Blackened Salmon

Blackened salmon is the ultimate salmon recipe: fast, easy and seasoned to perfection! It’s guaranteed to become a favorite. Speechless. That’s what I was when Alex made this beautiful salmon recipe for me…and we hope you will be too. This Blackened Salmon is so flavor filled, you’ll feel like you ordered it at a restaurant. Even better: it’s fast and easy. The cooking process takes just 5 to 8 minutes. The homemade blackened seasoning has a savory intrigue and makes a crispy black crust on the outside of the fish. (Yeah, it blackens your pan too…but it’s 100% worth it.) What is blackening, anyway? First, let’s talk about the cooking method: blackening! Blackening is a style of cooking fish and meat in a cast iron skillet with a special blend of Cajun-style spices until the outside is crispy and blackened. It’s a technique that was popularized by celebrity Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme of Louisiana. He created a recipe for blackened redfish in this 1980’s cookbook that took the world by storm. Since then, blackening has become a popular technique. It’s all about the spices: and each chef has their own special blend. Let’s talk spices! Ingredients in blackened seasoning Here’s […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Blackened salmon is the ultimate salmon recipe: fast, easy and seasoned to perfection! It’s guaranteed to become a favorite.

Blackened salmon

Speechless. That’s what I was when Alex made this beautiful salmon recipe for me…and we hope you will be too. This Blackened Salmon is so flavor filled, you’ll feel like you ordered it at a restaurant. Even better: it’s fast and easy. The cooking process takes just 5 to 8 minutes. The homemade blackened seasoning has a savory intrigue and makes a crispy black crust on the outside of the fish. (Yeah, it blackens your pan too…but it’s 100% worth it.)

What is blackening, anyway?

First, let’s talk about the cooking method: blackening! Blackening is a style of cooking fish and meat in a cast iron skillet with a special blend of Cajun-style spices until the outside is crispy and blackened. It’s a technique that was popularized by celebrity Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme of Louisiana. He created a recipe for blackened redfish in this 1980’s cookbook that took the world by storm. Since then, blackening has become a popular technique. It’s all about the spices: and each chef has their own special blend. Let’s talk spices!

Blackened seasoning

Ingredients in blackened seasoning

Here’s the thing about blackened seasoning: every chef has their own recipe, so there’s no “true” definition! The famous chef Paul Prudhomme had his own technique, and ours is heavily influenced by his method. Most recipes have spices familiar to Cajun cuisine: paprika, garlic, onion, oregano, thyme, and of course, cayenne for the heat. To our recipe we added a hint allspice and cloves to add intrigue and nuance.

This blackened seasoning blend has a hint of heat, but it’s mild. We wouldn’t even call it medium (our 3 year old loved it and didn’t detect heat). We recommend making this blend homemade because it’s just not the same otherwise! The ingredients in our homemade Blackened Seasoning are:

  • Smoked paprika or sweet paprika
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • Celery seed
  • Allspice
  • Cloves
  • Cayenne
  • Salt and black pepper
Blackened salmon

How to buy a great piece of salmon

Aside from blackened seasoning, you’ll also need a fantastic piece of salmon for this blackened salmon. Lower quality salmon can taste very fishy and have a mushy texture. Here’s how to buy a great piece of salmon:

  • Buy wild caught salmon. Wild caught is the way to go! It’s most sustainable and has the best flavor. Buy it either fresh from the fish counter or frozen works too.
  • Coho is a good choice. We tend to like Coho salmon for its mild flavor: it’s a good middle of the road option in terms of price. Of course, King salmon is incredible but it’s on the expensive end. Avoid Atlantic salmon as it is typically farmed salmon.
  • Make sure to buy skin on. You’ll need skin-on salmon for this recipe.

Basic steps for how to make blackened salmon

You can skip right to the recipe if you’re ready to start this blackened salmon. But let’s chat briefly about the method, because knowing why you’re doing something in the kitchen is just as important as doing it.

  • Brine the salmon. Brining takes 15 minutes, but it makes the best crispy on the outside, moist on the inside piece of salmon. Simply place the salmon in a salt water solution for 15 minutes; this also allows the salmon to come to room temperature.
  • Add blackened seasoning. Pat the salmon dry and season with the homemade seasoning blend (you can mix it up while the salmon is brining).
  • Sear the salmon skin side up for 2 to 3 minutes. Use a stainless steel or cast iron pan to get the best sear (not a non-stick pan)! Cook it over medium high heat until it’s cooked about halfway.
  • Flip and cook 2 to 5 more minutes. The timing depends on the thickness of the piece of salmon, so use your best judgement. It should be just tender and pink at the center (about 130 degrees Fahrenheit).
Blackened salmon

Helpful tool: a fish spatula!

You don’t need any special tools for blackened salmon, but here’s one that makes the process a little easier: a fish spatula! A fish spatula is a wide slotted metal spatula that’s used to gently slide underneath fish when you’re searing it. It’s actually useful for many more tasks outside of seafood: like flipping eggplant pizzas or fries.

Use any large, wide spatula if you don’t have a fish spatula. Metal is nice so that it can easily slide under the fish skin. Want to grab one for yourself? Here’s a link to our fish spatula.

How to clean your pan after making blackened salmon

After making blackened salmon, your pan will have a lovely blackened char as well. (Sorry, it’s part of the fun!) Here are a few things to note about cleaning your pan:

  • Don’t leave it for hours. You can eat your food first, of course! But don’t leave it for hours or overnight so that the black crust solidifies.
  • “Deglaze” the pan. Deglazing the pan is a cooking technique where you add wine or another liquid to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. You can use it for cleaning too! Simply place water in the pan and heat it on a burner over medium heat. When the blackened bits start to loosen, scrape them off gently with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula.
  • Use a non-toxic kitchen cleaner. If you have bits that are really stuck, we like to use a cleaner like Bon Ami.
How to make Blackened salmon

Sides to serve with blackened salmon

And that’s it: how to make blackened salmon! It makes a beautiful healthy dinner recipe that’s great for weeknights or to impress when you’re entertaining. What to serve with it? Here are a few side dishes we’d pair with it:

This blackened salmon recipe is…

Gluten-free, pescatarian and dairy-free.

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Blackened salmon

Classic Blackened Salmon


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Blackened salmon is the ultimate salmon recipe: fast, easy and seasoned to perfection! It’s guaranteed to become a favorite.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound wild caught salmon fillets, skin on
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons homemade Blackened Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or more olive oil for dairy free)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus one drizzle
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Brine the salmon: In a large shallow dish, whisk together 4 cups room temperature water and 3 tablespoons kosher salt until dissolved. Place the salmon in the water and wait for 15 minutes.
  2. If you haven’t already, mix up the blackened seasoning.
  3. Pat the salmon dry with a clean towel. Rub it generously with oil and sprinkle it with the kosher salt and blackened seasoning.
  4. Heat a large skillet (not non-stick*) over medium high heat and add the butter and olive oil. When butter is melted, add the salmon skin side up and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until cooked about 1/2 way to center of thick part of salmon.
  5. Flip the salmon (a fish spatula makes easy work of it). Tilt the pan down slightly and quickly spoon the pan juices over the top of the fish a few times. Drizzle with the lemon juice and spoon the pan juices a few times again. Cook for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness, until just tender and pink at the center (the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130 Fahrenheit in the center when removed). Remove from the heat and serve.

Notes

*You’ll get the best sear from a stainless steel or cast iron skillet.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Seared
  • Cuisine: Cajun inpsired

Keywords: Blackened salmon

More healthy seafood recipes

We’ve got lots more healthy seafood recipes and fish recipes to try! Here are some favorites:

  • Pesto Baked Salmon Bright green basil pesto is a natural fit with baked fish! An easy weeknight meal that also works to impress guests.
  • Tilapia Fish Tacos Bake or broil the fish, then add sauce and slaw. A total crowd pleaser!
  • Creamy Shrimp Pasta Easy to make with the best big flavors: garlic, lemon, and Parmesan.
  • Seafood Paella This stunning one pan dinner features shrimp, vegetables and all the authentic flavors of this traditional dish.
  • Salmon with Capers Oven baked in foil until it’s perfectly tender, then topped with a delicious caper sauce. An easy healthy dinner recipe!

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Cajun Grilled Shrimp

These spicy Cajun grilled shrimp are full of big flavor! Covered in a homemade spice blend, they’re fast and easy to grill. Here’s a grilled dinner idea that’s quick, easy and full of huge flavor: Cajun grilled shrimp! If you love Cajun spices and a little heat, you’ll love this smoky, tender shrimp: and it takes less than 5 minutes on the grill. Serve it up with a side of grilled peppers, and it’s a fantastic summer meal. And if you can’t do spicy food: we’ve got a mild version for you too! It all depends on the homemade spice blend you decide to whip up. Here’s how to do it! The shrimp you need for Cajun grilled shrimp You’ll just need a few ingredients for Cajun grilled shrimp: and most of the ingredients are spices! But the most important of all is the shrimp, of course! Here are a few notes about the type of shrimp to look for: Medium to large shrimp: we used 26-30 per pound size Tail on or peeled: we find tail on looks the prettiest, but you may want to do fully peeled for ease of use Deveined: this is preferable to save a […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

These spicy Cajun grilled shrimp are full of big flavor! Covered in a homemade spice blend, they’re fast and easy to grill.

Cajun grilled shrimp

Here’s a grilled dinner idea that’s quick, easy and full of huge flavor: Cajun grilled shrimp! If you love Cajun spices and a little heat, you’ll love this smoky, tender shrimp: and it takes less than 5 minutes on the grill. Serve it up with a side of grilled peppers, and it’s a fantastic summer meal. And if you can’t do spicy food: we’ve got a mild version for you too! It all depends on the homemade spice blend you decide to whip up. Here’s how to do it!

The shrimp you need for Cajun grilled shrimp

You’ll just need a few ingredients for Cajun grilled shrimp: and most of the ingredients are spices! But the most important of all is the shrimp, of course! Here are a few notes about the type of shrimp to look for:

  • Medium to large shrimp: we used 26-30 per pound size
  • Tail on or peeled: we find tail on looks the prettiest, but you may want to do fully peeled for ease of use
  • Deveined: this is preferable to save a step of deveining
  • Fresh or frozen: you can use either! Frozen can be as high quality as fresh if it’s frozen as soon as it’s caught
  • Wild caught (US if possible): Wild caught is the most sustainable
Grilled Cajun shrimp

Use Cajun seasoning or blackened seasoning

Besides the shrimp, the other main ingredient in this spicy Cajun grilled shrimp recipe is the seasoning! We recommend making the homemade seasoning blend to get just the right flavor. But you can use storebought in a pinch! Here are the two seasonings to try, depending on what spice level you’d like:

  • Cajun seasoning (spicy!): This homemade Cajun seasoning is spicy, featuring paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, fennel seed (optional), cumin, cayenne, and salt and pepper.
  • Blackened seasoning (mild!): This blackened seasoning has similar flavors but less heat! It features paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, celery seed, allspice, cloves, cayenne, and salt and pepper.

You can also head to Blackened Shrimp if you prefer a more mild version of this recipe.

Cajun grilled shrimp

How to make Cajun grilled shrimp (basic steps)

Once you’ve got the ingredients in hand, it’s so simple to make this recipe. Shrimp cooks so quickly that it’s one of our favorite things to throw on the grill. Seriously, who needs to smoke things for hours when you can have this big of flavor in just a few minutes? Here are the basic steps (or jump right to the recipe):

  • Preheat a grill to medium high: that’s 375 to 450 degrees, the grill temperature for most vegetables and seafood.
  • Mix the shrimp with olive oil and seasoning. See the notes above!
  • Grill 1 to 2 minutes per side, until opaque and tender. That’s it!

Add grilled peppers as an easy side dish

Here’s an easy side dish to add to Cajun spicy grilled shrimp: grilled peppers! Multi-colored peppers look beautiful: and they’re tender with a lightly sweet flavor. Here are a few options for grilling up some bell peppers:

Grilled Cajun shrimp with peppers

More grilled vegetables to pair with Cajun grilled shrimp

There are lots more tasty grilled vegetables to make a meal out of this Cajun grilled shrimp. The only thing to keep in mind is the physical space on your grill. You may have to make them in batches! Here’s what we’d recommend to make it a meal:

How to thaw shrimp

Frozen shrimp is incredibly convenient; you can load up your freezer for healthy dinners for months! The only hard part about frozen is remembering to thaw it! Here are two methods for thawing shrimp, depending on when you start:

  • Day before: If you think ahead, simply place the frozen shrimp in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Day of: Place the frozen shrimp into a large bowl with very cold water. Stir the bowl every 5 minutes to break up clumps of shrimp that freeze together. The shrimp should be defrosted in about 15 minutes.

This spicy Cajun grilled shrimp recipe is…

Pescatarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Print
Cajun grilled shrimp

Cajun Grilled Shrimp


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Low Calorie

Description

These spicy Cajun grilled shrimp are full of big flavor! Covered in a homemade spice blend, they’re fast and easy to grill. 


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Thaw the shrimp. Then pat the shrimp dry. 
  2. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit).
  3. Place the shrimp in a bowl and add the olive oil and Cajun seasoning. Mix with your hands to combine.
  4. Place directly on a grill and grill 1 to 2 minutes per side (2 to 4 minutes total), until bright pink and cooked through.
  5. Remove from the grill and squeeze on fresh lemon juice from several wedges of the lemon, to taste.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Cajun

Keywords: Cajun grilled shrimp

More shrimp recipes

Shrimp is a great healthy meal choice if you eat seafood. Here are some of our favorite healthy shrimp recipes:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits.

New favorite thing ever: honey mustard cajun shrimp! And grits. Why of course! Please make this for dinner tonight! It’s the most comforting dish EVER. And we all really need some comfort right now. The meal comes together fairly quickly. You can use a store bought cajun seasoning or make your own. You can use […]

The post Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

New favorite thing ever: honey mustard cajun shrimp! And grits. Why of course!

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

Please make this for dinner tonight! It’s the most comforting dish EVER. And we all really need some comfort right now.

honey mustard cajun shrimp in a skillet

The meal comes together fairly quickly. You can use a store bought cajun seasoning or make your own. You can use stone ground or instant grits! Whatever you need to make this easy and so you can get a delish meal on the table in no time at all. 

Let’s do it! 

honey mustard cajun shrimp close up

First, THIS SHRIMP.

Oh my gosh. I am basically sharing this recipe for the shrimp alone. I thought I was in love with this lime fajita shrimp but this honey mustard cajun shrimp is where it’s at. 

The flavor! Holy cow. It’s a bit spicy from the cajun seasoning but then you have this sweet + tangy combo from the honey mustard.

pot of grits with grated cheddar

You can pretty much do anything with this shrimp – except stay away from it. I wanted to eat every piece out of the pan right here. 

You have cajun shrimp pan-fried in butter and then cooked in the sweet and sticky honey mustard. The excess sauce in the pan is so wonderful as a drizzle on the grits too. Or right off a spoon, not going to lie.

stirring cheddar into grits

It’s an indulgent treat that I can’t get enough of. 

I mean, oh my gosh.

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

So I’ve made shrimp and grits a few times before.

These brown butter shrimp and grits are seriously unreal. Kind of like a classic. And this buffalo shrimp with blue cheese grits is an over-the-top version that we love! Especially when I’m craving all things buffalo-ish. 

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

I usually make the quick cooking grits (the horror, I know!) because I’m just not a grits purist. But I did make the stone ground version for this recipe and my oh my are they GOOD.

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

Eddie used to travel a ton when I first started the blog. I mentioned it in my blog posts but I didn’t quite explain the extent he traveled – many times Sunday through Friday – and I kept it on the DL since I was home alone. He would be in the south for work and ate copious amounts of shrimp and grits – they are easily one of his favorite dishes. 

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

When I make the grits, I go.to.town with the cheese and cream. He tells me that’s the only way to do it! And I can’t argue… I mean they basically melt in your mouth. 

They are ridiculously cheesy and creamy.

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

This is our ideal comfort food – even in the warmer months. I just wish I could make you a big bowl of it!

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

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Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp and Cheddar Grits

This honey mustard cajun shrimp is absolutely loaded with flavor! Served over cheddar grits for the ultimate comfort food.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

cheddar grits

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock or water
  • 1 1/2 cups stone ground corn grits
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar, freshly grated
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream

honey mustard cajun shrimp

  • 1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons dijon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Instructions

  • Place the stock, grits and salt in a large pot and bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, turn off the heat and and cover the pot for 10 minutes.
  • During this time, pat the shrimp completely dry and sprinkle it with cajun seasoning. Whisk together the honey and the dijon.
  • After 10 minutes, bring the grits back to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often and scraping the bottom, until most of the water is absorbed and the grits are al dente or tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the grits from the heat and stick in the cheddar, parmesan and cream. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed!
  • While the grits are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook about 2 to 3 minutes per side, just until it’s opaque and pink. Once the shrimp is flipped, pour in the honey djion mixture. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for a few minutes to bring the flavors together. Sprinkle with the fresh herbs.
  • Once the grits are done, serve them in a bowl. Top with the shrimp. Serve immediately!

Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits

Can’t you just taste it?!

The post Honey Mustard Cajun Shrimp with Cheddar Grits. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.