Buttery and flaky with a crisp charred crust, this Blackened Salmon recipe is packed with the spicy Cajun flavors we all love! It’s made the traditional way in a cast-iron skillet and ready in just 15 minutes. My tip: don’t skip the homemade blackened seasoning mix—it’s what gives this dish its uniquely special flavor!

Cajun blackened salmon fillets in a cast-iron skillet with lemon wedges.

With a Louisiana-born Mom, and a Texas-bred Dad, the craving for Cajun and creole is a regular occurrence. So when I want to taste the flavors of home with minimal effort, it’s this Blackened Salmon recipe that I turn to.

Ready in under 15 minutes. Packed with spicy flavor. And you get the most tender and flaky fish.

And since we’re using a homemade blackened seasoning blend, you can easily adjust it to be as spicy or mild as you’d like.

The one thing you MUST have.

A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet.

This is the only type of pan that will give you that gorgeous crispy crust and also that uniquely Cajun flavor.

(Not sure how to season your skillet? Check out this video here by Joshua Weissman; he makes it so simple to do!)

Blackened seasoning ingredients on a board.
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Ingredients

Notes about the ingredients needed for this Blackened Salmon recipe are below. Jump to recipe for the exact measurements.

  • Salmon. Fresh, Verlasso salmon is my pick. If you want more flavor opt for a fattier salmon variety. If using previously frozen, make sure to thaw the salmon completely and pat dry before cooking.
  • Blackened seasoning mix. This spice mixture is made with paprika, onion powder and garlic powder, thyme, basil, oregano, and cayenne pepper. You can make homemade or buy it in the store. Emeril’s, Slap Ya Mama, or Chef Paul’s Magic Seasoning are good options.
  • Butter. This is a MUST to give it the more traditional Cajun flavor. Salted butter is always my preference.
  • Lemons. Some would say optional, but I say these are key. The bright and zesty acidic notes complement the heartier spices on the fish.

How to Make Blackened Salmon

Please see the recipe card below for more detailed ingredient amounts. Jump to recipe for the printable instructions.

1. Cut into fillets and season the fish.

Use a sharp knife to portion the fish into five 4-ounce fillets. Leave the skin on, or remove it if you’d prefer. The skin will easily fall off after cooking, so you can save yourself an extra step here!

Sprinkle the blackened seasoning blend onto the filets and rub it in. By pressing it gently into the flesh you ensure the seasoning will stick while searing.

2. Cook salmon in a cast-iron skillet.

A cast-iron skillet works the absolute best when making anything blackened. If you do not have a cast-iron skillet, a large stainless steel skillet will work well, also.

Melt the butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place the fillets flesh side-down. 

Cook the salmon for 4-5 minutes on one side. Use a spatula to carefully flip, then continue cooking for an additional 4-5 minutes.

Salmon is done when the internal temperature reaches 145°F and the fish flakes easily with a fork. This can be determined by using a simple meat thermometer and placing it in the thickest portion of the filet.

Blackened salmon being cooked in a cast iron skillet with butter.

3. Serve with fresh lemon juice.

Garnish with fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.

When eating, simply remove the skin (leaving the fatty and good-for-you grey part!) and either discard or give it to your furry friend.

FAQs

What internal temperature do I cook salmon?

Salmon is cooked through when a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of the fillet reaches 145°F.

Is blackened the same as grilled?

No, blackened refers to the seasoning blend used to flavor the fish, as well as the method of cooking on a flat surface to create a charred crust.

Is blackened salmon fully cooked?

Yes, this recipe cooks the fish completely

What to Serve with Blackened Salmon?

This easy salmon recipe is already loaded with Cajun spices and is quite flavorful on its own. My suggestions would be to serve it alongside a pretty mild side dish like:

More Deliciously Easy Salmon Recipes

Enjoy more of this healthy fish with these simple meals:

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4.25 from 12 votes

Blackened Salmon Recipe

Buttery and flaky with a crisp charred crust, this best Blackened Salmon recipe is packed with the spicy Cajun flavors we all love! It's made the traditional way in a cast-iron skillet and ready in just 15 minutes.
Cajun blackened salmon fillets in a cast-iron skillet with lemon wedges.
Yield 5 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 15 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 1 lb. salmon
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges

Homemade Blackened Seasoning:

  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper plus more to taste
  • ¾ tsp. salt plus more to taste

Instructions 

  • Cut salmon into 4 fillets, leaving the skin on. Set aside while preparing the blackened seasoning mix.
    1 lb. salmon
  • For the Blackened Seasoning: Whisk together the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, and salt in a small bowl until evenly blended.
    1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. black pepper, ½ tsp. dried oregano, ½ tsp. dried thyme, ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, ¾ tsp. salt
  • Sprinkle the blackened seasoning mix over the salmon fillets, pressing it gently to ensure it sticks to the fish.
  • Add butter to a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once melted, place salmon fillets into the skillet felsh side-down. Cook for 4-5 minutes, flip, and continue cooking for an additional 4-5 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
    2 Tbsp. salted butter
  • Serve blackened salmon immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice, if desired.
    1 lemon
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

4.25 from 12 votes

Notes

  • Salmon: Fresh, Verlasso salmon is my pick. If you want more flavor opt for a fattier salmon variety. If using previously frozen, make sure to thaw the salmon completely and pat dry before cooking.
  • Blackened seasoning mix: If you don’t want to make your own, Emeril’s, Slap Ya Mama, or Chef Paul’s Magic Seasoning are good store-bought options.
  • Prep: Portion the salmon into fillets 1-2 days in advance and mix up the blackened seasoning.
  • Storage: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To freeze, seal in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 4-6 months. 

Nutrition

Calories: 283kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Sodium: 230mg, Potassium: 595mg, Vitamin A: 185IU, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 0.9mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Comments

  1. I’ve never had luck getting a good crust on blackened salmon, but your recipe looks foolproof. I’m going to give this a try the next time I order fresh salmon online. Salmon is one of my favorite proteins, so I’m always looking for new recipes to try.

  2. When baking/roasting salmon filets you don’t indicate – as you do with the skillet – whether to place filets on the lined baking sheet skin side up or down. Please clarify.

    1. You can place them either way, but I would recommend skin side-down so the blackened seasoning stays adhered to the top when baking. Hope you enjoy the recipe!