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Best Seasoning for Swordfish

Best Seasoning for Swordfish

When you have access to fresh swordfish, you shouldn’t miss out on making it in your kitchen.

The firm and meaty texture of this fish makes it a robust fish dinner that has a mild flavor on its own.

Which means it’s quite the match for an array of different flavors.

But what is the best seasoning for swordfish?

There are a number of flavors that pair beautifully with this fish.

You can use dry rubs, sauces, glazes, and marinades, though knowing a bit of what will go best will help you turn out your most delicious swordfish dinner of all!

Why be boring with your swordfish? 

The right seasonings can add the kind of gourmet flavors you’d expect from a restaurant right in your own kitchen. 

Everyone will want to know your secret to swordfish success!

1. Sumac

sumac seasonings

Middle Eastern spices are a great match for swordfish. 

Sumac comes to mind first since it’s such a tangy spice.

These lemony notes add brightness to your dish but in a way, that’s a bit more intriguing than simply squeezing lemon over top and calling it a day. 

Plus, the rich hue of this spice can give it a lovely appetizing color.

2. African Grains of Paradise

pepper grains seasonings

There’s little doubt that one of the biggest food trends right now comes from Africa.

In particular, West African regions rely on a seasoning called grains of paradise.

This complex array of flavors is a beautiful match made in heaven for swordfish.

It has a woodsy aroma and a gentle spiciness thanks to black pepper, herbs, and a hint of citrus.

Grind it up and coat your swordfish with this for a rub that will make your dish the catch of the day!

3. Mesquite Seasoning


Mesquite often brings to mind smoked foods.

And certainly, you can smoke your swordfish with mesquite and have an incredible meal.

Food and Wine has an excellent recipe for mesquite-grilled swordfish, but if you’re not up for grilling and want that strong, smokey flavor, you can find mesquite in powdered form. 

However, be advised that a little goes a long way, and a great idea is to serve it with a fresh salsa to balance that taste. 

4. Southwest Mix

southwest seasonings

Since swordfish is such a meaty and robust fish, it can stand up to other bold flavors as well.

So, if you’re not thrilled about mesquite, perhaps a southwestern flair will put a little pep in your step.

Combine cumin, garlic, and cayenne pepper and you’ll be adding that splendid southwestern flavor.

It’s earthy and warm, and while it’s quite bold, it won’t overpower that swordfish. 

5. Asian Flavors Mix


The flavors of Asia will certainly make your swordfish stand out in an elegant yet exotic way.

Swordfish does so well with spices like ginger. 

Add sesame oil and soy sauce and it’s a surefire hit for your dinner tonight. 

Keeping it simple like this will bring delicious results.

You can also add Korean red pepper if you’d like, as you’ll find in this recipe from The Dainty Green Apron

6. Fresh Rosemary


Rosemary is a refreshing herb that tends to have that woody-lemony taste dialed right in.

And naturally, that’s a beautiful pairing for your fresh swordfish. 

It couldn’t be easier to create an epic meal with fresh rosemary, though even the dried stuff will do too.

Simply press it into the swordfish and grill or cook it on your stovetop.

Make sure you add some olive oil, lemon, and garlic too to really give your rosemary swordfish the perfect flavor. 

There are many recipes online for this one that can provide some more inspiration on how to use rosemary on your swordfish. 

7. Chopped Basil


Fresh basil has a flavor akin to licorice, but even if you hate licorice, you’ll love basil.

It’s such a beautiful herb that you can pair with swordfish, especially if you want to add tomatoes and olive oil.

But if not, it goes great with lemon, olive oil, and garlic too.

We like the idea of adding some mint as well. 

8. Sprinkled Parsley

parsley seasonings

It might seem basic, but parsley brings way more to the table than you may realize.

This simple herb spent far too many years on the sidelines of our plates.

Let it be fully in charge of your swordfish seasonings by matching it with fresh lemon.

Add some garlic too if you desire.

And of course, freshly grind your black pepper on top for the ultimate finishing touch.

Then you’ll see what a dream parsley tastes like with swordfish!

9. Italian Oregano

oregano seasoning

Oregano is a lovely herb that everyone associates with Italian cuisine.

Don’t forget though that it is also a staple spice in Greek fare.

It’s full of wonderful flavors that truly complement those swordfish steaks.

Add capers and lemons.

Go with tomatoes.

Really, just go with it and let the oregano work its magic on your meal. 

10. Thyme Herb Mix

thyme seasoning

Like rosemary, thyme has a citrus vibe going on.

But it’s different from rosemary in that it’s not so woodsy.

And you can always match thyme with rosemary.

There’s no rule about that.

In fact, there’s an old song by Simon and Garfunkel that pairs parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. 

Perhaps they were really singing about swordfish with thyme, though if you pair your swordfish with this seasoning, you might start singing yourself!

11. Citrus Variety

citrus and swordfish

If you have lemons, you can make more than lemonade.

You can make a citrus-tinged swordfish that will have everyone begging for more.

But if you’re out of lemons, any citrus will do.

That means orange, grapefruit, and lime can all come in to add that necessary bright acidity to your dish. 

Marinade your swordfish with citrus juices.

Or grate fresh zest on top before cooking.

And of course, citrus is a match with many of the herbs we’ve already discussed, so bring them together for a harmonious melody of flavors. 

12. Blackened Seasoning


It’s perhaps the most classic swordfish seasoning.

Blackened swordfish is a popular menu item in restaurants across the country.

And it just may be your new favorite item to add to your weekly menu rotation at home too.

You’ll find this seasoning in just about any supermarket, a savory blend of garlic powder, paprika, thyme, oregano, cayenne, black pepper, onion powder, and salt.

It’s also got a nice hit of heat to round it all out.

You could also serve it with a refreshing mango salsa, like the recipe at Fresh is the Taste

13. Blueberry Balsamic Reduction Style


Because swordfish is more meaty than fishy and the texture is firmer, it pairs astoundingly well with other fruity flavors.

Besides citrus.

Two that come to mind are blueberry or blackberry flavor pairing.

And if you create a balsamic reduction using blueberry jam, balsamic vinegar, and that thyme we discussed earlier, you’ll really make a hit with this.

Strawberries would also work, so give it a try!

14. Glorious Garlic

garlic seasoning

There’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple too.

You can use fresh garlic with your swordfish to create savory, meaty flavors.

And garlic is easy to pair with other seasonings on here too.

Garlic, butter, and lemon are a super-simple pairing for ingredients everyone has in their kitchen.

15. Capers with Lemon and Butter 


And finally, we’ll end with one of the most beautiful pairings of all…swordfish and capers.

Capers are little balls of delight that are popular in Italian cuisine.

If you love chicken piccata, then you know what we mean.

But add them with swordfish and you’ll feel like you’re dining at a 5-star restaurant.

Even better if you have a creamy sauce like this recipe by Italian Bella Vita, but no worries if you don’t…capers, butter, lemon, and a splash of white wine will bring it all together.  

Just make sure your butter is unsalted!

Which of these ways to season swordfish will you try first?

Be sure to check out our list of what to serve with swordfish to round out your memorable meal!

best seasoning for swordfish hdr

Best Seasoning for Swordfish: 15 Flavors to Try

Ideas and recipes for swordfish seasonings


  • Sumac
  • African Grains of Paradise
  • Mesquite Flavoring
  • Southwest Spice Mix
  • Asian Flavors Mix
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Chopped Basil
  • Sprinkled Parsley
  • Italian Oregano
  • Thyme Herb Mix
  • Citrus Variety
  • Blackened Seasoning
  • Blueberry Balsamic Reduction Style
  • Glorious Garlic
  • Capers with Lemon and Butter 


  • Choose your desired seasoning for a delicious Swordfish dinner.
  • Gather and organize needed ingredients.
  • Season your swordfish, cook, and enjoy!

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