Cajun Blackened Salmon is a hearty main dish made with simple ingredients. Perfect for a weeknight meal because it’s quick and easy to make.
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EDITOR’S NOTE (AUGUST 1, 2022): Updated baking tips and added new photos of the ingredients.
DISCLAIMER (NOT SPONSORED): I have not been paid to endorse any of the pictured products.
Delighted to share the ingredients I purchased and used to make this delicious recipe.
All comments are my own.
Salmon can be pan-fried, grilled, or broiled to create a healthy main dish that’s perfect for lunch or dinner.
Coat both sides of fresh salmon in olive oil to keep it moist while baking.
The great tasting rub is easy to make with a few simple ingredients that are shown below.
Dried oregano and dried thyme add savory flavor.
These ingredients add yummy flavor: cayenne pepper, coarse ground black pepper, salt, and paprika.
DARK BROWN SUGAR
Dark brown sugar (not pictured) is also an ingredient. It tastes good and causes the crust to caramelize on Cajun Blackened Salmon.
Use store-bought or my recipe for Homemade Brown Sugar.
As previously mentioned, coat both sides of fresh salmon in olive oil to keep it moist while baking.
After coating in olive oil, generously apply the rub on both sides of each piece of salmon.
To make the skin crisp, place the coated salmon pieces (skin side down) in a HOT skillet.
BAKE IN HOT OVEN
Carefully remove HOT skillet from heat, place in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
HOW TO TELL WHEN SALMON IS DONE
To test salmon for doneness, lightly pierce a small section with a knife or fork.
If the flesh is translucent or looks like it did before cooking (raw), it is not done. Bake a few minutes longer.
Thoroughly baked salmon will have a solid, light pink center.
Cajun Blackened Salmon is done when the outside is crisp and dark brown (close to black) and the center is a solid (not translucent) light pink color.
Overbaked salmon is solid white and dry. Watch baking time to prevent this from happening.
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Cajun Blackened Salmon
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3-4 salmon fillets
- 1-1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika or use regular paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper use 1/2 teaspoon for less heat
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt use more or less as preferred
- chopped fresh parsley for garnish optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- After removing salmon from refrigerator, allow to sit on counter until room temperature. This will make the fish tender. Cooking cold fish tends to make it tough.
- Rinse room temperature salmon and pat dry with paper towels.
- Place salmon fillets on a cutting board. Rub olive oil over all sides of salmon fillets. Set aside.
- In small bowl, add brown sugar, smoked paprika (or regular paprika), oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, ground black pepper, and salt. Stir until well combined.
- Use hands to generously coat both sides of salmon fillets with rub.
- Warm skillet on top of stove to over medium heat until hot (2-3 minutes). Do not add oil to skillet.
- Turn heat off before placing salmon fillets skin-side-down in HOT skillet.
- Carefully place skillet in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes OR until desired doneness.
- When salmon fillets reach desired doneness, remove from oven. Allow to rest 5 minutes.
- Before serving, garnish each salmon fillet with chopped parsley (optional).