Blackened Salmon Fillets On The Grill
Blackened Salmon is seasoned to perfection for a boldly spiced crust. Prepared on the grill (or oven) the tender and flaky salmon fillets are served with a sweet mango salsa that results in an irresistible 10-minute meal.
If you’re looking for grill-friendly dinner recipes for next time, try our Garlic Dill Flank Steak Sliders, Lemon Rosemary Grilled Chicken, Grilled Orange Fig Glazed Turkey Burgers, and Grilled Corn On The Cob.
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Blacked Salmon Fillets
It’s time to push your chicken dishes to the side and say hello to your new go-to dinner staple… Salmon!
We enjoy grilled salmon almost weekly, mostly because it’s so delicious, especially when it’s not overcooked and has the right seasonings! Not only is it extremely simple to prepare but it’s also a healthy meal that tastes like you’re at a restaurant even when you cooked it yourself!
This blackened salmon is the absolute perfect dish for summer and made easily on the grill (or in the oven any time of year) so you can spend more time enjoying the nice summer weather. You’ll love this blend of spices that come together to make a crispy flavor-filled crust that takes your salmon to the next level!
What Is Blackened Salmon?
The term blacked may be a little alarming for some, since we often associate something that’s “blackened” as being burnt. Which might have you thinking, why would I want a recipe for burnt salmon? While that’s not a crazy thought process, I’m here to reassure you that “blackened” in this usage of the word does not mean burnt.
“Blackened is a termed used in conjunction with Cajun cooking. To blacken something, it’s seasoned in a number of different spices like paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, cayenne, and salt and cooked in a hot skillet to achieve a deep colored crust (hence where the term blackened stems from) on the outside. The crust is where all of the intense and amazing flavors live.
Don’t think you have to have access to a professional-grade kitchen to achieve this drool-worthy grilled salmon dish. The seasoning mixture needed consists of a list of spices you might already have in your pantry!
Is Salmon Healthy?
I’m not going to say that eating salmon on a regular basis will make you live until you’re 105 and completely cure any health problems you have, but it’s definitely worth adding it to your regular diet.
Salmon is a healthy family dinner that can not only protect us against heart disease but salmon also reduces inflammation and blood pressure. There are also studies that say it can lessen the chances of cancer.
They say consuming salmon at least two times per week can make a difference in helping you meet all of your nutritional needs.
How To Make Blackened Salmon
(full printable recipe at the end of this post)
Using a small bowl combine all of the spices. Preheat your grill to medium indirect heat and prepare a foil tray for cooking the salmon. Then brush both sides of the fillets with melted butter and sprinkle each side evenly with the spice blend and pour the remaining butter over the salmon fillets.
Place the salmon tray on the grill and cook until the salmon just begins to flake easily and is almost completely opaque throughout.
Remove the grilled salmon fillets from foil using a metal spatula. Transfer the blackened salmon to a plate and serve topped with mango salsa and sprinkle with cilantro.
Note: I made mine on the grill for easy cleanup – but you can also make these in the oven.
To Cook In The Oven: place salmon fillets in a pre-heated 425° F oven for 8-12 minutes (4-6 minutes per half-inch of thickness) – I like to turn the oven to broil for the last 1-2 minutes.
How Can I Tell When Salmon is Done?
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Even if the fish looks cooked through, it is always best to check with an instant-read thermometer (which every kitchen should have). According to the USDA’s website, fish should be safely cooked through at 145° F. However, it’s okay to remove the meat at 130° F since the internal temperature continues to rise after it’s removed from the heat. The results are just about perfect after a 5-minute rest.
Salmon will change from translucent red to opaque pink as it cooks. When it’s done the center should still be a bit translucent but still, flake along the muscle fibers.
Never Cooked Blackened Salmon Before? Here Are Some Tips
I know cooking fish for the first time can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! Check out a few of these tips and tricks to make every salmon cooking session go smoothly.
- Choose pieces that are all the same size: This way they’ll be done at the same time. A center cut is usually the best option to ensure uniform thickness.
- Bring salmon to room temperature before cooking: Take it out of the fridge about an hour before cooking. It will cook more evenly if it’s not cold.
- Make a foil pan for the grill: Cooking in the foil means there are no extra dishes to wash. Use 2 sheets of heavy-duty foil, and double-fold all four sides then fold the side up to make a rim.
- Leave the skin on: If you leave the skin of the salmon intact it helps hold the flesh together during grilling. But for this recipe, you want to use salmon with the skin removed so you can season both sides of the fillets.
Serve It Any Way You Like
There are many different ways you can serve this dish, my personal favorite is when its served with mango salsa on top. The sweet flavor of the salsa pairs perfectly with the cajun spices and the salmon!
Depending on how much extra time you have, you can buy store-bought mango salsa of your choice, or you could make my pineapple mango salsa.
If mango salsa isn’t your jam, no worries! There are plenty of other ways to dress it up. But PLEASE promise me you will at least try the mango salsa on the grilled salmon.
Here are some options for other ways to serve your blackened salmon filets:
- on a bed of lettuce with croutons, parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing
- over pasta with cream sauce and red pepper flakes
- top with creamy cucumber dill sauce
Liven Up Your Summer Dinners With These Recipes!
Pecan Grilled Chicken Tender Salad – a fresh, fast, and delicious meal for any time of day! It’s a healthier version of my favorite O’Charley’s Pecan Chicken Tender Salad — Fresh greens topped with juicy mandarin oranges, ripe strawberries, dried cranberries, candied pecans, grilled chicken and bleu cheese, topped with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Lemon Basil Pasta Salad – A refreshingly easy pasta salad recipe. This spring and summer pasta salad recipe is a lighter alternative to traditional pasta salads and easy to take to get-togethers.
Pineapple Chicken Salad Pie – A creamy chicken salad mixture chock-full of sweet pineapple and crunchy pecans is special enough for any brunch or shower when chilled in a flaky pie crust. Easy enough to enjoy for lunch or dinner any day of the week.
Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers – These stuffed peppers are a delicious low-carb spin on the classic sandwich and a tasty dinner idea you can prep ahead of time!
Baja Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Lime Slaw – Loaded with garlic roasted shrimp, avocado, sweet peppers, tomatoes, and spicy chipotle mayo making these the BEST shrimp tacos. The perfect quick and delicious meal any night of the week.
15 Minute Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes – These take just 15 minutes to make! They’re flavorful, crispy on the outside, and perfectly moist thanks to the sweet potato. Serve with your favorite salad, veggies, and grains!
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UPDATED March 2021. We spiffed up this post with more info! No changes to the original recipe.
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper (use less if you don't want as much spice)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 (8 ounce) salmon fillets, with or without skin and bones removed
- 1/2 cup melted butter (or olive oil)
- mango salsa (for serving)
- fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
- Using a small bowl combine all of the spices. Preheat grill to medium indirect heat (or broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat).
- Prepare a foil tray for cooking the salmon. Use 2 sheets of heavy-duty foil, one directly on top of the other. Double fold all four sides about one inch then fold the side up to make a rim. Place the salmon on the tray.
- Using half of the butter, brush both sides of the fillets with melted butter and sprinkle each side evenly with the spice blend. Pour the remaining butter over the salmon fillets.
- Place the salmon tray on the grill. Close the cover on the grill and cook until the salmon just begins to flake easily and is almost completely opaque throughout, 8-10 minutes, or until done to your liking. Use a meat thermometer, with the thickest part of the salmon cooked at 130 degrees. (or check using a back of a spatula, until firm and not spongy).
- Remove fillets from foil using a metal spatula. Transfer blackened salmon to a plate and serve topped with mango salsa and sprinkle with cilantro.
To Cook In The Oven: place salmon fillets in pre-heated 425° F oven for 8-12 minutes (4-6 minutes per half-inch of thickness) - I like to turn the oven to broil for the last 1-2 minutes.
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