Cooking Advice

How to Grill Swordfish

Looking to break free from burgers? Here’s how to grill swordfish, plus a delicious recipe for Grilled Swordfish with Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salsa.

By Aimee Tucker

Aug 04 2022

Photo Credit : Aimee Tucker

Love firing up the grill the moment spring arrives? Looking for a new dish to add to your grilling repertoire? Swordfish is an excellent choice, thanks to its meaty texture and mild flavor. Here’s how to grill swordfish with no marinade — just a few simple seasonings, a hot grill, and a fresh summer salsa.

How to Grill Swordfish
How to Grill Swordfish | Grilled Swordfish with Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salsa
Photo Credit : Aimee Tucker

The recipe first came to Yankee back in 2009 from Recipes from a Very Small Island by Linda and Martha Greenlaw (Hyperion, 2005). Linda Greenlaw, a commercial swordfishing boat captain in the 1990s, became an unexpected minor celebrity thanks to her supporting role in the best-selling 1997 Sebastian Junger book, The Perfect Storm. If you ask me, I think it’s fair to assume that anyone who knows how to catch swordfish must also know a thing or two about how to grill swordfish, so it’s wise to follow her advice!

How to Grill Swordfish

The first step when grilling swordfish is to decide whether you’re going to marinate your fish. A marinade adds flavor and helps keep the fish moist, but it’s not necessary to achieve delicious results. You can grill swordfish with nothing more than a few seasonings and liberal brushings of olive oil. (The oil helps prevent the swordfish from sticking to the grill.) Rinse and pat the swordfish dry, then brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked pepper on both sides.

How to Grill Swordfish
The first “how to grill swordfish” step is to marinate the fish (if you’re using a marinade) or to brush the steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Photo Credit : Aimee Tucker

Grill the swordfish on a preheated gas grill set to medium-high (about 400° on a thermometer — you should be able to hold your hand 2 inches above the grill grate for about 5 seconds). Brush the grate with oil before adding the fish to help prevent sticking. Grill the swordfish, turning once, until nicely charred and the fish is just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the steaks. Fish dries out quickly, so you’ll need to watch it carefully. Remember, the fish will continue to cook for a moment or two after it’s off the grill.

Using a charcoal grill? Check out our charcoal grilling tips.

The best tip for anyone learning how to grill swordfish is ___
Grill swordfish about 5 minutes per side.
Photo Credit : Aimee Tucker

To be extra sure the swordfish is safe to eat, you may also want to use a thermometer to test for doneness. To kill any harmful bacteria, the internal swordfish temperature you’re looking for is at least 145°.

How to Grill Swordfish
Perfectly grilled swordfish, ready for salsa!
Photo Credit : Aimee Tucker

Once the fish is cooked, move it from the grill to a plate and top with a few generous spoonfuls of tomato and sweet pepper salsa, which can be made and stored in the fridge up to 3 hours in advance. I think this dish would go great with a side of rice or even a few ears of grilled summer corn.

Grilled Swordfish with Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salsa
The final result: a summery meal of swordfish with tomato and sweet pepper salsa.
Photo Credit : Aimee Tucker

I love the way this flavorful salsa perfectly complements the mild fish.

Once you know how to grill swordfish, you’ll find it offers many new options for tasty summer recipes. Do you have a favorite way to enjoy grilled swordfish?

Recipe: Grilled Swordfish with Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salsa

This post was first published in 2017 and has been updated. 

More Grilling Recipes:
Brown Sugar Bourbon Steak Tips
Grilled Oysters with Barbecue Sauce
Grilled Salmon with Crème Fraîche
Grilled Zucchini Salad
Slow-Grilled Chicken Thighs with Alabama White Sauce