Blackened Salmon doesn’t have to be spicy. This restaurant-inspired recipe is deeply flavorful without being overpowering. Add some sides, or use it for a salad or sandwich!

A piece of blackened salmon on top of white rice and asparagus with a lime garnish.

Stovetop Blackened Salmon Recipe

Today, I’m sharing a recipe that was shared with me by a restaurant chef. Blackened salmon is something you might see on a restaurant menu and think there’s no way you can make it at home. But it’s actually really easy.

In this recipe, herbs and spices come together with a bit of brown sugar and maple syrup to create the perfect combination of savory and sweet.

What is Blackened Salmon?

Blackened salmon is a Cajun-inspired seafood preparation that involves coating the salmon in a blend of spices and then searing it in a hot skillet. This creates a delectable crust on the outside, and also locks in the salmon’s juices, keeping it nice and moist.

Why you’ll love Cast Iron Blackened Salmon

  • No need for the oven. The salmon cooks entirely in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop.
  • A versatile recipe to keep in your back pocket when you want to add some protein to a salad or sandwich.
  • No fancy ingredients. Most of these dried herbs and spices will probably be in your cabinet already.
Ingredients laid out on a light surface including fish, spices, brown sugar and a lime.

Blackened Salmon Ingredients

  • salmon fillets – the star of the show! You’ll need skin-on salmon fillets for this recipe to turn out best.
  • maple syrup – you’ll brush each salmon fillet with maple syrup, which is what the seasoning will stick to.
  • olive oil – for coating the pan so the salmon doesn’t stick.
  • lime juice – adds a touch of acidity to brighten the flavors.
  • green onion – adds a fresh kick and a pop of color.

Blackened Salmon Seasoning

  • paprika – adds smokiness and color to the spice mix.
  • onion powder – adds depth and sweetness.
  • garlic powder – provides a savory, aromatic note.
  • dried oregano – offers earthy, Mediterranean undertones.
  • dried thyme – rounds out the herbal complexity.
  • brown sugar – balances the spices with a touch of sweetness.

How to make Blackened Salmon in Cast Iron Skillet

Two small white bowls. One is filled with oil and one is filled with blackend salmon seasoning.

1. MAKE SEASONING. Stir together the brown sugar and spices to make the seasoning mix.

A silcone brush being used to brush fish fillets with maple syrup.

2. MOISTEN SALMON. Brush the salmon fillets with maple syrup and then squeeze a bit of lime juice over each fillet.

Four salmon fillets crusted with blackened seasoning mix.

3. CRUST. Press the seasoning mix evenly onto each salmon fillet.

Four fish fillets flesh side down in cast iron skillet in process of cooking.

4. SEAR. Heat a cast iron skillet until very hot, and then add the salmon fillets to the skillet, skin side up.

A blackened salmon recipe in the process of being seared in a cast iron pan.

5. FLIP. Flip the salmon and continue to cook and flip until all sides have been seared.

A piece of blackened salmon on top of white rice and asparagus with a lime garnish.

6. SERVE. Transfer salmon to a plate and squeeze more lime juice over it, and sprinkle with green onions.

Home Chef Tips for Blackened Salmon Cast Iron recipe

  • You MUST have an overhead exhaust fan in your kitchen for this recipe, and you should probably open a few windows, too. It gets smoky!
  • To lessen grease splatters, use a grease shield while cooking the salmon.
  • If you do like a little bit of heat, add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to your seasoning mixture.
A fork holding up a bite of cast iron blackened salmon.

What to serve with this Blackened Salmon Recipe

This blackened salmon recipe pairs beautifully with a variety of side dishes.

My favorite way to serve it is with rice and balsamic asparagus or balsamic green beans.

It’s also great paired with sauteed spinach and mashed potatoes with heavy whipping cream.

How to store Blackened Salmon

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Tips for reheating Cast Iron Blackened Salmon

To reheat, gently warm the salmon in a skillet over low heat, adding a splash of water to keep it moist. You can also reheat in a 350 degree oven until the fish is warmed through.

A piece of blackened salmon on top of white rice and asparagus with a lime garnish.

Blackened Salmon (Cast Iron Recipe)

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes

Blackened Salmon doesn't have to be spicy. This restaurant-inspired recipe is deeply flavorful without being overpowering. Add some sides, or use it for a salad or sandwich!

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 center cut skin-on salmon fillets (5 to 6 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. In small bowl, stir together brown sugar, paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder and onion powder until well combined.
  2. Brush the skinless side of each salmon fillet with maple syrup and then drizzle with lime juice.
  3. Divide the spice mixture between the fillets and press the mixture onto the skin side of each fillet.
  4. Heat oil in large cast iron skillet over high heat for 1 minute or just until oil is about to lightly smoke.
  5. Transfer salmon, skin side up, to skillet and cook 4 minutes.
  6. Carefully flip salmon and cook skin side down for 4 minutes.
  7. Flip salmon 90 degrees so fillets are on their side and cook 1 minute. Repeat on other side.
  8. Remove salmon from skillet and transfer to plates. Sprinkle with green onion and serve with lime wedges.

Notes

Home Chef Tip: You MUST have an overhead exhaust fan in your kitchen for this recipe, and you should probably open a few windows, too. It gets smoky!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 381Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 90mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 32g

This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. Nutrition information does not include any optional ingredients or toppings. You should calculate the nutrition information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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