Ready in about 10 minutes, my easy Blackened Salmon is definitive proof that seafood recipes should not be reserved for restaurant meals alone. Discover how simple it is to make Blackened Salmon for dinner tonight.

Salmon in a cast iron skillet with lemons for garnish.

Confession: I don’t love to eat salmon on its own. But thanks to its versatility, crowd-pleasing nature, and healthy fats, I try, try again.

When “Emily’s Salmon Bowl” went viral on Tik Tok (the one where she microwaves the salmon with an ice cube on it underneath a piece of parchment and then wraps each bit individually in nori), I was inspired to create a new variation on the theme. And even this admitted salmon skeptic can admit it’s been one of my all-time favorite salmon recipes.

Ideal as a main dish alongside cilantro-lime rice and hush puppies (or your favorite carbs or veggies), my quick and easy Blackened Salmon takes about 10 minutes total. Now that makes my heart pitter-patter.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Blackened Salmon Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for blackened salmon.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Cajun seasoning: Snag a jar at the supermarket, or to make Homemade Cajun Seasoning, inside a small bowl or a jar with a lid, add 1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons paprika, 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder, 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, ¾ teaspoon cayenne, ¾ teaspoon dried thyme, and ¾ teaspoon onion powder. Stir to combine (or close and shake the jar). Store any extra seasoning in an airtight container.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position, place a cast-iron skillet on rack, and preheat oven to 500 degrees. Using a sharp knife, score skin-side of salmon filet 2-3 times, about 1-inch apart, and without slashing into flesh. Pat filets dry and season on all sides with Cajun seasoning.
Raw salmon on a baking sheet.
  1. When oven reaches 500 degrees, turn off oven and carefully remove skillet. Place skillet on stovetop over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until just smoking. Place salmon filets skin-side down and cook until very dark brown, about 2 minutes.
Salmon being cooked in a cast iron skillet.
  1. Flip salmon and cook until very dark brown and fish registers 140 degrees on a digital thermometer (I swear by my ThermoPro), about 2 minutes more. Serve with lemon wedges.
Salmon in a cast iron skillet.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: You can determine the portion size of this Blackened Salmon recipe based on the fish fillets you select. I suggest one 6- to 8-ounce fillet per adult for a satisfying entree, which you can pair with a side of vegetables and/or starch.
  • Storage: Transfer leftover salmon to an airtight container, then store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
A plate with blackened salmon, hush puppies and rice.
A plate with blackened salmon, hush puppies, and baked rice.

Recipe FAQs

What is blackening, exactly?

Rather than a set of ingredients, blackening is a technique invented by chef Paul Prudhomme at K-Paul’s in New Orleans, Louisiana. Redfish was the first item to be blackened. There are more recipes for blackening seasoning than we can count, but most including a mixture of warm and aromatic spices, such as salt, black pepper, white pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and/or oregano. Regardless of the recipe, the process involves liberally coating the starring ingredient with this blend before roasting, baking, or grilling to allow the flavor to infuse.

How else can I use Cajun seasoning?

Salmon is far from your only option. Other seafood selections, such as shrimp, catfish, or tilapia, taste terrific blackened, or use this mix to coat steak or pork. You can also go plant-based and Cajun-spice your corn on the cob, home fries, eggs, or steamed or roasted vegetables. You’ll also find Cajun seasoning on the ingredient for several popular New Orleans specialties, including gumbo, po-boys, étouffée, and jambalaya.

Cajun Seasoning

This homemade Cajun Seasoning blend is a tasty, versatile mix of common spices you probably already have on hand. Great on meats, pasta, veggies, and more!

1 minute
View Recipe

More seafood sensations

Salmon in a cast iron skillet with lemons for garnish.

Blackened Salmon

Ready in about 10 minutes, my easy Blackened Salmon is definitive proof that seafood recipes should not be reserved for restaurant meals alone. Discover how simple it is to make Blackened Salmon for dinner tonight.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 12 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 66

Ingredients 

  • 4 (6-8) ounce salmon filets with skin on
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Homemade Cajun Seasoning or store-bought (see note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Instructions 

  • Adjust oven rack to the middle position, place a cast-iron skillet on rack, and preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  • Using a sharp knife, score skin-side of salmon filet 2-3 times, about 1-inch apart, and without slashing into flesh. Pat filets dry and season on all sides with Cajun seasoning.
  • When oven reaches 500 degrees, turn off oven and carefully remove skillet. Place skillet on stovetop over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until just smoking.
  • Place salmon filets skin-side down and cook until very dark brown, about 2 minutes. Flip salmon and cook until very dark brown and fish registers 140 degrees on a digital thermometer, about 2 minutes more. Serve with lemon wedges.

Notes

  1. Cajun seasoning: Snag a jar at the supermarket, or to make Homemade Cajun Seasoning, inside a small bowl or a jar with a lid, add 1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons paprika, 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder, 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, ¾ teaspoon cayenne, ¾ teaspoon dried thyme, and ¾ teaspoon onion powder. Stir to combine (or close and shake the jar). Store any extra seasoning in an airtight container.
  2. Yield: You can determine the portion size of this Blackened Salmon recipe based on the fish fillets you select. I suggest one 6- to 8-ounce fillet per adult for a satisfying entree, which you can pair with a side of vegetables and/or starch.
  3. Storage: Transfer leftover salmon to an airtight container, then store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 66kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 2mgPotassium: 45mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 862IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

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Comments

  1. Sounds great, but how do we prevent our smoke detectors from going off? By the way, I love your site and a lot of your recipes, but I don’t know what to do with a recipe that will smoke up my kitchen. I end up opening windowns, waving towels, etc. This is my first comment on the matter.

    1. Hi Liz, I usually use the fan vent on my microwave when cooking things like this. I unfortunately don’t know of another solution if you don’t have one of those. Sorry about that! – Meggan