This Blackened Salmon recipe is a simple yet flavorful way to cook salmon. The Cajun seasoning used on the wild salmon in this dish adds heat. The blackening process crisps the exterior of the fish and helps seal in moisture.
The blackened salmon fillets recipe is gluten-free, low carb and keto-friendly!
Blackened fish is a favorite of Cajun cuisine, and a great way to prepare salmon. Typically, melted butter is applied to the surface of the fish and the blackening spices are adhered to that. As this is a fatty fish, I coated the Cajun seasoning directly on the salmon fillets and pan fried in a well oiled heavy cast iron skillet. Blackened salmon fillets are easy to prepare and fit within a wide range of popular diets.
This is particularity a good method when you wish to cook the fish more thoroughly. I had this salmon on hand for two and a half days. Thus, I didn't want to cook it to medium as I usually do. Blackening the salmon fillets sealed in moisture and added a ton of flavor. Of course, the method is also great when you want to cook your fresh salmon more rare too.
Try my Blackened Chicken too!
Is blackened salmon good for you?
Salmon is one of the best sources of essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids. The fish is also an excellent source of protein, potassium and B vitamins. It is good in general for brain and heart health too. As far as the blackening spices go, most have benefits. The only concern is sodium. If you are on a low sodium diet I suggest making your own blackening seasoning. Simply reduce the amount of salt used in the recipe linked in the next paragraph or use salt substitute in the blend.
Blackening seasoning is pretty much interchangeable with Cajun seasoning. A spice mix featuring paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, and a few other spices. See my Cajun Seasoning recipe.
How to Make Blackened Salmon Fillets
Here is a simple visual guide to making blackened salmon. I know I find pictures helpful, when I make a recipe for the first time. Full printable recipe card below.
Remove any stray scales or bones from your salmon fillets (or large fillet as shown) and pat dry. Then spoon on some of the seasoning.
Spread out the spices and pat gently to help them stick.
While you don't need to coat the skin side with the spice mixture, do dredge the edges.
Drop flesh side down into a hot cast iron skillet with a pool of oil in it. I use classic olive oil. Extra light would also work well, but DO NOT use extra virgin.
Flip after 1 ½ - 2 ½ minutes, once the spices have started to blacken. Then reduce heat and cook to your desired doneness.
What do you eat with blackened salmon?
Low Carb Sides for Blackened Salmon
When creating a low carb dinner with Blackened Salmon Fillets consider side dishes such as broccoli rabe, baked asparagus, cauliflower rice or roasted turnips. Finish the meal off with Keto Churros or Keto Pumpkin Cheesecake.
Store Leftover Salmon
If you have leftovers, seal them in an airtight container and place in fridge promptly after cooling. The cooked salmon will last for 3-4 days according to the USDA.
The leftover spicy salmon would be a delicious addition (or swap) in my Cajun Pasta recipe. It would also make a yummy salmon salad, blackened salmon tacos or simply reheat and serve over rice or noodles.
Blackened Salmon Recipe
- 8 ounces wild salmon as 2 salmon fillets or one piece
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- oil for skillet (high heat oil, such as avocado or light olive oil)
- Pat dry salmon fillets. Fill bottom of a cast iron skillet with oil (enough to cover bottom about 1/16th inch deep). Place over high heat.
- Cover the top and sides of the salmon with Cajun seasoning. Gently pat to help the spices stick well.
- Place the salmon fillets flesh side down into the hot pan. Sear for 90 seconds to 2 and ½ minutes until the spices start to blacken.
- Flip skin side down. Reduce heat to medium and cook 2-6 minutes. Time will vary widely based on thickness of fish and if you prefer more rare or well done.
- Serve with a splash of lemon juice, lime juice or a dollop of mayonnaise based sauce, such a Yum Yum sauce.