This oven baked blackened salmon recipe has rich, savory salmon dusted with smoky, spicy blackening seasoning. Ready in about 30 minutes, it's an easy and versatile weeknight main dish!
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Why You’ll Love Cajun Blackened Salmon
This easy baked blackened salmon is a go-to recipe for weeknight dinners.
Salmon is one of those proteins we never get tired of at my house. We eat salmon a few times a month and this is one of my favorite ways to prepare it.
Who wouldn't love savory, flaky salmon filets coated in a deeply flavored, smoky blackened spice mix that are baked to perfection?
It's a versatile and delicious main dish. Serve it with any vegetable side, serve it on a salad, add it as the protein to tacos, or put it in a wrap!
I love making this spiced salmon for meal prep, too. Just bake the salmon any night of the week and use it for lunches and dinners for a few days.
This recipe is super easy to scale, too! Just click on the number next to "Servings" in the recipe card and slide the arrow to your desired number of servings. The recipe will automatically double or triple as needed.
Plus, this method of cooking is quick. Once the oven has preheated, everything will be ready in under 20 minutes. And when salmon is baked in the oven, you don't need to babysit it like you would with stovetop cooking. So let the oven do the work!
What You’ll Need for the Best Blackened Salmon
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- Salmon You'll need a pound of salmon. I like to use individual salmon fillets that are about an inch thick. Each piece of salmon will be one portion. You can, however, use one large whole salmon filet as well.
- Olive Oil I like to coat the baking sheet with a bit of olive oil to prevent the salmon from sticking. It can also help crisp the skin if you are using skin-on fillets.
- Salt & Pepper This is optional. I keep these on hand if I'm using a store-bought seasoning mix to adjust the flavor as needed.
- Cayenne Pepper To make homemade blackened seasoning, I use cayenne pepper for that spicy kick. You can adjust the heat in this dish by adding more or less cayenne pepper. If you are very sensitive to spicy food, try a dash of chili powder instead.
- Thyme I like to use dried thyme for a savory, somewhat floral flavor. I don't recommend using fresh herbs in this recipe.
- Oregano You should use dried oregano in this recipe, too. It adds an earthy, aromatic element to the flavor profile of the dish.
- Black Pepper I recommend using freshly ground black pepper. I find that it's more flavorful than pre-ground pepper and it's easy to keep on hand.
- Garlic Powder I like to use garlic powder in this recipe rather than fresh garlic. It helps create a well-mixed spice blend that won't burn in the oven.
- Paprika I use sweet paprika in my blend. Smoked paprika and hot paprika are both great options as well.
- Kosher Salt I use kosher salt for all of my cooking. It is less salty by volume than other varieties of salt. If you only have table or sea salt, divide the amount in the recipe by half.
How to Make This Recipe
Step One: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the ingredients for the blackening spice in a small bowl and stir until well combined.
Step Two: Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel.
Step Three: Place 1 tablespoon olive oil on a lined baking sheet, or in a baking dish or roasting pan.
Step Four: Place the salmon on top of the oil, ensuring the base is evenly covered. Liberally coat the salmon in the blackening spice.
Step Six: Bake the salmon in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes for medium-rare (internal temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit) or 15 to 18 minutes for medium to well-done (internal temperature of 145 degrees or above). Taste a small piece for seasoning, and, if needed, season the salmon with a little more salt. Serve right away.
Variations and Substitutions
Onion Powder: Some recipes for blackening spice suggest you use onion powder. If this is a flavor you love, feel free to add it! Make the seasoning blend your own.
Brown Sugar: Looking for a little sweetness in your salmon? A pinch of brown sugar can offer a lovely bit of color and flavor to the dish.
Cast Iron Skillet: You can easily make blackened salmon in a cast iron skillet, too. I like using a baking sheet for ease of cleanup, but cast iron skillets work great!
Premade Blackening Spice: Most grocery stores will have a premade blackening spice you can purchase. If you don't have enough time to make your own homemade blackening seasoning, this is a great option to explore. Just be sure to taste it to see if it needs any adjustments before cooking.
Storage and Reheating
Fridge: Store leftover salmon in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Be sure to use an airtight container.
Freezer: Blackened fish can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Reheating: To reheat salmon in the oven, preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the salmon on a sheet tray or in a baking dish and heat for about 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can also reheat salmon in the microwave at 30-second intervals until heated through.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Blackened baked salmon refers to the blackening spice or seasoning mix that is used to coat the fish. This is a blend of herbs and spices like thyme, oregano, garlic powder, cayenne, and paprika.
Absolutely! This is a great recipe for all kinds of proteins. Try making blackened shrimp, blackened chicken thighs or tenders, or other varieties of fish, like blackened cod or redfish. It's also amazing on steak, pork, or even on sides like potatoes.
It is likely your oven is providing an inaccurate temperature reading. Ovens are known to provide temperature readings that can be off by as much as 100 degrees! I recommend using a reliable oven thermometer to ensure your oven is the correct temperature and you are truly cooking your salmon at 425 degrees.
How to Serve Easy Oven Baked Salmon
This blackened salmon recipe makes a versatile main dish. This recipe is perfect for an easy dinner paired with any number of side dishes, or it can be used as the protein in many recipes. Try these ideas:
Pasta: You can try it on pasta, too. Salmon alfredo pasta is a tasty choice, or you can serve the salmon with this aglio olio e peperoncino for an extra little kick of spice.
Meal Prep: Sometimes I cook salmon on Sunday and use this recipe throughout the week for meal prep. Salmon salad with a spicy harissa vinaigrette is a favorite.
Veggie Sides: I often serve the salmon with easy sides like Brussels sprouts and asparagus, sautéed butternut squash or sweet potatoes, or roasted cherry tomatoes. They are also great with air fryer broccoli and cauliflower or air fryer zucchini and squash.
Or you can try this delicious aloo palak, an Indian dish with potatoes, spinach, and spices.
Rice: This salmon is wonderful over rice, too. I love to make brown rice or, for something a bit more exciting, this jollof rice recipe.
- Use an instant-read thermometer. This recipe is for medium-rare salmon. If you would like your salmon cooked to medium, use an instant-read thermometer to measure the temperature of the salmon. The salmon is done when it reaches 125 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare and 145 degrees for medium.
- Try adding butter. For a richer dish, you can add butter. Simply melt the butter over low heat on the stovetop, brush the melted butter on the salmon, and then add the blackening spice before baking. I like to use unsalted butter for this so that I can adjust the seasoning to my tastes.
- Keep an eye on your salmon. You can tell salmon is cooked when it has a light pink interior and it flakes easily with a fork. With any fish recipe, it's important not to overcook your fish or it will become dry.
- A squeeze of citrus juice is delicious. Try squeezing a little bit of fresh lime juice or lemon juice over the whole salmon fillet. It will turn one of the most simple dinners into something really special.
- Don't bump the heat. There are times when we're in a rush and really need the food on the table quickly. I don't recommend cooking this salmon at any higher than 425. When you bake it in the oven at too high a temperature, the salmon gets tough and albumin (the white streaks on the side of the fish when it's overcooked) can form.
More Blackened Recipes to Try
Baked Blackened Salmon
- 4 (4-ounce) salmon fillets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine the ingredients for the blackening spice and stir until well combined.
- Pat the salmon dry with paper towels. Season liberally with blackening spice.
- Place 1 tablespoon olive oil on a sheet tray, or in a baking dish or roasting pan.
- Place the salmon on top of the oil, ensuring the base is evenly covered.
- Bake the salmon for 12 to 15 minutes for medium-rare (internal temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit) or 15 to 18 minutes for medium to well-done (internal temperature of 145 degrees or above).
- You can use up to 6-ounce salmon fillets depending on how hungry you are. The blackening spice is designed to be used with one pound of fish or meat.
- Feel free to buy premade blackening seasoning at the grocery store. Be sure to taste it beforehand to see if it needs any adjustments before cooking. I found that the brand I bought needed more salt.
- Fridge: Store leftover salmon in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Be sure to use an airtight container,
- Freezer: Blackened fish can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: To reheat salmon in the oven, preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the salmon on a sheet tray or in a baking dish and heat for about 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You can also reheat salmon in the microwave at 30-second intervals until heated through.