish eater but trying to eat healthy). I am in Michigan in the snow so grilling isn't an option. You mentioned 450 in the oven and I was wondering how long to cook (same as the grill… 8-10 mins)? I'm not a very experienced cook so sorry if this seems like a silly question. Thank you!

  14. I made this over and over when I first tried the recipe, definitely a keeper.

  15. Finally, an excuse to us saffron!
    thx

    Man I can't wait to try this.

  16. sounds wonderfully aromatic and Mediterranean

  17. Anonymous, thanks for letting me know you liked it. And great to hear that it worked okay with dried thyme too.

  18. I loved this dish! I didn't have fresh thyme so I used dry and it worked out nicely. I also cooked the packets in the oven for about 15 minutes on 450 and they turned out perfect. Thanks for the great recipe.

  19. Jeani, so glad you liked it. I agree about the saffron. It adds that "extra something" that you can't quite describe, but you know it's there!

  20. This was absolutely delicious! Five stars! My husband likes to eat a lot of salmon and I was beginning to dread the thought of preparing it; but no longer! I think the saffron is essential to this recipe – it adds a "certain something" to the combination of flavors that might just be another – altough delicious – mediterranean-style dish without it. Thank you so much!