Blackened Salmon


5 from 4 votes
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This blackened salmon is liberally seasoned and seared to perfection. It is a must try recipe if you love tender and flavorful salmon. 

blackened salmon.

Salmon is an excellent protein to have in your diet. Whether it’s air-fried, baked, or cooked sous vide, it pairs well with a range of dishes and helps put together a wholesome dinner or lunch. This blackened salmon recipe is another great way to cook salmon.  

I thought that chicken or shrimp was the only proteins you could add blackened seasoning to but clearly, I was wrong and I’ve been missing out! Luckily, I can rectify this by adding it to our family’s weeknight dinner menu. 

Table of Contents
  1. The best blackened salmon
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make blackened salmon
  4. How to blacken salmon in the oven
  5. Tips to make the best recipe
  6. Storage instructions
  7. What sides are good with salmon
  8. Frequently asked questions
  9. Blackened Salmon Recipe Recipe

The best blackened salmon

A blend of flavorful spices is used to season the salmon fillets. The fillets are then seared in a piping-hot pan to toast the spices and create a delicious crust. You need to try this for yourself, because: 

  • Crispy crust and lots of flavors. The generous use of spices and the cooking technique used to prepare blackened fish result in a beautifully crispy crust and a rich flavor (like in tilapia, too!).
  • Customizable. You can experiment with the blackening spices and use ones that you enjoy pairing with salmon. You can also make the fish as spicy as you like by using more cayenne pepper. 
  • Ready in 10 minutes. Like lemon pepper or stuffed salmon, the best thing about this recipe is that it cooks in less than 10 minutes. No prep work and marinating are needed. 

Ingredients needed

Although I make this blackened salmon recipe very often, I still prefer to make the blackened spice mix from scratch. I find the spices hold onto the fish better and are way more fragrant. Here is what you’ll need for this. 

  • Salmon. Both skinless and skin-on fillets will work. The crispy skin adds more flavor and texture to the blackened fish.  
  • Blackening spices. A range of spices can be used to make blackened fish. My spices of choice are cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and dried thyme. 
  • Salt. To taste. 
  • Butter. Melted butter to brush over the fillets right after searing them. This ingredient is completely optional, but that subtle butter flavor really intensifies the spices. 
  • Olive oil. To sear the salmon. 
  • Parsley. Fresh chopped parsley for garnish. 

How to make blackened salmon

This perfectly seasoned salmon is both easy and impressive. Even if you’ve never cooked salmon this way before, it’s simple and straightforward.

Step 1- Prep the salmon

Start with mixing all the spices and salt. Sprinkle the spice mix generously on the salmon fillets and press to get them to stick well to the fish. 

how to blacken salmon.

Step 2- cook the fish

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet. When the oil is hot, place the salmon fillets in the pan with the spice side down. Sear the fillets for 3 minutes per side. 

how to make blackened salmon.

Step 3- season and serve

Once you have removed the fillets from the pan, brush them with melted butter. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve. 

recipe for blackened salmon.

How to blacken salmon in the oven

I know cooking salmon on the stove can be a little intimidating (although you should try my seared salmon or cast iron salmon– it proves how easy it is!) so I’ve included an option to bake it in the oven. 

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Season the salmon fillets with the spice mix you have prepared. 
  3. Arrange the salmon fillets on the baking tray with the spice side up and add a cube of butter to each fillet. 
  4. Bake the salmon for 10 minutes. 

Tips to make the best recipe

  • Make sure the pan is extra hot. This ensures instant blackening and prevents the salmon from sticking to the pan. 
  • Don’t move the fillets once they are in the pan. You only need to flip the fish once. Don’t move the fillets while they cook to allow a nice crust to form on them. 
  • Add a small amount of brown sugar. A teaspoon of brown sugar added to the spice mix will help balance all flavors. The sugar also enhances the brown crust on the fillets. 

Storage instructions

To store: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.  

To reheat: To prevent the salmon from drying out, it’s best reheated in a skillet over medium heat. Avoid using the oven or the microwave. 

Leftovers idea

Leftover cooked fish are great to flake in a sushi bake, stuff in a quesadilla, or even elevate a grilled cheese sandwich. Like halibut and swordfish, salmon works very well too.

cajun blackened salmon.

What sides are good with salmon

This recipe for blackened salmon pairs well with almost anything. Here are a few side dishes that pair exceptionally well with it.

Frequently asked questions

Is blackened fish healthy?

Fish is a source of high-quality protein that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Blackened fish is a lot healthier than fried fish though it is not as healthy as steamed fish. Consumed in moderation, blackened fish can be a part of a healthy diet. 

Can I use frozen salmon fillets?

While I stand by the ‘fresh is best’ mantra, frozen salmon fillets can be used if that is all you have on hand. Thaw the fillets out and be sure to pat dry each one very well before seasoning it. 

Is this gluten-free?

Yes, this recipe is gluten-free. Anyone with gluten intolerance or Celiac disease can make it and enjoy it. 

blackened salmon recipe.

Blackened Salmon Recipe

5 from 4 votes
This blackened salmon is liberally seasoned and seared to perfection. It is a must try recipe if you love tender and flavorful salmon.
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 1 min
Cook: 6 mins
Total: 7 mins


  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 salmon fillets skin on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the spice mix until combined.
  • Sprinkle the spice mix over the top of the salmon fillets. 
  • Add the oil to a large non-stick skillet and place over medium heat. 
  • Place the salmon, spice side down, and sear for 3 minutes. Flip the fish and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Remove the salmon from the pan and brush with melted butter and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley. 


TO STORE: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
TO REHEAT: To prevent the salmon from drying out, it’s best reheated in a skillet over medium heat. Avoid using the oven or the microwave.


Serving: 1salmon filletCalories: 315kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 34gFat: 18gSodium: 662mgPotassium: 915mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 960IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 3mgNET CARBS: 1g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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  1. 5 stars
    I made this the other night and we loved it! we have tried several of your recipes and all turned out great. keep on sharing. Thanks.