Lemony Grilled Swordfish

October  4, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

We love a good swordfish cookout in the summer. We like to grill it, with a swipe of mayonnaise for moisture, and served with a squirt of lemon juice. It's a simple preparation that works perfectly every time. Sometimes we put it on warmed buns to make a sandwich, but we usually just eat it with some roasted summer vegetables and maybe a cold cous-cous salad. —Kelsey Banfield

Test Kitchen Notes

Swordfish is a meaty yet mild tasting fish that develops a beautiful char on the grill. This recipe keeps it simple with a coating of mayonnaise on each side of the fish, which helps the fish to become golden brown when cooked. (Same reason why we are such huge fans of smearing grilled cheese with mayonnaise…you can’t achieve an even golden hue on toasted bread with just butter.) It’s seasoned generously with salt and pepper, then drizzled with lemon juice as soon as it comes off the grill.

Because it’s a thicker cut of fish, swordfish takes a little longer to cook on the grill—but you’ll still have dinner on the table in under 20 minutes. Serve the fish alongside one of our many easygoing summery side salads or crunchy, crispy garlic bread. For a true summer feast, cook both!

When shopping for swordfish, expect fresh fish to cost $20 to $30 per pound (the average serving size of a swordfish steak is ½ pound); frozen will be slightly less expensive. Fortunately, this recipe is easy to scale up or down depending on how many guests you’re serving. If you choose frozen swordfish, just be sure to thoroughly defrost the fillets and let them rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking, which prevents the fish from becoming overly tough and chewy. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds swordfish
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 medium lemons, cut into wedges
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Using a paper towel, pat the swordfish dry to remove any excess moisture. On one side of the fish, spread half of the mayonnaise and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat this on the other side.
  3. Place the swordfish on the grill and cook it for 7 minutes per side. Remove from heat and serve immediately with lemon wedges for squeezing on top.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rick Geo
    Rick Geo
  • lastnightsdinner
  • dymnyno
  • Kelsey Banfield
    Kelsey Banfield
Home cook, food blogger, cookbook author, wine lover, avid traveler, and mother of two young children. Check out my books: The Naptime Chef: Fitting Great Food into Family Life (2012), and The Family Calendar Cookbook: From Birthdays to Bake Sales, Good Food to Carry You Through the Year (2015), Running Press.

5 Reviews

Rick G. May 24, 2019
Grill it 7min/side and will be totally dry (mayo or not), I will suggest no more than 5 min/side on a 1" thick steak!
Da F. February 28, 2012
Wish I would have read the comments before trying this recipe, used the suggested amount of mayo and had flare ups which made me move the fish to another part of the grill and as a consequence didn't get good marking, alas. Also, what exactly is 'medium high'? My gas Weber registered 500 (max temp is around 650) degrees when I put the fish on and it seemed a little over cooked and mushy at the table. I've always gotten good results cooking swordfish in a sauté pan before, but this was my first experience grilling - next time I'll use less mayo, and probably cook at a lower temp, too.
lastnightsdinner July 14, 2010
Simple but elegant - perfect summer fare :)
dymnyno July 13, 2010
Wow!! That sounds like a lot of mayonnaise. Did you mean tablespoon or teaspoon? I usually slather the fish with mayonnaise with my hands....uses a lot less. I am going to try grilling the fish. I usually use this method when baking in the oven. I agree with you ...I like a simple approach to grilling fish.
Kelsey B. July 13, 2010
Thanks for catching the error - the drop down menu selected Tablespoon for me! 6 t. is my best guestimate, about 3 t. per side for a large steak. :) It makes such a difference when grilling the fish - keeps it moist.