This Blackened Salmon recipe is packed with bold Cajun flavor! Seasoned with a simple homemade spice mix, this easy pan seared salmon recipe produces the best flaky salmon with a tasty dark crispy crust This restaurant quality dinner recipe is ready in 15 minutes!
This Blackened Salmon recipe is incredibly flavorful. Served with a delicious salad made with farm fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado, tossed with a simple lemon dressing.
Blackening fish is such an easy way to spiced up your dinner routine. This nutritious, protein-packed salmon recipe is made in one skillet, in about 15 minutes! A great addition to your meal plan that will definitely be a hit.
What Is Blackened Salmon
Blackening is actually a cooking technique but, it’s not just like charring (a technique that slightly burns the surface of the ingredient to add flavor and texture). Blackening combines high heat cooking with a specific spice blend and a fat like butter, oil or both.
Some recipes call for dunking the ingredient (fish, chicken, etc) in butter before adding the seasoning. In this recipe, the salmon is coated with the spice blend and then cooked in a cast iron skillet with a bit of oil and butter over high heat. The salmon may look black, but it’s not burnt!
What Is Blackening Seasoning Made Of?
Blackening seasoning or blackened seasoning is made of a combination of common dry herb and spices and almost always includes paprika. Dried thyme, dried oregano, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper are part of this bold and flavorful dry mix. Blackening seasoning is great on seafood, chicken, fish and beef.
Blackened Salmon Ingredients
- Salmon: You can use skin-on or skinless salmon. You can get an individual fillet and cut it yourself or buy individually portioned salmon fillets. I prefer wild salmon when available. Atlantic salmon has a milder flavor than Alaskan sockeye.
- Oil and Butter: Use a high smoke point oil like olive oil, vegetable oil or canola. I also add unsalted or salted butter.
- Homemade Blackened Seasoning: Ground paprika, ground cayenne, onion powder, salt, ground black pepper, dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, light brown sugar.
- For the Farm Fresh Salad: Cucumbers (I used Persian cucumbers but any other cucumber will work), cherry tomatoes, avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, fresh parsley.
- To Garnish: Lemon slices or lemon wedges.
How To Make This Blackened Salmon Recipe
- Make the Spice Mix: Combine the blackened seasoning ingredients.
- Prepare the Fish: Cut the fish into individual fillets and pat them dry.
- Season the Salmon Fillets: Season the fish on both sides and pat the spices so they adhere to the fish.
- Heat a Skillet: This is a recipe that calls for a cast iron skillet, however, use a heavy bottom skillet if cast iron is not available. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and the butter.
- Cook the Salmon Before placing the fish on the skillet, remove the hot skillet from the burner by sliding it to the side. Add the salmon fillets, one at a time in a single layer (if you have skin-on salmon, cook the fish flesh-side down first). Return the skillet to the heat and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the salmon and cook for it for about 2 minutes or until it flakes easily. Skin-on salmon should be cooked for about 4 minutes or until the skin gets crispy.
- Serve: Remove from the heat and serve with the salad and lemon wedges.
Farm Fresh Salad
To make the simple salad, combine the diced cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado and parsley and season it with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Drizzle it with olive oil and you are done! Chill it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
If making this fresh salad in advance, add the avocado right before serving.
Storing and Reheating
- Store the cool salmon in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.
- Salmon reheats well in the microwave when heated up at small intervals to prevent drying. You can also reheat the leftover salmon on the stove top over low heat.
- Blackened salmon is delicious served cold.
What To Serve With This Salmon Recipe
- Oven Roasted Asparagus (with a crispy Parmesan topping)
- Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
- Maple Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- White Rice
Blackened Salmon Recipe Tips
- Make sure to preheat the skillet before adding the fish.
- Right before placing the salmon on the skillet, quickly remove the skillet from the heat. Sometimes when the spices hit the hot oil, they cause small flare ups.
- Resist the temptation of moving the fish while it cooks. To get the perfect buttery spiced crust, place the fish on the hot skillet and let it cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes.
- Choose salmon fillets that are similar in size and thickness so they cook at the same rate.
- Don’t overcook the fish. Fish cooks quickly and salmon is best when is still pink in the middle
- Keep an eye on the salmon while it cooks. The fish will darken but it should not be burnt.
- Cast iron skillets are ideal for this type of recipe. Cast iron gets pretty hot and maintains the heat very well. You can use any other heavy bottom skillet.
- If you have leftovers, blackened salmon tastes pretty good when served cold.
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Blackened Salmon with Cucumber, Tomato and Avocado Salad
- 1 tablespoons ground paprika regular or smoked
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper use less – 1/4-tea. or more 1 tea. according to your taste
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoons sea or Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
For the Salad Topping:
- 1 Persian cucumber diced (or about 1 cup of diced cucumber)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 avocado peeled, seeded, and chopped
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- Juice of a lemon
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 ½ pounds salmon fillet pin bones removed (skin-on or off) or 4 (6-ounces) salmon fillets (individually portioned, skin on or off)
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Lemon wedges
- In a small mixing bowl combine the blackened seasoning ingredients.
- If you have a large piece of salmon, cut the fish into 4 equal pieces of about 6 ounces each.
- Pat dry the salmon with paper towels and then season the fish liberally on both sides with the blackened seasoning (you can use as much or as little seasoning as you wish). Lightly pat the spices to adhere as needed.
- Heat a large heavy bottom pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and the butter.
- Remove the hot skillet from the burner by sliding it to the side. Add the salmon fillets, one at a time in a single layer, flesh side down. Return the skillet to the heat and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the salmon to the other side. If the salmon has skin, cook it until the skin gets crispy, about 4-5 minutes. If the salmon is skinless, cook for about 2 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily (time depends on the thickness of the salmon fillet).
- Remove from the heat and arrange the salmon on a platter. Serve topped with the salad and with lemon wedges.
To Make the Salad:
- Combine All the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate, covered until ready to use. If making it in advanced, don’t add the avocado to prevent it from turning black.
Farmer’s Market Week is always the first week in August. Whether you have a great local farm stand or market, are a member of a CSA or purchase your fruits and vegetables at the supermarket, follow our Pinterest board, for great recipes including those for appetizers, drinks, breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and more.
Here’s more Farmer’s Market Week Recipes
Starter and Smoothie Recipes
- Orange and Greens Salad with Orange Vinaigrette by Magical Ingredients
- Pear Ginger Smoothie by Hostess At Heart
- Pickled Sport Peppers by Palatable Pastime
Side Dishes Recipes
- Cheesy Zucchini Rice by Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Creamed Peas and Potatoes by House of Nash Eats
- Honey Butter Peas by West Via Midwest
- Instant Pot Sweet Potato by Devour Dinner