Recipes/ Seafood

Grilled Salmon with Chardonnay Sauce

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I hope everyone had a fabulous and relaxing holiday weekend. I know we sure did. I didn’t grow up going to “the lake” for any holidays {swimming in Florida lakes could result in losing a limb…or being eaten all together} so whenever we go to Lake Tahoe in the summer it’s always so fun and new for me still. We do all those fun lake things like swim, eat ice cream cones and drink wine on the porch until late at night. This trip, we threw a big barbecue with friends at our cabin and I made my famous homemade baked beans, beer brats with caramelized onions, creamed corn and an extra fabulous blueberry crisp from Shauna Niequist’s new book, Bread and Wine.

Let’s keep the summer grilling tradition going today with this simple grilled salmon with Chardonnay sauce! I developed the recipe for one of my clients, Barefoot Wine, and made it for an impromptu dinner party a few weeks ago. Everyone loved it! You know how much Adam and I love grilling salmon….and what’s better {and tastier!} than topping said salmon with a buttery Chardonnay herb sauce? Nothing, my friends. Absolutely nothing.

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Just like in the kabobs a few weeks ago, we used Wild king salmon for this recipe. You just can’t beat it and I highly prefer it over Coho, which has less fat but a seriously drier fillet. Who likes dry salmon? Not this girl. Plus, all the fat is good for you so I say eat up!

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Isn’t it just gorgeous? We topped it with a sprinkle of herbed sea salt before grilling. Adam did this part while I was inside making the sauce…

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Y’all will never believe how simple this sauce is! Seriously, it’s just butter, Chardonnay, fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon. That’s it!! And it’s SOOOOOOOOO good when drizzled over hot grilled salmon. Swoon.

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I hope you guys like it as much as my friends and I did! We paired this salmon with grilled asparagus and baked herb stuffed tomatoes. Perfect summer feast.

Grilled Salmon with Chardonnay Herb Sauce

Serves 2-4

Print this Recipe!


1 ½ lbs wild King salmon, pin bones removed

4 tbsp unsalted butter

½ cup Barefoot Chardonnay

1 tsp finely minced garlic chives

1 tsp finely minced Italian parsley, plus more for garnish

juice of ½ lemon

pinch of herbed sea salt and pepper


Heat your grill up and rub the grates with olive oil so the salmon does not stick.

Sprinkle herbed sea salt and pepper on salmon fillets and set aside.

In a small pan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic chives and parsley then add the Chardonnay and the lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering until the sauce has reduced by half — this will take about ten minutes.  After the sauce has reduced, taste and season with a small amount of salt and pepper if desired. The sauce will thicken up a bit as it cools.

Place a lid over the sauce to keep it warm while you cook the salmon. Place fillets on the grill, skin-side down, and grill for about eight minutes. Be careful not to overcook the salmon or it will dry out. You want it medium rare on the side because it will continue cooking off the grill.

When salmon is done, remove from the grill and bring back to the kitchen. Drizzle the Chardonnay sauce over the salmon and sprinkle with additional parsley. Serve immediately.


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  • Jess
    July 8, 2013 at 2:04 am

    Jenna – I’m loving the honeymoon posts mixed in with the recipe posts – such a fun surprise to read. The salmon looks absolutely spectacular and the photos are gorgeous, as always. Salmon the grill has so much flavor, but that sauce sounds divine!

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    July 8, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Mmmm, chardonnay sauce. That sounds like it would be wonderful over anything!

    The grilled asparagus and baked herb stuffed tomatoes sound wonderful to go with it, too!

    And what a fun weekend it sounds like you had. Friends, wine on the porch, BBQing, good times. Nice!

  • Sarah
    July 8, 2013 at 3:42 am

    Sounds like such a heavenly holiday! And I’m in love with Salmon at the moment – this sauce sounds gorgeous.

  • Angie
    July 8, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Wow, this salmon sounds wonderful! Love the herb sauce, perfect!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    July 8, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Sounds like such a fun weekend! I had no idea that the two types of salmon had such different qualities. I just had salmon last night for dinner at a friend’s house, and I’m pretty sure it was wild caught but not sure what kind. Either way, I feel like you can never go wrong with salmon!

  • Lauren @ The Highlands Life
    July 8, 2013 at 6:01 am

    I love salmon and don’t make it nearly as often as I should. This is perfect for a summer grill out… which means I need to plan one stat.

  • Sophie @ life's philosophie
    July 8, 2013 at 6:19 am

    This sounds delicious! And so easy too. I don’t have a grill unfortunately, but I might try this in the oven!

  • Molly
    July 8, 2013 at 6:23 am

    We eat typically eat fish once a week, but never I have I ever topped it with a Chardonnay sauce! It’s meant to be, as we typically choose the Barefoot variety. We have some Salmon in our fridge, so this just might be tonight’s recipe. Thanks Jenna!

  • deva
    July 8, 2013 at 6:38 am

    This looks amazing! I just finished Bread and Wine and absolutely loved it. I am now trying to decide between Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet – they both sound like great books!

    • Brett
      July 9, 2013 at 4:23 am

      Read BOTH! I am a little bit obsessed with Shauna. Cold Tangerines is a GREAT summer read 🙂 Bittersweet is good for fall.

  • Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    July 8, 2013 at 6:41 am

    I love cooking with wine, I just made a sauce similar to this last night. Simple, yet so good!

    Where did y’all go swimming in Tahoe? Can you recommend any beaches? We are going in a few weeks and staying in Truckee. I already read your review on Wolfdales and can’t wait to eat there!

  • Tieghan
    July 8, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Sounds perfect. The salmon is beautiful and the sauce is just incredible. YUM!

  • Carmen Shaffer
    July 8, 2013 at 6:56 am

    This looks amazing! I’m always looking for something new to do with salmon, but I dont want to cover-up the flavor. Thanks for this recipe!

  • Padma
    July 8, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Salmon is my absolute favorite food. I’ll pick it over any types of meat. And it’s so easy to make. I wonder…can you add this sauce to pasta? It seems like a very versatile sauce. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots
    July 8, 2013 at 7:21 am

    this sounds fantastic!! Bare foot is such a good and affordable wine in my opinion

  • Brianna
    July 8, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Grilled salmon is one of my absolute favorite meals for summer! This looks delish!

  • Joelle ( on a pink typewriter)
    July 8, 2013 at 7:49 am

    I don’t like seafood, but Chardonnay sauce? Yes please!

  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action
    July 8, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Wow- that salmon actually just made my stomach grumble in hunger! Looks absolutely amazing! Will definitely be making this as soon as possible!

  • Heather Kneisler
    July 8, 2013 at 8:03 am

    This looks amazing. Perfect for summer!

  • Caroline L.
    July 8, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Looks nothing short of perfection! Mmmm, dying for some salmon right now!

  • erin @hooleywithaz
    July 8, 2013 at 10:01 am

    your salmon recipes are always the only recipes my husband is excited to try are the ones from your website haha.

  • Sonal
    July 8, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Mmmm grilled salmon is always so good! This sauce looks amaze!

  • Allie @ 6000 Miles
    July 8, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Perfect timing – I have a salmon in my fridge and I was looking for a new salmon recipe to try. This looks so light and delicious! It’s what’s for dinner.

  • Kim
    July 8, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Ooh, looks delicious! And I bet it would be really great over some linguini… like a salmon scampi!

  • Kristin
    July 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    YUM! I am making this TONIGHT! Sounds so good!! Question: what are garlic chives? Never heard of this variety before. Also, did you remove the skin before serving/eating? I see in the recipe that you left the skin on for grilling though. Thanks for the tips!

    • jenna
      July 8, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      Garlic chives are just a variety of chives — they are currently growing in my garden so that’s what I used! If you can’t find them, you can totally use regular ol’ chives 🙂

      • Kristin
        July 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm

        Great – thanks for the chive tip! 🙂 I picked up the BF Chardonnay at Whole Foods too!

        • Kristin
          July 9, 2013 at 1:05 pm

          Made this last night – I just LOVE wild King salmon, it is so moist and has SUCH a great flavor! I think this is the only salmon I will eat now, nothing else compares! (I can’t stand dry salmon either!) This was a great recipe – I think I cooked the sauce a little too long though and cooked out the wine flavor and ‘toasted’ my herbs a little too much, so the butter flavor was the most pronounced. Whoops. I’ll be making it again though and won’t cook the sauce as long! Hubby loved it too – I will make this all the time, so easy and yummy!

  • Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run
    July 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    goodness, those are some gorgeous salmon filets!

  • Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
    July 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Lovely salmon and I’m sure just as delicious as it looks!!! Yum!!!

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    July 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    This sounds so fresh and delicious – perfect for summer. And I’m not going to lie – I pretty much love the fact that the recipe only uses a 1/2 cup of wine. More left over for drinking! 😉

  • Christina @ The Beautiful Balance
    July 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I can’t wait to try this. So simple and I can imagine how flavorful it is!

  • Kim
    July 8, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    YUM!! This looks like a great summer recipe. Also, I agree with the comment above… I’m loving your honeymoon posts mixed in with the recipes. 🙂

  • dishing up the dirt
    July 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    the sauce sounds spoon worthy!

  • Barbara | Creative Culinary
    July 9, 2013 at 6:44 am

    This looks fantastic; grilling salmon is my favorite method for cooking it; adding wine is a plus!

    July 9, 2013 at 11:54 am

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  • Lisa
    July 9, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    This looks so fresh & summery. How did you make the stuffed tomatoes?

  • Mary
    July 9, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Any chance you will be posting the recipe to the herb stuffed tomatoes anytime soon? Sounds yummy!!

    July 10, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    […] Grilled Salmon with Chardonnay Sauce – Eat, Live, Run […]

  • Earlene Blosser
    July 11, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    I am amazed how tasteful can your images look. Those are great and I am huge lover of salmon so I am going to definitely try this recipe during weekend.

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