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blackened salmon in a cast iron skillet topped with pineapple and avocado

Easy Blackened Salmon Recipe

This Easy Blackened Salmon Recipe is the best seasoning for salmon loaded with spices and herbs like smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and onion powder. This simple meal is ready in 15 minutes making it perfect for weeknight dinners. You can even toss the fish in tacos or on salads!
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine Cajun
Keyword blackened salmon, how to make blackened salmon
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 255kcal


  • 1 pound salmon (skin-on) Cut into fillets about 4oz each. You can use skinless if you wish.
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 tablespoon melted to rub the fish, 1 tablespoon to cook in the pan
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme


  • Dry the salmon completely and allow the salmon to come to room temperature for 15 minutes.
  • Drizzle 1 tablespoon of melted butter onto both sides of the salmon.
  • Combine the spices in a bowl and sprinkle the spices over the salmon. Be sure to season the sides of the salmon.
  • Heat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet on medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter. I used a 10 inch pan.
  • When the butter has melted, add the salmon to the pan, skin-side up. Do not overcrowd the pan. The salmon shouldn't touch. Cook the fish in batches if needed.
  • Cook the salmon for 2-4 minutes until the side turn opaque. Monitor the sides of the salmon to determine the perfect time to flip. When the color of the side of the salmon has lightened about 3/4ths of the way up, it's time to flip. 
  • Flip the salmon and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove and cool before serving.



  • Dry the salmon thoroughly before coating it in butter or oil. Wet salmon is more likely to stick to the pan.
  • Avoid using salmon cold and straight from the fridge. I like to pull the salmon from the fridge and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
  • The pan will need to get really hot. Cast iron usually smokes. This is normal. You can use a fan over the stove or open up a window as well.
  • Don't move the salmon after you have placed it down on the skillet. It's more likely to crumble, break, and not turn out pretty! Allow it to cook and get ready for flipping.
  • The color of the salmon will become lighter as it cooks. You can monitor the color of the sides to determine doneness. When the color of the side of the salmon has lightened about 3/4ths of the way up, it's time to flip.
  • Use a timer while cooking the salmon if you are easily distracted. This will help ensure you don't overcook the salmon.


Serving: 1salmon fillet | Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 16g