Blackened Salmon with Green Sauce
This Blackened Salmon with Green Sauce has a seared crust that’s loaded with bold flavours and served with a refreshing green sauce. The whole comes together in less than 20 minutes and is perfect for weeknight dinner. This Blackened Salmon is Paleo, Whole30, Keto, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal.
WHY YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS BLACKENED SALMON
- The bold flavours! The blackened seasoning rub is incredibly flavorful and turns into a dark crust on the outside of the fish once seared. The spices really enhance the taste of the salmon.
- This really is the best blackened salmon recipe because of the combination of the spice rub and delicious green sauce which pair perfectly.
- It takes just 20 minutes to make: This recipe couldn’t be any easier to make and is perfect for dinner on busy weeknights.
- Leftovers are super tasty and can be enjoyed over a few days for easy meals.
- The quick cook time ensures the salmon is crisp on the outside and moist and flakey inside.
COULD I USE THIS SPICE ON A DIFFERENT TYPE OF FISH?
I recommend using a white fish such as cod, halibut, tilapia or catfish in place of salmon fillets. I would not suggest using sole or sea bass which are too delicate for this blackened crust.
HOW TO MAKE THIS BLACKENED SALMON SPECIFIC CARBOHYDRATE DIET LEGAL
Garlic powder used in the salmon seasoning is the only ingredient that might make this recipe illegal on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal. Additives are often used to prevent garlic powder and onion powder from binding (also known as anticaking agents). From my research online I have found that Simply Organic and Primal Palate both produce garlic powder without anticaking agents so I recommend using one of them if you are on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and wanting to make this Blackened Salmon.
WHICH SPICES DO I USE?
I love the blend of spices used in this Blackened Salmon recipe which take inspiration from Cajun cooking. This recipe uses a combination of spices that you might find in a lot of cajun seasoning blends which includes:
- Cayenne Powder: this is what gives this salmon a real kick of spice. Alternatively you can use chili powder.
- Paprika: I recommend using smoked paprika if you have it, but other types also work. Paprika is a key ingredient in the seasoning mix that helps the salmon to develop that dark color.
- Oregano: Use only dried oregano, not fresh
- Thyme: Use only dried thyme, not fresh
- Garlic Powder: Can be substituted for onion powder
IS THIS BLACKENED SALMON SPICY
The quantity of spices listed in this recipe create a mild to medium spice level, but you can easily adjust this recipe to be milder or spicier to suit your taste. For a more kid friendly recipe I would recommend only adding 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper whereas if you like things spicy increase the amount of cayenne to 1 1/2 or 2 teaspoons.
HOW TO GET THE PERFECT BLACKENED CRUST
Blackened doesn’t mean burnt, instead it is a toasted crust that coats the salmon. There are a few simple tricks that ensure you get a nicely blackened crust on the salmon.
- Completely coat each salmon fillet in a thick layer of the spice blend. I like to rub the spice mixture all over the salmon and firmly press down to ensure they really stick to the fillets.
- After covering the salmon in the seasoning blend be sure to add it to a hot cast iron skillet. A hot skillet and cooking the salmon at a high temperature will not only create a nice dark crust but will also ensure that the salmon doesn’t stick to the pan and can easily be flipped.
- After placing the salmon in the cast-iron skillet, leave it untouched for 2-3 minutes before flipping with a fish spatula.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN THE SALMON IS COOKED
There are a few different ways to check if the salmon is cooked. For the most accurate results, use an instant-read thermometer and test the thickest part of a fillet. You are looking for a reading of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (slightly undercooked) as the salmon will continue to cook once removed from the pan and reach 145 degrees (done) within a few minutes of resting. Another way to check whether the salmon is cooked is by using a sharp knife and cutting into the thickest part of a fillet. The fillets of salmon are ready when they flake and are slightly translucent still in the middle.
WHAT TYPE OF PAN SHOULD I USE?
I prefer using a large cast iron skillet for this recipe because it creates the best blackened crust on the salmon. When using a nonstick pan, I have found that the blackening spices don’t form as dark a crust when cooked on the hot pan.
WHAT’S IN THE GREEN SAUCE?
This green sauce takes just minutes to make and is a really refreshing sauce to help lightened up the spicy bold flavours of the blackened salmon. To make the green sauce simply place everything in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Mayonnaise – you can use store bought, home made or vegan mayonnaise for this sauce.
- Green Onions/Scallions – both the white and green parts can be used
- Cilantro – not a fan of cilantro? You can use parsley in the sauce instead.
- Garlic – use fresh garlic cloves rather then minced in a jar for the best flavor.
- Lime Juice – depending on how zesty you like things, feel free to add in more lime juice or the lime zest too for extra flavor.
You can find a more detailed list of ingredients and quantities in the recipe card below.
WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH THIS BLACKENED SALMON?
This Blackened Salmon is delicious served with a simple salad of cucumber, tomatoes and oil and vinegar dressing. If you would like a more substantial salad Kale salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing or Creamy Coleslaw would both be delicious. If you prefer to serve it with veggies some of my other favorite sides include roasted broccoli, steamed asparagus or cauliflower rice. The salmon has so much flavour that I recommend keeping the side dishes simple.
WHAT ABOUT LEFTOVERS?
Leftover Blackened Salmon will last for 3 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. I like eating leftovers cold on a salad (such as on top of a salmon caesar salad), or flaked and added into scrambled eggs. It is also delicious served as salmon tacos, with shredded cabbage, avocado and the green sauce drizzled overtop. To reheat the leftover salmon, place it on a baking tray and bake it in the oven for 10 minutes at 300° Fahrenheit (150° Celsius) until just warmed through or in a skillet on medium heat. Extra green sauce will last for 4 days in the fridge and can be served with roasted veggies, chicken or beef too!
Here are a few more salmon recipes that you might enjoy…
- Pistachio Crusted Salmon
- 12-Minute Herb & Mayo Salmon
- Spicy Baked Salmon
- Orange Salmon
- Garlic Honey Mustard Salmon
- Easy Spinach Stuffed Salmon
- Salmon Nicoise Traybake
- Coconut Ginger Salmon
- Sheet Pan Teriyaki Salmon
- Sesame Salmon
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
- 2 lbs salmon fillets (1 side salmon cut into 4 or 5 fillets)
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 scallions
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1 clove garlic
- Start by measuring out the spices and mixing them together in a bowl. Place the salmon on a plate and firmly pat the spices over all 3 sides of the salmon. Transfer the salmon to the fridge for a few minutes while you make the sauce (quickly refrigerating the salmon will create a better crust)
- In a blender combine all of the ingredients for the green sauce and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- In a cast iron skillet heat the oil on medium high heat. Once the pan is sizzling hot, place the salmon flesh side down in the pan and leave the fillets to cook for 3 minutes untouched. Flip the salmon over and cook skin side down for a further 5 minutes until the skin is crispy and the salmon is done. Serve the salmon with wedges of lime and the green sauce on the side.