This easy grilled dish is as simple as my Grilled Shrimp Skewers and as flavorful as my Shrimp Kabobs, and it only takes minutes to cook.
Better yet, you can take the guesswork out of cooking mahi mahi on the grill with my foolproof tips. No more fish sticking to grill grates, falling apart, or tasting bland. We are here to cover it all and make the best grilled mahi mahi ever!
Why Should You Make This Recipe
Nothing beats the simple ingredients, fresh taste, and lean texture of this mahi mahi BBQ recipe. With so much to love, you’ll want to fire up the grill every day of the week.
- Quick, easy, and healthy, this recipe for grilled mahi mahi makes the ultimate weeknight dinner. This meaty white fish with a mild flavor is an easy way to get protein, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Say goodbye to ripped, overcooked, and underseasoned mahi mahi. Using my foolproof tips, your lean fish will never stick to the grill again or taste blah.
- My easy recipe for Mahi Mahi Marinade makes the perfect seasoning for grilled mahi mahi. Based on my Shrimp Marinade recipe, this quick marinade is what takes this otherwise humble fish to the next level.
For the mahi mahi marinade recipe, you’ll need olive oil, minced garlic, lime zest, fresh lime juice, honey, paprika, kosher salt, and black pepper.
To make this grilled mahi mahi recipe, you will need four mahi mahi fillets (6-8 oz. each). I tested this recipe with two kinds of fish, so either will work for this recipe:
- Fresh mahi mahi with skin on.
- Frozen, individually packed mahi mahi without skin. It is important to note that if you are using frozen fillets, you should let them fully thaw in the fridge overnight before marinating them.
Substitutions & Optional Additions
- Lemon juice: You can substitute lemon juice and lemon zest in place of lime juice in this recipe.
- Fresh herbs: Add irresistible freshness to your barbeque mahi mahi by adding fresh herbs to your marinade. Fresh cilantro, parsley, and mint are just a few tasty options.
- Other seasonings: Infuse different flavors into your fish by creating your own spice rub using a variety of seasonings. Simply add your favorite combination into the marinade or season your fish fillets with it. Here are a few options:
- Mexican Flavors: Infuse your spice rub for mahi mahi with Mexican flair by using chili powder instead of paprika. Chili lime mahi mahi is perfect if you are planning to turn this recipe into fish tacos.
- Cajun Flavors: You can also make a cajun seasoning for your fish by adding paprika, cayenne, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper to the marinade.
How to Cook Mahi Mahi on the Grill
You don’t have to leave cooking mahi mahi on the grill to the experts. Below you will find the steps on how to cook mahi mahi using a gas grill. However, if you are in need of instructions for charcoal-grilled mahi mahi or mahi mahi that’s pan-grilled you can find them in the recipe card below.
Here are the easy steps to make your grilled mahi mahi in less than an hour from start to finish.
- Mix the marinade: Select a bowl that is big enough to fit all the fish fillets. Whisk together the olive oil, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, honey, paprika, salt, and black pepper in the bowl. Reserve two tablespoons of the mixture and set it aside. We will use that as a sauce/drizzle at the end to finish it off.
- Dry the fillets: Use paper towels to dry both sides of the fillets thoroughly. Then, place the dry fish in the large bowl of marinade. Be sure to coat the fish with the mixture on both sides.
- Marinate the fish: Cover the fillets with stretch film, place them in the fridge, and let them marinate for 20-30 minutes.
- Prepare the grill: Turn the burners to high, cover, and heat the grill to medium-high heat or until it reaches 450 degrees F. Once the oven is properly heated, use a steel grill brush to clean the grates thoroughly.
- Oil the grates: Dip a wad of paper towel into olive oil and then wipe the grates. Be sure to cover the grates with the oil generously. This is a very important step in ensuring that the fish won’t stick to the grill.
- Heat the oiled grates: Cover the grill for another 5 minutes. Then, uncover it again and wipe the grates with the oiled paper towel another time.
- Grill: Place the mahi mahi on the grill with the skin side facing up. Cook the fillets, covered, until the heat-facing side turns a light brown (3-4 minutes).
- Flip the fillets: Use a wide fish spatula to flip each of the fillets gently. Continue to cook the fish until its flesh flakes apart and the thickest part of the fish reaches 130 degrees F. with a thermometer. This process should take 4-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
- Serve: Transfer the cooked mahi mahi onto a large platter and drizzle it with the reserved marinade. If desired, top the fish with pineapple or Fresh Peach Salsa.
How to Store Leftovers
When grilling mahi mahi, it’s best to eat your fish on the day it’s made. If you have leftovers, however, your fillets will stay fresh for up to one day. Simply place the cooked mahi mahi in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.
Side Dishes To Serve With Barbecued Mahi Mahi
The best way to serve barbecued mahi mahi is alongside my tastiest side dishes. You’ll never wonder what to serve your fish with when you have this finger-licking collection.
- Salsa: Bring every bite of your mild-tasting fish to life by serving it alongside bright, zesty salsas. I love to serve mahi mahi with pineapple salsa, Peach Salsa, and Black Bean Corn Salsa.
- Vegetables: Want to balance your delicious grilled mahi mahi with another light side? Tender vegetables, like my Roasted Shiitake Mushrooms and Sauteed Asparagus, will bring out your fillets’ best flavor.
- Whole grains: Nothing pairs better with the delicate flavor of grilled mahi mahi fish than a hearty grain. If you agree, turn it into a satisfying and healthy meal by serving it with vibrant side dishes like Lemon Quinoa, Bulgur Pilaf, Wild Rice Pilaf, or even Black Rice Pilaf. You could even put a Mediterranean spin on your mahi mahi meal by whipping up a side of Tabbouleh.
- Pasta: You don’t have to spend hours preparing top-rated sides. Serve your mahi mahi steak with delectable pasta—like my Mexican Corn Pasta Salad and Lemon Ricotta Pasta—and you’ll be ready to eat in minutes.
Expert Tips for the Best Results
These tips are a must to make your grilled dolphin as tender and flavorful as possible. Your mahi mahi fillets can have photo-ready grill marks whenever you pick up the spatula.
- Use high heat: When making this recipe for grilling mahi mahi, you must use a hot grill. I recommend heating your grill to 450 degrees F. before cleaning and oiling your grates.
- Clean and oil your grates: The secret to keeping your fish from sticking to the grill lies in the grates. Before you set your fish on the grill, thoroughly clean your grill’s grates with a steel brush and oil them twice with an olive oil-soaked paper towel. These preparatory steps will ensure your fish doesn’t fall apart.
- Be patient: When cooking mahi mahi on the grill, you mustn’t flip the fish too early. Be patient! After 3-4 minutes on the grill, test the fillets by gently lifting a corner to see whether the fish will lift cleanly from the grates. If the fish resists, let it cook for another half-minute before testing again. Don’t flip the fish until you can easily lift it from the grill.
- Use a wide spatula and be gentle: To avoid tearing your fish fillets, I recommend gently flipping them with a wide fish spatula. If you don’t have a fish spatula on hand, using two spatulas together will work just as well.
- Timing: Because mahi mahi comes in different sizes, your mahi mahi cook time may differ depending on the thickness of your fish. With a thermometer, you’ll know when your fish finishes cooking when the thickest part of the fillet reaches 130 degrees F.
Here are the answers to some of the FAQs that cover everything from grilling mahi mahi with skin to getting your cooked fillets to the perfect temperature.
No, it will not. To prevent your mahi mahi from sticking to the grill, make sure your grill reaches 450 degrees F. Then, thoroughly clean its grates with a steel brush and oil them twice with olive oil. Finally, be patient and flip your fish gently to keep your fish from falling apart.
Yes! As a matter of fact, the skin is not only delicious but it also helps with keeping it intact when cooking. However, the recipe will work both with mahi mahi with the skin on and with skinless fillets.
You can tell when mahi mahi is done by its look, feel, and temperature. The flesh of fully cooked mahi mahi will flake apart, and you can easily remove it from the grill grates. Most importantly, the thickest part of the fish will register at 130 degrees F. with a thermometer when the fish fillet finishes cooking.
I think the best grilled mahi mahi seasoning is my zesty and flavorful Grilled Mahi Mahi Marinade. My recipe consists of olive oil, minced garlic, lime zest, fresh lime juice, honey, paprika, kosher salt, and black pepper. However, you could also make a super simple seasoning mix with salt, pepper, and whatever other spices you have on hand.
The ideal grilling time for mahi mahi is 3-5 minutes on each side. However, this timing may differ based on the thickness of the fillets. The best way to tell doneness is by using a thermometer.
Your mahi mahi is cooked when the thickest part of one of your fillets reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees F.
Marinated grilled mahi mahi has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. This tropical fish is ideal for grilling, too, due to its flaky yet firm texture.
Other Must Try Seafood Recipes You Might Like:
If you try this Grilled Mahi Mahi recipe or any other recipe on Foolproof Living, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It is a great help to others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.
Grilled Mahi Mahi Recipe
For the Marinade:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the fish:
- 4 mahi mahi fillets* 6-8 oz each
- ¼ cup olive oil for greasing grill grates
As Garnish (optional)
- 1 cup peach salsa (or jarred pineapple salsa)
- To Make the marinade, whisk together olive oil, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, honey, paprika, salt and pepper in a bowl large enough to accommodate all the mahi mahi fillets. Reserve two tablespoons of the marinade and set it aside. We will use it to drizzle the grilled fish in the end.
- Dry mahi-mahi thoroughly with paper towels. Place the fillets in the marinade and make sure that they are coated on all sides.
- Cover with stretch film and let it marinate in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
- To grill using a gas grill: Turn all burners on medium-high, cover, and heat the grill until it reaches 450 degrees F. Clean the grates with a steel grill brush if you have one.
- Dip a wad of paper towel into olive oil and then generously wipe the grates.
- Cover grill and heat for 5 minutes. Uncover and wipe grates one more time. Do not skip this step as it is crucial to prevent the fish from sticking to the grates as it cooks.
- Place mahi mahi on grill, skin side up. Cook, covered for 4-5 minutes until browned on that side.
- Using a fish spatula (or any other wide spatula), gently flip mahi mahi and continue to cook until flesh flakes apart and the thickest part of the fish registers 130 degrees F when inserted with a thermometer. This should take about 4-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.
- Transfer grilled mahi-mahi fillets onto a large platter. Drizzle it with the reserved marinade and top it off with pineapple or peach salsa, preferred.
- For grilling mahi mahi using a charcoal grill: Place charcoal briquettes in a large chimney starter. Light the coals. When top coals are covered with ash, pour them evenly over the grill. Place the cooking grate on top of the coals, cover the grill, and open the lid vent completely. Heat the grill until hot, about 5 minutes. Oil the grates with paper towels twice before placing the fish on the grill. Place mahi-mahi fillets on the grill, skin side up. Then, grill the fillets, covered, for 3 minutes without moving them. Using a spatula, flip each fillet and continue grilling until the fish flakes apart or the internal temperature registers 130 degrees F.
- Using a grill pan: Place a grill pan over medium-high heat and brush it with two tablespoons of olive oil. When it is sizzling hot, place mahi mahi fillets on the pan, skin side up. Cook, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes or until you can flip them easily without any resistance. Flip the fillets and cook for another 7-8 minutes or until the thickest part of the fish registers 130 degrees F. when inserted with a thermometer.
- A word on mahi mahi: This recipe was tested with both fresh mahi mahi with skin on and individually wrapped frozen (and) thawed mahi mahi without the skin on. Either one will work in this recipe.
- Timing: Because mahi mahi comes in different sizes, the grilling time may differ depending on the thickness of your fish. With a thermometer, you’ll know when your fish finishes cooking when the thickest part of the fillet reaches 130 degrees F.
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