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Foil Packet Spice Rubbed Fish with Watermelon Salsa

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Spice Rubbed Fish is zesty and so flavorful, the refreshing watermelon salsa is the perfect compliment. Cooked in foil on the grill or the oven!

Foil Packet Spice Rubbed Fish with Watermelon Salsa
Foil Packet Fish with Watermelon Salsa

You can use any fish fillet to make this! Last week I made it with halibut, this week I tried it with salmon. I bet shrimp would also be great, use your favorite! This dish is healthy, low-carb, gluten-free and ready under 30 minutes!

Foil Packet Spice Rubbed Fish with Watermelon Salsa

My favorite way to grill fish in the summer is in foil packets, especially for delicate fish that would otherwise fall apart on the grill. The foil packets create steam which essentially poaches the fish which comes out perfectly tender and flaky. And of course, the best part clean up is easy. You can prep them ahead and refrigerate until ready to cook. My preferred foil for foil packet meals is Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil which is a sturdy foil, perfect so you don’t have to worry about ripping or tearing while grilling, even with heavier foods, and it protects food over direct heat.

Spice Rubbed Fish

Start with 4 boneless, skinless fish fillets. Try this with striped bass, salmon, cod or halibut. Squeeze lime juice all over the fish and rub with spices. Here I used smoked paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, ground oregano and black pepper. If you don’t like spice, use half of the cayenne pepper.

Watermelon Salsa

The watermelon salsa is cool and fresh, made with lime juice, red onion, jalapeno and cilantro. Make it ahead so the flavors meld.

How To Make A Foil Packet

  • Tear off an 18” sheet of foil.
  • Center the food on the foil sheet.
  • Bring up the long sides of the foil, so the ends meet over the food.
  • Double fold the ends, leaving room for heat to circulate inside.
  • Double fold the two short ends to seal the packet.
  • Bake or grill as instructed.

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Foil Packet Spice Rubbed Fish with Watermelon Salsa

4.93 from 14 votes
Spice Rubbed Fish is zesty and so flavorful, the refreshing watermelon salsa is the perfect compliment. Cooked in foil on the grill or the oven!
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Foil Packet Spice Rubbed Fish with Watermelon Salsa
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1 foil packet with 1/3 cup salsa


Watermelon Salsa:

  • 2 cups diced seedless watermelon, 1/4 inch
  • 1/4 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 4 boneless, skinless fish filets, 6 oz each (striped bass, salmon, cod or halibut)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground oregano
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 pieces Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil, 12 x 18 inches
  • lime wedges, for serving


  • Combine salsa ingredients and refrigerate at least 20 minutes until ready to cook the fish.
  • Mix the dried spices and seasoning together in a small bowl, squeeze the lime on the fish then rub the seasoning onto fish.
    spiced rubbed raw salmon
  • Lay out 4 large sheets of Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil 18 x 12. Put the fish in the center of each and drizzle with olive oil.
    foil packets
  • Bring the short ends of the foil together and fold twice to seal; fold in the sides to seal, leaving room for steam.
  • Cook the packets.

Grill or campfire:

  • Preheat a grill to medium high or light a campfire and put a cooking grate in place. Grill the foil packets until the fish is just cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Let the packets sit 5 minutes, then carefully open and top with salsa and serve with lime wedges.


  • Preheat the oven to 450F.
  • Put the foil packets on a baking sheet; bake until the fish is just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Let the packets sit 5 minutes, then carefully open and top with salsa and serve with lime wedges.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 foil packet with 1/3 cup salsa, Calories: 314 kcal, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Protein: 39.5 g, Fat: 13 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 175 mg, Sodium: 431.5 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 5.5 g


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Reynolds. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Skinnytaste possible. All thoughts are my own.

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27 comments on “Foil Packet Spice Rubbed Fish with Watermelon Salsa”

  1. This is soooooo good. The watermelon salsa is perfect for a hot summer night. It’s crisp, refreshing and has just the right amount of kick to it. I served it on top of salmon and it was a big hit.

  2. Easy way to cook fish with excellent flavour. Used halibut, cut the cayenne to 1/8 for picky eaters but will increase to 1/4 next time.
    Used only a spritz of olive oil on each filet and it was perfect.

  3. Oh, wow! I made this tonight and it was amazing. I used cod that I had in the freezer leftover from another one of your recipes. The watermelon salsa was absolutely refreshing with the fish. I made your Mexican Zucchini Skillet for the side and it was a truly satisfying dinner. Thank you for all your wonderful and tasty recipes.

  4. Wow! What a simple and delicious fish recipe. Our grocery store had cod loin on sale this week, and this was the perfect way to use it! I served it with cilantro lime rice, and it was a wonderfully fresh and satisfying dinner. Thanks Gina!

  5. Holy cow that watermelon salsa is just SO good! Make the salsa if nothing else.. I bulked up each packet with a small potato 1/4 inch dice and served with corn on the cob. Great summer dinner, with a spicy kick!

  6. Super tasty. Made this using halibut. The watermelon salsa is amazing! Highly recommend you try this recipe.

  7. I made this tonight with salmon. It was a huge hit! The watermelon salsa was a fun twist. I omitted the cayenne pepper because my kids cannot do anything spicy, any even my picky eater loved this! Will definitely be making again.

  8. I just made this and it turned out so good. I used salmon and for one person, shrimp. It was loved by everyone. 

  9. So good! We used tilapia since it was what we had, and had to use the oven because of thunderstorms. Easy prep & even easier cleanup!

    1. I made this last night for a dinner party and served it with lime cilantro rice and a side salad. Everyone loved it!! 

  10. Avatar photo
    Dawn M Robertson

    Unfortunately I didn’t have the ingredients for the watermelon topping, so I just grilled the salmon with the spices and a drizzle of olive oil in the foil packages. They turned out fabulous even with no topping! I grilled skinless filets, top side down so when I took them out of the foil I flipped them right side up and the spices mixed with the oils was nice and crispy. I can’t wait to make this again with the watermelon topping. Thank you Gina

  11. This recipe is 3pts on blue- are you calculating with the nutrition info from the bottom or are you using recipe builder? Because the only ingredient in this recipe that is not 0 points is the olive oil.

  12. I don’t usually rate recipes, but I had to this time. This one  was amazing. And SO easy. I used Mahi Mahi and my husband and I both felt like it was restaurant quality. My two college kids loved it as well. Thank you for another delicious recipe!

  13. Made this for dinner tonight.  I didn’t have watermelon and can’t run to the store right now, so used some crushed pineapple.  Delicious!  Easy in every way.   Easy prep and cooking and easy cleanup.  Perfect!