Maple Barbecue Salmon Skewers (Paleo, Gluten Free)

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Maple Barbecue Salmon Skewers, slathered with homemade sweet and spicy paleo barbecue sauce, will be the perfect addition to your end of summer cookouts.

 Maple Barbecue Salmon Skewers

A little over a year ago, Shawn and I ate at a tiny Latin American restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen called La Pulperia. I was feeling adventurous so I ordered the fish ribs.

I had no idea what to expect but I was surprised when they brought me, quite literally, a plate of bony fish ribs slathered with chipotle barbecue sauce.

Who knew that was even a thing? All those little bones meant they were a pain to eat, but they were really, really tasty.

I started dreaming up salmon recipes and my mind wandered back to those fish ribs. I thought it would be fun to make rib-inspired salmon skewers with maple barbecue sauce. They ended up being a huge hit!

Maple Habanero Barbecue Salmon Skewers

Using boneless salmon filets meant these skewers were much easier to eat than actual fish ribs. And the paleo maple barbecue sauce that I made had the perfect sweet-spicy balance and carmelized beautifully on the grill.

These BBQ salmon skewers would be a great addition to your Labor Day barbecue. Or they’d be a fun dinner any night of the week.

I served them with grilled asparagus and Spanish rice. They’d also go great with potato salad. You can keep things paleo and serve them with cauliflower rice or a double serving of grilled vegetables.

If you’re looking for another delicious take on grilled salmon, try making your own smoked salmon on the grill!

Maple Barbecue Salmon Skewers (Paleo, Gluten Free) 1

How to make the best paleo barbecue sauce

Homemade barbecue sauce is surprisingly easy to make, and it only takes a few tweaks to make a delicious paleo version. It’s great on anything from grilled salmon to pulled pork to burgers.

Start by sauteeing some red onion and garlic in neutral oil until it’s just softened.

Then, add sugar-free ketchup, apple cider vinegar, pure maple syrup, and a good dollop of mustard. I like my barbecue to have a little heat so I also add a generous splash of habanero hot sauce to the pot.

Bring everything to a simmer and let it cook until it’s thickened and reduced by about half.

Cooking the sauce might seem unnecessary, but trust me on this one. It helps the flavors come together and takes the raw taste out of the ketchup, so it tastes like barbecue sauce and not some sort of weird cocktail sauce.

It only takes a few minutes, so you can make this paleo barbecue sauce and use it right away.

Or, if you prefer, you can make it ahead of time. It will keep in the refrigerator for several days and it’s so good on everything from salmon to burgers to air fryer spare ribs.

More healthy salmon dinners to try:

Maple BBQ Salmon Skewers

Maple Barbecue Salmon Skewers

Maple Barbecue Salmon Skewers

Lightly grease the grates of your grill to help prevent the salmon from sticking when you turn in. The barbecue sauce can be made several days in advance. Keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
5 from 2 votes
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Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 246kcal


  • 1 Tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
  • ½ red onion minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup sugar-free ketchup
  • cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1 teaspoon habanero hot sauce optional
  • 4 salmon fillets cut into large cubes (about 2 pounds)


  • Heat the oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ketchup, vinegar, syrup, mustard, and hot sauce (if using). Bring to a rapid simmer and cook 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat. 
  • Thread the salmon cubes onto skewers. Brush liberally with barbecue sauce. 
  • Grill over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes on each side, brushing with additional sauce as the skewers cook. 
Nutrition Facts
Maple Barbecue Salmon Skewers
Amount Per Serving
Calories 246 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 53mg18%
Sodium 588mg26%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 19g38%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @HealthyDelish or tag #HealthyDelish!


Hi, I'm Lauren!

I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie. Read more...


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