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?
Great sides to team with this spicy salmon dish are broccoli au gratin, cheesy rice, crockpot corn casserole. sauteed vegetables or buttered corn.
For a drink choice, something refreshing and light, such as a sauvingnon blanc, Greyhound cocktail or Green Tea Lemonade would be nice.
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.
Check out my Keto Salmon dinner for more side dish options. Also keep in mind other fish, such as tilapia, catfish and Chilean Sea Bass can also be prepared with the blackening method.
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.
Pam Greer says
I love that gorgeous color on the salmon. We like things spicy, so this is perfect!
Meagen Brosius says
Salmon is one of my favorite choices when I'm making fish. This is such a great recipe, it's delicious, has a little zing, and my husband was a big fan! Yum!
OMG this was sooooooo good. Really easy, too!
Geetha Priyanka says
This is such a simple and delicious recipe. I love the use of cajun rub here.
Veena Azmanov says
The Salmon sounds interesting and yummy. Love the Cajun rub on it.
This is such an easy & quick healthy recipe to make for weeknights. Thanks for the step wise pics, they are just so helpful.
Anita @ Daily Cooking Quest says
OMG! I can't believe there are only 3 ingredients, including oil, to make this blackened salmon. I usually use tilapia, or catfish, but now that I've seen this salmon version, I am itching to make this ASAP.
I would probably serve this with a side of pasta or rice. I love how crispy the skin on this salmon gets when cooked in the pan. Cajun seasoning complements the fish so well!
We make sure to have salmon at least once a week. This was amazing!
Love that you're using a Cajun rub on the salmon! Thanks for sharing!
Oh my! I grew up eating blackened salmon, but I haven't made it in ages. This was such a treat to enjoy.
This salmon cooks up so perfectly! The flavor is divine!
Sophie Heath says
Delicious! I'm so excited I found this recipe and will definitely be making again soon!
We loved this blackened salmon and made a double batch of the seasoning so we can use it on everything!
Pretty much the easiest salmon recipe ever!
Renee Goerger says
I can't seem to get my fill of salmon recipes lately. This is one of my favorites. Love the flavor the seasoning adds to the salmon.