When you’re looking for a weeknight dinner that doesn’t compromise on flavor, Blackened Salmon is the go-to recipe. It’s easy enough to make in 25 minutes, healthy enough for most any diet, and baked in the oven to avoid pan frying splatter and messy cleanup!
What are Blackening Spices?
Often associated with Cajun cooking, a blend of spices like chili, garlic and onion powder are slathered on fish or meat, and then cooked over high heat with butter or oil. When cooked, the seasoning blend takes on a dark brown, almost black color – hence the name “Blackened Salmon.”
The flavor of the spices are enhanced when cooked (in this specific recipe, baked!), yielding a rich, intense Cajun flavor with a touch of heat.
Why You’ll Love This Blackened Salmon Recipe
I love this blackened salmon recipe for many reasons, but here are my top 5:
- No oil splattering…no mess! While many blackened salmon recipes call for pan frying, this recipe is oven baked, meaning less mess and less active cooking time.
- Intense, rich flavor. You’d be surprised how a few simple household ingredients pack a flavor punch.
- Healthy as can be! While some recipes call for butter, this recipe uses a splash of extra virgin olive that’s healthier and (in my opinion) a better flavor match!
- Endless meal options. From serving blackened salmon alone with a simple side like Homemade Naan, sliced avocado and lime wedges – to Blackened Salmon Tacos, this recipe is one of my go-to weeknight dinners!
- Easy and effortless: ready in just 25 minutes. Mix together your blackening seasoning, slather it on your salmon, and bake it in the oven. That’s it!
How to Make Blackened Salmon
Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!
Combine chili powder, olive oil, garlic and onion powder, lime zest and juice, salt to taste and cayenne (optional).
Place salmon fillet(s) on a baking sheet. Use a basting brush or spoon to spread the blackened seasoning evenly on salmon.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15-19 minutes, lightly tenting the salmon halfway with aluminum foil.
- Salmon fillet(s) – this recipe includes enough blackening seasoning for 1 pound of salmon. You can cut a large salmon fillet into smaller pieces before or after cooking if desired. You can also double or half the entire recipe if you need more or less salmon!
- Chili powder – chili powder is the perfect base for blackened salmon because it’s a blend of many spices like dried chiles, cumin, paprika, oregano and a dash of cayenne pepper.
- Extra virgin olive oil – a splash of olive oil makes the seasoning easily spreadable on the salmon fillets.
- Garlic powder – garlic powder is traditional in blackening seasoning…and garlic is delicious!
- Onion powder – onion powder is also traditional in blackening seasoning and I can definitely see why!
- Lime – lime zest and juice adds acidity and citrus notes.
- Cayenne pepper (optional) – while chili powder is usually just a bit spicy on its own, you can add more heat if you’d like.
What to Serve with Blackened Salmon
You can serve blackened salmon hot or even chilled, alone or with accompaniments! Here are a few serving suggestions:
- Simply with lime wedges, avocado, and/or fresh cilantro or parsley
- With rice and a simple vegetable like Broiled Asparagus
- As Blackened Salmon Tacos
- With Whole Wheat Naan
- Chilled, with Tzatziki Sauce
- Chilled, with smoky Muhammara Dip
- With Buttermilk Drop Biscuits
- With Chipotle Corn Salsa
- With Classic Herb Roasted Root Vegetables
*To serve chilled, use a spatula to place salmon on a plate. Let cool completely in the fridge, before covering with plastic wrap until you’re ready to serve it.
Storage and Reheating
Let salmon cool completely, uncovered in the fridge, before covering with plastic wrap or placing in an airtight container. Enjoy within 3-4 days!
Reheat, covered, in the oven at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes until warm. Or even serve chilled!
More Easy Salmon Recipes You’ll Love!
- Simple Poached Salmon
- Salmon Burgers
- The Ultimate Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast
- Lemon, Garlic & Herb Baked Salmon
- 2-Minute Pan Seared Salmon with Honey Garlic Glaze
- Poached Salmon with Black Currant Bacon Vinaigrette
- 1 pound salmon fillet(s)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 lime zested and juiced
- Salt to taste
- Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine chili powder, olive oil, garlic and onion powder, lime zest and juice, salt to taste and cayenne (optional). Mixture will resemble a paste.
- Place salmon fillet(s) on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Use a basting brush or spoon to spread the blackened seasoning evenly on salmon.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 15-19 minutes, lightly tenting the salmon halfway with aluminum foil. Serve with lime wedges.
- You can double or half this recipe depending on your needs.
- Use Chili Powder (a blend of spices), not Chile Powder.
- Salmon is done when the inside looks opaque (not translucent) and starts to flake, or reaches an internal temperature of between 135-145 degrees in the thickest part, depending on your doneness preference.
- Dried oregano or thyme is often added to blackening seasoning. While most chili powder blends include oregano, you can add a dash more if preferred.
- More serving suggestions listed in the post above!